The Florida Roundup: Cuba, Education Spending & Medical Marijuana

May 21, 2017

This week on The Florida Roundup...

President Donald Trump embarks on his first overseas trip since taking office visiting Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican before meeting with NATO and the G7. The trip comes as foreign policy talk has been dominated by  scandal surrounding the alleged administration links with Russia.  

While the White House deals with the Russia scandal,  foreign policy closest to many South Floridians will have to wait. The administration has been reviewing Obama-era Cuban policies for weeks now, with no deadline to announce any potential changes. 

Two former U.S. Generals wrote in Politico that the island has returned as a national security battleground for America against China and Russia. We speak with one of the authors, Brig. Gen. David L. McGinnis. Also joining the conversation are WLRN's Americas Correspondent Tim Padgett and el Nuevo Herald reporter Nora Gámez Torres. 

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Governor Rick Scott is weighing on some major decisions regarding public education, including billions of dollars in funding and whether or not to allow it to flow into charter schools. There are two issues at hand: the large education spending bill and a bundle of education reform measures known as HB 7069. The bill allows charter schools to share money that had been historically earmarked for traditional school building and renovation projects.

Nether of these ideas are very popular with PTA parents nor public school educators and administrators. But, as The Miami Herald reports, at least two charter schools in Miami-Dade have offered parents credit if they write a letter of support for the legislation. 

Read more: Let's Talk Education: These Are The New Legislative Bills Headed To Your Child's Schools

To find out more about the Legislature's education proposals we ask education reporters: WLRN's Rowan Moore Gerety, Politico Florida's Jessica Bakeman and Kristen Clark with The Miami Herald.

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Plus, we talk about medical marijuana and the money behind it. Florida voters who said yes to Amendment 2 last fall will have to keep waiting for the rules around medicinal cannabis. In the final moments of the regular session, lawmakers could not agree on regulatory details--the stickiest point being how many medical marijuana dispensaries to allow. 

Without a special session, the rules will be left in the hands of the Florida Department of Health but this hasn't necessarily stopped what's been called the "green rush," or aggressive moves by licenses growers for investors and consumers. 

Dara Kam with The News Service Of Florida and The Miami Herald's David Smiley tell us more about the legal limbo around medical marijuana. 

Listen here: