Kate Payne

Multimedia Reporter

As a Tallahassee native, Kate Payne grew up listening to WFSU. She loves being part of a station that had such an impact on her. Kate is a graduate of the Florida State University College of Motion Picture Arts. With a background in documentary and narrative filmmaking, Kate has a broad range of multimedia experience. When she’s not working, you can find her rock climbing, cooking or hanging out with her cat.

Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala speaks with reporters about her decision to not pursue the death penalty during her administration.
Renata Sago / WMFE

Florida lawmakers are again urging the governor to suspend a prosecutor who won’t pursue the death penalty. But constitutional lawyers argue Aramis Ayala’s actions don’t warrant removal. 

Panda via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/106831113@N02/

Florida lawmakers are pressing pause on a bill that would pave the way for an elected sheriff in Miami-Dade County. The plan is forcing legislators to choose between empowering voters or stepping on the toes of local governments. 

Audubon of Florida / http://audubonoffloridanews.org/?p=11408

Florida Senate President Joe Negron is hopeful he’ll win support for a Lake Okeechobee reservoir. But his proposal still faces strong opposition from fellow lawmakers and residents south of the lake.

MGN Online

The Florida House has voted to expand autism awareness training for law enforcement. Support for the issue amped up this session after a North Miami officer shot at an autistic man he thought was dangerous.

Jonathan Kos-Read via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jonathankosread/

Florida lawmakers want to set new statewide standards for public contracts. But local governments say the plan threatens their independence.

MHP Salud / http://mhpsalud.org/who-we-serve/farmworkers-in-the-united-states/

State lawmakers want to cut fees for the manufacturers of harmful pesticides. That could make it cheaper for chemical companies to sell their products in the state. But a critic of the measure is worried how the change could affect farmworkers’ health.

Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala speaks with reporters about her decision to not pursue the death penalty during her administration.
Renata Sago / WMFE

Lawyers, judges and professors are pushing back against Governor Rick Scott’s decision to reassign a death penalty case. The move comes after the Orlando State Attorney announced she won’t pursue capital punishment.

Florida Memory / https://www.floridamemory.com/items/show/31967

The Constitution Revision Commission has scheduled a series of public meetings throughout the state. Voter input will shape any amendments the group proposes.

liquor
Thomas Hawk via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawk/

The Florida Senate has approved a bill to tear down the regulatory wall between grocery stores and liquor stores. But the plan has independent retailers worried.

Monticello-Jefferson County / https://monticellojeffersonfl.com/

State lawmakers are advancing a plan to allow gun owners to check their weapons at the courthouse door. The bill is moving forward even as top politicians are taking a stand against gun expansion.

ball of hemp twine
Emilian Robert Vicol

Across the country, advocates are hailing industrial hemp as a miracle crop. Some Floridians even think the plant could surpass oranges as an agricultural powerhouse. But lawmakers in the capitol are urging caution.

An Ceann Corr via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/acreisner/

New research shows pollution in the Gulf of Mexico is coming from a source close to home: our closets. A team of scientists say plastic microfibers in polyester, nylon and acrylics are washing out of household fabrics and into the ocean.

Ep Jhu via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/ep_jhu/

Florida is reeling from an opioid epidemic that spans young and old, rural and urban. State lawmakers are once again trying to reduce overdose deaths and prevent addiction.

MGN Online

Florida lawmakers want to give officers more authority to use blood tests in misdemeanor DUI investigations. But some are sounding the alarm on the plan’s unintended consequences.

Michael via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/lostinangeles/

A contentious plan to let grocery stores sell liquor is still alive in the Florida statehouse. But some are dismissing the issue as insider baseball, and not a real public priority.

Florida Memory / https://www.floridamemory.com/items/show/254907

The Florida House has passed a six year lobbying ban on former lawmakers. Under current state law, legislators and elected officials can’t lobby their former colleagues for two years. The new plan would extend the waiting period, and block officials from lobbying any state agency.

The Florida Supreme Court.
Nick Evans / WFSU News

A bill aimed at clearing up confusion around redistricting court cases is ready for a vote on the Senate floor. But there are still concerns the plan challenges the independence of the judiciary.

Bike Tallahassee / http://biketallahassee.com/img/cascades-trail.jpg

Florida lawmakers are considering shutting down community redevelopment agencies, citing reports of misuse of public money. Supporters are hoping to strike a compromise, before the Legislature kills CRAs outright.

The Florida Capitol Building from Adams Street
Steven Martin via Flikr / WFSU News

The 2017 Legislative Session is off to a tense start, with politicians already butting heads over the all-important budget. The fight could spell disaster for freshmen lawmakers hoping to earn their keep in the statehouse.

jvoves/ flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jvoves/

A new federal policy means virtually all undocumented immigrants are targets for deportation, not just those with criminal records. But the order won’t change the operations of Leon County law enforcement.

House Speaker Richard Corcoran
Richard Corcoran via twitter / https://twitter.com/richardcorcoran

One of the big debates taking shape this legislative session is about state involvement in economic development. The capitol’s powerbrokers are picking sides in the battle, which is threatening to derail session before it even begins.

MGN Online

Developments in video technology are rapidly changing how we interact with the world. Now some of those advances could ultimately change how Leon County handles crime.

Ryan Benk / WFSU-FM

The Trump Administration is rolling back a federal rule that protects small waterways like wetlands and creeks. One expert says the move could leave more Florida farmers and conservationists stuck in court battles.

MHP Salud / http://mhpsalud.org/who-we-serve/farmworkers-in-the-united-states/

The children of farmworkers could get a chance to go to college for free under a state lawmaker’s plan. But one advocate is worried the requirements will put the scholarship out of reach for many.

Jason Tereska / WFSU News

Earlier this month, a U.S. Supreme Court-appointed lawyer ruled against Florida in its decades-long water war with Georgia. As the court prepares to make its final decision, lawmakers are going back to the legislative drawing board. WFSU News went to the coast to see what the ruling means for the struggling Apalachicola Bay and its world famous oysters.

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