Issues of Interest

SPANISH-LANGUAGE BALLOTS Voters should have access to Spanish-language ballots in all 67 counties prior to the 2020 primaries. The Governor, Secretary of State Laurel Lee and supervisors of elections have made this a priority, particularly after a lawsuit was filed on behalf of Puerto Rican citizens who have moved into the State post-Hurricane Maria.

NEW ORLANDO THEME PARK Orlando will add a new theme park to its inventory. Universal Orlando announced that it be constructing a new park on land it owns near its existing park. “Epic Universe” will be a 750-acre park that will be the “most immersive and innovative theme park” within Universal’s lineup and include a Super Nintendo World. Former Governor Rick Scott pledged $16 million in state dollars to help build a road extension to the park.

THERAPY DOGS As part of a pilot program to calm traveler’s nerves, Orlando International Airport will get 10 therapy dogs and handlers. Miami International Airport and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport have similar programs in place. As of 2018, there were approximately 58 airports around the world using therapy dogs.

KIRBY SMITH STATUE Florida is replacing its U.S. Capitol statue of Confederate General Kirby Smith with one of abolitionist and educator Mary McLeod Bethune. The Lake County Commission voted 3-2 to allow the statue to be placed in the Lake County Historical Museum. The issue has proved divisive within the county spurring organized protests.

TOM PETTY Florida’s Hall of Fame member and rock ‘n roll hero Tom Petty will be receiving a historical marker in Gainesville, his boyhood home. After his death, the City of Gainesville renamed a park in the legend’s honor. The Florida Historical Marker Council approved an official plaque, which will be placed in the park.