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: 04-15-2016

Apr 15, 2016

Florida’s students can now attend any public school in the state, as long as there is room. And high school athletes now have greater freedom to switch schools as well. Lynn Hatter reports these are just two of a series of new education laws approved by Governor Rick Scott.

Governor Rick Scott has vetoed a contentious alimony bill because of a child custody provision. Kate Payne reports.

Governor Rick Scott’s second veto of the year denies money for private dental care in rural communities. Ashley Tressel has more.

Capital Report: 04-08-2016

Apr 8, 2016

A redrawn congressional district line continues to be a battle line for a veteran member of congress.  Democratic Congresswoman Corinne Brown is holding her breath in hopes that a panel of federal judges will agree to throw out the newest iteration of Florida’s congressional map.  Nick Evans reports recent rulings may not be helping her cause. 

A decade long fight over Medicaid has come to a close. Parents and organizations providing healthcare to kids sued the state, saying Florida’s old Medicaid program wasn’t serving kids. Lynn Hatter has more.

Capital Report: 04-01-2016

Apr 1, 2016

Enterprise Florida, is facing a major reorganization. Regan McCarthy reports that’s after the legislature denied a request from Governor Rick Scott to give the agency 250 million dollars for economic incentives.

Capital Report: 03-25-2016

Mar 28, 2016

Four Republicans and a Libertarian, all relatively unknown, are slugging it out to replace first-term Democratic Congresswoman Gwen Graham in newly-redrawn District 2. Graham says she’ll wait on the outcome of a challenge to the map before deciding her future, but the candidates are forging ahead. The North Florida race heats up next week when the Republicans meet in Panama City for their first debate. Jim Ash has this overview.

Capital Report: 03-18-2016

Mar 18, 2016

There are about two-hundred bills awaiting Governor Rick’s Scott’s approval or veto.  Lawmakers passed a number of measures close to their hearts, but Nick Evans reports they missed out on some legislative opportunities as well.

Despite stalling in the legislature, a number of bills still managed to stay alive and were sent to Governor Rick Scott. As Sascha Cordner reports, that includes a measure involving the recital of the Pledge of allegiance in schools as well as another dealing with youth suicide prevention training.

Capital Report: 03-11-16

Mar 11, 2016

The Florida Legislature’s 60-day session has come to an end.  The House and Senate today voted out a budget worth just over eighty-billion dollars and Nick Evans has the story.

A few hours before the final budget vote came, Tom Flanigan sat down with Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald Tallahassee Bureau Chief Steve Bousquet to get his assessment of this year’s lawmaking session and what might happen next.

Capital Report: 03-10-2016

Mar 10, 2016

It may be a shell of its former self, but Thursday, Senate lawmakers moved forward with a tax cut package for the coming year.  Nick Evans reports the proposal seems likely to return to the House only about one tenth the size it was when it left.

With the end in sight, different groups are closing out the 2016 lawmaking session in different ways. Kate Payne reports immigration activists convened at the state capitol Thursday to ‘bury’ a package of dead bills.

Capital Report: 03-09-2016

Mar 9, 2016

Florida lawmakers have approved an expansive bill that could further restrict abortions in the state.  Lynn Hatter reports the measure in an outgrowth of a larger battle over abortion that flared up this past summer, after several heavily-altered and now discredited videos claimed to show Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of fetal remains.

Capital Report: 03-08-2016

Mar 8, 2016

Civil asset forfeiture changes are on their way to Governor Rick Scott.  Nick Evans reports the House approved the reform package today (Tuesday).

After a veto last year, Florida lawmakers have a family law proposal they hope will get past the governor’s pen. Regan McCarthy has more….

Capital Report: 03-07-2016

Mar 7, 2016

Attorneys for monopoly utility companies were in the Florida Supreme Court today (Monday) arguing their proposed constitutional amendment.  Consumers for Smart Solar does what it claims to do, which is promote solar power.  But, as Jim Ash found, attorneys for a competing amendment argued there’s a hidden agenda.

The Florida Senate is sending a medical marijuana proposal to the governor.  Nick Evans reports the reform package grants access to terminal patients and carries a number of changes for the existing regulatory system.

Capital Report: 03-04-2016

Mar 4, 2016

Seasonal flooding continues to threaten Lake Okeechobee’s Herbert Hoover Dike and the pressure is being felt as far north as Tallahassee.  Lawmakers there have agreed on an environmental spending plan that addresses massive releases of brown water from the polluted lake and Jim Ash has the story.

The Senate took up and unanimously approved changes to the state’s civil forfeiture provisions Friday.  Nick Evans reports the proposal raises the threshold for law enforcement to seize someone’s assets. 

Capital Report: 03-03-2016

Mar 3, 2016

Florida lawmakers dealt another blow to Governor Rick Scott’s budget priorities Thursday. Kate Payne reports a scaled back tax package is now ready for a full vote by the Senate.

This week the US Supreme Court heard a case challenging a Texas law that requires abortion providers have admitting privileges.  Meanwhile Nick Evans reports similar legislation is marching through the Florida capitol.

Capital Report: 03-02-2016

Mar 2, 2016

The Florida Legislature is on the verge of approving new death penalty procedures.  Nick Evans reports the Senate is moving ahead with a compromise proposal from the House. 

Some of the most controversial bills of this legislative session are dying as lawmakers rush to complete their work for the 2016 session.  The casualties include a fracking bill backed by the oil and gas industry and an agreement with the Seminole Tribe that would have expanded gambling in the state.  Jim Ash has the post mortem.

