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: 04-07-2017

Apr 7, 2017

By scaling back the cost and size of a proposed reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee, Senate President Joe Negron appears to be making progress with critics. But as Jim Ash reports, a deal is still far from certain.

While several gun bills appeared stalled in the Florida Senate, a couple recently passed the House. As Sascha Cordner reports, one gives places of worship attached to a school the authority to allow guns on the property.

Florida Public Radio’s Regan McCarthy, Nick Evans, Kate Payne and Sarah Mueller review some of the top news stories of the week.

Capital Report: 04-06-2017

Apr 6, 2017

The Florida House is forging ahead with a measure funneling millions of dollars to a pregnancy support organization that opposes abortion.  Nick Evans reports the move could sideline Planned Parenthood.

A Vero Beach Republican is winning the hearts of patient advocates – as well as the ire of some powerful opponents – with a bill that would ban health insurance companies from dropping prescription drug coverage without notice.  Jim Ash has that story.

Capital Report: 04-05-2017

Apr 5, 2017

The Florida House is advancing its plan for cutting taxes.  Nick Evans reports on top of nearly 300 million dollars in reductions, lawmakers want to increase the homestead exemption by half.

A proposed payment system for nursing homes is dividing the industry, with some praising a proposal in the Senate, and others saying it will hurt access to nursing homes for Medicaid patients. Lynn Hatter reports.

Capital Report: 04-04-2017

Apr 4, 2017

Lawmakers are trying to overhaul Florida’s beleaguered workers’ compensation system, but as Jim Ash reports, unions, legal experts and employer groups aren’t happy.

Panama City Representative Jay Trumball’s legislation makes it easier to set up more trauma centers in the state. But hospitals say it will destroy the quality of care patients get. And as Sarah Mueller reports, doctors took to the Capitol to oppose the measure.

Capital Report: 04-03-2017

Apr 3, 2017

After a rough start, a Florida Senate education panel has managed to move a major testing bill forward. Lynn Hatter reports the proposal is a mix of two separate testing bills.

Roth IRAS, pensions, investments, money markets , credit scores...Personal finance can be difficult to navigate. Regan McCarthy reports now Florida lawmakers want to help.

Capital Report: 03-31-2017

Mar 31, 2017

Capital Report Correspondents Nick Evans, Lynn Hatter and Regan McCarthy talk about the week’s top stories at the Capitol.

Florida’s Constitution Revision Commission holds its first public hearing in twenty years.  The gathering took place in Orlando and Lynn Hatter talks to WMFE News Director Catherine Welch about it.

The Florida House has voted to expand autism awareness training for law enforcement. Support for the issue amped up this session after a North Miami officer shot at an autistic man he thought was dangerous. Kate Payne reports.

Capital Report: 03-30-2017

Mar 30, 2017

The House is proposing nearly 300 million dollars in tax cuts.  Nick Evans reports the ways and means committee unveiled their ideas this week.
A gambling overhaul bill passed through the full Florida Senate Thursday. Meanwhile the House bill is heading for that chamber’s floor. While leaders say it’s been years since a gambling bill has advanced so far through the process, others point out there’s a long way left to go.

Capital Report: 03-29-2017

Mar 29, 2017

A rift has emerged on a now-familiar fault line in the Florida House and Senate Education spending plans. Lynn Hatter reports the chambers are again at odds over how to count what’s known as the required local effort to fund public schools.

The Florida House is looking at allowing students to take a computer coding course to fulfill credit requirements in lieu of a foreign language.  Catherine Buckler reports, the bill was amended before the vote.

Capital Report: 03-28-2017

Mar 28, 2017

The Florida House and Senate are planning big cuts to Florida hospitals and those groups say it will hurt medical care access for the poor and disabled.  We get the latest on that story from Sarah Mueller.

Florida State University could soon face a lawsuit following a shooting on campus that left one student paralyzed. Ronny Ahmed was shot multiple times by the man who opened fire in Strozier Library on a late night in November 2014. Lynn Hatter reports at issue is whether the school was negligent in its security.

Capital Report: 03-27-2017

Mar 27, 2017

A Senate education panel has temporarily postponed a school testing overhaul bill—putting one of the two major testing proposals in jeopardy. Lynn Hatter reports on the latest between warring testing philosophies in the legislature.

Florida mayors have been ramping up the pressure on legislators.  As Jim Ash reports, local governments are complaining about what they consider to be the biggest legislative power grab in modern history.

Capital Report: 03-24-2017

Mar 24, 2017

The rate of overdose deaths from opioids went up 75 percent between 2014 and 2015. And it continues to climb. Florida isn’t alone—opioid addition is ravaging parts of the U.S. The situation is critical in South Florida, where WLRN’s Peter Hayden brings us this report. A note to our listeners, some parts of this story may be disturbing.

Capital Report: 03-23-2017

Mar 23, 2017

The abuse of both prescription and illegal Opioids are driving a national spike in overdose deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control, these substances were involved in more than 33-thousand deaths across the country in 2015. Florida has seen a dramatic increase in opioid-driven overdoses, up more than 20 percent.  Now as Lynn Hatter reports, state lawmakers are grappling with how to stop the tragedy.

While the U.S. House of Representatives was voting down the Republican replacement for Obamacare today, the Florida Legislature had health care reform on its mind, too.

Capital Report: 03-22-2017

Mar 22, 2017

Environmental activists flooded the Capitol on Wednesday to support a handful of bills and oppose others. But as Jim Ash reports, one of their biggest goals is a statewide ban on hydraulic fracturing.

