Capital Report: 01-20-2017

Jan 20, 2017

President Donald Trump’s pick to head the Department of Education is a conservative fundraiser and vocal critic of traditional public schools. While Betsy DeVos’ nomination could mean drastic change for some states, Kate Payne reports she has already made her mark on Florida’s education system.

The Florida Department of Health and a Republican state senator are offering drastically different visions for the future of medical cannabis in the state.  Nick Evans reports it could set the stage for a contentious rollout of last year’s amendment two.

Gambling is shaping up to be a major issue this legislative session. A bill filed in the Senate touches nearly every aspect of the industry from fantasy sports to greyhound racing. And each of those issues carries its own set of implications. For some it’s about finding more money to fund state projects, for others it’s about entertainment or spending time with friends and as Regan McCarthy reports for those living in the city of Gretna it’s about jobs and a path toward stability.

Women have gained more financial power in recent years.  But they’re still paid less than men.  And as technology makes it easier to comparison shop, women in Florida and across the country are realizing they’re paying more at the checkout counter.  As Sarah Mueller reports, it’s known as the “pink tax”.

A changing of the guard in Washington, DC overshadowed another sign of the times in Florida…the announcement that Manatee County-based Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus will end performances in May.  As Jim Ash reports, animal rights activists are elated as the 146-year old entertainment icon based in Manatee County falls victim to changing tastes and market conditions.

From March 5 to May 7, Florida lawmakers will debate proposals on a host of issues like college affordability and healthcare access during the annual legislative session. But who are the lawmakers making the decisions to shape Florida’s future? More specifically, are millennials, or people the Census Bureau defines as born between 1982 and 2000, proportionally represented in the Florida legislature?

The data suggests: Not really. Joseph Zeballos-Roig  (Zeh-bah-yos, Roy-hekh)  has the story.

When you think of gopher tortoise conservation efforts, what’s the first place that comes to mind? What about a military base? As Sascha Cordner reports, Eglin Air Force Base is partnering with national and state wildlife officials on a massive effort to help relocate hundreds of the threatened species.