Capital Report: 08-17-2018

Aug 17, 2018

Florida is 21 billion dollars in debt.  And State leaders were actually happy to hear that number at the most recent Florida Cabinet meeting. The money is being used to finance initiatives like transportation and environmental projects. Gina Jordan reports the debt has fallen in recent years, bolstered in part by low interest rates and the economy.

Florida’s top leadership offices are up for grabs this year and one of the largest jobs is overseeing the state’s multi-billion dollar agriculture and consumer services industries. There are seven candidates vying to succeed Adam Putnam as Agriculture Commissioner. Five of them recently appeared before several South Florida editorial boards to make their cases to voters. Lynn Hatter reports.

A lawsuit in Florida’s Supreme Court filed by a former justice seeks to get most of the Constitution Revision Commission’s proposed amendments off the ballot before November. Harry Lee Anstead retired as chief justice in 2009. Anstead takes issues with six amendments and their combining proposed changes. Martha Barnett is an attorney who served on the last CRC in 1998. She served on its Style and Drafting Committee, which determines how amendments are combined and presented on the ballot. Barnett recently spoke with Florida Public Radio’s Ryan Dailey about her experience on the Commission, and gave her take on the most recent amendments.

Last week, Florida’s Stand Your Ground law took center stage as people rallied, protested, and marched over the killing of a black unarmed man during a dispute over a handicapped parking space.  The shooter, a white man, was never arrested. That is, until earlier this week, when the Pinellas County State Attorney decided to file charges.  Last week, Sascha Cordner spoke to the main author of Stand Your Ground, who weighed in on the case and the law BEFORE the charges were filed. But, she starts off first with what led up to this point:

After a “soft opening” in June, a coalition to promote oil and gas drilling off of Florida’s coasts has shifted its campaign into high gear.  But, as Tom Flanigan reports, the group’s ultimate target may lie beyond the Sunshine State.