The Point, Jan. 15, 2020: How Florida’s Governor Wants To See The 2020 Legislative Session Play Out


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• From our Fresh Take Florida team: ‘Season Of Opportunity’: In Election Year, Florida Governor Urges Lawmakers To Act On Abortion, Immigration, Teacher Pay. “Gov. Ron DeSantis urged Florida lawmakers Tuesday to require parents to grant permission for abortions for minors, require businesses to verify they aren’t hiring immigrants in the U.S. illegally and increase salaries for new teachers.”

• Ocala Star-Banner ($): Evergreen to become charter school if grade falls short again. “Evergreen Elementary has been on a state watch list because low student performance on state tests led the school to receive D or F grades for nearly a decade. State education officials say that if the school fails to earn at least a C this summer that the local school district cannot continue with an outside operator.”

• WCJB: Alachua County commissioners vote for plan that could keep Camp McConnell in the county’s hands. “Tuesday night, commissioners voted 3 to 1 on a plan advanced by Commissioner Ken Cornell to keep the former YMCA camp with the possibility of privately run operations.”

• UF News: UF online programs see new gains in 2020 U.S. News & World Report rankings. “UF Online, the University of Florida’s online undergraduate program, rose to the No. 4 spot in the country – up from No. 5 last year – in the U.S. News rankings for best online programs.”

• WFSU: Bill Proposed To Expunge Felony Records For Kids. “Kids who get arrested can get their records cleared if they complete a diversion program. But it’s currently limited, so Senator Keith Perry wants to expand it.”

• Alachua Chronicle: Gainesville High student earns world’s highest score on Cambridge exam. “Sterling Reed says he was confident he would pass the exam, although he didn’t expect to earn international honors.”

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Around the state today

• Politico: DeSantis laughs off questions about indicted Giuliani associate. “Talking to reporters Tuesday after his State of the State address to the Florida Legislature — and before the intelligence committee release of the (Lev) Parnas documents — DeSantis again brushed aside questions about Parnas.”

• WUSF: Downtown Morsani College Of Medicine Opens New Doors For USF, Tampa. “In total, the building is projected to have a local and statewide economic impact of more than $70 million.”

• Florida Politics: Senate committee approves ATM pill bill. “Automated kiosks are already used to dole out medication in long-term care facilities, hospices, and prisons. However, these expand possibilities beyond institutionalized populations into, for example, rural areas.”

• Sun Sentinel ($): Andrew Pollack says new tech would save lives, speeding up response to school shootings. “Andrew Pollack, whose daughter was killed in the Parkland shooting, has joined forces with the software company IntraLogic Solutions. The company links law enforcement agencies to schools and gives them access to an intercom system, among other upgrades. At the push of a button or the first 911 call, a map that includes interactive floor plans and photos of classrooms will pop up in command centers.”

• News Service of Florida ($): Court wades into medical marijuana licensing dispute. “A Tampa-based orchid grower seeking to enter Florida’s highly restricted medical-marijuana market tried to convince a state appeals court Tuesday that health officials erred in granting a handful of medical-marijuana licenses to competing firms last year.”

• Pensacola News Journal ($): High bacteria levels in Bayou Texar at Bayview Park lead to water quality health advisory. “Water samples collected from the bayou tested high for enterococcus. The presence of the bacteria can be an indication of fecal pollution, which may come from stormwater runoff, pets and wildlife, and human sewage.”

• Fort Myers News-Press ($): Fort Myers Technical Center racks up $76K ‘billing error’ for students with financial aid. “A Lee County School district-run audit of Fort Myers Technical Center’s accounting practices showed 28 times where students were underpaid for courses and 58 times where students were overpaid during the two semesters.”

• Tallahassee Democrat ($): Florida Senate panel approves annual cost-of-living pay adjustment plan for state workers. “The measure requires economists to calculate the rate of inflation and a salary increase for workers. It does not require the legislature to fund it.”

St. Augustine Record ($): Commissioner supports revisiting Confederate memorial issue. “‘As tempting as it … obviously is to show your loyalty to those who have chosen to modify history by romanticizing the Confederacy, you also have an obligation to the black residents, stakeholders and visitors. … your oath and office also call for you to represent the black community with an equitable degree of care and concern,'” (Rev. Ron Rawls told the commission).

• Pensacola News Journal ($): UWF, PSC recognized for online bachelor’s programs in 2020 U.S. News & World Report. “The University of West Florida ranked No. 39 among 358 institutions for Best Online Bachelor’s Programs, a dramatic increase from last year’s No. 200 spot. Pensacola State College was ranked No. 73 in the country — a jump from the No. 114 spot last year — and tied for No. 9 among Florida colleges and universities.”

New York Times ($): Dying Malls? This One Has Found a Way to Thrive. “And as unlikely as it is for a 37-year-old property filled with chain stores to be at the forefront of anything, Aventura (Mall between Miami and Fort Lauderdale) may have stumbled on a winning formula. With nearly a 100 percent occupancy rate, according to Turnberry and outside analysts, the mall is widely considered one of the most successful in the country, which may be particularly notable as store closings mount.”

From NPR News

• National: Border Wall Threatens National Wildlife Refuge That’s Been 40 Years In The Making

• National: Racist Housing Practices From The 1930s Linked To Hotter Neighborhoods Today

• National: LAX-Bound Aircraft Dumps Fuel On 4 Elementary Schools, Minor Injuries Reported

• Politics: Russia Hacked Ukrainian Company Linked To Trump Impeachment, Security Firm Says

• Politics: Medicare for All? A Public Option? Health Care Terms, Explained

• Business: Apple Declines DOJ Request To Unlock Pensacola Gunman’s Phones

• Business: Study: Tinder, Grindr And Other Apps Share Sensitive Personal Data With Advertisers

• Health: FDA Approves Drugs Faster Than Ever But Relies On Weaker Evidence, Researchers Find

• World: Iran Makes Arrests Over Accidental Downing Of Ukrainian Airliner

About Jasmine Dahlby

Jasmine is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing

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