capital report

Capital Report: 08-18-2018

13 hours ago

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.

Capital Report: 05-01-2017

May 1, 2017

The American Petroleum Institute is praising President Donald Trump’s latest move to open up the eastern Gulf of Mexico to offshore drilling. But more than half of Florida’s Congressional delegation stands opposed and as Jim Ash reports, the timing of Trump’s latest executive orders is a little awkward.

A measure to send 300-million dollars to help eight Panhandle Counties recover following the Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill appears to be nearing a final hurdle to pass this legislative session. Regan McCarthy has more.....

Capital Report: 04-28-2017

Apr 28, 2017

Nick Evans and Tom Flanigan talk about the state budget crafting process that began in earnest late this week and will continue into the weekend.

The Legislature is expected to pass an implementing bill for Amendment Four, the renewable energy tax breaks that voters approved back in August.  At the same time, a statewide ban on hydraulic fracturing appears dead this year.  As lawmakers enter the home stretch of the 2017 Session, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy Florida Director Susan Glickman spoke with Florida Public Radio’s Jim Ash.

Capital Report: 04-27-2017

Apr 27, 2017

Budget talks have begun—or at least the public face of them have started.  Nick Evans reports lawmakers are planning an extremely tight timeline.

Florida lawmakers appear to be moving forward with a House-driven bill boosting funding to charter schools that set up near chronically failing public schools. The measure, dubbed “Schools of Hope”, is a priority of House Speaker Richard Corcoran but its final form is still being debated.

Capital Report: 04-26-2017

Apr 26, 2017

Spending offers are flying back and forth between House and Senate leaders.  But Nick Evans reports time is running short on this year’s legislative session. 

Florida lawmakers are beginning to make headway when it comes to finding a middle ground between the House and Senate gambling plans. Regan McCarthy has more....

A proposal allowing Florida Power and Light to charge customers for exploratory natural gas drilling has cleared a key senate hurdle, despite numerous consumer concerns. Lynn Hatter reports the company calls the move a hedge against future fuel increases.

Capital Report: 04-25-2017

Apr 25, 2017

It appears talks regarding Florida’s budget have re-started with the House budget chief saying talks could begin as early as tonight (Tuesday).  Lynn Hatter reports earlier in the day the House’s budget committee voted to re-authorize the current year’s spending plan with a few changes, after lawmakers appeared to be at a stand-off.

House and Senate Republicans have different ideas about how to address a dramatic spike in workers’ compensation rates. But as Jim Ash reports, unions and trial attorneys are now saying the Senate version is the most worker friendly.

Capital Report: 04-24-2017

Apr 24, 2017

Back on Friday, Florida lawmakers seemed on the fast track to crafting a budget.  But now, as Lynn Hatter tells Tom Flanigan, negotiations between the House and Senate have hit a huge snag.

Nearly three years after voters greenlighted Amendment 1, a North Fort Myers Republican wants to change the land acquisition funding formula. The late-session move is raising eyebrows, but as Jim Ash tells us, Representative Matt Caldwell says his goal is to increase funding for the iconic Florida Forever.

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