Capital Report: 04-06-2018

Apr 6, 2018

Days after Attorney General Pam Bondi filed an appeal of District Judge Mark Walker’s ruling the Clemency Board must overhaul Florida’s voting rights restoration process for felons, Bondi and Gov. Rick Scott are unflinching in defense of their position. Ryan Dailey has more.    

Governor Rick Scott signed off on an $88.7 billion budget plan for the upcoming fiscal year quicker than many expected. But, that hasn’t prevented the nonprofit organization TaxWatch from releasing their annual Budget Turkey Watch Report. The group says it sees some troubling trends. Andrew Quintana reports.

The latest report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation shows Florida’s progress in several key indicators is starting to stall when it comes to improving the lives of children. While Florida has made progress in areas like educational outcomes it continues to rank near the bottom of states on other points. Now as Lynn Hatter reports, a leading children’s advocacy organization is calling for changes

Despite a two-hour public hearing held earlier this week to limit visitation hours, the Florida Department of Corrections intends to keep normal visitation hours this weekend at all its correctional facilities. The rule change—originally scheduled to take effect Saturday—would have limited visitation to correctional facilities to essentially two per month for a minimum of two hours. And, that may have depended on the inmate’s number within the prison system. Today, you can visit every Saturday and Sunday from 9 to 3.

About a 100 people trekked to Tallahassee for the two-hour hearing to voice their opposition to the proposed rule change. They included Forgotten Majority’s Judy Thompson who spoke with Florida Public Radio’s Sascha Cordner.

That was Forgotten Majority’s Judy Thompson speaking with Florida Public Radio’s Sascha Cordner about Tuesday’s public hearing on considering changes to prison visitation hours.

And, should the prison agency go ahead with implementing the proposed rule, Thompson says there may be a boycott or a lawsuit filed, at some point. Florida Department of Corrections Spokeswoman Michelle Glady says if there is a rule change, corrections officials intend to re-evaluate it again in three months.

A proposed amendment to the Florida constitution would ban greyhound racing in the state. The measure is moving through the Constitution Revision Commission Process. But Regan McCarthy reports it faces another roadblock before it can head to the ballot.

Forty-years ago this month, the building that had been the seat of Florida government since 1845 nearly met its doom.  But, as Tom Flanigan reports, a grassroots effort saved the historic structure, which today attracts many thousands of visitors each year.