Politics

Mayor Andrew Gillum
Nick Evans / WFSU News

Former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum says he’s entering rehab days after Miami Beach police were called to a hotel room where a man overdosed on what appeared to be crystal meth and Gillum was present.

Andrew Gillum, Democratic gubernatorial candidate for Florida, speaks during a campaign rally attended by Former President Barack Obama, Friday, Nov. 2, 2018, in Miami.
Lynne Sladky / Associated Press

Former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum was in a South Florida hotel room last night where a man had a possible drug overdose. Gillum was the Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate in 2018.

Florida’s primary election is just two weeks away and public media stations WUSF in Tampa and WMFE in Orlando are banding together to cover stories along the I-4 Corridor this election season.

The stories from the I-4 Votes collaboration are based on what residents consider the most pressing issues in the 2020 presidential election. This week, we’re taking a deep dive into a survey of people living in this region of Florida – a critical part of a key swing state.

We start with two hot-button issues: Guns, and immigration.

The Iowa Caucuses will be held Monday, and for the first time, some of those caucuses will be taking place outside the state of Iowa. One of them will be held in the Pensacola area.

"I'm Jim Benda. My hometown, I live now in Clive, Iowa, which is a suburb of Des Moines," said Benda introducing himself.

A man in a dark suit, white shirt and blue tie sits at a table surrounded by microphones
Ryan Dailey / WFSU News

Florida Senate President Bill Galvano has been under fire for accepting campaign contributions from gun control advocates and for supporting a universal background check bill. Now his colleagues—Republicans and Democrats, are coming to his defense. 

J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo

With the full U.S. House of Representatives expected to vote on President Donald Trump’s impeachment this week, rallies are being planned throughout the country. There’s one in the works for Tallahassee.

Former North Florida Congresswoman Gwen Graham is no longer a part of the Rebuild 850 fundraising effort. In a series of tweets Monday, Graham says she was told by “a friend” to step down from her leadership role with the organization over comments Graham has made regarding Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Presidential Candidate Wayne Messam
Brynn Anderson / AP Photo

The Democratic field for the 2020 presidential nomination is crowded with names like Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, and former Vice President Joe Biden. With more than 20 confirmed candidates it can be easy for some to go unnoticed. I spoke with a Florida candidate who says he’s still working to get more recognition. Mayor of Miramar Wayne Messam put his name in the hat back in March.

Ariel Dovas via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/eviloars/3596825553/in/photolist-6tQEVF-8URbcY-nBP92L-hX8nFM-dzZqZv-4ZJ2ky-oXmHrv-4X6aGF-8kErNQ-4X6aKt-dzZtdB-dL1No5-3RYGw5-8vMptT-4dAphj-8mqsHQ-RTzbX-5gJJMN-8iq3hr-en86kn-9DU4qw-8zjrD7-aE62qi-aCEBWy-3cDrcM-5ahWGB-HeukUX-Z9zp

Florida lawmakers want first responders to get workers’ compensation for post-traumatic stress disorder. But the House bill would only give them a year to file a claim. 

flickr via wht_wolf9653 / https://www.flickr.com/photos/white_wolf/

Remember those billboards on the highway imploring drivers to "choose life"? Florida lawmakers want to fund them with taxpayer dollars. A bill that would cement contracts with pro-life pregnancy centers is heading to the Governor’s desk.

MGN Online

Florida lawmakers want to restrict certain abortions for women in their second trimester. Judges in other states have struck down similar laws as unconstitutional. But legal concerns are not slowing the bill down. A warning, this story may be distressing to some.

redjar via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/redjar/

Florida lawmakers want to expand the use of digital voting and tallying machines. Many of the state’s election managers are behind the plan. But critics don’t want to leave the paper ballot behind.

Pablo Recio via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/pablorecio/11741266365/

Florida lawmakers want to weigh in on who really has access to the state’s beaches. A bill moving in the statehouse is meant to settle a long-running dispute between private landowners and the public, by handing the issue over to the courts.

Kate Payne

Reform-minded Florida lawmakers are disagreeing over how to address sexual harassment. House Republicans have significantly expanded their measure. And that could make it more difficult for the two chambers to agree.

jvoves/ flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jvoves/

The Florida Senate stalled a plan to ban sanctuary cities this week. But the debate around immigration enforcement is alive and well in the statehouse.

Paul Sableman via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/pasa/10880062733/

Florida lawmakers want broader workers' compensation coverage for first responders with post-traumatic stress disorder. But a new version of the bill would add more requirements as well.

Florida Memory / https://www.floridamemory.com/items/show/26031

The state legislature is one major step closer to building a memorial recognizing enslaved Floridians. After facing resistance last year, the measure is moving in both chambers.

Shelby U via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/heavyymetal/4539604112/

Florida lawmakers want more people to be able to report drug or alcohol overdoses without fear of retaliation. The effort comes after the high-profile death of a college student, and as the state’s opioid-related deaths continue to rise.

redjar via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/redjar/

This November Floridians will decide whether felons should get their voting rights back. After activists gathered over one million petitions, the constitutional amendment has qualified for the 2018 ballot. The state currently disenfranchises about 1.6 million people, almost 10% of the voting age population.

iStockphoto

The Florida House is ready to take up two familiar healthcare reform measures Wednesday. Supporters say both bills will make care more accessible and more affordable. The plans face uphill battles in the Senate.

Thomas Hawk via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawk/

The plight of immigrants brought to the United States as children reverberated throughout national politics this week. But DACA sparked lively debates in Florida as well. Here's an update on the debate around the program, which is slated to expire in March.

Diimworks / Flickr

Florida’s governor is lending some support to a bill that would make texting while driving a primary offense. 

Tom Woodward via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/bionicteaching/4128415887/

One state lawmaker thinks pornography is a public health concern that’s damaging young Floridians. But one of his colleagues, who’s a doctor, says the state has bigger issues to deal with. 

Jaro Larnos via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jlarnos/

Florida lawmakers want to tighten the rules for low-income families getting cash assistance. A bill moving in the House would withhold benefits longer for those who don’t meet work requirements. 47,013 Florida families are enrolled in the program, as of October 2017.

Adam Putnam via facebook / https://www.facebook.com/adamputnam/

Florida lawmakers want to stop statewide elected officials from turning Session into a campaign fundraiser. A committee in the GOP-controlled legislature overwhelmingly passed the bill Wednesday.

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