The League of Women Voters of Orange County, Florida hosts a panel discussion of recently passed laws that are among the most restrictive in the nation at the May 10 Hot Topics meeting, “Shock and Law: Florida Voters Face Election Consequences.”
The journalist panel will address laws that have wide-ranging effects: a six-week abortion ban, removing discussion of race and gender identity from public schools, restricting how private companies and universities can teach diversity, attacks on LGTBQ rights, allowing residents to carry concealed weapons without permits or training and giving all K-12 students access to taxpayer-funded vouchers for private schools, estimated to cost the state $4 billion.
Patricia Brigham, past president of LWVFL and president of Prevent Gun Violence Florida, will be the moderator. The panel includes journalists Jason Garcia, who writes the “Seeking Rents” newsletter, LaToya Dennis, managing editor of WMFE public radio, Christopher Heath, WFTV investigative reporter, and Skyler Swisher, Orlando Sentinel reporter. Visit Hot Topics page for full panel bios.
The public affairs program and catered lunch will be at the Winter Park Events Center. Doors open at 11:00 a.m.; the program begins at 11:30 a.m. The cost is $30 for members; $37 for non-members.
Join us for HT Overtime immediately following in the Winter Park Library auditorium, 1:15-1:45. Bring comments and solutions to a session that will address actions that voters can take.
Florida, once considered a swing state, has taken a hard turn to the right in the past two years with the election of Republican supermajorities to the state House and Senate and re-election of Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is expected to run for president in 2024.
The result has left many Florida voters stunned by the swift passage and signing of controversial laws that would have seemed unlikely a few years ago. The panel will dissect how this came about, the current effects and which future laws may be approved.
Jason Garcia is an investigative journalist and the publisher of “Seeking Rents,” a newsletter and podcast that explores the ways businesses influence public policy. LaToya Dennis has been managing editor at WMFE in Orlando since 2021. She has been at the forefront of rethinking what news is and how to best deliver it to communities not traditionally well-served by public radio.
Christopher Heath is an investigative reporter at WFTV with a focus on uncovering corruption and wasteful spending across Central Florida. Skyler Swisher is a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel and covered the 2023 session of the Florida Legislature.
The session’s moderator, Patti Brigham, was president of the League of Women Voters Florida from 2018-21 and is now president of Prevent Gun Violence Florida, a group formed after the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in 2016.