Capital Report: 01-23-2015

Jan 23, 2015

Governor Rick Scott is facing more calls for an investigation into the firing of former Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey. Lynn Hatter reports the Governor’s administration has released its version of the events leading up to Bailey’s departure.

Florida lawmakers have rounded out their second week of committee meetings, which is their way of jump starting the legislative session.  As Jim Ash reports, the session agenda will be dominated by Governor Rick Scott’s call for a sweeping telecommunications tax cut.  It will also include business priorities, the environment and growlers…the latter being a fight between beer distributors and the craft brewing industry.

In the coming weeks, lawmakers are expected to vote on a bill mandating law enforcers across Florida wear body cameras while on patrol. But, as Sascha Cordner reports, the measure’s sponsor says it will now look different, after recent concerns were raised during a workshop in the House earlier this week.

Lawmakers are looking to the hospitality industry for help reaching the state’s new goal of making Florida the most veteran friendly state. Regan McCarthy reports a bill would require hotels to bend rules for military members who otherwise wouldn’t be old enough to book a room.

Some say time heals all wounds.  But this week saw the 42nd anniversary of the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade.  And as Nick Evans reports, all these years later, the ideological canyon separating opponents in the fight over abortion seems just as impossible to bridge.  

The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill’s impact continues along America’s Gulf Coast.  Cleanup efforts have hinged largely on a settlement from Transocean, which actually operated the rig that exploded.  In parts of Florida’s Panhandle, oil still washes ashore.  B-P is now back in court as a judge tries to figure how much the company will have to pay in penalties.  And as Matthew Seeger reports, some Florida counties continue their restoration projects.