Lynn Hatter

News Director

Lynn Hatter is a  Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has been a member of the WFSU news team since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative.  When she’s not working, Lynn spends her time watching sci-fi and action movies, writing her own books, going on long walks through the woods, traveling and exploring antique stores. Follow Lynn Hatter on Twitter: @HatterLynn.

From the left Appropriations Chairs Rep. Richard Corcoran, R-Lutz, and Sen. Tom Lee, R-Brandon, begin the compromise process as full conference committee met June 11, 2015, while finalizing key portions of the state's budget within Criminal and Civil Just
Mark Foley / Florida House of Representatives

Florida lawmakers have a budget. But that’s come at the cost of a process that has in recent years, been a lot more transparent than it is now. Lawmakers have struck deals largely in secret, seemingly backtracking on House Speaker Richard Corcoran’s promise that this would be the most transparent process in legislative history.

George Sheldon
illinois.gov

A former Department of Children and Families official and state attorney general candidate could be heading back to Florida. George Sheldon has reportedly been offered a job at a troubled Miami-based organization.

Angela Epps, FAMU College of Law
famu.edu

Florida A&M University has demoted yet another dean: the head of the FAMU College of Law. The removal of Angela Epps marks the fourth demotion FAMU leaders have made in a week.

Lake Okeechobee and South Florida viewed from space.
public domain

The Florida House has signed off on Senate President Joe Negron’s top priority: a water reservoir South of Lake Okeechobee. After a quick stop and approval by the Senate, the measure is heading to Governor Rick Scott’s desk.

Florida A&M University

Florida A&M University has removed three of its college deans. The move is part of an administrative shakeup touching the School of Journalism, College of Pharmacy and College of Education.

Florida Capitol
Nick Evans / WFSU News

State employees are in line for pay raises for the first time in years. But the potential trade-offs for those pay bumps is raising concerns.

U.S. Department of Education Via Flikr / WFSU News

Florida lawmakers appear to be moving forward with a House priority bill boosting funding to charter schools that set up near chronically failing public schools. The measure, dubbed schools of hope, is a priority of House Speaker Richard Corcoran but its final form is still being debated.

Florida State University President John Thrasher
Florida State University / FSU

Florida State University President John Thrasher says he’s feeling optimistic the state's two legislative chambers can reach a budget deal favorable to universities. That’s because lawmakers are choosing to go with the Senate’s proposal to invest more money into higher education, rather than the House’s plan for cuts.

Florida Power and Light

A proposal allowing Florida Power and Light to charge customers for exploratory natural gas drilling has cleared a key senate hurdle, despite numerous consumer concerns. The company calls the move a hedge against future fuel increases.

It appears talks regarding Florida’s budget have re-started with the House budget chief saying talks could begin as early as tonight. Earlier in the day the House’s budget committee voted to re-authorizing the current year’s spending plan with a few changes, after lawmakers appeared to be at a stand-still.

Former FSU WR Travis Rudolph's father died after being accidentally shot while working on repairs in a West Palm Beach Club. The gun was discharged by a co-worker while it was being removed from a shelf in an adjacent room.
Jeff Romance / Florida State University/seminoles.com

The father of former Florida State University Wide Receiver Travis Rudolph has died after being shot by an accidentally discharged gun while working on repairs at a West Palm Beach club.

The reductions under the second part of the House budget exercise.
Florida House Appropriations Committee / Florida House of Representatives

There’s no such thing as a continuation budget says Senate President Joe Negron. Talks stalled over the weekend between the two chambers after the House floated the idea of a continuation budget.

Gov. Rick Scott, Senate President Joe Negron, House Speaker Richard Corcoran
State of Florida, Florida Senate, Florida House of Representatives

Can Florida Lawmakers leave Tallahassee on time? The mood in the state capital has gone from one of pessimism, to cautious optimism that leaders can strike key deals in time.

Florida lawmakers are preparing to wrap several education policy issues into a single deal—what’s often called a “train” bill in legislative parlance. The massive proposal represents an emerging compromise on everything from school testing to recess.

Frank Artiles (R-Miami) introducing his bill.
The Florida Channel

Sen. Frank Artiles, R-Miami,  has issued a formal apology for racist and sexist comments made in the presence of two black lawmakers. He has also been stripped of his Senate committee chairmanship, but says he's not stepping down.

Healthcarelist.com

Florida is getting a big budget break in the form of $1.5 billion in supplemental healthcare payments from the federal government. And hospitals are breathing a sigh of relief.

Sen. Aaron Bean (R-Jacksonville) talks Medicaid expansion plans
LHatter / WFSU News

Florida State University is distancing itself from a controversial appropriation for a program backed by a state Senator. In a letter to House Speaker Richard Corcoran, FSU President John Thrasher says the university did not request money for a program called, “Florida Psychological Associates.”

The House and Senate are between $2 billion to $4 billion apart on their spending proposals for the upcoming fiscal year, depending on how you count. Debate over the bills began Wednesday in both chambers.

Healthcarelist.com

Florida is getting a big budget break in the form of one-and-a-half billion dollars in supplemental healthcare payments from the federal government. It amounts to a full restoration of the so-called Low-Income pool.

flickr.com/Creative Commons / taxcredits.net

The Florida House has unveiled plans to overhaul the state’s Medicaid program. The proposal includes new premiums and work requirements. But longtime observers say the program is stingy as-is, and they’re questioning whether the House plan is even feasible.

Nursing Homes and Hospice centers scored a key victory Thursday. A House Health Committee has approved a bill that would remove regulations on where certain healthcare facilities, excluding nursing and hospice, can be built.

 The Army Corp of Engineers releases water from Lake Okeechobee into the Caloosahatchee River because of heavy rains.
Credit Dale/flickr / Flickr

House Speaker Richard Corcoran says changes to the Senate’s plan to buy land south of Lake Okeechobee make the proposal better, but he’s refusing to cave on one big issue: whether to borrow money to finance the system.

peoriapublicradio.org

Tallahassee's higher education establishment is warily eyeing university and community college plans in the House and Senate. Florida A&M University and Tallahassee Community college leaders are looking to opposite legislative chambers for support.

Chris King / Elevation Financial Group

Florida’s democratic gubernatorial primary now has two contestants. Orlando area businessman Chris King says he wants to be governor. King released his first campaign video Tuesday.

Martha T. / flickr.com

After a rough start, a Florida Senate education panel has managed to move a major testing bill forward. The proposal is a mix of two separate testing bills.

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