Capital Report: 02-29-2012

Feb 29, 2012

Florida lawmakers are keeping one eye on the bottom line and another on the clock. Joint subcommittees are working on budgets for their area of expertise. Their spending plans will be folded into an overall state budget. James Call reports the subcommittees have until Friday to finish their work. That’s when the House and Senate budget chiefs plan to step in and take control of the negotiations. 

Florida’s Supreme Court heard oral arguments for the state’s new voting district plans today (Wednesday) . Regan McCarthy reports the justices grilled supporters and opponents of the maps giving no clear indication of how they might rule. 

A coalition of groups is launching a last minute effort to defeat bills they say will hurt Florida’s early learning programs. Lynn Hatter reports the group is calling on the legislature to either defeat or change several proposals that change the way the state runs its Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten and School Readiness programs.

The Florida House passed close to 70 bills Wednesday, ranging from a bill that allows the eviction of tenants on holidays to one that would essentially eliminate a wage-theft protection program in Miami-Dade. But, as Sascha Cordner reports, while some legislation passed with little debate, other measures did not have both parties seeing eye-to-eye.

Despite protests, wild bison are being rounded up and removed from Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park in Alachua County. Jessica Palombo from member station WJCT reports that opponents to the bison roundup are skeptical about where the bison will end up once they leave the park.