It's About Florida

It's About Florida is a half-hour discussion program focusing on topical issues in the state, from roundtable discussions with news trackers to one-on-one discussions with leading newsmakers. It's About Florida captures the headlines and goes behind the issues with in-depth discussions on diverse topics such as immigration, the environment, and the economy, just to name a few.

It's About Florida will be broadcast monthly on Thursdays at 6:30 pm ET on 88.9 WFSU-FM & 5:30 pm CT on 89.1 WFSW-FM.

Listeners can email comments or questions about the program to

It’s About Florida: Legislative Preview

Feb 19, 2015

Today we’re speaking House Speaker Steve Crisafulli and Senate President Andy Gardiner. Our conversation comes two weeks before the start of the annual lawmaking session, and there are already bills moving through both chambers. Lawmakers will have to decide whether to accept billions in federal funding to insure more Floridians, and whether to renew a deal on gambling with the Seminole Tribe of Florida.  Our conversation with the state’s top legislative leaders, coming up on It’s About Florida.

Guest: House Speaker Steve Crisafulli

Senate President Andy Gardiner

It’s About Florida: Senator John Legg

Jan 15, 2015

Parents are protesting. School Districts are petitioning. Teachers are frustrated and now the state legislature is getting involved. The issue: the state of Florida’s school accountability and testing infrastructure. A model put in place 15 years ago has been experiencing frequent change during the past several years, and now lawmakers, and the Department of Education are asking the same question: which tests are really necessary?

Today we’re speaking with the newest president of Florida A&M University, Elmira Mangum. She’s the 11th president of FAMU and the first woman to lead it. Mangum is trying to raise FAMU’s global profile, and redefine the role of the state’s only public, historically-black institution. Along the way, she’s shaking things up as the future of one of FAMU’s oldest partnerships—the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, hangs in the balance. Our conversation with FAMU President Elmira Mangum, coming up on It’s About Florida.

Guest:  FAMU President Elmira Mangum

Host: Lynn Hatter

John Thrasher

WFSU’s, “It’s About Florida” returns November 20. Our Guest: new FSU President John Thrasher. Host: Lynn Hatter

Florida’s jury system may get scrutiny from lawmakers during the 2014 legislative session.  There are questions about how many people should comprise one, especially in cases where capital punishment is an option.  But what about the composition of juries?  Is anyone qualified to sit on one?  Does Florida’s system make it easier for lawyers to manipulate the outcome of cases?  Those will be among our topics tonight on this edition of It’s About Florida.  We talk with Panama City State Attorney Glenn Hess about what issues legislators should address and lawyers should mind.

State of Florida / Florida Department of Children and Families

The recent spate of child deaths under the Department of Children and Family’s watch has once again raised concerns that the agency isn’t doing enough to protect the kids in its care. We speak with Department of Children and Family’s Secretary David Wilkins about the death of four children within six weeks and what the agency is doing now to protect kids.

Guests: DCF Secretary David Wilkins and Director of Child Protection and Transformation Kelly Sweat Darnell

Lynn Hatter / WFSU-FM

It’s been a hard year for Florida A&M University. It was placed on accreditation probation following the hazing death of a band drum major and incomplete audits. But the year has also come with some major gains, including a newly accredited business school and high marks in some higher education rankings. We speak with interim FAMU President Larry Robinson about the state of the school.

Host: Lynn Hatter
Guests: Dr. Larry Robinson, Interim President, Florida A&M University


It’s About Florida: Agriculture

Jun 21, 2013
Florida Farm Bureau

This week on It’s About Florida we take a look at the state of Florida’s agriculture industry. The head of Florida’s main agriculture lobbying group weighs in on citrus greening immigration and a new Everglades restoration bill recently signed into law.

Host: Lynn Hatter

Guest: John Hoblick, President of the Florida Farm Bureau



It’s About Florida: Immigration

Jun 21, 2013

As the U.S. Senate debates a bill aimed at overhauling the nation’s immigration laws we speak with two guests with different perspectives on how such a bill will impact the lives of Floridians.

