Tom Flanigan

Program Director for News

Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, with a focus on covering local news personalities, issues and organizations.  He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and  covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas and his home state of Maryland.  In between, he spent a number of years in corporate communications for a few private firms, time that he calls “invaluable” for giving him a greatly expanded media perspective.  During the relatively rare times he’s not racing to cover various community events and activities, Tom enjoys reading and playing guitar (He was a professional drummer in a previous life and is trying to expand his musical horizons). Follow Tom Flanigan on Twitter: @flanigan_tom.

The second official day of Florida’s 2012 Legislative Session was a flurry of activity at the State Capitol.  Tom Flanigan reports lawmakers jumped right into issues, both heavy and not-so-heavy.

In his State of the State message on the session’s opening day, Governor Rick Scott told lawmakers he wanted something done about auto insurance fraud and what that’s costing policyholders.

“These costs are being driven up each and every day all around the state by scams that are ultimately paid for by Florida’s working families.”

Governor Rick Scott delivered his State-of-the-State address Tuesday as part of the Legislature's opening day festivities. There are many crucial issues facing lawmakers this year. But Tom Flanigan reports the governor focused on just a few of them.

Last year, the newly-elected Scott gave a somewhat stiff and formal State-of-the-State speech. Not so this year, as a more visibly relaxed governor went off-script to joke around at the beginning of his talk.

Governor Rick Scott had a very short wish list for Florida lawmakers Tuesday.  Tom Flanigan reports the governor did have two top priorities he wants to see addressed above everything else.

The top priority is more money for public schools.  In his State of the State address, Scott insisted the legislature up public school funding by just over a billion dollars.  The governor’s other priority is putting an end to personal injury protection or “PIP” fraud.  He says that’s costing auto insurance policy holders an extra nine-hundred million dollars.

For the third year, a young Florida woman will be hiking across the state to call attention to the crime of childhood sexual abuse. Tom Flanigan reports the effort is also focused on trying to close some loopholes in existing state law.

Lauren Book says present Florida law would not have allowed the Penn State abuse case to be reported.

"If the person who was offending against the child was not a direct caregiver, that report will not be taken."

So Lake Mary Republican Representative Chris Dorworth has filed a bill to fix that.

Florida’s 2012 Legislative Session is just days away.  Tom Flanigan reports that this year’s gathering of lawmakers will be unique in several ways.

The first, most obvious difference is the timeframe for the session.  Instead of early March, the starting date for this session is early January.  The reason is the once-every-ten year necessity for legislative redistricting, based on the outcome of the latest U-S Census.

Tallahassee, FL – The entire Medicaid issue is still a "moving target" in Florida. Tom Flanigan reports the state's plan to move Medicaid patients into managed care could have a big impact, not only on the patients, but also the very industries that will have to work together closely under the proposal.

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