Author

Diane Rado

Diane Rado

Diane Rado has covered state and local government and public schools in six states over some 30 years, focusing on policy and investigative stories as well as legislative and political reporting. She spent most of her career at the St. Petersburg (Tampa Bay) Times and the Chicago Tribune. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and did a fellowship in education reform at the University of Michigan in 1999-2000. She is married to a journalist and has three adult children.

Hundreds to thousands of demonstrators protest against abortion bans Saturday, including Floridians

By: - May 14, 2022

With a potential U.S. Supreme Court ruling looming on the fate of the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion case, hundreds of demonstrators in Florida’s capital chanted, sang, held signs and marched around the state Capitol complex area on Saturday, including at the Florida Supreme Court building. It was not an isolated protest. Demonstrations were scheduled […]

DK photo feature

A day to celebrate? Confederate Memorial Day is still on the books in FL

By: - April 25, 2022

In the 2022 legislative session, Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book filed legislation to get rid of the Confederate-related legal holidays of Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis, as well as the Confederate Memorial Day in Florida on April 26, among other changes. But the legislation went nowhere. And as of Tuesday, April 26, 2022, the […]

DeSantis signs ‘Intellectual Freedom,’ Stop WOKE law; critics say it’s racist and unconstitutional

By: - April 22, 2022

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed HB 7 into law on Friday, an “Intellectual Freedom” measure also referred to as the “Stop WOKE” act. Among critics, it caused immediate condemnation across Florida and states elsewhere. “We believe in education, not indoctrination,” said DeSantis, who was surrounded by schoolchildren at a public charter school in South Florida. Students, […]

Sen. Manny Diaz, Jr. is the top contender for the FL Education Commissioner job. Is that good or not?

By: - April 22, 2022

Republican State Sen. Manny Diaz, Jr. of Miami-Dade is the top contender for the next Education Commissioner in Florida, a job overseeing 2.9-million students in 67 school districts and requiring enough savvy to navigate the policy and politics of the state’s public school system. The Department of Education also oversees the Florida College System, a […]

DeSantis: Appealing court decision on mask mandates for travelers is ‘totally outrageous’

By: - April 21, 2022

A day after the Biden administration said it would fight a court decision to keep masks on travelers in airplanes, trains and other public transit, Gov. Ron DeSantis lashed out Thursday on what’s going on in Washington, D.C. “There should be no mandates. Period. none,” said DeSantis, who was at a press conference Thursday in […]

FL Sen. Bobby Powell’s soliloquy: ‘I wake up every day knowing that I’m going to have to fight’

By: - April 20, 2022

During this week’s special legislative session on congressional redistricting and other bills, State Sen. Bobby Powell’s poignant remarks in the Florida Senate on Wednesday showed the trajectory of his feelings as a Black man and a Black lawmaker. Powell, a Democrat, represents parts of Palm Beach County. He’s been in leadership roles, including Democratic Leader […]

Some lawmakers are sitting out in FL’s special legislative session

By: - April 19, 2022

State Sen. Annette Taddeo of Miami-Dade said Tuesday that she’ll be boycotting the special session that launches this afternoon Tuesday in the House and Senate. “It’s a decision I do not take lightly,”  Taddeo said in a letter Tuesday to Senate President Wilton Simpson. A Democrat, Taddeo also is a 2022 gubernatorial candidate in the […]

Just a handful of GOP lawmakers said yes to property insurance session; DeSantis in support

By: - April 18, 2022

A Florida Department of State poll — to see if enough lawmakers would go along with a special session on the state’s property insurance crisis — failed Monday afternoon, state records show. But Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday had already announced that he’d call legislators back to the capital in May to confront the […]

Key lawmakers push to convene for another special session, this time over property insurance woes

By: and - April 11, 2022

With about a week to go before the Florida Legislature launches a special session on a new congressional districts map, key lawmakers are pushing hard to convene for another session: property insurance woes. On Monday, Senate Democratic leader Lauren Book wrote a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis, saying that: “Florida is nearing a tipping point, […]

DeSantis okays emergency care on minors in more places and without parental consent

By: - April 7, 2022

Doctors will be able to perform emergency medical care on minors in various locations — from soccer fields to grocery stores and other venues — without parental consent, according to Gov. Ron DeSantis. The governor signed the bill, HB 817, on Wednesday evening, part of a stack of bills passed by the Florida Legislature in […]

After uproar in FL Legislature, new law changes language describing Black children

By: - April 7, 2022

Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed into law a bill that will essentially change the way Black children are portrayed and described in Florida law. The legislation, HB 893, was one of 42 bills approved by DeSantis Wednesday evening, part of a stack of bills that the Florida Legislature passed in the 2022 legislative session. In […]

Fast-rising, more contagious omicron BA.2 makes up 72 percent of variants in the U.S.

By: - April 5, 2022

The omicron subvariant BA.2 has jumped to 72.2 percent of new COVID-19 infections in the United States, with Florida and other states seeing how quickly BA.2 has taken over in the ongoing pandemic. At the end of February, BA.2 represented just 7.5 percent of variants circulating around the country. Six weeks later, the figure spiked […]