Capital Report: 12-19-2014

Dec 19, 2014

The United States will resume diplomatic relations with Cuba and reaction to the announcement has been mixed. The decision to normalize a relationship with the Communist country could have a big impact on Florida for decades to come.

Early voting, weekend voting, extended hours for voting….With so many conveniences, it seems few people would have any real excuse not to vote.  But try doing it when you’re thousands of miles from home and facing enemy fire.  A bill filed by a Tampa lawmaker would make voting easier for military folks serving overseas and Jim Ash reports it would make Florida the first state to have regular Internet voting.

The Florida Department of Health has decided not to appeal a court ruling invalidating much of the agency’s proposed rules for low-THC marijuana.  Nick Evans reports the rulemaking process gets a reset, but it doesn’t necessarily mean a return to square one.

Pension reform is expected to be back before Florida lawmakers during the 2015 session.  Could this be the year such reform actually takes place?  What about overhauling the Florida Retirement System, which so many analysts insist is sound and doesn’t need reforming?  Sascha Cordner reports on what stakeholders are hoping for in the New Year.

A Central Florida middle school teacher has the year off to explore Florida, not as a tourist, but as a homeless person.  Regan McCarthy reports Tom Rebman is spending his nights sleeping on the ground or in shelters, while surviving off of whatever donations he can get.  He wants to teach Floridians about the more than forty-thousand of their neighbors who no longer have a neighborhood to call their own.