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December 16, 2022

Republicans in the state legislature put their supermajority power on display this week when they passed a massive property insurance package less than five days after it was filed with little input from Democrats. Governor Ron DeSantis signed the measure into law today [Friday]. G-O-P legislative leaders tout the measure as pro-consumer, while Democrats argue it would hurt the state’s policyholders. Valerie Crowder has more…

DeSantis has also signed into law a toll relief bill that lawmakers passed this week which would provide SunPass discounts to frequent commuters next year. Lawmakers also passed a $750 million disaster relief bill while in Tallahassee this week to help communities recovering from Hurricanes Ian and Nicole.

President Biden this week signed a federal law ending a ban on same sex marriage, but a similar ban is still on the books in Florida. Steve Bousquet reports that a new effort is underway in the Legislature to bring state law in line with the rest of the country.

Governor Ron DeSantis is asking the Florida Supreme Court to convene a grand jury to investigate possible misconduct related to COVID-19 vaccines. He made the announcement at a roundtable discussion Tuesday in West Palm Beach. The governor was joined by Florida’s Surgeon General and a group of professors and doctors. Gina Jordan reports they all question how well the vaccines work and whether adverse health reactions have been accurately reported.

For Florida Democrats, one of the most troubling things about their big mid-term election losses last month was the continued exodus of Latino voters to Republican. WLRN’s Tim Padgett reports that has sharply divided the state’s Latino Democrats – especially in South Florida.

Cuba is currently seeing the largest and fastest exodus that it’s seen since Fidel Castro took power in 1959. More Cubans have left for the US in the last year than those who fled during the Mariel Boatlift in 1980 AND the rafter crisis of 1994 – combined. Many of them are landing – frequently – in the Florida Keys. On the South Florida Roundup earlier today, WLRN’s Danny Rivero spoke to New York Times reporter Frances Robles and WLRN’s Keys Reporter Gwen Filosa about the worsening situation.

A new report finds that despite significant job losses early in the pandemic, rates of children without health insurance - in Florida and around the nation - actually improved. But, public health experts warn, these gains could be brief, as WGCU’s John Davis reports.