Sarah Mueller

Reporter

skmueller@fsu.edu

Sarah Mueller is the first recipient of the WFSU Media Capitol Reporting Fellowship. She’ll be covering the 2017 Florida legislative session and recently earned her master’s degree in Public Affairs Reporting at the University of Illinois Springfield. Sarah was part of the Illinois Statehouse press corps as an intern for NPR Illinois in 2016. When not working, she enjoys playing her yellow lab, watching documentaries and reading memoirs.

Rep. Larry Metz (R-Yalaha)
Florida Channel

Legislation banning so called sanctuary policies has passed the Florida House. But it’s unclear whether the Senate will advance the bill in the final week of session.

Rep. Kionne McGhee in 2015.
Mark Foley via FL House website / Florida House of Representatives

The Florida House passed a measure calling for the state to create a slavery memorial. Bill sponsor Democratic Rep. Kionne McGhee said he’s hopeful Senate will agree to hear it on the floor.

Governor Rick Scott.
The Florida Channel

Governor Rick Scott is defending his decision to remove State Attorney Aramis Ayala from death penalty cases. Attorneys for Scott argue the Florida Supreme Court should dismiss Ayala’s claims that the governor unlawfully moved the cases to another prosecutor.

Lance Cheung

Advocates are hopeful they’ll see legislation implementing tax breaks on solar energy pass the legislature this session. But they’re not happy with different parts of the House and Senate bills.

The Florida House preparing to begin its floor session.
The Florida Channel

Legislation changing local control of Community Redevelopment Agencies is heading to the Florida Senate from the House. But it’s unlikely the Senate will take up the House bill. A similar bill in the Senate died in committee.

Sarah Mueller

The Florida legislature has a new caucus: lawmakers under 41 years old. 

Rep. Jay Trumbull, R-Panama City, has revamped his legislation on the state’s trauma centers. It’s not clear whether the House bill will make it through the Senate because the Senate’s legislation on trauma centers is already dead.

Governor Rick Scott.
The Florida Channel

Florida Governor Rick Scott says Republicans should start chipping away at eliminating the Affordable Care Act. He spoke to Fox News after attending a White House bill signing.

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

More than 40 former judges and prosecutors are supporting State Attorney Aramis Ayala in her lawsuit against Governor Rick Scott. The lawsuit is a de facto political battle over the death penalty.

Florida Supreme Court

The Florida Supreme Court has approved language for a voting restoration ballot initiative. It could give felons back the right to vote after completing their sentences.

The Florida House preparing to begin its floor session.
The Florida Channel

Legislation making it easier for Floridians to get their guns back from law enforcement is heading to the House floor. The measure also stops law enforcement from taking a gun during a domestic violence call if there’s no arrest.

Bondi
Florida Attorney General

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has about a month to prove to a Tallahassee judge she didn’t improperly order businesses to pay millions to unregistered charities. Bondi denies any wrongdoing.

Sen. Joe Negron (R-Stuart) speaks to members of the Florida Board of Governors Tuesday, 6/21/16
Florida Channel

Florida Senate President Joe Negron said he appreciates Governor Rick Scott’s support for water storage south of Lake Okeechobee. But he’s concerned about Scott’s request to include $200 million to fix the Herbert Hoover dike. Negron said he doesn’t trust the federal government to reimburse the state for repairs to the federally-operated levee.

The Florida House preparing to begin its floor session.
The Florida Channel

Legislation making it easier to set up new trauma centers is moving in the Florida House. The measure removing a statewide cap passed its final committee.

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

The Florida Supreme Court is allowing the House to support Gov. Rick Scott in the lawsuit brought by Orlando prosecutor Aramis Ayala. Ayala has filed both a federal and state lawsuit against Scott.

Sen. Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater)
The Florida Channel

Florida Sen. Jack Latvala says he’s not ready to give up politics after he’s term limited in the Senate next year. But he won’t say what he’s eyeing next. Latvala spoke at the Tiger Bay Club in Tallahassee.

The Florida House Chamber
Steven Martin via Flikr / WFSU News

Florida gets a lot of federal funding for refugees, including people entering the state from Cuba and Haiti. But that money could go away if legislation passes pulling the state out of the federal refugee resettlement program.

Sarah Mueller

The Constitutional Revision Committee is taking public comments as it prepares to pitch changes to Florida’s Constitution. Members are hearing a lot from Floridians about access to abortion services and restoring voting rights to felons who have served their time.

Florida Sheriffs Association

While a raft of immigration legislation is moving through the Florida House, similar proposals in the Senate appear to be on the back burner.

Sarah Mueller

The Florida House will vote this week to establish what members call “schools of hope.” Democratic lawmakers say Republicans want to spend more than a billion dollars over several years on charter schools while starving public schools of funding. But Republican lawmakers and charter advocates argue public schools are failing to educate students.

House Speaker Richard Corcoran.
Florida House of Representatives / Florida House of Representatives

Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran is praising the state’s Supreme Court after it formally barred retired judges from weighing in on cases after new justices are appointed.

Sarah Mueller

Legislators and community college presidents are pleading with leaders in the Florida House and Senate to spare community colleges from budget cuts. The House and Senate have very different budget proposals. But college presidents said they don’t like either one.

Florida Sheriffs Association

Florida sheriffs are slamming President Donald Trump’s administration for saying they are refusing to detain undocumented people. They said they are cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. But they can’t detain someone against their civil rights.

Orlando police, investigators brief reporters on early morning shooting at the Pulse nightclub.
Catherine Welch / WMFE News

Panama City State Representative Jay Trumball’s legislation makes it easier to set up more trauma centers in the state. But hospitals say it will destroy the quality of care patients get. Doctors took to the Capitol Tuesday to oppose the measure.

Sarah Mueller

Gov. Rick Scott met Monday with members of the Safety Net Alliance of Florida to discuss hospital funding. Hospitals have said doctors will leave the state and the poor may not get care if proposed budget cuts become permanent.

Pages