Capital Report: 04-20-2012

Apr 20, 2012

Governor Rick Scott used the backdrop of a St. Johns County elementary school to sign the 2012-2013 state budget. As Kevin Meerschaert from member station WJCT in Jacksonville reports, Scott vetoed far fewer projects than he did last year.

 

Included in the state’s new budget is extra money for education. That marks a shift for Governor Rick Scott after last year’s $1.3 billion dollar budget cut. Scott made education funding his legislative priority, but as Lynn Hatter reports, public school advocates and officials say the boost doesn’t go far enough.

 

A labor union and several lawmakers are working together to delay a budgetary move by the Department of Children and Families. As Sascha Cordner reports, the agency is trying to privatize custodial and maintenance services at a couple of hospitals that could cost hundreds of state employees their jobs.

 

The man who shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin will be released from jail. A Seminole County judge granted George Zimmerman bail in the amount of $150,000 today, after the Sanford man spent more than a week behind bars. From member station WMFE in Orlando, Nicole Creston reports the bond hearing brought new information and another strange twist to the case.

 

The Florida Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments on the Senate’s new voting district maps. The court ruled the first maps constitutionally invalid, now Regan McCarthy reports the justices are reviewing the senate’s second try.

 

Internet cafes with electronic sweepstakes machines-- and how to regulate them-- was a hotly debated issue in the Florida legislature this year, but both an outright ban and regulations of the machines failed to pass. Jessica Palombo of member station W-J-C-T in Jacksonville reports that, in absence of a state law, a recent judge's ruling gives cities and counties the unchecked power to regulate electronic sweepstakes machines.

 

Today is (Friday was) the second anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. That also falls (fell) two days before Earth Day. Those events come at the same time the debate over the future of oil is ramping up. Tom Flanigan talked with people on both sides of the issue and filed this report….