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Today’s top stories
• The curtain officially lifted yesterday to begin Florida’s 60-day legislative session. Here are some of the competing themes from the two political parties at the capitol. Two of our Fresh Take Florida reporters discussed on Morning Edition today the changes in Florida’s Department of Agriculture and the likely legislative scrutiny of higher education spending. (WUFT News)
• More than half of Florida’s population is women, but they hold less than 30 percent of seats in the state legislature. (Florida Phoenix)
• The Florida Senate president’s push to have a new toll road from the end of the Suncoast Parkway in Hernando County to the Georgia state line received its first unanimous approval in a committee. (Florida Politics)
• News from a divided Broward County: Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie yesterday earned six of nine school board votes to keep his job, while Gov. Ron DeSantis pushed the state Senate to keep former sheriff Scott Israel out of his. (WUFT News, Sun Sentinel)
• “Alligator Ron” Bergeron, who we profiled last month as the newest appointee to a state water board, has his attorneys working to determine if a $25 million no-bid contract with the state is a conflict of interest. (TCPalm)
• Sheila Creech left Panama City because of Hurricane Michael, but she was killed along with her partner in Alabama during Sunday’s tornadoes there. (Panama City News Herald)
• Caliburn International Corp. runs a migrant detention center in Homestead and is holding more than 1,000 teenagers. It had planned to go public but decided against doing so for now. (Miami Herald)
• Important state political news for dog owners who also enjoy a brew: There’s bipartisan support to officially allow them in breweries. (Orlando Sentinel)
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