Capital Report: 03-25-2016

Mar 28, 2016

Four Republicans and a Libertarian, all relatively unknown, are slugging it out to replace first-term Democratic Congresswoman Gwen Graham in newly-redrawn District 2. Graham says she’ll wait on the outcome of a challenge to the map before deciding her future, but the candidates are forging ahead. The North Florida race heats up next week when the Republicans meet in Panama City for their first debate. Jim Ash has this overview.

A recent federal court ruling calls into question how prison populations should be treated when it comes to redistricting.  Nick Evans reports a judge invalidated Jefferson County’s local district boundaries.

Governor Rick Scott has approved a controversial bill restricting state funding to organizations that provide elective abortions. Lynn Hatter reports the measure is similar to a law in Texas pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.

There are plenty of reasons a person might not seek treatment of a sexually transmitted disease or STD—embarrassment, lack of knowledge, lack of access. But Florida health officials say treatment is essential, not only to that person’s health, but to stop the spread of the disease. Regan McCarthy reports a new provision passed by lawmakers could make getting treatment easier.

A national group that supports the Affordable Care Act and wants to expand that support would like to have a presence in Florida.  Tom Flanigan reports the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease is looking for Sunshine State partners.

As Florida’s Human Trafficking Council Continues working to combat modern day slavery, some members say they’re frustrated with how long its taking to implement solutions. Sascha Cordner reports.

In Jacksonville alone, more than 1,200 murders remain unsolved. It’s hard to estimate the number statewide because different agencies keep records differently. This year, state lawmakers approved 50-thousand dollars to create a task force to study all of them and identify best practices for solving old murders---but Governor Rick Scott vetoed it. The proposal was based on Colorado’s cold case task force, created 7-years ago. Lindsey Kilbride of WJCT in Jacksonville looked into how it’s working in that state.  

According to the USDA, Americans spend about 7 percent of their income on food, one of the lowest rates in the world. But as Kate Payne Reports, there are hidden costs behind that cheap food.