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The Point, 2023 Year in Review: Government and Politics

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Throughout 2023, WUFT brought you the news you needed to stay informed. This week, we're bringing you the year in review.

Today, we're looking at stories about government and politics. This year's state legislative session brought about a number of controversial bills. Local government wasn't immune to turbulence, either. WUFT kept voters up to date on all the political changes, big and small.

Fresh Take Florida

Fresh Take Florida is a news service producing top-caliber investigative and political content. Hard-hitting coverage generally focuses on Florida’s state government, including the Legislature, or other issues of statewide, regional or national interest.

• Jan. 31: Lawmakers propose making it easier to impose death penalty in Florida

• Feb. 16: Only in Florida? Family’s pool shaped like six-shooter gun

• March 30: Florida Senate passes bill that would undermine most of state’s teacher unions

• April 17: ‘Radioactive roads’? Environmentalists want brakes on Florida plan to reuse toxic mining waste

• April 18: University of Florida removes years of campus crime data online

• April 19: Hit snooze: Bills would delay middle, high school start times

• April 26: After family murders, suicide, Florida nears passage of bill to shield kids’ autopsy details

• May 2: ‘Stop being racist:’ Tickets for loud music nearly 3 times more likely for Black drivers under new Florida law

• Oct. 18: White man to be sentenced for recent, racially motivated attack at site of massacre of Black residents a century ago

• Nov. 1: Florida law making gun carry permits optional leads to dramatic drop in safety classes

• Nov. 30: Florida Supreme Court rules police, crime victims can’t keep their names secret under Marsy’s Law

• Nov. 30: Sheriff who can’t carry a gun? Felon runs to become Florida county’s top cop


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Local Government

While the Legislature was busy passing statewide laws, local government was just as busy handling community concerns. WUFT reported on local commission meetings and ordinances that directly affected our audience.

Various local governments tried different methods to tackle pedestrian safety and panhandling.

A neglected former golf club prompted Alachua County to get tough on overgrown lawns.

The Gainesville City Commission voted to partially restore the Thelma A. Boltin Center, and the community had a lot to say. The commission later changed the plan from a "partial restoration" to a renovation.

The city commission also revoked an open container law adopted during pandemic.

A proposed meat processing facility in Newberry drew community concern, until Governor Ron DeSantis eventually vetoed state funding for the project.

A lot happened this year with Gainesville Regional Utilities, including a law that shifted control of the utility to a state-appointed board. WUFT publishedan explainer of the history of GRU's financial troubles, and followed the new authority as members were sworn in and began operations.

Alachua County Schools removed, replaced, and removed again an LGBTQ book from school shelves to comply with state law that expanded Florida's Parental Rights in Education law, dubbed by critics as the "Don't Say Gay" law.
Kristin Moorehead curated today's edition of The Point.

Contact WUFT News by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news
Contact WUFT News by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news