capital report

Capital Report: 10-06-2017

Oct 6, 2017

Nearly a month after Hurricane Irma washed eight-to-ten feet of storm surge onto Everglades City in Southern Collier County, residents with damaged, unlivable homes are still waiting on emergency temporary housing.  City officials estimate about a hundred homes in the area are uninhabitable due to flood damage and mold.  But officials say they expect relief within a week.  From member station WGCU, Jessica Meszaros takes us to Everglades City.

Capital Report: 09-29-2017

Sep 29, 2017

People whose lives depend on dialysis are especially vulnerable during a hurricane.  The machines that replace their kidneys need reliable electricity and water to operate.  That’s part of why 89 dialysis patients from St. Thomas fled to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Irma.  And then they had to evacuate again – this time to Miami – because of Hurricane Maria.  From member station WLRN in Miami, Sammy Mack has that story.

Capital Report: 09-22-2017

Sep 22, 2017

The latest attempt by Congressional Republicans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act could be in trouble now that Arizona Senator John McCain has voiced his opposition publically. Lynn Hatter reports the move comes a day after the Kaiser Family Foundation released an analysis showing Florida’s Medicaid program, which supports low income residents, could lose nearly 10-billion dollars over six years if the measure were to gain passage.  Lynne spoke with the foundation’s Policy Analyst Dr. Diane Rowland.

Capital Report: 09-15-2017

Sep 18, 2017

Hurricane Irma proved fatal to eight patients in a Hollywood Hills nursing home, which lost power and air conditioning during the storm.  Many more such homes and assisted living facilities statewide also lost power, prompting evacuations and efforts by first responders to make sure those residents who remained in those facilities were safe.  From member station WMFE in Orlando, Health News Florida reporter Abe Aboraya takes a look at what’s next for these homes.

Capital Report: 09-01-2017

Sep 1, 2017

U.S. Education Secretary Betsey DeVos praised Florida’s school choice programs during a Tallahassee visit this week. Her arrival comes as school districts across the state prepare to battle with the legislature over a new law they say will further destabilize traditional public school systems.

This year Florida lawmakers changed the way the state building codes are updated. There are concerns the new law could weaken the integrity of Florida homes, in order to cut construction costs. In the wake of Harvey, Kate Payne reports, those concerns are taking on a new significance.

Capital Report: 08-25-2017

Aug 28, 2017

This week, the State of Florida executed its first convict in more than a year and a half.  Capital punishment had been on hold since a major U.S. Supreme Court ruling found Florida’s execution process was unconstitutional.  Now, as we hear from member station WLRN’s Wilson Sayre, more than one-hundred prisoners on death row are working to reduce their sentences.

We continue our look at what the future may hold as far as Florida’s death penalty goes.  Florida Public Radio’s Nick Evans checked in with Reporter Wilson Sayre after this week’s execution of Mark Asay.

Capital Report: 08-18-2018

Aug 18, 2017

Last year, north Florida voters sent two polar opposites, Republican Neal Dunn and Democrat Al Lawson, to represent them in Congress. The wide philosophical and partisan gulf separating the two men – and much of the nation -- was on full display during recent appearances in Tallahassee. Jim Ash has more.

It’s been a tough week for the Florida Highway Patrol. Talk of speeding ticket quotas led to the resignation of a Troop Commander. But, as Sascha Cordner reports, the law enforcement agency is now trying to put that behind them, and move forward.

Capital Report: 08-11-2017

Aug 11, 2017

Bill Nelson, Florida’s senior U.S. Senator and highest-ranking Democrat, wrapped up a recent north-Florida tour with an impromptu media briefing at Tallahassee International Airport. Nelson is gearing up for reelection next year, and expecting a tough challenge from Republican Governor Rick Scott. In a 30-minute session with the Capitol press corps, Nelson touched on everything from the North Korean nuclear threat to partisan politics.  Jim Ash has more….

Capital Report: 08-04-2017

Aug 7, 2017

More than 80 thousand guns were stolen in Florida between 2012 and 2013, according to a new report by the left-leaning Center for American Progress. Advocates blame weak laws and lax oversight, but as Jim Ash reports, a lead federal law enforcement agent is vowing to turn the trend around.

Some school districts are chafing under a provision meant to adjust funding based on cost of living.  Nick Evans reports they’re applauding an effort to study the system, but for very different reasons.

Capital Report: 07-28-2017

Jul 28, 2017

South Florida is continuing its battle against the mosquitoes that carry Zika. The Florida Keys already has the region’s most intensive mosquito control programs. WLRN’s Nancy Klingenger reports the Keys are now holding Florida’s first trial of a NEW weapon against the insects

Capital Report: 07-21-2017

Jul 24, 2017

Education advocates went to court this week to argue that Florida isn’t complying with a 20-year-old constitutional mandate to provide a “uniform” and “high quality” education. But as Jim Ash reports, the legal tug of war is raising questions about the power of petition drives to effect meaningful change.  

Despite past failed legislative attempts, a bipartisan pair of lawmakers is vowing to continue their work on criminal justice reform—particularly within Florida’s prison system. Sascha Cordner reports.

Capital Report: 07-14-2017

Jul 14, 2017

States across the country are struggling to hold off a rising tide of opioid abuse and Florida is no exception.  But Nick Evans reports the return of harsh penalties for possession—a hallmark of the war on drugs—is frustrating a broad spectrum of advocates and officials.

