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December 30, 2022

Even the dangerous combination of a pandemic, inflation and political firestorms couldn’t keep the Sunshine State down in 2022. Tourism numbers bounced back nicely, state tax revenues – boosted at least in part by federal spending – hit all-time highs. And the jobless rate fell below three percent, which is generally considered “full employment” by economists. Yet something still felt a bit “off” in this recovery. “Help wanted” signs remained in the windows and websites of all kinds of private and public organizations. How come? Gina Jordan examined the situation in this report.

Florida’s present Governor Ron DeSantis has made education a major focus of his administration. His priorities, as adopted by the legislature, include prohibitions against certain kinds of subject matter being included in, not just the formal public school curricula, but even informal classroom discussion. On the heels of this year’s lawmaking session in which those restrictions became law, Sarah Mueller found a growing number of the state’s classroom teachers were considering new career fields as a consequence.

Last month’s midterm election turned out surprisingly well for Democrats nationally—even with Republican gains, the party didn’t lose as badly as many had anticipated. But in Florida, the Blue team took a drubbing, losing every statewide race, and so many state house and senate seats that Republicans will have a legislative super-majority; meaning, the party has enough votes to pass whatever laws and budget proposals it wants. Lynn Hatter reports the losses aren’t new to Florida Democrats—who’ve been out of power for more than two decades; but this year’s losses are especially devastating.

The turnout problem was particularly acute amongst voters of color, particularly African-Americans. Some are even saying this is part of of a trend. As Margie Menzel reports, one group is admitting failure and forging ahead.

With so much disinformation prevalent online, the question is where does all this stuff come from? Tom Flanigan spoke with some media experts who explain it all too often comes from US!