Capital Report: 11-01-2013

Nov 1, 2013

For many uninsured Floridians, the federal government’s online marketplace offers an opportunity to obtain health insurance—the cost of which will be heavily subsidized. But glitches in the site have made signing up a challenge, and an increasing number of people are turning to local resources for help. But as Lynn Hatter reports, in North Florida, that help is proving hard to find.

Florida’s hungry are about to get hungrier. This month, those who depend on food stamps got a little less to spend and members of Congress are discussing a plan that could cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, even further. Meanwhile, as Regan McCarthy reports, charities and food pantries say they’re already stretched to the max and can’t fill the gap SNAP is leaving.

Customers of privately owned water companies could see their rates drop, if one state senator gets his bill passed in the 2014 legislative session. As Jessica Palombo reports, Wilton Simpson wants to make it illegal for privately-owned water utilities to charge a higher rate than government-owned utilities in the same county.

For two-decades, commercial fishermen and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission have battled over rules regulating fishing nets.  The anglers say small mesh nets decimate fish populations, while F-W-C officials claim it’s the larger mesh that does the real harm.  But, as Ryan Benk reports, one marine scientist says both sides are guilty of telling fish stories.

For the fourth time, a state senator will try to enact uniform safety standards for Florida’s parasailing industry. As Sascha Cordner reports, a provision in the bill that states that all parasail operators must have insurance has some saying that’s just the teeth the legislation needs to keep the unregulated industry from blowing in the breeze.

Should Florida ban athletic competitors from other countries who are alleged to have committed human rights violations in their homelands?   As Stan Jastrzbski  tells us, this is not a hypothetical question as it applies directly to an event that takes place this weekend.