Capital Report: 07-07-2017

Jul 7, 2017

Federal funding that provides insurance for nearly 340,000 low-income Florida kids will expire in September unless Congress acts. Lynn Hatter has more.

Local officials and cannabis advocates are chafing under Florida’s latest medical marijuana legislation.  But Nick Evans reports they’re reacting to the new regime in different ways.

Capital Report: 06-30-2017

Jun 30, 2017

Prescription drug prices are the newest target in the fight over healthcare costs. Massive price hikes in common medications like EpiPens have raised questions about how prices are determined. Health insurance companies are blaming those cost on rising premiums and as Lynn Hatter reports, some patients say they’re having to ration their prescriptions.

Capital Report: 06-23-2017

Jun 26, 2017

Former U.S. Senator and Florida Governor Bob Graham says the Legislature’s decision not to fund Florida Forever is a blatant violation of Amendment 1, the 2014 conservation amendment. As Jim Ash reports, Graham says the Legislature’s recent track record on complying with voter mandates has him thinking citizens’ initiatives need more teeth.

The deadline is approaching for Florida’s governor to sign off on a bill aimed at tracking the use of addictive prescription drugs. Kate Payne reports some medical professionals see the measure as key to fighting the opioid epidemic. 

Capital Report: 06-16-2017

Jun 16, 2017

Governor Rick Scott has approved a new law requiring school districts to share some locally generated and federal funds with public schools. But the fight over the measure may not be over yet. Lynn Hatter reports.

State workers are in for a raise after Governor Rick Scott approved a sweeping measure earlier this week [last week, but Nick Evans reports the pay bump comes with a tradeoff.

Capital Report: 06-09-17

Jun 9, 2017

The Florida Legislature drops the hankie and ends its three-day special session after reaching compromise on a number of sticking points.  Lynn Hatter provides the overview.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist John Lantigua (lan-TEEG-wah) spent months investigating last summer’s massive toxic algae bloom that fouled beaches along the Treasure Coast and Southwest Florida.  Lantigua’s report for the American Civil Liberties Union raises concerns about the state’s handling of the crisis.  Lantigua talked about it with Florida Public Radio’s Jim Ash.

Capital Report: 06-02-2017

Jun 2, 2017

Hurricane season officially began Thursday, June 1 and will end the final day of November.  Officials across Florida are urging residents to get ready now for whatever storms may come.  From member station WUFT in Gainesville, Grace King has some helpful tips on what that preparation should include.

Capital Report: 05-26-2017

May 30, 2017

Florida Tax Watch is calling for Governor Rick Scott to veto money for more than 100 projects it calls “budget turkeys” that didn’t go through the legislature’s proper vetting process. But the watchdog group says the process was more transparent this year. Sarah Mueller reports.

Capital Report: 05-19-2017

May 22, 2017

Florida’s charter schools have emerged as winners from the legislative session. The schools have won long-fought battles over local revenue, and where and how they can expand. But even supporters say some of those victories are likely to end up in court. And Governor Scott is under pressure to veto those policies, and the education budget. Lynn Hatter reports.

Capital Report: 05-12-2017

May 12, 2017

The conviction on 18 charges of former Jacksonville Congresswoman Corrine Brown has shocked the city and is causing deep racial divisions.

The Florida Legislature has passed its budget and gone home.  But the manner in which lawmakers closed out this year’s session raises a number of questions about process, special session, and the veto pen.  Nick Evans has more.

Capital Report: 05-05-2017

May 5, 2017

After much wrangling, wringing of hands and backroom negotiating, the leaders of the Florida House and Senate finally announced an $83-billion state budget compromise last night.  The single largest impediment to reaching that compromise was the money the state provides safety-net hospitals to cover the cost of providing health care to those on Medicaid or those without any health coverage at all.  To find out what happened during that discussion at the highest levels of the Legislature, we spoke to Michael Auslen.  He’s a reporter with the combined capital bureau of the Tampa Bay Times and

Capital Report: 05-04-2017

May 4, 2017

Nick Evans returns from the Capitol to report that budget talks between House and Senate negotiators aren’t quite ready for prime time.

Employer groups are threatening to bolt and trial lawyers are in open revolt as lawmakers spend the final days of the 2017 session haggling over workers’ compensation reforms. Jim Ash has more.

There’s only 1 day left for lawmakers to decide what the state of testing will be in Florida’s public schools. Lynn Hatter reports on the circumstances of what is now the last remaining vehicle for big education changes.

Capital Report: 05-03-2017

May 3, 2017

The Florida Legislature wasn’t able to get it done on time, but leaders are nearing the finish line for the coming fiscal year’s budget.  Nick Evans reports drafters closed out numerous portions of the spending plan Wednesday after days of behind the scenes negotiations.

Capital Report: 05-02-2017

May 2, 2017

The Florida House has signed off on Senate President Joe Negron’s top priority: a water reservoir South of Lake Okeechobee. Lynn Hatter reports after a quick stop and approval by the Senate, the measure is heading to Governor Rick Scott’s desk.

The Florida House is advancing a medical marijuana proposal packed with last minute changes to bring it closer to the Senate position.  Nick Evans reports for some in the House, it’s a tough pill to swallow.

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