The Scoop: WMNF’s daily digest of news headlines for Monday, March 27th, 2023

The Scoop: WMNF's daily digest of news headlines for the Tampa Bay area & Florida

Gender-affirmation ban

A bill to ban gender-affirming care for children passed in a Florida House subcommittee last week. However, the bill could also attack unintended targets — including cancer patients.

Government investment prohibition

On Friday, the Florida House passed a measure that would prevent consideration of “environmental, social and governance” standards in investing state money. The Republican-controlled House voted 80-to-31 to approve the bill targeting what is known as “ESG.” HB 3 was a priority of House Speaker Paul Renner. Democrat Kimberly Daniels crossed party lines to join Republicans in supporting the bill.

Permitless carry bill

Floridians would be able to carry guns without concealed weapons licenses under a bill the House passed on Friday.

Affordable housing measure

The House voted 103-to-6 Friday to pass a bill called the “Live Local Act.” The bill would provide incentives for private investment in affordable housing and encourage mixed-use development in struggling commercial areas. But it forbids local rent controls and pre-empts local government rules on zoning, density and building heights in certain circumstances. It would cost the state $711 million dollars. The Senate already unanimously passed the measure this month, meaning it is now ready to go to the governor’s desk.

USF faculty opposes education bill

Last week, the USF Faculty Senate passed a resolution opposing two higher education bills coasting through the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature. In the resolution document, the Faculty Senate of the University of South Florida says it “condemns this attack on and devaluation of higher education in the state and opposes the passage of HB 999 and SB 266.” It also calls on the leadership teams of the university and state university system to publicly condemn and oppose those two bills. The Faculty Senate says they are concerned that the bills “prohibit funding or consideration of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)” and “places unchecked authority in the president and boards of trustees in post-tenure review and faculty, staff, and administrator evaluation” as well as hiring new faculty. A survey of more than 700 USF faculty by the Faculty Senate found that more than 86 percent of faculty share these concerns.

Adult performance bill

A Florida bill that aims to keep kids out of live adult performances is now targeting drag shows. But opponents of the measure say drag performances are part of LGBTQ culture and can help kids who are part of that community feel seen and recognized. Republican Representative Randy Fine is behind the bill and it cleared its first committee stop Friday.

Florence mayor invites Florida school for visit

A museum in Florence Italy and the city’s mayor are inviting parents and students from a Florida charter school to visit and see Michelangelo’s sculpture of David. The invitation comes after the school principal was forced to resign following parental complaints that an image of the nude Renaissance masterpiece was shown to a sixth-grade art class. The Italian response highlights how the U.S. culture wars are often perceived in Europe. Even amid a rise in right-wing sentiment and governance on the continent, the Renaissance and its masterpieces are generally above the fray. Former Principal Hope Carrasquilla said she is honored by the mayor’s invitation and that she might take him up on it.

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

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