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: 03-02-2016

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.

Capital Report: 02-12-2016

Feb 12, 2016

The Florida Senate has rolled out a plan its education budget chairman says is aimed at creating parity between state and local funding for school districts. Lynn Hatter reports the move sets up a potential showdown on tax cuts.

After years of trying, lawmakers are finding success with a plan to create a needle exchange pilot program in Miami Dade County.  Nick Evans reports.

Capital Report: 02-11-2016

Feb 11, 2016

The Florida House and Senate gave tentative approval today (Thursday) to competing spending plans that hover around 80 billion dollars.  Republicans touted tax cuts while Democrats railed against budget cuts.  Jim Ash has the story.

Some lawmakers are pushing for a pilot program to increase access to long acting contraceptives.  Nick Evans has more.

Capital Report: 02-10-2016

Feb 10, 2016

The Florida House has moved forward with a proposal to reduce the cost of school construction and steer more dollars to charter schools. Lynn Hatter reports over the objection of superintendents, the House Appropriations Committee approved the bill. But it could face challenges in the Senate.

The third time was not the charm Tuesday evening for advocates of a lesbian gay bisexual and transgender civil rights measure.  Nick Evans reports senators remained deadlocked—effectively precluding any chance of passage this session.

Capital Report: 02-09-2016

Feb 9, 2016

Florida is pushing ahead with new restrictions for the state’s abortion providers while earlier restrictions are locked up in court.  Nick Evans reports a twenty-four hour waiting period approved last year came before the First District Court of Appeals Tuesday.

The so called Pastor Protection Act is moving forward in the Florida Senate while it awaits a hearing on the House floor. And while some are pushing against the legislation saying it unfairly targets the state’s same sex community, Regan McCarthy reports others are pushing to expand it.

Capital Report: 02-08-2016

Feb 8, 2016

Same sex couples can marry, but in Florida members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community lack a number of basic protections against discrimination.  Nick Evans reports a measure that would change that is in trouble. 

Capital Report: 02-05-2016

Feb 5, 2016

The state Legislature is on the verge of extending healthcare to thousands of Florida children.  Nick Evans reports revisions to the KidCare program will cover children of legal immigrants.

A bill allowing all sexual abuse victims to avoid going physically to court to give their testimony during a trial has passed its first Senate panel. But, as Sascha Cordner reports, not without some concerns

Capital Report: 02-04-2016

Feb 4, 2016

A bill to protect Florida clergy from conducting marriage ceremonies that violate their beliefs is moving forward. Regan McCarthy reports, the next stop for the House measure is the chamber’s floor.

Alimony reform is back before Florida lawmakers. But the bill’s sponsor says this year’s version of the bill is different. Lynn Hatter reports Republican Representative Colleen Burton is backing one of the legislature’s most emotionally-charged issues.

Capital Report: 02-03-2016

Feb 3, 2016

The Florida House and Senate have put to bed their initial spending plans for the upcoming fiscal year.  But major issues remain unresolved.  Still, as Lynn Hatter reports, lawmakers are confident they can work out the discrepancies.

House lawmakers approved a wide-ranging tax plan Wednesday.  Nick Evans reports the House package would cut just shy of one billion dollars in taxes.

Fueled by strong rhetoric and an international refugee crisis, some Florida lawmakers want to give broad immigration oversight to the state’s top officials.  Kate Payne has that story.

Capital Report: 02-02-2016

Feb 2, 2016

Florida’s 389 death row inmates are in limbo after the US Supreme Court invalidated the state’s capital sentencing system.  Nick Evans reports the top court in Florida has to decide if the ruling applies retroactively.

Every year lawmakers file dozens of claims bills for residents who have been harmed by organizations backed by the state.  But very few of these bills are ever funded.  This year is no exception, but as Lynn hatter reports two lawmakers along with some former NFL football players, are hoping to change the fate of at least one of those bills.

Capital Report: 02-01-2016

Feb 1, 2016

As lawmakers grapple with healthcare costs, they’re taking another look at rules – called “certificates of need” - governing where health care centers can be built. Lynn Hatter reports a scaled-down version of a bill addressing certificates of need is in play. But it’s not without controversy.

Capital Report: 01-29-2016

Jan 29, 2016

Education is set for a funding boost as the legislature rolls ahead with its budget planning. But as Lynn Hatter reports as the process moves along, some Republicans are expressing concerns about where the increase will come from.

Crime rates continue to fall across the country, while incarceration rates reach historic levels.  A non-partisan panel came together this week to examine the relationship between incarceration and crime as we hear from Kate Payne.

Capital Report: 01-28-2016

Jan 28, 2016

The Florida legislature is working on answering a big question—how to balance a 400-milion dollar hit to its healthcare budget. Lynn Hatter reports lawmakers rolled out a plan to account for a shrinking pool of federal healthcare dollars Thursday.

With the House expected to unveil its budget Friday, Regan McCarthy reports the chamber’s Democrats are working to make their voices heard before the funds are divvied up.