Capital Report: 03-28-2014

Mar 28, 2014

A bill significantly expanding Florida’s school voucher program is headed for the House floor, even though a similar proposal was withdrawn from the Senate, leading many to believe the issue was dead for this session. As Jessica Palombo reports, a Friday committee hearing revived a familiar -- and heated -- debate on education and religion. 

A couple of abortion-related measures are moving in the Florida Legislature, while others appear stalled. Sascha Cordner reports there was much impassioned testimony before lawmakers.

The Florida House and Senate are 400-million dollars apart in their state spending plan proposals for the upcoming fiscal year. That’s a lot closer than the chambers have been in recent years, thanks to an influx of cash from a recovering economy. Lynn Hatter takes a look at two areas where the chambers differ: water projects and school construction.

Domestic violence sufferers could soon have wider leeway to use statements made against their accusers during court proceedings.  As Stan Jastrzebski reports, under a pair of bills moving through the Legislature, the concept of hearsay could be amended to encourage more victims to name their abusers and bring them to trial.

Both chambers of the Florida Legislature are pushing reforms when it comes to state regulation of the environment.  But there’s anything but a consensus when it comes to what constitutes a “reform”.  Some call the proposals an affront to local sovereignty, while others call the moves common sense.  But as Ryan Benk reports, increasing differences between the Senate and House are leading some to wonder if any reform will happen this session.

Some Florida legislators believe the state’s laws need a reboot to catch up with advances in technology. Regan McCarthy reports part of that update includes a newer version of Florida’s anti-hacking laws.