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The Florida Roundup
The Florida Roundup is a live, weekly call-in show with a distinct focus on the issues affecting Floridians. Each Friday at noon, listeners can engage in the conversation with journalists, newsmakers and other Floridians about change, policy and the future of our lives in the sunshine state.Join our hosts, veteran journalists from our partner public radio stations: WLRN’s Danny Rivero, broadcasting from Miami, and WJCT’s Melissa Ross, broadcasting from Jacksonville.

Immigration bill, authoritarianism and hate speech

Michael Rivera, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

On this week's Florida Roundup, we discuss an immigration bill sparking pushback from medical professionals, Florida's possible tilt towards authoritarianism, and efforts to combat hate speech.

Immigration bill sparks pushback from medical professionals 

This week on The Florida Roundup, we discuss the intersection of immigration policy and health care. A proposal in the Florida Legislature intended to clamp down on illegal immigration is drawing sharp criticism from health care workers. If passed, the bill would require hospitals that accept Medicaid to ask patients about their immigration status.


  • Stephanie Colombini, health reporter for WUSF and Health News Florida. 
  • Kevin Cho Tipton, a nurse practitioner in Miami. 

Is Florida tilting towards authoritarianism? 

Freedom is a theme that Gov. Ron DeSantis has consistently woven into his messaging. Many of the governor’s priorities have been carried out by the Republican-controlled Legislature this session. Proponents of these bills say they bolster Floridians' freedom. But which freedoms and for who?


  • Helen Lewis, staff writer for The Atlantic. 

Combating hate speech with Volusia Sheriff Michael Chitwood 

Extremist incidents in Florida have been on the rise in recent years. According to the Anti-Defamation League, events involving racial hate and antisemitism rose by 71% between 2020 and 2022.

A new Florida law looks to crack down on these incidents. DeSantis has signed a bill that makes harassing or intimidating someone based on their religion or ethnicity a hate crime that can be prosecuted as a third-degree felony. The bill drew bipartisan support passing both chambers unanimously. One of the measure's prominent supporters is Volusia County Sheriff Michael Chitwood, who has been outspoken about his fight against extremism in the communities he serves.


  • Sheriff Michael Chitwood.

Copyright 2023 WJCT News 89.9. To see more, visit WJCT News 89.9.

Bridget O'Brien produces WLRN's The Florida Roundup as well as morning newscasts. A long-time public radio geek, she feels that audio journalism can take a story beyond text and allows listeners to truly connect through the power of voice. With a background in drama, she brings a theatrical element to everything she does.