Town Hall 2013

Join us for The Florida Roundup today at noon for a special look back at the 2013 state legislative session and a follow-up with participants from our WLRN-Miami Herald Town Hall in February.

Below you can be part of a live, online discussion curated by our social media editor, Danny Rivero.

Click here for The Seven Most Important Things You Should Know About Florida's Legislative Session

A. Jordat

Throughout the 2013 legislative session, we've been posing questions to Tallahassee lawmakers that were raised at a WLRN-Miami Herald News Town Hall last February.

Among the topics is the rising cost of higher education in Florida.

Mark Foley/myfloridahouse.gov

With just a few days left of the legislative session, we're working to get as many answers as possible to questions posed during our last WLRN-Miami Herald Town Hall meeting in February.

This question comes from Steve Moyer of Cooper City:

"I have a disabled child that attends public school and feel the education provided to most ESE (Exceptional Student Education) students in Broward County as well as other districts is inadequate.

Broward County

Throughout the legislative session, we've been bringing questions you asked during the WLRN-Miami Herald Town Hall to legislators in Tallahassee.

Today's question concerns an environmental issue that's threatening coastal communities.

Barry Waterman of Pompano Beach asked about sea level rise:

Are You A Dirty Politican? Play Our Ethics Game

Apr 26, 2013
Martin Tews / Creative Commons/Flickr

Everyone loves to complain about political corruption.  But would you do any better?  Play our interactive game, Tallanasty, and find out if you would be a cleaner Florida politician.

Here's a question we received from one of several hundred South Florida residents who attended a recent WLRN/Miami Herald Town Hall that was held just prior to the current legislative session.

This one comes from friend-of-WLRN Piyush Agrawal, a scholar, educator, businessman and philanthropist who lives in Weston:

"Why does Florida's constitution still allow the state to prohibit foreign citizens from owning real estate?"

Rick Stone

Florida's sales tax is a huge competitive downside for local retailers who sell the same products as their Internet competitors.

Because online sellers rarely collect the sales tax, it leaves the brick-and-mortar shops at a roughly 7-percent price disadvantage. And that's why business and retail lobbies have been demanding sales tax collection for online sales for years.

The issue arose during the WLRN-Miami Herald Session 2013 Town Hall last month, where we heard from Fort Lauderdale bookseller Donna Mergenhagen.

gnerk on Flickr

  TALLAHASSEE -- The Florida House and Senate are taking ethics and elections seriously this year. Bills to widen voting opportunities by restoring pre-2011 early voting days and hours are making their way through both chambers.

But there's a bill in the House that would originally have increased campaign contribution limits from their current $500 to $10,000.

The Best App To Keep Tabs On Your State Legislators

Mar 18, 2013

It would be nice to know more about state politics.  But who can keep track of all those committees and subcommittees, you say.  And all the House and Senate bills with long names and random numbers – and who is my legislator anyway?

You could go to the official state websites to find your legislators and proposed laws

Southwest Florida Water Management District

The news last week of a Hillsborough County man who disappeared into a sinkhole that opened up beneath his bedroom has sparked a renewed national interest in the Florida sinkhole phenomenon.

Why Florida's Stand Your Ground Law Isn't Budging

Mar 1, 2013
Jessica Meszaros/WLRN

On The Florida Roundup, here's what we're talking about from this week's news:

Payers Pin Hopes On Alimony Reform Bill

Mar 1, 2013
cherylsmith999 on flickr

  When WLRN's Public Insight Network asked for comments about the alimony laws in Florida, it tapped into a very deep vein of anger and resentment.

Commenters told us about ex-husbands who could no longer plan to retire because of their lifetime alimony obligations. We heard from second wives who worried that the courts could come after their own income if it increased their husbands' ability to pay.

Jessica Meszaros

Redistricting, property insurance, Medicaid expansion and political transparency were among the topics covered during this week’s Town Hall event on Session 2013 of the Florida Legislature hosted by WLRN and the Miami Herald.  The second annual forum marks the beginning of WLRN's coverage of Session 2013, which convenes March 5 and continues through May 3.

toki-doki / Flickr Creative Commons

Tough economic times put environmental issues on the Florida Legislature's back burner in recent years, but this session should be different, according to Sen. Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater), who sat on the panel at Monday night's Town Hall Session 2013 hosted by WLRN and the Miami Herald

Florida Senate

What's on state lawmakers agenda for the upcoming session? Sen. Anitere Flores (R-Miami) and Sen. Maria Sachs (D-Boca Raton) discuss what's on their list with WLRN's Phil Latzman.

For Republican Anitere Flores, there's little hesitation when she's asked what she'll be working on first when the session begins. 

"The most important issue that I'll be tackling this year," she says, "is Citizens Property Insurance."

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