Gina Jordan

Gina Jordan reports from Tallahassee for WUSF and WLRN about how state policy affects your life.

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Politics
11:52 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Competing Greyhound-Racing Bills Filed In Tallahassee

Florida is among a handful of states that still allow greyhound racing.
Credit B Breland Photograhy/flickr

The first bill expected to pass quickly when the Legislature opens in March would force dog tracks to report greyhound injuries within seven days.

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News
11:29 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Florida Economy Gets A Boost From College Football

Florida is the top bowl game host state of this college football season.
Credit @brickellinfo/flickr

Florida is hosting eight of the 38 postseason games in college football – more than any other state. 

This season’s games will bring football fans from 15 out-of-state schools. State and local governments will get an economic boost as those fans flood theme parks, beaches and other attractions.

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Education
7:35 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Florida Senate President Expects Legislative Hearings Into School Testing

Students are taking a lot of practice tests on paper, but Florida's new standardized assessments will be online.
Credit Ryan McGilchrist/flickr

Teacher and parent groups say Florida public school students are spending too much time taking – and getting ready for - assessments.

Now, Senate President Andy Gardiner says lawmakers will likely hold hearings to review the amount of testing being done.

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Politics
7:18 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Proposed Law Would Further Limit Drone Surveillance

Lawmakers are preparing legislation to address the potential abuse of surveillance technology. Sen. Dorothy Hukill says the technology for drones and tracking devices is becoming more affordable and easy for anyone to obtain.
Credit David Rodriguez Martin/flickr

The Florida Legislature passed a bill in 2013 that limits the government’s ability to use drones for unwarranted surveillance. Now, a new proposal would give people greater privacy rights on their own property.

The proposed legislation would take surveillance restrictions on drones a step further than last year’s law.

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News
5:45 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Cannon From Miami Dredge Being Restored In Tallahassee

An early 18th century cannon was discovered during work on the Miami Harbor Deepening Project. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers delivered the cannon to the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research in Tallahassee.
Credit Grady Caulk, USACE

A cannon believed to be from the early 18th century was uncovered during work on the Miami Harbor Deepening Project last August.  Now, it's being readied to go on display as an artifact of the state.

We don’t know much about this cannon. But there’s a record of salvaged cannons being used as anchors near the Port of Miami.

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Politics
4:24 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Jobs, Education, Tax Cuts Top Priorities In Gov. Rick Scott's Second Term

Gov. Rick Scott greets supporters at a campaign event at Orlando Harley-Davidson in November.
Credit Scott For Florida

Gov. Rick Scott’s inauguration is less than a month away. Scott is only the second Republican governor in Florida history to win reelection. Jeb Bush was the first.

Scott told reporters at the Capitol this week he'll focus on education and tax cuts, as well as growing jobs during his second term. 

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Politics
4:41 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Gov. Rick Scott Faces New Complaint After Release Of Private Emails

Gov. Rick Scott waves to supporters during a campaign stop last month in Lakeland.
Credit Scott For Florida

Gov. Rick Scott could face sanctions over his use of a private email account now that a judge in Tallahassee has given the okay for an additional complaint against Scott relating to public records. 

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Politics
4:52 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Satanic Temple's Display At Florida Capitol Gets Approved

The Satanic Temple plans this display for the first floor of the Florida Capitol. The group's application for the same display last year was denied.
Credit News Service of Florida

We told you the Satanic Temple was preparing to file a lawsuit this week against the state of Florida. Now, those plans have been dropped because the temple is being allowed to put up a holiday display inside the Capitol. 

The display depicts an angel falling into a pit of fire. It’s scheduled to go up on December 22. It includes a banner with the words "Happy holidays from the Satanic Temple.”

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Politics
12:32 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Business Coalition Seeks Anti-Discrimination Policy For LGBT Community

Key Largo Rep. Holly Raschein debates during a Florida House session last April.
Credit myfloridahouse.gov

A bill to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation is back in Tallahassee.

Florida law prohibits discrimination based on everything from race to religion. But the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community doesn't have that protection.

The Florida Competitive Workforce Act would change that, banning discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment, housing and public accommodations.

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Education
11:06 pm
Sun November 30, 2014

Anti-Testing Groups Help Students Opt Out Of Standardized Assessments

The Florida Standards Assessment replaces the FCAT. Students will take the test online.
Credit Pearson K-12 Technology/flickr

“Opt Out” groups are pushing back against what they say is too much standardized testing in Florida. The tests are changing as the state transitions to Florida Standards - an offshoot of the Common Core standards being implemented around the country.

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Democratic Party
6:26 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Florida Democrats Form Task Force To Analyze Disappointing Election

Allison Tant is midway through a four-year term as head of the Florida Democratic Party.
Credit Florida Democratic Party

Allison Tant sent a pained letter to the Democratic Party faithful after last week’s election that saw Democrats lose more seats than they gained statewide and around the country.

“While last night's results weren’t what we’d hoped for, I want you to hear directly from me: we will never stop fighting for the people of Florida,” Tant wrote.

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The Gorvernor's Race
12:46 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

Analysis: What Florida's Republican-Controlled Legislature Might Look Like Under Scott Or Crist

A poll released by Quinnipiac University the day before Election Day gives Charlie Crist a one-point advantage over Rick Scott. Pollsters say that makes the race too close to call.
Credit Dr sanjeevkumar SinghEr/flickr

What will the Florida Legislature look like with Republican Rick Scott or Democrat Charlie Crist as governor? A lot depends on whether Republicans not only retain control of the Legislature, but regain a super majority -- making their policy decisions veto-proof.

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News
9:42 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

Municipalities Pass Local Ordinances In Case Voters Approve Medical Marijuana

Key West, Boca Raton, and Plantation are among the municipalities around the state that are discussing or taking preemptive action against medical marijuana - just in case voters approve Amendment 2.
Credit BoQunabo/flickr

Local governments are taking preemptive action in case voters approve Amendment Two, legalizing medical marijuana.

Municipalities around Florida have passed their own regulations before the Legislature can enact statewide rules.

City leaders in Naples voted to ban the sale and growth of medical marijuana. But if Amendment Two passes, the Legislature may overrule that decision.

If that happens, Naples Mayor John Sorey says another ordinance will keep the sale of the drug in a small medical zoning area.

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Amendment One
6:21 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

On Environmental Funding In Florida's Constitution, Support Not Partisan

Amendment One is officially known as the Florida Water and Land Conservation Initiative. Environmental preservation under the amendment would be funded for the next 20 years by 33 percent of the revenue from a real estate transaction fee known as a doc stamp.
Credit Emma_L_M/flickr

Florida voters will decide whether environmental preservation becomes part of the state Constitution. Amendment 1 is a citizens’ initiative born from nearly a million petition signatures.

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Politics
4:09 am
Thu October 30, 2014

Dream Defenders Get Attention With Bulletproof Vest Campaign

The #VestOrVote campaign features a billboard of a child wearing a bulletproof vest. The ad says the "Dream Vest" can be purchased by calling a toll-free number or visiting DreamDefenders.org. The vest isn't really for sale. Callers and web visitors are given more information about the Dream Defenders.
Credit DreamDefenders.org

The activist group Dream Defenders was founded in Florida two and a half years ago after the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford.

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