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.

One Year Anniversary Parkland tragedy

The fourth anniversary of one of Florida’s darkest days; 17 innocent lives lost

By: - February 14, 2022

Gov. Ron DeSantis has asked Floridians to pause for a moment of silence at 3 p.m. Monday, in remembrance of 17 lives lost at the shooting massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The governor also directed all state flags in Florida to be lowered to half-staff, from sunrise until sunset, in memory of the […]

Florida Capitol

How do lawmakers get local pet projects in the state budget? It isn’t easy or always transparent

By: - February 14, 2022

When lawmakers came to the Capitol in January for the 2022 legislative session, their annual wish list was ballooning with billions of dollars for pet projects that, if approved, could be a goldmine for local constituents. Legislators hoped to slip in as many local projects as possible in the overall 2022-23 state budget for Florida. […]

‘Recipe for disaster’: Dems say new voting restrictions would make it harder for Floridians to vote by mail

By: - February 1, 2022

A GOP-controlled committee in the Senate on Tuesday approved a rushed, 45-page bill that creates new and complicated voter restrictions, while Democrats argued that the legislation isn’t necessary. “I see a recipe for disaster,” said State Sen. Annette Taddeo, representing part of Miami-Dade. She said the bill, SB 524, doesn’t fix a problem, in part […]

Lawmaker proposal: Gov would have more choices — and power — to appoint certain state agency leaders

By: - January 31, 2022

Lawmakers are pushing a bill that would essentially give more power to the governor when it comes to appointing certain state agency leaders — with Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried calling the proposal a “DeSantis power grab bill.” State Sen. Aaron Bean, sponsor of SB 1658, said at a committee meeting Monday that appointing a top […]

FL has exceeded a 5 million mark for COVID-19 cases in the U.S., with numbers still growing

By: - January 24, 2022

COVID-19 cases in Florida have exceeded 5 million — higher than only California and Texas, according to data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The most recent figure from the CDC for Florida is 5,303,818 cases, a cumulation of infections dating back to early 2020, when COVID-19 showed up and spread […]

FL is well behind other states when it comes to getting COVID booster shots

By: - January 21, 2022

When Gov. Ron DeSantis hinted Friday that he hasn’t gotten a COVID booster shot, it wouldn’t be unusual. Florida is below the national average and well behind other states when it comes to COVID booster shots that can help ward off COVID-19, according to federal data. But the numbers show that many people across the […]

Almost all FL abortions in 2020 were at 12 weeks or under; Hearing set Wednesday on 15-week ban

By: and - January 18, 2022

The first legislative hearing on a proposed 15-week abortion ban in Florida is set for Wednesday, with new numbers showing that the vast majority of abortions in FL in 2020 were performed at 12 weeks or under. The data came from a 17-page legislative analysis released Tuesday and is related to a scheduled hearing Wednesday […]

University of Florida

FL lawmakers move toward secrecy when it comes to searches for university presidents

By: - January 12, 2022

On the first day of the 2022 legislative session, the GOP-controlled Senate Education Committee voted to allow applicants for state university and Florida community college presidents to remain confidential, generally until finalists are determined. More steps would be needed to get the legislation approved, but Florida’s First Amendment Foundation has already put out a news […]

FDA gives okay for Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine boosters for kids 12 to 15

By: - January 3, 2022

With COVID-19 cases skyrocketing in Florida and the nation, kids from ages 12 through 15 will likely be able to get booster shots soon, based on an initial okay from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The final decision will come from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A press release […]

DeSantis expects rise in COVID cases by Jan. 1; won’t “indulge in any of the insanity” of shutdowns

By: - December 17, 2021

Gov. Ron DeSantis anticipates more COVID-19 cases in Florida by Jan. 1. — part of a seasonal pattern — but won’t pursue the kinds of shutdowns that could happen elsewhere across the country, according to remarks at a Friday news conference in Ocala. In fact, COVID-19 cases are already rising, according to the federal Centers […]

A big check, a lot of bragging about Gov. DeSantis and dissing about D.C.

By: - December 16, 2021

In Washington County in Florida’s Panhandle, officials from all levels of government bragged Thursday about Gov. Ron DeSantis, and the governor and Congressman Neal Dunn dissed what’s going on in Washington, D.C. “Just for the record, we like Washington County much better than Washington, D.C., DeSantis said during a news conference Thursday related to hurricane […]

DeSantis surprised, disappointed over vaccine-related court case that gave Biden a victory

By: - December 16, 2021

Gov. Ron DeSantis took time during a news conference about transportation, education and the trucking industry on Thursday to show surprise and disappointment about the Biden administration vaccine mandates winding through the national court system. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals based in New Orleans on Wednesday “lifted a nationwide ban against President Joe […]