Capital Report: 10-18-2013

Oct 18, 2013

The great Federal Government Shutdown of 2013 is now history.  Some state governments jumped in to help cover some of the gaps as federal resources dried up.  In Florida, though, Governor Rick Scott directed the state’s agency heads not to use state money to keep federally-funded programs going as the federal shutdown persisted.  That despite the state’s expected budget surplus in the coming year. As Regan McCarthy reports, that leaves some questioning whether the governor’s actions are politically motivated.

Floridians should know next month what changes the state plans to make – if any – to how it implements Common Core. The last of a series of public hearings on the new learning standards concluded this week (last week), leaving more questions than answers. And as Lynn Hatter reports, education officials are pretty vague on what happens next.

Fewer Floridians died from drug overdose last year than the year before—and the number dying from the prescription painkiller Oxycodone dropped by 41 percent. But as Jessica Palombo reports, at the same time, heroin overdose deaths nearly doubled—and people who work with drug addicts say they’re not at all surprised by the trend.

A House committee that’ll consider bills relating to Florida’s Stand Your Ground law has decided when it’ll discuss a bill that would repeal the controversial statute. As Sascha Cordner reports, the scheduling was announced the same week as a Tallahassee forum where critics sought to discredit Stand Your Ground.

There’s no question the State of Florida is a big employer.  It has close to a hundred-thousand workers spread out over thirty-five separate agencies.  All of those employees depend on paychecks generated by the same accounting system the state had in place back with Jimmy Carter was president.  As Ryan Benk reports, watchdog groups, lawmakers and former agency heads are raising alarms about the system’s limitations and the possibility the whole thing could crash catastrophically.