Florida lawmakers are voting on legislation that would allow more religious expression in public schools. Bill sponsors say not allowing students and school employees to talk about their religions violates the First Amendment. But critics say these bills force Christian believes on others. Sarah Mueller reports. 

Capital Report: 03-21-2017

Mar 21, 2017

The Florida House is promising some big cuts to higher education funding.  And it has a few more changes in mind for the state’s colleges and universities.  Lynn Hatter reports those revelations came this week in response to one of Senate President Joe Negron’s top priorities.

The Florida House is considering legislation that would strip hundreds of thousands of Florida children from the public assistance rolls.  But critics say lawmakers focused on punishing the poor when they should be trying to create high-wage jobs.  More from Sarah Mueller.

Capital Report: 03-20-2017

Mar 20, 2017

Supporters of a 2.4 billion-dollar reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee are enlisting CEO’s from the outdoor recreational industry, and tourism officials, to win over fiscal conservatives. But as Jim Ash reports, only time will tell if Senate President Joe Negron’s plan will fly.

This week lawmakers begin untangling their ideas for medical cannabis.  Nick Evans reports state senators have proposed five different measures.

Capital Report: 03-17-2017

Mar 17, 2017

Governor Rick Scott is pushing back against a House plan that would drastically cut one of his signature agencies: Visit Florida. And industry officials say cutting that agency is a bad move for an industry that makes up about a third of the state’s economy. Lynn Hatter spoke with the U.S. Travel Association’s Michael Jacobsen about the latest in the fight between Scott and the House over the future of Visit Florida.

Capital Report correspondents Sarah Mueller, Nick Evans and Jim Ash talk about some of the week’s major stories from Tallahassee.

Capital Report: 03-16-2017

Mar 16, 2017

House budget subcommittees are unveiling their ideas for spending cuts.  Nick Evans reports House leaders ordered each panel develop a list of potential reductions in light of a grim budget outlook.

After the overhead costs to run a state sanctioned employee charity rose to take up nearly half the contributions made, Florida workers and lawmakers became frustrated—even outraged. Regan McCarthy reports officials are now considering a plan to shut the fund down.

Capital Report: 03-15-2017

Mar 15, 2017

A Stand Your Ground-related bill passed the Florida Senate Wednesday, but not without some opposition. Sascha Cordner reports.

Florida House members debated whether legislation stiffening penalties for certain offenses committed by illegal immigrants was constitutional. Critics say it's unconstitutional. But as Sarah Mueller reports… lawmakers are moving it forward

Capital Report: 03-14-2017

Mar 14, 2017

In 2011… the Florida legislature passed a measure to convert Medicaid insurance into a managed care system. But Republican lawmakers now want to take the program away from what they call “big businesses” and change it into a block grant system. But as Sarah Mueller reports… Medicaid providers say if that happens, low income families will lose access to health care.

Capital Report: 03-13-2017

Mar 13, 2017

The Florida House seems intent on bringing the state supreme court down a few pegs after a series of stinging courtroom defeats.  Nick Evans reports the saber-rattling intensified last week as lawmakers approved new reporting requirements. 

A panel of Florida lawmakers is advancing a plan that would require certain food stamp recipients to get tested for drugs. Regan McCarthy reports the move comes years after a federal court struck down a similar law for violating peoples’ right to unreasonable searches.

Capital Report: 03-10-2017

Mar 10, 2017

House Speaker Richard Corcoran got his bills, and he got enough Democrats to build a veto-proof majority.  Nick Evans reports the lower chamber has approved legislation to scale back Visit Florida and eliminate Enterprise Florida.

Capital Report: 03-09-2017

Mar 9, 2017

The Florida Senate has approved wide-ranging changes to the state’s higher education system. Lynn Hatter reports it’s a top priority of Senate President Joe Negron.

It’s not only higher education that has the senate president’s heart.  Joe Negron has also pledged to reduce the toxic algae blooms trigged by polluted runoff.  He insists the answer is a reservoir to intercept and mitigate that runoff.  But as Amy Green with member station WMFE in Orlando discovered, it may take more than one reservoir to do the trick and where to put them is a very sticky issue.

Capital Report: 03-08-2017

Mar 8, 2017

One of the most controversial spending programs of this year’s session passed its second committee stop Wednesday.  Nick Evans reports the reservoir project championed by Senate President Joe Negron raises conflicting concerns with supporters and opponents. 

The Senate is moving ahead with a statewide ban on hydraulic fracturing, despite industry threats of a blizzard of lawsuits. But as Jim Ash reports, the House remains a big question mark.

Capital Report: 03-07-2017

Mar 7, 2017

Tom Flanigan hits the highlights of Governor Rick Scott’s State of the State address.

Florida Governor Rick Scott touted new jobs, a growing economy and tax cuts in his State of the State speech Tuesday. But Democratic lawmakers say Scott’s policies are benefitting corporations at the expense of Floridians. Sarah Mueller reports.

While Governor Rick Scott was outlining his priorities in the State of the State address, Awake the State, the progressive advocacy group, was offering a much different take.

Capital Report: 03-03-2017

Mar 3, 2017

Florida lawmakers will debate education issues that include big changes to higher education and k-through 12 schools in this year’s legislative session.  Recess could become mandatory, tuition less expensive and Bright Futures access expanded under proposals in both the House and Senate as we hear from Lynn Hatter.

One of the big debates taking shape this legislative session is about state involvement in economic development. The capitol’s powerbrokers are picking sides in the battle, which threatens to derail session before it even begins. Kate Payne reports.

Pages