The Scoop: WMNF’s daily digest of news headlines for Monday, April 17th, 2023

WMNF Daily news digest, called "The Scoop"

Florida travel advisory

Last week, Equality Florida issued a travel advisory to people coming to Florida. It warns of the risks posed to the health, safety, and freedom of traveling or relocating to the state.

Tenants’ rights

Florida Republicans have proposed a bill that would outlaw local protections of tenants’ rights. The bill’s sponsors say that it will reduce inconsistencies for landlords who have properties across the state, but opponents argue that tenants and local governments should take priority over large rental corporations. Tampa Bay Times reporter Colleen Wright spoke on the Florida Roundup Friday about why many of those cities and counties may not try to engage the state on this and other issues.  

The proposed legislation follows last October’s passage of Tampa’s Tenants’ Bill of Rights, which includes protection against income discrimination and requires notices for late fees.

Bill against transgender minors

This week the Florida House could give final approval to a controversial plan that would forbid doctors and other healthcare providers from offering treatments such as puberty blockers and hormone therapy to transgender minors. The House is scheduled to take up the issue, called HB 1421 and SB 254, during a floor session tomorrow. The Senate already passed its version of the bill. The plan would largely put into law rules approved by state medical boards to prevent doctors from providing the treatments to minors. Also during tomorrow’s floor session, the House is scheduled to consider a proposal, called HB 1423 and SB 1438, aimed at preventing children from attending drag shows. In addition, it will consider HB 1521, which seeks to prevent transgender men and women from using bathrooms that don’t line up with their sex assigned at birth.

Sarasota school board weighs hiring consultant

The Sarasota School Board will vote tomorrow on whether to pay $28,000 for a new consultant to deliver what he calls a district improvement study. The consultant is Jordan Adams, a former employee of a conservative Christian school in Michigan, Hillsdale College. Adams runs a new company called Vermilion Education. 

“I’m not entirely confident that American education as a whole is necessarily moving in the right direction,” Adams said to the board via a Zoom meeting earlier this month.

Sarasota has been an “A” rated school district for years. The board is set to vote at its meeting beginning tomorrow at 6 in the evening. The proposal to hire Vermilion Education drew hours of public comment at a school board meeting this month. Most speakers were against it.

Maternal mortality rate increases in Florida

In March, a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that the U.S. had one of the worst rates of maternal mortality in the country’s history in 2021 — 32.9 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. That’s more than ten times the estimated rates of some other high-income countries. CDC data show that Black women are more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than White, Asian or Latina women, regardless of education level or income. Implicit bias and the history of racism in the medical field play a major role for Black women during pregnancy.

Information from the Florida Public Radio network, News Service of Florida and Associated Press was used in this report.

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