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June 25, 2021

A new law supporters insist will reinforce freedom of speech on Florida’s college and university campuses got Governor Ron DeSantis’s approval this week. But some say the measure goes too far. Under the new law, school officials can’t block a group from speaking on campus regardless of their views. Blaise Gainey talked with college students and parents about they think should be allowed on campus when it comes to speech freedom.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is becoming the heir apparent to President Donald Trump. Even though the former president is still teasing his supporters with the possibility he’ll run in 2024. Even so, DeSantis has been laser-focused on national issues beloved by the Republican base. And he’s become an almost constant fixture on conservative media. Last (Thursday) evening, he appeared on Mark Levin’s TV show to extol his appeal to that base while Lt. Governor Jeannette Nunez took the point on CNN to talk about the hi-rise condo collapse in Surfside. Valerie Crowder examines the many ways Florida’s chief executive has been positioning himself as the GOP’s presidential front-runner more than three years ahead of the election.

Even more ubiquitous than Subway sandwich shops in Florida nowadays are signs that say “help wanted.” Many of them are posted in the windows of Subway sandwich shops, along with just about every other variety of employer.

Developmental disability service providers are the latest to join that list of employers who say they’re facing a worker shortage. Advocates say direct support professionals who left the industry because of health concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic aren’t returning now because of low wages. We get more on the story from Robbie Gaffney.

It has been nearly 2 months now since Senate Democrats in Tallahassee changed leaders. They ousted Senator Gary Farmer of Lighthouse Point in the final days of the session and replaced him with a fellow Broward Countian, Senator Lauren Book. But as Steve Bousquet reports, tensions among Senate Democrats have not quieted down.

More and more people are returning to pre-COVID activities like going to the office or gathering with friends in public without masks. It’s been a welcome relief for some, but can be stressful for others. The Florida Association of Managing Entities works with behavioral health providers around the state and surveyed residents earlier this month -- it found 1 in 3 Floridians are experiencing more social anxiety than they did prior to the pandemic.Health News Florida’s Stephanie Colombini talked with Clara Reynolds, president and CEO of the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay. Reynolds says they’ve had a lot of calls lately from people who are uncomfortable getting back out there.

The weekend is upon us. And for many of us, a trip to the nearby Lowes, Home Depot or Ace Hardware awaits. However, sticker shock may await those anticipating a home improvement project. Higher than usual lumber prices are impacting Florida, especially in the state’s Panhandle where nearly 3 years ago, Hurricane Michael wiped out much of the area’s timber. Reagan McCarthy has more.