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Andrea Chamblee (center), the widow of reporter John McNamara, at a vigil in Annapolis, Maryland, after he and four other journalists were killed in a mass shooting at the Capital Gazette on June 28, 2018. Photo: Calla Kessler/The Washington Post via Getty Images.

State Sen. Janet Cruz (D-Tampa) has filed a bill for the upcoming legislative session that would extend the protection of the state’s hate crime statutes to reporters, William March reports for the Tampa Bay Times.

Why it matters: 400 attacks on journalists were reported nationwide in 2020, according to the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker.

  • In Florida, the tracker cites 21 incidents over the last four years, including attacks by political rally attendees, subjects of news stories, and police officers, as well as harassment or obstruction by public officials.
"I can’t stand by and watch people be attacked for the work they do in the noble profession of reporting what’s happening."
Sen. Janet Cruz to the Tampa Bay Times

Selene's thought bubble: I almost lost my life for being a reporter. My friends lost theirs.

  • As a journalist, it is not my place to endorse a piece of legislation — and Cruz did not research the history of attacks against journalists, her proposal having been inspired chiefly by those that occurred during the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
  • But I will say anything that makes people take violence against journalists more seriously should be considered so more members of the profession don't have to lose their lives for telling the truth.

Go deeper: Listen to the first two episodes NPR's podcast following the Capital Gazette staff after the 2018 shooting in their newsroom.

This story first appeared in the Axios Tampa Bay newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.

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Go deeper

CPAC Republicans choose conservatism over constituents

Rep. Matt Gaetz. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images

CPAC proved such a draw, conservative Republicans chose the conference over their constituents.

Why it matters: More than a dozen House Republicans voted by proxy on the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill in Washington so they could speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference, known as CPAC. And Sen. Ted Cruz chose to be there instead of his hometown of Houston when President Biden visited to survey storm damage.

Biden steps into the breach

Sen. Joe Manchin heads to a meeting with President Biden today. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

President Biden ramped up the pressure on his fellow Democrats Wednesday, calling a series of lawmakers to the White House in the hope of ending infighting and getting them in line.

Why it matters: Divisions within the party are threatening to derail Biden's top priorities. After several weeks of letting negotiations play out, the president is finally asserting his power to ensure his own party doesn't block his agenda.

39 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Dems seek new green deal

Rep. Stephanie Murphy. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/Bloomberg via Getty Images

House Democrats discussed with President Biden on Wednesday a plan to exempt billions of dollars of new climate spending from his requirement that his $3.5 trillion "soft" infrastructure plan be offset with additional revenue.

Why it matters: The accounting proposal — a version of "dynamic scoring" — would dramatically lower the amount of taxes Democrats would need to raise while creating wiggle room to increase the ultimate size of the package.