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Foreign-owned property; threatened historic buildings; 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.

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.

Guests:

  • 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.

Guests:

  • 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?

Guest:

  • Brenna Goth, southwest staff correspondent for Bloomberg News. 
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Bridget O’Brien is an award-winning, versatile audio producer with more than eight years of experience in radio, audience engagement and storytelling across a diverse range of outlets. You can reach Bridget at bobrien@wjct.org.