Capital Report

Fridays, 6:30 pm ET & 9:00 pm ET

WFSU/Florida Public Radio reporters, as well as reporters from public radio stations across the state, bring you timely news and information from around Florida. Whether it's legislative maneuvers between legislative sessions, the economy, environmental issues, tourism, business or the arts, Capital Report gives information on issues that affect the lives of everyday Floridians.

Capital Report is broadcast each Friday at 6:30 pm and 9:00pm ET on 88.9FM - WFSU Tallahassee, 5:30 pm CT on 89.1FM -WFSW Panama City and on public radio stations across the state (check local listings).

During Florida Legislative Session: Weekdays 6:30 pm & 9:00 pm ET - 88.9FM WFSU Tallahassee & Weekdays 5:30 pm CT - 89.1FM WFSW Panama City and on public radio stations across the state (check local listings).

Capital Report: 01-16-2018

13 hours ago

The Florida House is rolling out dozens of recommendations on the state’s hurricane response efforts. Kate Payne reports equipping emergency shelters and preparing healthcare facilities top the list.

In 2017 the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals helped reunite thousands of pets with their owners. Many of those animals had been lost during disasters such as the wildfires in California as well as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Now Regan McCarthy reports Florida leaders are taking steps to help pets and their owners stay together should another disaster occur.

Capital Report: 01-15-2018

20 hours ago

In advance of this Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. observance, Tom Flanigan reports Florida’s Capital City was marking the occasion with various events intended to promote historic appreciation and racial dialogue.

One doesn’t need to look far to find examples of threats being made through social media. Messages left online can have real impacts on their victims, but Regan McCarthy reports, Florida officials say there’s little they can do about it since technology has outpaced the stat law.

Capital Report: 01-12-2018

Jan 12, 2018

President Donald Trump’s derogatory statements on Thursday about a number of countries are echoing through the Florida political landscape.  Nick Evans has the story—a warning: the language here could be inappropriate for some listeners. 

Lynn Hatter and Kate Payne hit some of the highlights in both legislative chambers as the first week of the 2018 Session comes to a close.

Capital Report: 01-11-2018

Jan 11, 2018

Lawmakers are beginning to tackle the opioid crisis.  But while seemingly everyone agrees the Legislature needs to intervene, Nick Evans reports the road ahead might be a little bumpy—as even supporters seem to have quibbles, tweaks or additions they’d like to offer. 

Capital Report: 01-10-2018

Jan 10, 2018

As the 2018 legislative session gets under way Republicans are forging ahead with a plan to make it harder for future lawmakers to raise taxes.  Nick Evans reports the initiative has broad support among GOP leaders, and they’ve got enough members to send the idea to the ballot. 

For the past several years, the Florida House and Senate have battled over how to pay for public schools.  And as Lynn Hatter reports, the House is drawing a line in the sand over what it will and won’t do when it comes to deciding how to appropriate those funds.

Capital Report: 01-09-2018

Jan 9, 2018

Governor Scott delivered his 8th and final State of the State address to Florida lawmakers on the first day of Session and Tom Flanigan has the highlights along with the two Democratic responses.

Florida Senate President Joe Negron and House Speaker Richard Corcoran outlined their priorities before their members Tuesday morning.  Lynn Hatter and Nick Evans were following the action.

After Florida’s Republican leaders laid out their plans Tuesday, the state’s liberal-leaning advocates and lawmakers outlined their priorities. Kate Payne reports.

Capital Report: 01-05-2018

Jan 5, 2018

The Trump administration says it plans to open most U.S. waters to offshore oil drilling, and as Lynn Hatter reports that’s raising bipartisan hackles in Florida.

Florida’s Speaker of the House is promising to pass a bill restricting sanctuary policies in the first week of this year’s legislative session.  Kate Payne reports that’s despite arguments the plan is unconstitutional.

Capital Report: 12-29-2017

Dec 29, 2017

One of the biggest stories of the year has been the increasing number of people, mostly men that have lost positions of power due to sexual harassment. And the issue has hit politics particularly hard—from state houses to the halls of Congress. When the Florida legislature convenes in January, the specter surrounding one powerful lawmaker threatens to overtake the business of making laws for the state. Lynn Hatter reports on Clearwater Republican Senator Jack Latvala continued fight against allegations of sexual harassment and the mounting evidence he is on the losing end.

Capital Report: 12-22-2017

Dec 22, 2017

A powerful Florida Senator who is also vying to be the GOP candidate for governor has been toppled over accusations of public corruption and sexual harassment. Lynn Hatter has the latest.

A state government agency charged with helping investigate sexual harassment complaints may not have the necessary resources if there’s a significant increase in the number of those complaints.  Tom Flanigan has more.

Capital Report: 12-15-17

Dec 18, 2017

With the 2018 legislative session looming, state officials are doing their level best to defuse a widening sexual harassment scandal.  Nick Evans reports the governor is ordering new training at state agencies. 

Outstanding prison lawsuits will mean less money to spend on Florida Department of Corrections’ priorities. That’s the message from the new Florida Senate Budget chair. Sascha Cordner reports.

Capital Report: 12-08-2017

Dec 8, 2017

Clearwater Republican Senator Jack Latvala continues to fight against allegations of sexual harassment but there’s mounting evidence he is on the losing end. Lynn Hatter reports the state’s House Speaker said recently Latvala could end up being kicked out the chamber in January.

Capital Report: 12-01-2017

Dec 1, 2017

The 2017 Hurricane season is officially over. But lawmakers are still debating how to pick up the pieces, Kate Payne reports on where they’re focusing their efforts.

Florida voters could be asked to reconsider a ban on public funding for religious organizations. Lynn Hatter reports the language has its roots in the late 1800’s during a wave of new immigrants to the United States.

