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.

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.

Historic Capitol
Tom Flanigan / WFSU News

State lawmakers want to make it harder for Floridians to amend the constitution. The plan would up the percentage of voter approval needed to pass a measure from 60 percent to more than 66 percent.

The Oz Blog / http://blog.doctoroz.com/oz-experts/myths-lies-and-hysterectomy

If state lawmakers get their way, patients could soon be able to sue their abortion doctors over emotional distress. But physicians say the plan will worsen Florida’s doctor shortage. For many Florida doctors, medical malpractice complaints are part of the territory. After years of discouraging frivolous lawsuits, legislators are now trying to expose abortion doctors to more litigation.

boat on Apalachicola Bay
Jessica Palombo / WFSU News

North Florida Congressman Neal Dunn wants to throw out a federal plan that would reduce freshwater flowing into the struggling Apalachicola Bay. The move comes after a Supreme Court-appointed lawyer ruled against the state in the decades-long water war with Georgia. The Court has not yet made a final ruling. But Dunn and his colleagues are going back to the legislative drawing board to challenge the Army Corps of Engineers.

Buzzle.com

Florida is a prime breeding ground for invasive species that can threaten the state’s ecology and economy. For every lionfish or Burmese python that’s captured, thousands remain. And the sheer scope of the problem is pushing some lawmakers to ask how much of a difference state funding actually makes.

Federal Highway Administration / http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/byways/photos/75957

State regulators are moving forward with plans to widen Crawfordville Highway, despite concerns about the impacts to nearby Wakulla Springs. Conservationists hoped the state would amend the design to reduce pollution and add animal crossings.

Kate Payne

Conservationists are making a final push against plans to widen Crawfordville Highway, which they say will harm nearby Wakulla Springs. The effort to add two lanes of traffic to the road is years in the making, as a way to facilitate commuter traffic between Wakulla and Leon Counties. The design includes four storm-water ponds, and requires the use of forty-two acres of park land. Bob Deyle is a retired professor of environmental planning at Florida State University, and vice chair of the Wakulla Springs Alliance.

sama093 via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/sama093/

Florida’s invasive species problem can be daunting, with real implications for the state’s ecology and economy. The breadth of the issue is spurring some lawmakers to ask if state funding makes a difference.

Kevin Cavanaugh via Smithsonian Institute / http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/fewer-freezes-let-floridas-mangroves-move-north-180948075/

Mangroves are quintessentially tropical and take root along the coast of the Everglades and the Keys where they are home to colorful fish and crabs. But these plants are not marooned in South Florida anymore. WFSU went searching for mangroves along the state’s Gulf Coast.

iStockphoto

A South Florida lawmaker wants patients to be able to donate their healthcare data in the same way they donate their organs. Republican Senator Jeff Brandes of St Petersburg is passionate about innovation, and champions self-driving cars and drone technology. Now he’s turning his sights on electronic health records.

iStockphoto

An effort to expand direct primary care sailed through its first committee meeting Tuesday in the Florida statehouse. The healthcare model allows patients to pay doctors monthly fees in exchange for basic services. Proponents say the system cuts out insurers, and lowers costs and wait times. David McKalip represents the Florida Chapter of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.

The Florida Senate
https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Redistricting/MapStats

A Republican lawmaker is trying to speed up legal challenges against the state’s redistricting process. The measure comes after a marathon of contentious court cases.

Trulieve / http://trulieve.com/

In the upcoming legislative session, lawmakers will debate how to implement the state’s new medical marijuana regulations. 71% of voters approved a measure to allow more patients to access the drug. One of the top fundraisers behind the effort wants to see more competition in the industry.

B. C. Lorio via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/ackniculous/

The Trump administration is driving thousands of Floridians into protest marches and lawmakers’ offices, some for the first time. But will that anger and energy translate into a real impact?

Attorney John Morgan, of Morgan & Morgan law firm, says he's considering a 2018 gubernatorial bid.
John Morgan / https://twitter.com/johnmorganesq

Personal injury attorney John Morgan hasn’t entered the race for governor yet, but he seems to be going for a test drive. The 2018 election may not have officially started, but the speculation certainly has. And one of the state’s best known trial attorneys has his eye on Rick Scott’s office.

Matt gaetz via twitter / https://twitter.com/mattgaetz/media

Florida Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz is reportedly drafting a bill to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency.

azaleas; Maclay Gardens
Kate Payne

Observant local residents may be noticing it’s looking a lot like springtime in Tallahassee. Walking down the red brick path at Maclay Gardens State Park in Northeast Tallahassee, flowers are everywhere. Thirty foot high Japanese magnolias tower above rows of camellias. Soft pink and deep fuchsia petals dust the ground. And then there’s the rows and rows of azaleas...in February.

Florida Governor Rick Scott and President Donald Trump are political allies. But Scott is refusing to say what his position is on the president’s travel ban.

wikipedia / https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oscar_Braynon

Republican leaders hope a strong conservative ideology will be a driving force in the upcoming legislative session. But Democrats say they’re trying to temper the philosophy with reality.

scales of justice
Blogtrepreneur / http://www.blogtrepreneur.com/media-justice/

Once every twenty years, Floridians have the opportunity to propose changes to the state’s most important document. But some are worried political divides could pull the Constitution Revision Commission off course.

tomato
Sean Hickin via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/sean_hickin/

Scientists have unlocked the secret to why so many supermarket tomatoes are tasteless. The findings mean there’s hope for delicious, marketable and affordable tomatoes. The miracles of modern agriculture mean tomatoes are available nearly year round. But ever wonder why those supermarket tomatoes turn out mushy and flavorless? That’s because growers favor bulky tomatoes with high yields and long shelf lives, and flavor got lost along the way.

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

An effort to allow liquor sales in grocery stores cleared its first committee Thursday. Lawmakers are one step closer to tearing down the wall that separates liquor stores from other retailers. For many Florida shops, that’s a literal wall, because of a Prohibition-era law that prevents grocers from selling liquor alongside beer and wine.

Kate Payne

Lawmakers are once again trying to combat Florida’s escalating opioid crisis. Across the country, patients with chronic pain are turning to heroin, or deadly synthetic opioids like fentanyl. A scarcity of prescription drugs, after lawmakers cracked down and pill mills, combined with cheap street drugs, is a proving deadly combination.

subdivision development
Carlton Ward Jr. via National Geographic / http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2015/01/11/2015-expedition-launches-in-everglades-headwaters/

In 2011, Florida made sweeping changes to the laws regulating new development. Now legislators are re-examining how the state is juggling the needs of a growing population. At the time, lawmakers characterized state oversight of development as bad for business, and said rolling back the regulations would boost job creation. Cutting growth management was also a campaign push for then candidate Rick Scott.

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