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 is married to a journalist and has three adult children.

Senate vote on higher ed bill reveals what undergrads might face in general education courses

By: - April 28, 2023

After weeks of gut-wrenching debate on the fate of Florida’s public universities, the state Senate on Friday approved legislation to reshape the way university undergrads would learn in essential general education courses — and now students may no longer learn certain things. The legislation came to a vote of 27-12, with one senator not voting. […]

‘Tyre Sampson Act:’ Teen’s death from amusement ride will help increase safety on rides in FL

By: - April 28, 2023

In March of last year, 14-year-old Tyre Sampson fell to his death from a 400-foot tower ride operated by Orlando Slingshot. On Friday, the Florida Senate unanimously approved legislation to ensure that amusement rides are safe in Florida. The legislation is titled the “Tyre Sampson Act.” The House is moving on the legislation as well. […]

Long overdue: Students should be required to learn history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

By: - April 26, 2023

Following deadly attacks against people of Asian descent since at least 2021, state lawmakers want to make sure that public students across Florida learn about the history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, from what happened in Japanese internment camps to the incarceration of Japanese-Americans during World War II. The state House on Wednesday voted […]

Turkey, pork, bringing home the bacon: Lawmakers push millions in state budget for constituents

By: - April 25, 2023

It’s about this time of the year, when the Legislature is crafting Florida’s massive state budget and lawmakers are positioning to get thousands to millions into the budget for their constituents. The local projects are often called turkeys, pork, pet projects or bringing home the bacon. Over the years, the process has raised questions about […]

Fate of New College includes ideology, religion, accreditation, attendance and funding

By: - April 24, 2023

Despite concerns about accreditation, attendance, funding, ideology, religion and more, key senators on Monday recommended confirmation for seven members of the Board of Trustees of New College, a liberal arts public university in Florida that has been weathering a storm under an overhaul by the DeSantis administration. The Senate’s Ethics and Elections committee voted 6-3 […]

Sen. Polsky won’t vote for AHCA Weida’s confirmation because of alleged LGBTQ or anti-trans statements

By: - April 24, 2023

Jason Weida, secretary of the Agency for Health Care Administration in Florida who is up for Senate confirmation, said Monday that he is scheduled to be deposed this afternoon in a lawsuit over blocking certain gender affirming care, a contentious topic during the spring legislation session. Weida, an attorney, told senators at the Senate Ethics […]

Sen. Shevrin Jones: Public university policies in legislation are ‘racist at its core’

By: - April 21, 2023

Concerns of systemic racism have become part of a higher education bill moving through the Legislature, as the DeSantis administration and Republicans move to reshape Florida’s university system. The issue came up during a Senate committee meeting Thursday, where senators were debating a bill, SB 266, that could make several changes to general courses at […]

House lawmakers make a promise: African American history will be taught in FL’s public schools

By: - April 20, 2023

Recalling the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., the murder of Medgar Evers, and the killing of a young Black teen named Emmett Till, state House lawmakers made it clear Thursday that African American history instruction must endure in Florida’s public schools. The entire House chamber approved a bipartisan, unanimous bill — 116 -0 — […]

Should FL school boards be partisan? Voters will be able to decide through a constitutional amendment

By: - April 19, 2023

Florida’s local school boards have been nonpartisan for at least two decades, but that could change immeasurably. The Florida Senate voted 29-11 on Wednesday to allow voters to decide if the boards should be partisan or not. The measure would be in the form of a constitutional amendment in the next general election or at […]

Senators recommend confirmation for AHCA Secretary Weida; some lawmakers raised questions

By: - April 13, 2023

Key senators recommended Thursday that attorney Jason Weida be confirmed as secretary of the Agency for Health Care Administration – though there was an “accusation” about whether Weida shaped a key report related to blocking certain treatments for transgender people under the Medicaid program. Weida told senators early on at the confirmation hearing that the […]

Consumers displaced, living in tents while 143,396 of Ian insurance claims still ‘open and pending’

By: - April 6, 2023

More than six months after Hurricane Ian slammed Southwest Florida, crippling or destroying homes, thousands of residents trying to make repairs have been delayed by extreme insurance-claim problems. In fact, of 708,255 Ian claims reported to insurance companies, 143,396, or 20.2%, remain ‘open and pending,’ based on the latest estimates from the Florida Office of […]

Two FL Supreme Court justices left abruptly though they had 6-year terms; who else might go?

By: and - April 4, 2023

In a span of seven months, two Florida Supreme Court justices — one who resigned and another who retired — left the bench without finishing their six-year terms and after voters had agreed to retain them. They easily procured lucrative jobs in private practice and opened the way for Gov. Ron DeSantis to pick reliably […]