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May 21, 2021

Florida lawmakers agreed this week to a new gambling deal with the Seminole Tribe of Florida. The agreement is expected to bring in about two-and-a-half billion dollars in the first five years. Now that the deal is done, the question is how all that money will be spent. For a look at that, we check in with Regan McCarthy.

Going into this week’s special legislative session on gaming, more than a few pundits predicted disaster. There were just too many conflicting dynamics at work for any agreement to be reached, they said. But the reality of the situation proved more amicable than most people expected. One of the driving forces behind the deal was Republican State Representative Randy Fine. Capital Reporter Valerie Crowder called him up as he was heading back to his Palm Bay district to find out how he managed to pull it off.

The Florida Board of Education is poised to adopt rules that would limit what and how teachers can teach when it comes to civics and history. The proposals are touted as efforts to avoid “indoctrinating” students on specific ideologies and are part of similar efforts in other parts of the country. More on the story from Lynn Hatter.

Restaurants across Florida are experiencing a labor shortage. Many of the COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted and more tourists and residents are heading out to eat. But there aren’t enough workers to serve them. Robbie Gaffney has more about why some restaurant workers are leaving the industry.

Former Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink charges the state’s new Internet sales tax remains a significant tax hike on average Floridians, even though supporters claim that is more than offset by the tax cut it provides businesses.

Florida Democrats are trying to rebound from a disappointing election cycle. The minority party in the Legislature finds itself even more diminished after unexpected losses and presently holds only one statewide seat. That’s the one occupied by Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried. Now, as Blaise Gainey reports, incoming Minority Leaders Ramon Alexander and Fentrice Driskell are looking to help their side rebound.