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.

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.

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) says it's time for Florida to have an independent redistricting commission.
Nick Evans

Legislation by Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida, is moving from the Senate to the U.S.House. It requires backup jets to be available to gather hurricane atmospheric information.

House Appropriations Chair Carlos Trujillo (R-Miami).
Florida Channel

Florida House lawmakers submitted more than 12-hundred individual project bills asking for $2.5 billion. But just 516 projects have made it through committee.

Sarah Mueller

Death penalty opponents rallied at Florida’s Capitol in support of Orlando State Attorney Aramis Ayala. Republican lawmakers are considering cutting her office’s budget due to her refusal to seek the death penalty in capital cases. But Ayala said a budget cut would hurt her office’s ability to prosecute crimes.

Sarah Mueller

Florida’s universities say they need more money to hire additional mental health counselors and law enforcement officers. University officials said they’re seeing a dramatic rise in students needing help coping with anxiety, depression and academic stress.

The Florida House and Senate are planning big cuts to Florida hospitals and those groups say it will hurt medical care access for the poor and disabled.

Clyde Robinson via Flickr

Florida currently requires auto drivers to carry personal injury protection of at least $10,000 in medical benefits. But critics say that isn’t enough to cover health care costs when there’s an accident. Lawmakers are considering changing up the insurance coverage drivers must have.

Mayor Andrew Gillum
Nick Evans

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum says Gov. Rick Scott should be careful asking the federal government for Medicaid block grants. The gubernatorial candidate said the city helps support local hospitals and Leon County helps fund local public health services.

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