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: 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.

Capital Report: 02-24-2017

Feb 27, 2017

Florida’s Governor and House leaders are at each other’s throats over funding for Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida.  Nick Evans reports murmurs are growing louder lawmakers will need a special session to agree on a budget.  Both sides are digging in, and the battle lines are becoming clear in a recent letter. 
The Florida House and Senate have dueling gambling plans, but Regan McCarthy reports leaders insist there’s time for the two chambers to come together.

Capital Report: 02-17-2017

Feb 17, 2017

Florida lawmakers seem likely to approve unanimous jury sentences for death penalty cases in the opening weeks of this year’s legislative session.  But Nick Evans reports some warn there could be another crisis around the corner.

In the midst of perennial debates over abortion and gun control, Florida lawmakers paused briefly this week to contemplate a nearly utopian future…one where cars drive themselves and the mighty Gulf Stream provides most of our energy needs.  Jim Ash has the look ahead.

Capital Report: 02-10-2017

Feb 10, 2017

During a week when President Donald Trump was tweeting unprecedented personal attacks on federal judges, the Florida courts were coming under some fire of their own.  Some conservative House members want to term-limit Supreme Court justices and Chief Justice Jorge Labarga (George La-BAR-guh) made a rare public response to the onslaught as we hear from Jim Ash.

Capital Report: 02-03-2017

Feb 3, 2017

The Trump administration is driving thousands of Floridians into protest marches and lawmakers’ offices, some for the first time. But will that anger and energy translate into a real impact? Kate Payne reports.

Fear has only grown in the week since President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning entry into the U-S for refugees and travelers from certain Muslim-majority countries. Now other refugees and legal residents say there are worries they will be the next to lose their chance at the American Dream.  Sarah Mueller has more.

Capital Report: 01-27-2017

Jan 27, 2017

Add fracking to the list of high profile issues that threaten to derail the Legislative Session, which begins March 7th.  Powerful Senate Republicans are calling for a ban on the controversial drilling method.  But as Jim Ash reports, the more conservative, free-market House is in no mood to go along.

Florida Senators showed their hand Wednesday when the chamber’s regulated industry panel approved a comprehensive gaming overhaul. Regan McCarthy has more…

Capital Report: 01-20-2017

Jan 20, 2017

President Donald Trump’s pick to head the Department of Education is a conservative fundraiser and vocal critic of traditional public schools. While Betsy DeVos’ nomination could mean drastic change for some states, Kate Payne reports she has already made her mark on Florida’s education system.

The Florida Department of Health and a Republican state senator are offering drastically different visions for the future of medical cannabis in the state.  Nick Evans reports it could set the stage for a contentious rollout of last year’s amendment two.

Capital Report: 01-13-2017

Jan 13, 2017

The Florida Legislature faces the difficult task of funding the country’s third largest state on a shoestring.  Nick Evans reports lawmakers are putting their noses to the grindstone.

The future could get a bit brighter for some Florida college students.  There’s a growing consensus to increase awards for some of the state’s highest academic performers.  Lynn Hatter reports legislative and state leaders seem to be of the same mind when it comes to lowering the cost of higher education.

Capital Report: 01-06-2017

Jan 6, 2017

Alarmed by a massive spill from a fertilizer plant and sewage dumps into Tampa Bay, Florida lawmakers want to force polluters to warn the public about toxic releases.  And as Jim Ash reports, the same business interests that killed an emergency rule are watching closely.

Capital Report: 12-30-2016

Dec 30, 2016

It seems just about everyone knew this year’s election was going to be one for the history books.  But what remains poorly understood, even by many political experts, is just how important the placement of election district lines is when it comes to who wins and who loses elections.  In the run-up to the 2016 balloting, Florida Public Radio’s Kate Payne and Nick Evans teamed up to literally walk the line of one newly redrawn voting district in Florida’s Capital City.  Here’s their story, which originally aired before the November election, followed by Kate and Nick’s postscript.

Capital Report: 12-23-2016

Dec 23, 2016

The vitriol surrounding November’s election didn’t dissipate after the votes came in. If anything, it grew stronger. But… as Sarah Mueller reports…some of the focus turned from the presidential candidates to the members of the Electoral College. 

The Florida Democratic Party is scrambling to find a new leader in the wake of the 2016 elections. After some last-minute maneuvering, a group of contenders is emerging. Kate Payne reports.

Capital Report: 12-16-2016

Dec 16, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump is generating an environmental backlash as he puts together a cabinet dominated by fossil fuel interests.  Jim Ash reports some of the nation’s largest non-profits are reporting a surge in web hits, newsletter subscriptions and donations.

On the heels of the 2016 presidential election lawmakers are reviewing what went well while looking toward some changes. Regan McCarthy has more...

Capital Report: 12-09-2016

Dec 9, 2016

Florida’s House members spent a few days in the capitol going over the rudiments of passing bills.  Nick Evans reports the so-called Legislator University is aimed at building unity ahead of a likely contentious legislative session.

