Free speech in Florida, affordable housing, and the latest on red tide
On this week's Florida Roundup: A new rule clamps down on who can demonstrate at the Florida Capitol — and what they can say. Plus: The "Live Local Act" is getting bipartisan support in Tallahassee, and spring breakers are smiling despite red tide.
Throughout the history of America, people have used protests to make their voices heard and advocate for change. But in Florida, a new rule clamps down on who gets to say what at the State Capitol. Now, any group that wants to hold a rally or demonstration at the Capitol must get an official sponsor and the rally has to align with a state agency's mission.
This comes as a proposal moves through the Legislature that would make it easier for people to sue media outlets for defamation. The bill would make a number of sweeping changes to defamation standards and create a presumption that statements provided by anonymous sources are false.
- Cecile Scoon, president of the League of Women Voters of Florida.
- Bobby Block, executive director of Florida's First Amendment Foundation.
Senate President Passidomo on ‘Live Local Act’
The "Live Local Act" passed the Florida Senate unanimously last week with bipartisan support. Even Democrats are touting the measure — a priority of Republican Senate President Kathleen Passidomo — as a huge step in mitigating the state’s affordable housing crisis.
- Sen. Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, Florida Senate president.
Red tide returns to Florida’s beaches
Spring break is in full swing on Florida’s beaches, and even an outbreak of red tide isn’t getting visitors down. Still, dead fish are washing ashore, and beachgoers are facing respiratory problems on beaches in Southwest Florida.
- Tom Bayles, senior environmental reporter for WGCU.
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