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Capital Report: March 22, 2024

Local officials are trying to figure out how to help unhoused people after the approval of a new law that bans municipalities from allowing camping on public property. As Lynn Hatter reports supporters say they law encourages local communities to step up, but critics are questioning HOW that’s supposed to happen when services are underfunded.

Florida is one of 10 states that has not expanded Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act. Advocates say that’s left some Floridians in a loophole because they earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid but too little for federal insurance subsidies. Now as Regan McCarthy reports advocates are working around the Republican controlled legislature to bring the issue to voters with a proposed state constitutional amendment.

Local ethics commission officials across the state are concerned that legislation awaiting Governor Ron DeSantis’ signature could gut their ability to fight corruption. Tristan Wood reports they are also outraged at the atypical way the controversial bill passed the legislature.

The United States Government wants to crack down on the popular app, TikTok. The U.S. senate could soon vote on a bill to force the sale of the app, or lead to it being banned in the country. As Alexandra Dresner reports, in Florida, Tik Tok users are having mixed reactions.

During the 2024 Session Florida lawmakers approved legislation that would prohibit the manufacturing for sale and distribution of what’s called “cell-cultivated” or “lab-grown” meat. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved lab-grown meat cultivation last year, but it’s far from hitting the grocery store shelves or restaurant plates. To get some context on this new food science industry, and why a state legislature might already be banning it at this stage, WGCU’s Mike Kiniry (kin-EYE-ree) talked with Dr. Jennifer Martin, she’s an Associate Professor in Meat Science and Quality at Colorado State University.

Florida’s jobless rate remained at 3.1% in January.

Cities across Florida are making attempts to crack down on Spring Break. The state’s efforts come after college kids have spent years partying and causing mischief in many of Florida’s beach towns. Adrian Andrews has more on what the state is now doing to keep people safe.