In recent months, the Florida Supreme Court has delivered body blows to the conservative agenda, striking down key death penalty provisions and business-friendly workers’ compensation reforms.  Now, House Speaker Richard Corcoran is more determined than ever to cut the judiciary down to size.  Jim Ash has that story.

Capital Report: 12-02-2016

Dec 2, 2016

The recent Presidential Election and its heated rhetoric raise concerns about First Amendment protections. Protestors from both sides are accusing the other of trying to silence them. Twitter purged hundreds of users associated with white supremacy. Some are concerned that these actions are compromising the rights and protections associated with the First Amendment. This raises the question, what does the First Amendment actually say? Catherine Buckler reports.

Capital Report: 11-25-2016

Nov 25, 2016

A strong majority of Florida’s voters came together behind a constitutional amendment allowing medical marijuana.  Now Nick Evans reports Florida’s lawmakers have to come together to roll out the changes.

While the fortunes of his Democratic Party couldn’t be much worse, the timing for former U.S. Senator Bob Graham’s new book, “America: The Owner’s Manual,” couldn’t be better.  The iconic Florida Democrat and his co-author Chris Hand spoke with Florida Public Radio’s Jim Ash about their prescription for making government more responsive in the Donald Trump era.

Capital Report: 11-21-2016

Nov 21, 2016

House Speaker-designate Richard Corcoran, a Land-O’-Lakes Republican is an unstoppable force about to meet an immovable object.  Corcoran is vowing to rein in lobbyists and change the budget writing process.  And, as Jim Ash reports, sparks are flying a week before his official swearing in.

State regulators are assuring Floridians their drinking water is safe in the wake of a sinkhole at a Polk county fertilizer plant.  But Nick Evans reports the agency’s response is raising other concerns.

Capital Report: 11-11-2016

Nov 11, 2016

Marco Rubio gets to keep his U.S. Senate seat—something he promised to do after now President-Elect Donald Trump won the Republican primary. Lynn Hatter reports Rubio successfully beat back a challenge from Congressman Patrick Murphy.

Tuesday’s election put two new Congressmen in North Florida seats. Regan McCarthy reports Democrat Al Lawson is heading for District Five, while Republican Neal Dunn is the new U.S. Representative for District Two.

Capital Report: 11-04-2016

Nov 4, 2016

One of the most divisive presidential contests is rapidly turning into one of the closest; recent polls show the race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is within the margin of error. Kate Payne talks with starkly divided voters in a red county and a blue county, about what happens if their candidate loses.

Capital Report: 10-28-2016

Oct 28, 2016

Open enrollment for Obamacare begins next month.  State and federal officials are hoping more young – and healthy – enrollees will sign up.  But that demographic has been slow to come on board.  That’s led to increasing concerns that the Affordable Care Act could soon become the UN-affordable Care Act.  But Lynn Hatter reports health policy experts say tales of the impending death of the A-C-A are greatly exaggerated.

Capital Report: 10-21-2016

Oct 21, 2016

Republican Senator Marco Rubio has been leading in Florida’s U.S. Senate race, but new polls show the race may now be too close to call. Regan McCarthy has more.  

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is refusing to say he’ll honor the results of the November 8th election. Politicos and historians alike say the statement undermines integral American institutions like credible democracy and peaceful transitions of power. Kate Payne looks at what Trump’s remarks mean for elections officials in the Sunshine State.

Capital Report: 10-14-2016

Oct 17, 2016

Floridians have a few days left to register to vote in November. Regan McCarthy reports that’s thanks to a group of voting rights activists, the Democratic Party and a federal judge.

In a matter of weeks Floridians will be asked to decide on a seemingly humdrum amendment giving citizens a constitutional right to solar.  But Nick Evans reports opponents are up in arms—claiming power companies are using the initiative as a way to stifle the spread of solar power.  

Capital Report: 10-07-2016

Oct 7, 2016

The major party presidential candidates are offering two starkly different courses for the country ahead of Election Day.  The contrast is particularly acute in their economic plans.  Nick Evans spoke with business leaders on both sides of the aisle about what the candidates’ visions would mean in Florida.

Capital Report: 09-30-2016

Sep 30, 2016

A massive sinkhole under a phosphate plant in Central Florida is dumping millions of gallons of contaminated water into the ground. West in Tampa, that city’s mayor is facing questions about his handling of a sewage spill into the bay. And in North Florida, a fight over a proposed wastewater pipeline, has surrounding counties picking sides. Lynn Hatter tells us about the latest in Florida’s ongoing water fights.

Capital Report: 09-23-2016

Sep 23, 2016

Florida’s cabinet recently got its first look at state agency budget requests this (last) week.  Nick Evans reports with revenue projections showing empty state coffers, those agencies are eyeing state trust funds. 

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