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Capital Report: March 1, 2024

Governor DeSantis has vetoed the controversial bill restricting kids under the age of 16 from accessing social media. It comes the same week the U.S. Supreme Court heard a challenge to existing laws in Florida and Texas that blocked social media companies from limiting adult speech on their platforms. As Adrian Andrews explains, both moves are part of growing frustration with social media companies to properly regulate themselves.

Unhoused people could have to seek shelter in locally designated camps, or shelters—and would be banned from sleeping at other public property. The proposal is gaining steam in the Legislature despite Democrats decrying the bill as cruel and inhumane. Lynn Hatter has the story.

A bill that could invalidate local minimum wage and heat ordinances has passed the Florida House. Tristan Wood reports the measure blocks local governments from passing labor requirements for contractors.

Last year, after the hottest summer in Florida’s history, advocates in South Florida pushed for protections for outdoor workers, including mandatory shaded water breaks on hot days. Now, efforts to block heat protection ordinances are moving forward in Tallahassee. The legislation would prevent local governments from enacting heat protection regulations for outdoor workers if those measures go beyond federal rules. Last fall, Miami-Dade County Commissioners discussed enacting a heat protection ordinance, which was tabled for March. As Valerie Crowder reports for WLRN, passing this legislation would prevent the commission from taking up the measure again.

John Kennedy covers the Florida Capitol for Gannett/USA TODAY and shares his impressions of this year’s legislative session with Tom Flanigan.

Men who suffered abuse at two former state reform schools have been coming to the Capitol for 16 years. They’re seeking restitution for the wrongs they endured in state custody. As Gina Jordan reports, this may finally be the year they get what they have long sought. And a note…this story contains graphic details about physical and sexual abuse.