Gina Jordan

Tallahassee reporter

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

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Climate Change
4:28 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Florida Should Get Rid Of Coal-Fired Power Plants Now, Climate Scientists Say

Florida scientists were given 30 minutes with Gov. Rick Scott to explain climate change.
Credit Gina Jordan/WLRN

Gov. Rick Scott sat down for half an hour this week with climate scientists who want him to take immediate action to deal with climate change.

A few of those same scientists took their message to the Internet Thursday.

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News
11:09 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Scientists Give Governor Scott Crash Course In Climate Change

FSU oceanography professor Jeffrey Chanton explains sea level rise projections to Gov. Rick Scott.
Credit Gina Jordan/WLRN

Scientists from South Florida flew to Tallahassee Tuesday for a 30-minute meeting with Gov. Rick Scott.  They went to explain how and why the climate is changing.

The group tried to convince Scott that climate change is real, and humans are at least partly responsible.

Harold Wanless is a professor of geological science at the University of Miami. He says the sea level is rising fast.

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News
6:36 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Florida Starts First Human Trafficking Council

Florida is among the busiest states for calls to the Human Trafficking Hotline. The number is 888-373-7888, and it's free.
Credit Imagens Evangelicas/flickr

Millions of people around the world are being forced into sex and hard labor. It's even happening here. 

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Politics
7:03 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

Study: Florida Among The Worst States For Gerrymandering

Florida ranks as one of the worst states for gerrymandering.

  Florida ranks third in the country for gerrymandering, according to a study of the most heavily populated states. 

Voting districts are redrawn every 10 years in a process known as redistricting. Gerrymandering happens when district boundaries are drawn to benefit a political party.

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Politics
9:33 pm
Sun August 10, 2014

House Speaker: We'll "Get It Right" On Redistricting

The special session will continue until August 15th. It may end earlier if lawmakers approve a new congressional map.
Credit Gina Jordan/WLRN

The Florida Legislature met for less than 15 minutes on the first day of the special session on redistricting. Lawmakers are back in Tallahassee after a circuit judge tossed out the map they drew two years ago of Florida’s 27 congressional districts.

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News
6:46 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

How Mosquitoes Helped Bring The World Air Conditioning

Dr. John Gorrie's ice machine is on display at John Gorrie Museum State Park in Apalachicola, FL. An 8-by-10-inch block of ice would be stored inside it.
Credit mamabird50/flickr

Like every other state, Florida has two statues in the U.S. Capitol that honor notable people in the state’s history. Dr. John Gorrie is one of them, because he pioneered a contraption in the mid-1800s that changed our lives: Air conditioning.

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Environment
2:31 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Scientist To Governor: Stop Spreading Doubt About Climate Change

Dr. Ben Kirtman is a University of Miami professor who sees the impact of climate change happening now in Miami Beach and other areas of South Florida.
Credit Carla Javier/WLRN

Gov. Rick Scott has been repeatedly quoted as saying "I'm not a scientist" when asked whether he believes in man-made climate change.

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News
3:47 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Climate Change: Environmental Group Asks "What's Your Plan, Gov?"

The NRDC thinks a shift away from fossil fuels and toward clean energy is the best way to protect Florida from climate change.
Credit Ben Grantham/Flickr

The federal government released the third National Climate Assessment in May.

The report found that global sea level rose about eight inches in the last century and is projected to rise between one and four feet this century. 

It names Miami as one of the cities most vulnerable to severe damage from rising sea levels. 

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Politics
6:27 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Integrity Florida On Financial Disclosures, Blind Trusts, And A Corruption Tax

Integrity Florida's Dan Krassner found a study that shows each Floridian pays a "corruption tax" of more than $1000 a year.
Credit Florida Department of State

The Florida Division of Elections says 18 people have qualified to run for governor. They include Republicans, Democrats, independents, a Libertarian, and write-in candidates.

The two frontrunners, Republican Rick Scott and Democrat Charlie Crist, disclosed their financial records when they filed papers to run earlier this month.

So did Democrat Nan Rich, the former minority leader of the Florida Senate who is struggling to get any attention ahead of her primary race with Crist. 

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Real Estate
5:35 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Florida Leads Nation In International Homebuyers

International buyers snapped up short sales and foreclosures in South Florida during the recession.
Credit Sean Bonini/flickr

Florida’s recession could have been worse if not for homebuyers from other countries. 

The nonprofit government watchdog group Florida TaxWatch says international buyers bought up cheap properties and pumped cash into the state’s economy.

The buyers were mainly from Canada, Latin America and Europe – all regular trading partners of the U.S.

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Politics
5:54 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Frontrunners For Governor Reveal Finances And Seek More Transparency

18 candidates have filed to run for governor of Florida. The winner will live in this mansion on a hill in Tallahassee.
Credit Jimmy Emerson, DVM/flickr

Now that Gov. Rick Scott and former Gov. Charlie Crist have released details about their finances, the front runners in what is expected to be a very close governor's race are goading each other to be more transparent.

Governor Rick Scott's net worth is well over $100 million. The businessman and former health care executive does not accept a salary as governor.

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Politics
2:51 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Miami-Dade Has Most To Lose In State Budget

Widening of the Homestead extension of the Florida Turnpike is among hundreds of Miami-Dade projects slated for funding in the next state budget.
Credit Florida Turnpike

Miami-Dade County is eligible for more money than any other county in the state budget -- $1.8 billion. That makes the county more susceptible to budget vetoes before the budget goes into effect in July.

The Florida Legislature handed Gov. Rick Scott a record election-year budget of $77.1 billion. Scott has the final say over the budget and can cut funding for programs at will. Miami-Dade has more line items in the budget than any other county, but all of them could be slashed with the veto pen.

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Arts
6:18 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Florida Arts Programs Get Highest Funding Ever From Lawmakers

From "The Hobbit" at Fort Lauderdale Children's Theatre
Credit Fort Lauderdale Children's Theatre

The Actors' Playhouse executive director Barbara Stein says most of the Coral Gables theater's paid performers are from South Florida.

“We hire some people out of New York, too, but our goal is to hire as many capable and qualified for each production Florida based actors that we can,” Stein says.

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Politics
2:54 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

How South Florida Voters Are Changing Political Culture

The almanac includes insider information, like why so many domestic and foreign affairs are negotiated in Coral Gables.
Credit News Service of Florida

The Political Almanac of Florida 2014 gives us a detailed look at the state’s House districts -- all 120 of them.

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News
3:37 am
Mon May 12, 2014

How Miami Students Got College Degrees Before High School Diplomas

Reinaldo Camacho finished his two-year degree from Miami Dade College while he was still in high school. He's the first member of his family to pursue post-secondary education.
Credit Mater Academy

Sixty students from the Hialeah area will graduate from high school this month like thousands of others in Florida, but these students have done something remarkable.

They’ll receive their high school diplomas almost a month after graduating from Miami Dade College.

The students took advantage of the dual-enrollment programs offered at Mater Academy and Mater Lakes Academy. These are publicly funded charter schools that operate independently of the district.

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