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Jim Turner - News Service of Florida

Jim Turner is a reporter for the News Service of Florida.

gymnasium door
Carl Lisciandrello / WUSF Public Media

Florida gymnasiums and fitness centers are among the latest places able to begin reopening.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the latest steps in his plan to get businesses back up and running during the coronavirus pandemic at a Friday press conference in Jacksonville.

Gov. Ron DeSantis at the podium
WFSU

Gov. Ron DeSantis said he will announce Friday additional “phase one” measures to reopen the state’s economy, with the moves expected to include allowing more people to be seated in restaurants and allowing gyms to operate.

Inside of Amalie Arena during a Lightning game
CARL LISCIANDRELLO/WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

Gov. Ron DeSantis said it’s time for professional sports teams to play ball again in Florida.

DeSantis, who is still rolling out the first phase of the state’s economic recovery effort amid the coronavirus pandemic, said Wednesday he will lift restrictions so teams would be welcome to train and play games in empty stadiums in Florida.

TALLAHASSEE --- Florida’s next budget remains on hold pending another round of federal stimulus money, which could also dictate how state lawmakers readdress the spending plan.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday he has put off formally accepting and reviewing a $93.2 billion budget for the 2020-2021 fiscal year that was approved by the Legislature in March and is slated to take effect July 1.

iStock

Getting Florida back to pre-coronavirus tourism numbers could take several years, state tourism-marketing officials acknowledged Thursday as they moved forward with a “rebound effort.”

barber pole
iStock

Coronavirus hair can soon be professionally snipped.

Gov. Ron DeSantis posted a video Friday featuring Orlando barbershop owner John Henry, who announced that starting Monday, barbershops, hair salons and nail salons will be allowed to reopen in most of the state after being shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks with members of the Orange County health departemnt at a roundtable in orlando.
The Florida Channel

Barber shops and hair salons are still on the sidelines as Gov. Ron DeSantis’ reopening of select businesses during the coronavirus pandemic begins Monday.

Servers and other employees won’t be counted toward limits on occupancy when restaurants reopen Monday under coronavirus guidelines, the state’s top business regulator said.

THE FLORIDA CHANNEL

Appearing Tuesday with President Donald Trump in the White House Oval Office, Gov. Ron DeSantis said he will announce a plan Wednesday for the initial phase of Florida’s gradual reopening from the coronavirus pandemic.

NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday that reopening the state after coronavirus-caused shutdowns will be “very methodical” and “data-driven,” and some people might think it is too slow.

empty Tampa International Airport
DAYLINA MILLER/WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

Reviving the airline industry in Florida could take years to get back to January levels, requiring confidence from passengers that their flights and their destinations are safe from the coronavirus.

Epcot at night
iStock

Expect “virtual” or expanded FastPass-style lines, staggered seating on rides, online food ordering and limited crowds when Florida’s major theme parks eventually reopen after being shuttered during the coronavirus pandemic.

restaurant closed sign
CARL LISCIANDRELLO/WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

Getting people to dine out, board airplanes and visit resorts will require increased confidence that businesses are aggressively implementing enhanced hygiene measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19, members of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ task force on reopening the state said Tuesday.

Sunset on Dunedin Causeway
CARL LISCIANDRELLO/WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

Gov. Ron DeSantis wants people to go outside and exercise while keeping their distances from each other, as part of efforts to slowly reopen the state.

Florida’s unemployment rate jumped in March, but it still remained a sign of better times.

NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday defended declaring professional wrestling an essential service and raised the possibility of holding other televised sporting events in empty venues as people shelter at home amid the coronavirus pandemic.

NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

Sections of the massive Interstate 4 “Ultimate” project in Central Florida will see accelerated work as the state takes advantage of a coronavirus-created reduction in traffic.

NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed seven bills into law late Wednesday, including measures that will place additional restrictions on ballot initiatives and provide sales-tax “holidays” around the start of hurricane season and the upcoming school year.

Rep. Jackie Toledo speaks during a press conference in Tampa
Julio Ochoa / WUSF Public Media

A Tampa Republican lawmaker on Friday called for an audit of the state’s overwhelmed unemployment-compensation system, as work was underway to finalize a paper version of the benefits application.

Gov. Ron Desantis at a table with members of his staff.
The Florida Channel

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Saturday announced the creation of an Interstate 95 checkpoint on Florida's northern border to screen motorists traveling from the New York City area, in an effort to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

GOVERNOR'S PRESS OFFICE

Gov. Ron DeSantis will get a chance to let athletes at Florida colleges do something he couldn’t do while playing baseball at Yale: make money off the field from their names and images.

Florida Lawmakers Agree On $92 Billion Budget, Will Vote Next Week

Mar 15, 2020
News Service of Florida

Legislative leaders completed a roughly $92 billion budget on Saturday afternoon, settling numerous education and health care issues as they fine-tuned the state spending plan in anticipation of an economic hit from the novel coronavirus.

Bryan Avila listening
NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

A slimmed tax-cut package is heading to Gov. Ron DeSantis, after lawmakers late Friday sought to bolster state reserves that could be needed as the novel coronavirus damages tourism and other key industries.

NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

Florida is getting closer to imposing stiffer fines for bear poaching and expanding rules against shark “finning.”

Sen. Manny Diaz Jr.
News Service of Florida

After starting a school-voucher program last year, Florida lawmakers appear ready to speed up its expansion.

Representative Blaise Ingolia
News Service of Florida

Florida cities and counties would get letter grades for economic and non-economic factors, under a bill that drew mostly bipartisan support Tuesday from the House Appropriations Committee.

Senators pressed forward Tuesday with a proposal that would provide $100 million a year for Florida Forever, as the House and Senate go into budget talks far apart on the land-buying program.

The Senate Agriculture, Environment and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee backed a proposal (SB 332) by Sen. Linda Stewart, D-Orlando, that would funnel $100 million annually to Florida Forever. The money could come from a trust fund that receives real-estate tax dollars under a 2014 constitutional amendment aimed at land and water conservation.

Gov. Ron DeSantis expressed concerns Monday about legislative proposals that would further prevent local governments from regulating short-term vacation rentals.

Local governments would be barred from licensing food truck vendors in their communities, as part of broader deregulation proposals that cleared final House and Senate committees Thursday.

NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

Florida’s timber industry remains amid tons of strewn trees from Hurricane Michael as talks continue over the distribution of a $380 million federal-recovery grant allocated in November for the 2018 storm.

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