The Scoop: WMNF’s daily digest of news headlines for Friday, May 12th, 2023

WMNF Daily news digest, called "The Scoop"

Gov Ron DeSantis signed 37 bills yesterday

Gov. Ron DeSantis yesterday signed 37 bills, including a measure that will prevent the release of past and future travel records of DeSantis and other state leaders. Anders Croy, communications director of a DeSantis opposition group, DeSantis Watch, said in a Twitter post yesterday that the bill was signed a day before DeSantis begins “political trips to Illinois (and) Iowa, (and) amid reports of upcoming donor dinners at the Governor’s Mansion.” DeSantis has been traveling across the country as he prepares for a potential 2024 presidential campaign. The bill, which took effect immediately, also will keep from the public the names of people visiting the governor’s mansion on non-governmental matters.

Human actions causing climate change

An increasing number of Floridians agree that human actions are causing climate change, including a record number of Florida Republicans. WMNF’s Chris Young reports that this could help efforts towards a cleaner environment.

National Train Day

Tomorrow is National Train Day. WMNF’s Sean Kinane reports, rail enthusiasts will celebrate at Tampa’s Union Station.

St. Pete’s Mayor announced a  new position 

St. Petersburg Mayor, Kenneth Welch, announced a new position within the city’s cabinet this week. WMNF’s Taylor Lovejoy reports, there’ll be a new type of CEO in town.

Bill that bars agencies from requiring people to take COVID-19 tests or wear masks

With opposition to COVID-19 mandates, a key part of his political brand, Governor Ron DeSantis yesterday signed a bill that includes issues such as barring businesses and government agencies from requiring people to take COVID-19 tests or wear masks to enter their facilities. The Republican-controlled House and Senate passed the bill during the legislative session that ended last week. DeSantis held a bill-signing event on the same day that a federal public-health emergency for COVID-19 was set to end. But DeSantis pointed to a need to address the potential of future government mandates. Lawmakers also passed a similar measure during a 2021 special session, but key parts of that law will expire June 1st — the same day much of the new bill takes effect. Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo says the new measure will protect Floridians. After Florida schools and large parts of the economy initially shut down in 2020 because of the pandemic, DeSantis made a high-profile issue of getting students back into classrooms, reopening businesses and eliminating mandates. He frequently touts his handling of the pandemic as he gears up for a widely expected White House bid in 2024.

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