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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.

Foreign-owned property, threatened historic buildings, and a digital bill of rights

 Florida lawmakers wrapped up the 2023 Legislative Session on Friday, May 5, 2023.
Steve Cannon
AP file
Florida lawmakers wrapped up the 2023 Legislative Session on Friday, May 5, 2023.

On this week's Florida Roundup, we discuss a bill restricting people tied to the Chinese government from owning land in Florida, a near threat to historic buildings, and a bill aimed at boosting online privacy.

This week on the Florida Roundup, we talk about a newly passed measure aimed at restricting people with ties to the Chinese government from owning land in Florida. The bill is now heading to Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The House and Senate voted Thursday to pass the bill — SB 264. In part, it would prohibit the sale of property within 10 miles of military bases and other critical infrastructure to interests tied to the Chinese Communist Party or citizens of other nations on a list of so-called “countries of concern.”

Its passage follows statewide protests against the legislation that critics call anti-Asian discrimination and after much debate on the floor. Proponents of the measure say it’s a matter of national security.


  • Brian Bandell, reporter for the South Florida Business Journal.
  • Wen Raiti, past president of the Jacksonville Chinese Association.
  • Edgar Chen, policy director for the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. 
  • Dr. Wei Zhou, president of the JCA. 

Bill threatening historic buildings is dead for now 

Historians rejoiced this week after a public outcry killed a proposal that could have opened the door to demolishing hundreds of historic buildings across coastal Florida.

Two of the places that would have been heavily affected include the city of Miami Beach — and its protected collection of Art Deco buildings, one of the biggest collections of the architectural style in the world. Also historic St. Augustine.

The goal of the legislation was to bolster coastal resilience by clearing the way for new buildings to be built that meet modern flooding standards.


  • Julie Courtney, historic preservation officer for the city of St. Augustine.
  • Alex Fernandez, commissioner for the city of Miami Beach. 

Florida moves ahead with ‘digital bill of rights’ 

An expansive bill aimed at boosting online data privacy cleared the Florida Legislature this week, and DeSantis is expected to sign it. What will these changes mean for your personal data?


  • Brenna Goth, southwest staff correspondent for Bloomberg News. 

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.