Capital Report: 09-27-2013

Sep 27, 2013

Governor Rick Scott’s executive order distancing Florida from a set of nationally-adopted education standards has experts scrambling to figure out what it all means. As Lynn Hatter reports, while some are praising Scott for finally taking a stand on Common Core, others say his executive order amounts to politics, not policy.

The fallout from a Florida newspaper’s investigation into the state’s Sexually Violent Predator Program rolled on this week.  Lawmakers in both legislative chambers debated possible fixes to a system some say lets too many dangerous offenders slip through the cracks.  As Ryan Benk reports, lawmakers are looking to whittle down a long list of proposals to a few essential reforms.

A few months after Governor Rick Scott signed into law stricter ethics regulations for lawmakers and officials, the legislative committees that drafted those reforms have begun outlining new priorities for this year’s session.  For one, Jessica Palombo reports, the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee is looking into whether the Legislature should have more oversight of local boards that collect property taxes.

Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, sentencing reforms, and re-entry programs for inmates are just a few areas on the agenda for the Legislature’s criminal justice committees during the upcoming Legislative session. Sascha Cordner reports on the priorities expressed during this week’s (last week’s) committee hearings.

Unity--that’s the picture House Democrats are trying to paint following a leadership shake up this (last) week. And Regan McCarthy reports while experts say while the party isn’t there quite yet, they think it’s likely the lure of winning the 2014 gubernatorial election will help the members get on the same page soon.