Capital Report: 03-01-2016

Mar 1, 2016

With time running out, lawmakers in the House are proposing gaming changes some say could send negotiations with the Seminole Tribe back to the start. Regan McCarthy has more….

Florida lawmakers are close to deciding on the state’s criminal justice budget. As Sascha Cordner reports, a large portion deals with the state’s prison agency.

Medical cannabis legislation is heading to the Senate floor for the second time after a clash in committee.  But Nick Evans reports time is running out for the proposal to gain passage in both chambers before session closes.

Capital Report: 02-29-2016

Feb 29, 2016

Despite a Request from Governor Rick Scott for $250 million dollar this year, there’s not much money showing up in the Enterprise Florida Budget. Regan McCarthy has more.

Florida homeowners could be in for a bit of a break when it comes to paying for their hometown public schools. Lynn Hatter reports a plan to swap a local property tax increase for more state dollars is coming closer to reality as lawmakers try to hammer out a budget plan within the next two weeks.

Capital Report: 02-26-2016

Feb 26, 2016

Governor Rick Scott has raised the profile of balanced billing in the healthcare system and now the Florida legislature is trying to tamp down on it. Lynn Hatter reports a Senate Bill limiting how and when hospitals can charge patients for out-of-network services is on its way to the chamber floor.

Changes are likely in store for the state’s life insurance industry.  Nick Evans reports lawmakers are on the verge of approving a measure that requires companies look harder for beneficiaries.

Capital Report: 02-25-2016

Feb 25, 2016

One of the most controversial bills in the 2016 legislative session was put on life support today (Thursday) in the Senate Appropriations Committee.  Jim Ash reports what’s hanging in the balance could be the future of the oil and gas industry in Florida and – critics insist – Florida’s environment.

The Florida Senate took its shot at compromise Wednesday for a new capital sentencing scheme.  Nick Evans reports the chambers are trying to find common ground between unanimous jury recommendations and a supermajority.  

Capital Report: 02-24-2016

Feb 24, 2016

The recent death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has added a new dimension to a legislative debate over term limits for Florida justices and appellate judges.  The House approved a measure today (Wednesday), despite dire warnings by Democrats and little interest in the Senate.

House lawmakers took up a raft of legislation for the final vote today (Wednesday).  Nick Evans has more about what happened on that chamber’s floor.

Capital Report: 02-23-2016

Feb 23, 2016

The Florida House took up the Governor’s primary economic development proposition.  But Nick Evans reports house lawmakers are pulling out all the stops in hopes of getting it across the finish line.

Florida Surgeon General John Armstrong could lose his job if he’s not confirmed by the state Senate. Lynn Hatter reports a key panel decided Tuesday to postpone Armstrong’s confirmation hearing amid the possibility Armstrong would not be approved.

Capital Report: 02-22-2016

Feb 22, 2016

Florida’s lawmakers have a busy Tuesday coming up as 2016’s regular session begins to wind down.  Nick Evans has the story about what’s coming up on the docket.

Florida lawmakers are pushing to put more protections in place for real estate agents. Regan McCarthy reports a measure that’s been moving in the House is getting its first hearing in the Senate Monday.

Capital Report: 02-19-2016

Feb 19, 2016

While the Florida legislative session is more than half over, Governor Rick Scott’s work is just beginning. Regan McCarthy reports lawmakers sent another bundle of bills to the governor’s desk this (if reading Monday, “last”) week.

The Florida House has approved a new capital sentencing scheme raising the bar for convictions.  But the House plan doesn’t require a unanimous jury decision for recommending the death penalty.  Nick Evans spoke with Mark Schlakman of the Center for the Advancement of Human Rights at Florida State University.

Capital Report: 02-18-2016

Feb 18, 2016

The Florida House is moving forward with a new capital sentencing scheme after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the existing system just over a month ago.  But Nick Evans reports even with last minute changes, lawmakers are hesitant to completely embrace unanimity.

Environmentalists are breathing a sigh of relief after a powerful House Republican agreed to back down from his controversial “use it or lose it” approach to state land.  Jim Ash has that story.

Capital Report: 02-17-2016

Feb 17, 2016

The Florida Senate took its turn talking gaming today (Wednesday). Regan McCarthy reports lawmakers in the Senate Regulated industries committee passed a measure that would ratify a gambling agreement between Florida and the Seminole Indian tribe as well as a larger gaming measure.

The House Health and Human services committee sent two measures to the floor that would’ve been unthinkable just a few years ago.  Nick Evans reports the full House will now consider a needle exchange pilot program and a new medical marijuana proposal. 

Capital Report: 02-16-2016

Feb 16, 2016

In the run-up to today’s (Tuesday’s) Senate meeting, questions surrounded whether Florida Surgeon General John Armstrong would be confirmed. He’s been under fire for the decrease in enrollment in the Children's Medical Services program, rising HIV infections and staff cuts in local health departments. Lynn Hatter reports, Florida lawmakers had plenty of questions for Armstrong. 

Capital Report: 02-15-2016

Feb 15, 2016

Florida is just over the halfway point in the legislative session.  But As Ashley Tressel reports, the House and Senate have a lot to do before they leave the Capitol.

Republicans vying for their party’s presidential nomination continue to tussle over immigration.  But in the wake of terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, those debates have become tangled in an argument over how best to deal with an expanding refugee crisis.  Nick Evans reports it’s playing out in the Florida Legislature as well.