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.

Scott headshot
Governor Scott's Office

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has been talking up the Republican Congress’ plans for the Affordable Care Act or ObamaCare. But while he’s in Washington D.C. meeting with President Donald Trump’s administration, his public comments are being criticized at home.

Rep. Randy Fine (R-Brevard Co.) reading his letter to Governor Rick Scott.
Nick Evans

Republican state lawmakers want a say over local business regulations across the state. Legislation

preempting local power is moving through the legislature.

An endangered species of Magnolia is the Garden Club of America’s 2017 plant of the year. Researchers at the University of Florida are studying why it’s become rare.

Kaiser Family Foundation / kff.org

Top Florida Republican lawmakers are heading to Washington D.C. soon to discuss potential healthcare changes with their Congressional counterparts. They want President Donald Trump’s administration to blockgrant Medicaid funding. But some Floridians worry the sick and the poor will lose their health insurance.

Tallahassee Democrat

At least 157,000 kids in Florida could lose food stamps under legislation moving in a Florida House committee Thursday.

Legislation by Frank White, R-Pensacola, sends Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program eligibility requirements back to pre-recession levels.

Volunteer Florida is giving money to rural communities in the state. The agency hopes to improve education for youth in early education through high school.

Congressman Matt Gaetz, R-FL, said he wants to turn full control of the Medicaid health insurance over to Florida and the other states. It’s part of Congress’ ongoing debate about repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. But Gaetz offered few details.

Lauren Book's ad screenshot

Florida parents could see cheaper diapers through legislation being considered by lawmakers. The measure by Sen. Lauren Book, D-Plantation, exempts diapers and incontinence products from sales tax.

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson spoke to Florida A&M University students Monday about his experience in space. He also promoted taking STEM subjects. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

Sarah Mueller

As part of assembling Florida’s budget for the next year, legislators are pushing local pet projects. But there’s a new vetting process for House lawmakers this year intended to add more transparency.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has arrested a dozen men in connection with an undercover child sex sting.

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

The Florida House is moving forward with a plan to pull out of the refugee resettlement program.

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

Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran recently told a Miami television show there’s a “tremendous potential likelihood” some refugees from the Middle East living in Florida are terrorists.

Rep. Ramon Alexander (D-Tallahassee).
Ramon Alexander website

Big Bend lawmakers are asking for more than $100 million for local and regional projects. They include everything from university plans to area infrastructure projects.

Sarah Mueller

Insurance companies in Florida and home contractors expect to battle over changes to assignment of benefits laws again this session. The rise of lawsuits where contractors are suing insurance companies to get paid and cover attorney fees has both sides arguing they are the only ones who are protecting the homeowner’s interests.

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

Florida could see the position of Secretary of State turn from an appointed position to an elected one. A Fernandina Beach lawmaker filed legislation filed this session to do just that.

Florida Capitol
Nick Evans / WFSU News

A Florida Republican lawmaker wants to create more incentives for people who get welfare to look for work. The legislation passed a House committee Thursday.

Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier said insurance companies shouldn’t have to pay attorney fees when contractors sue them over property damage claims. He warned lawmakers this week that if the state doesn’t change its insurance rules, insurance companies will leave the market or raise rates.

The Florida Department of Health is seeking public input this week on a rule for medical cannabis. It’s holding workshops around the state.

United Nations Relief and Works Agency
(UNRWA via AP, File)

Syrian refugees and others are rushing to enter the U.S. while a judge is temporarily blocking President Donald Trump’s travel ban. But the uncertainty over whether the suspension will last is causing turmoil for people in Florida.

Florida State Sen. Bill Montford, R-Tallahasee, wants to encourage college students to make a career in education. He's proposing creating a scholarship to help pay for teacher certification.

Sarah Mueller

Fear has only grown in the week since President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning entry into the U.S. for refugees and travelers from certain Muslim-majority countries. Despite the temporary stay by a federal judge in Seattle, Washington, other refugees and legal residents said they're worried they will be the next to lose their chance at the American Dream.

Lauren Book's ad screenshot

A new measure by a Florida senator could make it easier for pregnant and nursing mothers to shop.

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.

Sen. Joe Negron speaks to reporters about HB 819. He's urging Gov. Rick Scott not to veto the bill.
LHatter / WFSU News

Florida senate president Joe Negron said he’s not concerned Governor Rick Scott’s budget doesn’t include money for his proposed $2.4 billion reservoir in South Florida.

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