Capital Report: 11-24-2017

Nov 27, 2017

A bipartisan group of Florida legislators is making noise about criminal justice reform ahead of the 2018 session.  Nick Evans reports the group wants to lift the felony threshold for certain crimes, and give judges more flexibility in sentencing.

Lawmakers are considering a move that could limit the ability of local governments to make rules about where powerlines should go. Regan McCarthy has more.

Capital Report: 11-17-2017

Nov 20, 2017

Automation. Development. Citrus greening.  Florida’s agriculture industry is hurting and Hurricane Irma was only the most recent blow.  Kate Payne reports lawmakers will be considering how to support the industry – second only to tourism – during the upcoming lawmaking session.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is heaping praise on state Republican leaders for approving a controversial education law now heading to the courts. Lynn Hatter reports Bush calls House Bill 7069 a bold move amid slumping state educational progress.

Capital Report: 11-10-2017

Nov 10, 2017

Allegations of sexual harassment in Florida’s capitol are roiling the state legislature just as the lawmaking session is set to begin.  Nick Evans reports the flying accusations are putting other elected officials in an uncomfortable position.

The headlines have been full lately of stories about current and former government officials fighting accusations of poor behavior while in office. Some are facing investigations; others are facing time in jail. Now Regan McCarthy reports one committee is considering a number of new rules intended to help elected officials stay in line.

Capital Report: 11-03-2017

Nov 3, 2017

Local government leaders and members of the Florida House appear to be drawing their battle lines for the upcoming legislative session. Regan McCarthy has more....

The governor and state lawmakers are proposing new prescription limits to fight opioid abuse.  But they also want to require physicians use a long-standing drug monitoring database—raising the question, why wasn’t it mandatory to begin with?  Nick Evans has more.

Capital Report: 10-27-2017

Oct 27, 2017

Florida lawmakers are grappling with where one person’s rights end and another’s begin as debates over a texting while driving bill turn emotional. Regan McCarthy has more....

Late Friday (10/27) afternoon, Senator Jeff Clemons who was prominently featured in the preceding story by Regan McCarthy announced his resignation from the Florida Senate.  This followed revelations of his affair with a Tallahassee lobbyist.

Capital Report: 10-20-2017

Oct 20, 2017

More than a dozen school districts are now challenging that part of a law that requires them to share their school construction money with charter schools.  But as Lynn Hatter reports, some of those same districts are also getting a portion of the extra funding the new law provides.

Capital Report: 10-13-2017

Oct 16, 2017

Substance abuse experts and law enforcement officers are calling on lawmakers to bolster access to treatment for people battling opioid addiction.  Nick Evans reports the biggest focus is on medication- assisted treatments.

Florida’s beaches are in constant need of restoration, to truck in sand that the sea washes away. In the wake of Hurricane Irma, miles of critically eroded beaches are in even more danger. Kate Payne reports a powerful lawmaker is once again trying to get funding to replenish the shorelines.

Capital Report: 10-06-2017

Oct 6, 2017

Nearly a month after Hurricane Irma washed eight-to-ten feet of storm surge onto Everglades City in Southern Collier County, residents with damaged, unlivable homes are still waiting on emergency temporary housing.  City officials estimate about a hundred homes in the area are uninhabitable due to flood damage and mold.  But officials say they expect relief within a week.  From member station WGCU, Jessica Meszaros takes us to Everglades City.

Capital Report: 09-29-2017

Sep 29, 2017

People whose lives depend on dialysis are especially vulnerable during a hurricane.  The machines that replace their kidneys need reliable electricity and water to operate.  That’s part of why 89 dialysis patients from St. Thomas fled to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Irma.  And then they had to evacuate again – this time to Miami – because of Hurricane Maria.  From member station WLRN in Miami, Sammy Mack has that story.

Capital Report: 09-22-2017

Sep 22, 2017

The latest attempt by Congressional Republicans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act could be in trouble now that Arizona Senator John McCain has voiced his opposition publically. Lynn Hatter reports the move comes a day after the Kaiser Family Foundation released an analysis showing Florida’s Medicaid program, which supports low income residents, could lose nearly 10-billion dollars over six years if the measure were to gain passage.  Lynne spoke with the foundation’s Policy Analyst Dr. Diane Rowland.

Capital Report: 09-15-2017

Sep 18, 2017

Hurricane Irma proved fatal to eight patients in a Hollywood Hills nursing home, which lost power and air conditioning during the storm.  Many more such homes and assisted living facilities statewide also lost power, prompting evacuations and efforts by first responders to make sure those residents who remained in those facilities were safe.  From member station WMFE in Orlando, Health News Florida reporter Abe Aboraya takes a look at what’s next for these homes.

Capital Report: 09-01-2017

Sep 1, 2017

U.S. Education Secretary Betsey DeVos praised Florida’s school choice programs during a Tallahassee visit this week. Her arrival comes as school districts across the state prepare to battle with the legislature over a new law they say will further destabilize traditional public school systems.

This year Florida lawmakers changed the way the state building codes are updated. There are concerns the new law could weaken the integrity of Florida homes, in order to cut construction costs. In the wake of Harvey, Kate Payne reports, those concerns are taking on a new significance.

Capital Report: 08-25-2017

Aug 28, 2017

This week, the State of Florida executed its first convict in more than a year and a half.  Capital punishment had been on hold since a major U.S. Supreme Court ruling found Florida’s execution process was unconstitutional.  Now, as we hear from member station WLRN’s Wilson Sayre, more than one-hundred prisoners on death row are working to reduce their sentences.

We continue our look at what the future may hold as far as Florida’s death penalty goes.  Florida Public Radio’s Nick Evans checked in with Reporter Wilson Sayre after this week’s execution of Mark Asay.