Florida Matters

Florida Matters tackles tough issues, highlights little-known stories from our part of the world, and provides a greater perspective of what it means to live in the Sunshine State. Join us each week as we journey across the state to explore the issues important to Floridians and cover the challenges facing our community and our state.

Daylina Miller/WikiMedia Commons

Polk County is a place of so many contradictions. It's the home of beautiful lakes, charming downtowns and historic landmarks. But this birthplace of several of Florida's governors, was also named by one recent study as having the country's second largest percentage of people struggling to avoid hunger.


Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

Polk County is consistently ranked as having among the highest rates of suburban poverty in the country. And one recent study put it second in the nation for the number of people struggling to avoid hunger. The beautiful lakes and historic downtowns form a stark contrast to the sobering statistics.

Florida Matters hosted a town hall discussion on these issues Monday night in Lakeland, at Florida Southern College’s Annie Pfeiffer Chapel.

You can be a part of our audience for a special Florida Matters town hall featuring a panel discussion on food insecurity in Polk County.

JDC Phosphate

Phosphate mining and production takes a heavy toll on the state's environment. But the industry also plays a key role in Florida's economy. This week on Florida Matters we’re exploring what phosphate contributes to the state, and at what price.


Stephanie Colombini/WUSF / WUSF

The phosphate industry contributes a great deal to Florida's economy, but at what cost?

This week on Florida Matters, we’re exploring how the phosphate industry impacts the state.

  

Self-driving cars – are they the road to the future or pie in the sky? This week on Florida Matters we’re revisiting a discussion about the promise and the perils of automated vehicles.


Robin Sussingham

This week on Florida Matters we're revisiting our discussion about autonomous vehicles. 

Scott Young

The disease called citrus greening has wreaked havoc on our state's most iconic industry. Florida is harvesting the smallest citrus crop in 52 years.

State and federal dollars have been pouring into frantic efforts to save groves. Some of the efforts seem to be paying off. But is it too late for the small family farms?


Florida Citrus Mutual

This week on Florida Matters, we're revisiting a discussion on the breathtaking decline in Florida's citrus industry. We're also learning about new farming and research methods that show promise for the industry's future.

 


In 1930, a mother in Kansas spent ten days in the hospital to deliver her baby. Total bill? $66. Well the cost of health care has gone up quite a bit since then -- how can you know how much many medical procedures cost these days?

Health News Florida has PriceCheck, an online tool to help you compare costs of common health procedures. This week on Florida Matters we're featuring people who shared their own frustrations and sticker shock!


Health care costs are a pain. That's why Health News Florida has PriceCheck, an online tool to help you compare costs of common health procedures. This week on Florida Matters we're featuring people who shared their own frustrations and sticker shock!

The Everglades, Florida’s vast fresh water system that starts near Orlando and meanders South, is in trouble.

For years environmental advocates and sugar growers have clashed over how to restore the "River of Grass." And billions of dollars in projects to do just that aren’t going anywhere.

Steve Newborn / WUSF

One in three Floridians get their drinking water from the Everglades. But the “River of Grass” has long been in peril.


MyFloridaHouse.gov

Governor Rick Scott kicked off Florida's 2017 legislative session with his annual State of the State Address. This week on Florida Matters we're re-broadcasting portions of the governor's speech, which aired live on WUSF 89.7.


The Associated Press

The azaleas are in bloom -- that means the legislative session in Tallahassee is just around the corner. What’s likely to happen, and how will it affect you?


It's that time of year again -- Florida's legislative session begins next Tuesday, March 7.

This week on Florida Matters we're exploring some proposals lawmakers are considering in the upcoming session, and talking about the politics behind it all. 


Mark, flickr

Florida voters overwhelmingly approved Amendment 2 last November, expanding the state's medical marijuana program. But how is the government going to implement it? 


This week on Florida Matters we're exploring the current rules on medical marijuana in the state and what might be in store for the industry. 

Florida Matters: Surviving Gun Violence

Feb 14, 2017
MARSHA HALPER

You'll often hear the news of young people tragically dying from gun violence. But what about those who live?


Marsha Halper

You'll often hear the news of young people tragically dying from gun violence. But what about those who live?

Pages