Town Hall 2013

The Florida Roundup
12:00 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Winners And Losers From Florida's Legislative Session

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

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Education
7:30 am
Thu May 2, 2013

What To Do About The Rising Cost Of College Tuition

30-year-old FAU student Alberto Jordat says he's concerned about the rising cost of college tuition in Florida.
Credit 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.

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Education
3:03 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Lawmakers Urge Better Reporting On Treatment Of ESE Students

Sunrise Rep. Katie Edwards sponsored a bill that would have eliminated seclusion rooms in schools and issued guidelines for use of restraint.
Credit 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.

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Environment
8:06 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Are Florida Politicians Responding To Rising Sea Levels?

Broward Co. Mayor Kristin Jacobs says the area isn't getting enough funds to cover beach restoration.
Credit 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:

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Ethics Game
10:00 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Are You A Dirty Politican? Play Our Ethics Game

Are you squeaky clean or Tallanasty?
Credit 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.

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Florida Constitution
2:28 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Law Of The Land In Florida Is A Source Of Irritation For Asians

CONSTITUTIONAL RACISM: Asians have been angered and insulted for decades by the Alien Land Law in the Florida constitution. But they have still acquired land.

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?"

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Questions From Town Hall
10:00 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Bookseller Wonders, Why Doesn't Florida Get Sales Tax For Stuff You Buy On The Internet?

FIVE YEARS, FIVE TRIES: State. Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda says no-new-tax sentiment has blocked her attempts to pass an Internet sales tax bill.
Credit 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.

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Questions From Town Hall
8:00 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Campaign Contributions Bill Touches A Nerve That Lawmakers Are Already Addressing

THE PROBLEM: This is what worries some of WLRN-Miami Herald News audience -- money and its effect on politics and legislation.
Credit 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.

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Session 2013
10:00 am
Mon March 18, 2013

The Best App To Keep Tabs On Your State Legislators

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

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Science
7:02 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Tragic Sinkhole In Tampa Sheds Light On Florida's Geological Predicament

Sinkholes can cause substantial property damage and threaten water supplies.
Credit 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.

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Politics
12:00 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

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

State Senator Chris Smith (D-Fort Lauderdale), a strong proponent of changing Stand Your Ground, says constituencies outside of South Florida are particularly opposed to any conversation about amending the law or gun control regulations.
Credit Jessica Meszaros/WLRN

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

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Family Law
11:36 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Payers Pin Hopes On Alimony Reform Bill

WHO GOT THE MERCEDES? Florida alimony payers say current law allows too much unfairness and needs to be reformed.
Credit 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.

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Town Hall
7:00 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Talk To Us: Florida Legislators & A Session 2013 Sneak Peek At WLRN - Miami Herald Town Hall

Audience members weighed in at our live Town Hall event. Now it's your turn.
Credit 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.

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Town Hall 2013 Environmental Issues
11:07 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Environment Back On The Table This Legislative Session, Says Senate Majority Leader

Wildlife viewing is popular with Florida residents and tourists, making Everglades restoration and environmental protection a matter of economic concern.
Credit 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

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Session 2013
3:40 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Local Legislative Leaders Talk Priorities For Florida's Session 2013

State senators Maria Sachs (D-Boca Raton), left, and Anitere Flores (R-Miami)
Credit 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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