Sascha Cordner

All Things Considered Host/Reporter

Sascha Cordner worked at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both TV and radio, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications.  She has received several  Florida Associated Press Broadcasters Awards with one of her award-winning stories titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink."  Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU.  Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.

A bill that would have required state employees to submit to a random drug test narrowly escaped death, at least for now. As Sascha Cordner reports, the bill initially failed to pass in a House budget panel due to worries over its constitutionality, but was later revived by that same panel Wednesday.

Currently, the state is embroiled in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union. The group is challenging an executive order issued by Governor Rick Scott last year, calling for the mandatory drug testing of some state employees.

Chris O'Meara / The Associated Press

Senate President Mike Haridopolos has been one of the biggest proponents in the prison privatization debate. Sascha Cordner takes a look as to why the Merritt Island Republican felt so strongly about privatizing the state correctional facilities in South Florida as well as his tactics to accomplish that.

Senate President Mike Haridopolos says he’s always gone about using his position in the right way.

A move to stop a prison privatization plan from moving forward failed to pass out of the Senate Tuesday. As Sascha Cordner, this comes ahead of Tuesday’s vote on the massive effort where both opponents and proponents have been making a last ditch effort to plead their case.

Ahead of Tuesday’s vote, both sides have been roaming the Florida Capitol trying to garner support for either side. Among them are the correctional officers who will be the most affected by privatizing the 27 correctional facilities in South Florida.

There are a couple of new twists in the ongoing batter over prison privatization. As Sascha Cordner reports, opposing sides are using religion and slavery as the basis for their argument.

Supporters of an effort to privatize about 30 South Florida prisons usually argue that private companies will do the same job as a state-run prison and will save the state millions of dollars. Meanwhile, opponents say there is no set cost-savings, private companies select inmates that don’t cost as much, and it will cost thousands of correctional officers their jobs.

A bill that would shift public-health responsibilities from the Florida Department of Health to the state’s 67 counties is moving through the Florida House. But, as Sascha Cordner reports, opponents believe the public’s health should stay right where it is.

Republican Representative Matt Hudson, the bill’s sponsor, says right now, the county health departments have two bosses, the state’s surgeon general and the county commissioners. He says the locals are better equipped to address the needs of their community:

Sascha Cordner

Several Democratic lawmakers gathered at the Capitol Wednesday to garner support for a bill that would grant in-state tuition to undocumented students if they meet certain conditions. Sascha Cordner has more.

As the prison privatization debate continues, among the proponents are jail chaplains. As Sascha Cordner reports, they say the legislation will provide an opportunity to expand the success of faith-and-character-based programs.

Faith-based and business leaders say privatizing about 30 South Florida prisons is the best way to accomplish what they call long-overdue reform. Claudio Perez is the President and CEO of South Florida Jail Ministries. He says the state is not doing enough for the faith-based programs, and a private company can do it better.

Two bills aiming to end staged accidents and personal injury protection abuse are moving through both chambers of the Florida Legislature. As Sascha Cordner reports, the state’s insurance commissioner says he likes different parts of the House and Senate PIP proposals, and envisions a marriage of both.

Florida’s Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty says there are elements of both House Bill 119 and Senate Bill 1860 that will bring comprehensive personal injury protection, or PIP reform.

Opponents of a bill to change Florida’s standard for evaluating expert witness testimony are doing everything they can to stop the legislation from moving forward in the Florida House. As Sascha Cordner reports, just after the bill was about to pass out of a House panel Wednesday, one lawmaker managed to halt the measure.

A Senate Budget committee that oversees the spending for the courts and prisons rolled out an initial budget  making $140 million  in cuts. But as Sascha Cordner reports, it was not the cuts that were a matter of concern to the panel... it was actually the added funding to the Department of Juvenile Justice.

About two months ago, Governor Rick Scott’s budget recommendations for the prisons and the courts called for $160 million  in cuts.

Republican Senator Ellyn Bogdanoff revealed Tuesday that the Senate’s budget proposal is a bit less at $140 million  in spending cuts.

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