Rich Templin, Florida AFLCIO
Jack Oliver, Floridians for Immigration Enforcement

It’s About Florida: 05-23-2013

May 28, 2013

It’s About Florida: 05-17-2013

May 28, 2013

It’s About Florida: 05-10-2013

May 28, 2013

It’s About Florida: 05-03-2013

May 28, 2013

It’s About Florida: 04-26-2013

May 28, 2013

Florida lawmakers have just passed the halfway mark in the 2013 legislative session, marking the occasion by passing a ban on internet cafes’. Still outstanding though, are issues dealing with pension reform, Medicaid expansion, teacher and state employee pay raises, and how best to deal with the state’s auto insurance law, and campaign finance reform.


Kathleen Haughney, Reporter Sun Sentinel

Aaron Deslatte, Reporter Orlando Sentinel

Gray Rohrer, Reporter The Florida Current/Lobbytools

The legislature is working to revamp the states ethics, elections and campaign finance laws. We check in with advocates who are so far giving lawmakers a “C” grade for their efforts, and say there’s still plenty of time to make the reforms stronger.

Host: Lynn Hatter

Guests: Phil Claypool, fmr. Executive Director of the Florida Ethics Commission

Damien Filer, Progress Florida

Dan Krassner, Integrity Florida

It’s About Florida talks with Senate President Don Gaetz on his vision for the 2013 legislative session. We discuss ethics, elections and campaign finance reform, along with the federal health law, and Gaetz’ idea for revamping the state’s high school graduation requirements.

Host: Lynn Hatter

Guests: Senate President Don Gaetz

Universities are being called on to do more with less, and that includes changes to the way schools are funded, and how they serve students.


Dale Brill, chairman of the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on Higher Education

Dr. Ed Moore, President of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida

It’s About Florida: Medicaid Expansion

Mar 11, 2013

Florida could cover around a million more low-income people if it expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. But the House seems to have thrown cold water on that idea. So does that mean the Medicaid Expansion issue is dead?

Guests: Bruce Reuben, President of the Florida Hospital Association

Carol Weissert, Political Scientist at Florida State University

It’s About Florida: Enterprise Florida

Feb 22, 2013

It’s About Florida: Nurse Practitioners

Feb 15, 2013

Lawmakers are considering legislation that would give nurses more authority to prescribe common medicines instead of reserving that privilege for doctors. They say as baby boomers age, more physicians will be needed and passing simpler tasks to nurses will help free them up. But others worry about the negative ramifications increasing a nurse’s scope of power could have.

Host: Trimmel Gomes

Florida House Representative Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda (D-Tallahassee)
Florida Nursing Association Board Member Patricia Wahrenberger

It’s About Florida: Medicaid Managed Care

Feb 8, 2013

The Federal Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services signed off on the first part of a plan that will steer Florida on a path toward Medicaid managed care. This will impact thousands of Florida’s seniors in long term care. Under managed care, the state will be split into several different regions, and health insurance companies will compete in those regions for customers. As the state awaits approval of a full statewide transition we discuss all the changes you can expect in this first phase with our panel of experts.


Trimmel Gomes

It’s About Florida: Human Trafficking

Jan 31, 2013

Florida remains a hub of human trafficking, and one area the state is working to crack down on the practice is in massage parlors. The Florida legislature began the effort last year with a bill requiring operators and employees of massage parlors to have valid government-issued IDs. Now a bill has been introduced that would limit the number of hours such places can be open. Today we speak with Dr. Terry Coonan, Director of the FSU Human Rights Center, and Democratic State Representative Dave Kerner, who has sponsored the massage parlor bill.

After a failed re-election bid to run Indiana’s school system, Florida’s state Board of Education unanimously picks Tony Bennett to oversee Florida’s public schools and colleges. With only a few weeks on the job, Bennett talks about his career in education, his election defeat in Indiana, school safety concerns with the gun control debate and his vision for Florida’s educational future.

Host: Trimmel Gomes

Guest: Florida Education Commissioner, Tony Bennett

It's About Florida: Snakes In The Glades

Jan 18, 2013
Trimmel Gomes

Florida’s “Python Challenge” kicked off on Saturday, drawing 800 python hunters. We tag along with one member of the armed mob set out to tackle the infestation of Burmese pythons in the Everglades. Also, a recap of the highlights of the 28th Annual Everglades Coalition Conference.

Host: Trimmel Gomes