Gina Jordan

Tallahassee reporter

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

Adam Fagen/flickr

While students are out of school for the holiday break, Florida’s attorney general is waging a Twitter campaign to keep kids safe in cyberspace. The campaign urges parents to get a good look into their children’s electronic devices.

Kids have more time to spend online when school is out. Attorney General Pam Bondi says predators know this and are looking for potential victims. She says predators use online games with message boards and Internet chat rooms to pose as teenagers and ask for face-to-face meetings. 

NehaSarin/Flickr

Gov. Rick Scott’s proposed state budget includes $5 million for the creation of a database that would show all the costs and expenses associated with hospital treatment and other health care.

Scott says hospitals would have to post what they actually get paid for every procedure in order to prevent price gouging. He says patients and insurance companies should know the cost of health care treatments up front,  just as consumers know the cost of items at the grocery store.

Jayme Gershen/Eve Mosher/flickr

Twenty university professors, including a few from Florida, sent a letter to the White House in September asking for an investigation of corporations that deny - and simultaneously profit from - the effects of climate change. The group says the actions of these organizations have been extensively documented in peer reviewed academic research.

Florida Fish and Wildlife/flickr

Florida’s efforts to bring more visitors to the state are getting a boost from National Geographic. The website has launched a new hub dedicated to the Florida parks system.

Fantasy Springs/flickr

The best selling rap artist once referred to as Mr. 305 is now a paid ambassador for Visit Florida, the state's tourism marketing corporation. Rapper Pitbull is working on a music video showcasing the state.

Pitbull’s real name is Armando Christian Pérez. He’s a Miami native; his parents emigrated from Cuba. Now he calls himself Mr. Worldwide – since he’s become an international star. Pitbull’s more than 100 million social media followers make him an attractive partner for Visit Florida.

 

Charles Trainor, Jr./The Miami Herald

Miami Dolphins coach Joe Philbin was fired Monday after the team lost three of its first four games. This was Philbin's fourth season as head coach. Dolphins executive vice president Mike Tannenbaum announced tight ends coach Dan Campbell as Philbin’s temporary replacement.

susanlee828/flickr

Animal rights activists who object to the treatment of some of the animals kept at the Miami Seaquarium are getting a little more room to air their concerns. The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida has settled a lawsuit with Miami-Dade police over how much space protesters can occupy outside the venue.

George Venios/flickr

Men and women who live together as couples outside of marriage are breaking the law in Florida.

The state statute was enacted in 1868, and an effort is back in Tallahassee to repeal it.

A bill that would end the prohibition against men and women living together "lewdly and lasciviously" passed a House panel Wednesday.

Rep. Charles Van Zant, R-Palatka, voted against the bill after asking the sponsor, "Why are you married?”

Derrick Lau/flickr

State and federal investigators are looking into infant deaths at St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach. The babies died following heart surgery.

Earl Leatherberry/flickr

Florida voters passed Amendment 1 last November, and funding to carry out the amendment was considered a priority when lawmakers went into the regular session in March. The amendment is also known as the Water and Land Conservation Initiative.

For the next 20 years, the amendment requires that one–third of the revenue from a real estate tax known as documentary stamps goes toward environmental preservation.

Wikimedia / Illustration by Maria Murriel

The regular session of the Florida Legislature came to an abrupt end in late April as the House disagreed with the Senate over Medicaid expansion. The Senate wants to use federal dollars for expansion, while the House and Gov. Rick Scott want no expansion.

Lawmakers returned to Tallahassee last week for a special session to finish work on their one required duty: creating a state budget that goes into effect July 1.

Paul Oka/flickr

What if our cell phones could automatically block our ability to text behind the wheel? A Florida Atlantic University professor says he’s developed software to make that happen.

KEENPRESS Photography/flickr

The Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN) has taken up the cause of climate change in Florida. The national group claims 600,000 members or supporters around the country with more than 100,000 of them in Florida. It's funded by donations and grants.

EEN is part of the Floridians for Solar Choice coalition, which is pushing a constitutional amendment that would allow Floridians to buy electricity directly from someone other than a utility company.

Miami-Dade Office of Film & Entertainment

Florida has been home to TV shows like "Burn Notice," "Dexter," and most recently the reality show "Gator Boys." With a special session looming, there’s a new push for the state to offer film incentives for production companies that bring their projects to Florida.

Lawmakers have to reconvene June 1 to finish the state budget, and that gave Palm Beach County Deputy Film Commissioner Michelle Hillery an idea.

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