Gina Jordan

Tallahassee reporter

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

Mike Ray/flickr

A petition drive now underway in Florida would get a solar power amendment on the ballot in 2016. If voters approve the proposal, individuals who use the sun to generate electricity would be able to sell that electricity.

For now, only Florida’s utility companies can do that.

Supporters must collect 683,149 signatures to get the proposal before voters. At least 60 percent of voters must approve the amendment for it to be placed in the Constitution.


Florida voters passed the Water and Land Conservation Amendment in November. It requires one third of documentary stamp revenue – a tax on real estate transactions - to go toward environmental initiatives.

The Florida Legislature must spend a portion of the documentary stamp money on environmental programs, like buying land and preserving springs.


Beginning teachers would earn a minimum $50,000 salary starting next school year under a bill proposed this week in Tallahassee.

Sen. Darren Soto (D-Orlando) filed the bill, which cites a need for the state to attract and retain teachers. It seeks to increase their pay without affecting other personnel and programs.

A Broward County judge with a history of alcohol problems is being recommended for removal from the bench. Judge Gisele Pollack has been a judge since 2004, overseeing low-level cases in the county's misdemeanor drug court.

Pollack admitted being drunk in the courtroom in December 2013. She agreed to stop drinking alcohol altogether, but the same thing happened a few months later.

Gina Jordan/StateImpact Florida

The School of Arts and Sciences (SAS) in Tallahassee has just over 300 students, and the waiting list to get in is much longer.

Maureen Yoder is one of the founders of the 15-year-old K-8 charter school.

“We started this school with the intent of keeping it small because we want to create a school family,” Yoder says. “We believe that the relationship between the teacher and the students is the primary reason students succeed – besides a good home base.”

This is sixth grader Mary Stafford’s first year.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.