Capital Report: 06-22-2012

Jun 22, 2012

A months-long debate between Florida Governor Rick Scott and the state’s public universities over tuition increases came to a head this week, and the result disappointed both sides. Students will pay more for their classes this year, and as Lynn Hatter reports, negotiations over HOW MUCH more they will pay, reveal divisions within the board that oversees the schools.

Capital Report: 05-18-2012

May 21, 2012

Newly released details about the night Sanford teenager Trayvon Martin died at the hands of volunteer neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman, is shedding light on what may have happened leading to the February 26th Killing. NPR National Correspondent Greg Allen has been covering the case and breaks down the latest with Florida Public Radio’s Trimmel Gomes… 

Capital Report: 04-20-2012

Apr 20, 2012

Governor Rick Scott used the backdrop of a St. Johns County elementary school to sign the 2012-2013 state budget. As Kevin Meerschaert from member station WJCT in Jacksonville reports, Scott vetoed far fewer projects than he did last year.


Capital Report: 04-13-2012

Apr 16, 2012

Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law is under intense scrutiny after 17 year-old Trayvon Martin was fatally shot by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman. Calls to repeal the law have intensified but the controversy neatly fits into the legal community’s natural divide. Trimmel Gomes examines why prosecutors decry the law, while defense attorneys are willingly embracing it.


Capital Report: 04-06-2012

Apr 6, 2012

The Legislature’s revised Senate redistricting map is in the hands of the Florida Supreme Court justices. The Court set oral arguments for April 20 to decide the plan’s fate. However, James Call reports candidates are not waiting for the final decision on new district lines and have begun campaigning for the 2012 elections.

Capital Report: 03-16-2012

Mar 19, 2012

The Republican-controlled Florida Legislature is working on a new map for state senate districts.  The Florida Supreme Court invalidated a previous map plan, saying it did not follow new rules approved by voters.  James Call reports a plan will be proposed this weekend with a Senate floor vote set for the end of next week.

Capital Report: 03-09-2012

Mar 9, 2012

It’s the final day of the 2012 Florida Legislative session and lawmakers are expecting to work late into the night.  James Call reports lobbyists; reporters and lawmakers themselves are on guard for last-minute amendments that make significant changes to state policy. 

Capital Report: 03-08-2012

Mar 8, 2012

The budget is complete. But in a frantic race to finish Friday, the legislature is debating policy reforms to health care, auto insurance and failing public schools. James Call reports an ever-changing bi-partisan coalition is putting up obstacles for all three issues to clear by tomorrow/tonight’s scheduled adjournment.

Capital Report: 03-07-2012

Mar 7, 2012

Florida lawmakers say a sluggish economy forced them to slash spending on health care and the state university system. They say a nearly $2 billion shortfall forced them to reassess priorities and eliminate about a thousand state jobs. However, James Call reports, lawmakers were able to find millions of dollars for members’ hometown projects. 

Capital Report: 03-06-2012

Mar 6, 2012

A Leon County Circuit judge has ruled the state’s mandatory pension contribution is unconstitutional. Lynn Hatter reports state leaders and interest groups are pushing back by denouncing Jackie Fulford as an “activist judge” and saying they will appeal the ruling.

Capital Report: 03-05-2012

Mar 5, 2012

The Florida Legislature has a full agenda for the final week of its 2012 regular session.  James Call reports, leaders of the House and Senate have reached an agreement on a budget, allowing for an on-time finish to the session…. 

As the final scheduled week of the 2012 Florida Legislative Session got underway, the state senate was working through a long list of bills.  Tom Flanigan reports the issue of allowing unregulated out-of-state insurers to take over Citizens Insurance customers sparked spirited debate…. 

Capital Report: 03-02-2012

Mar 2, 2012

An influential south Florida Senator is warning legislative leaders not to try to , as he put it, “sneak” things into the budget. James Call reports, St. Petersburg Senator Jack Latvala is objecting to language proposed for a transportation conforming bill that would spend money on seaports.

Capital Report: 03-01-2012

Mar 1, 2012

With just a week remaining in the 2012 Florida legislative session, hundreds of issues remain unresolved. James Call reports joint conference committees are working to blend House and Senate proposed state budgets into one spending plan.

The Florida house has tackled a wide-ranging array of education bills—from approving inspirational messages in public schools, to designating September as American Founder’s month. Lynn Hatter reports some bills are now heading to the governor while others await senate approval.

Capital Report: 02-29-2012

Feb 29, 2012

Florida lawmakers are keeping one eye on the bottom line and another on the clock. Joint subcommittees are working on budgets for their area of expertise. Their spending plans will be folded into an overall state budget. James Call reports the subcommittees have until Friday to finish their work. That’s when the House and Senate budget chiefs plan to step in and take control of the negotiations. 

Capital Report: 02-28-2012

Feb 28, 2012

Florida lawmakers Tuesday afternoon broke a stalemate over budget negotiations. James Call reports, after the House budget chief said talks had gone quiet and Senators displayed a united front, House Speaker Dean Cannon and Senate President Mike Haridopolos reached an agreement on the budget’s bottom line

Capital Report: 02-27-2012

Feb 27, 2012

The Florida Senate and House could begin budget negotiations this week.  Leaders have held informal talks about the differences between the two proposed spending plans.  James Call reports, the Senate’s top budget writer says there are a couple of issues that need to be resolved before a conference committee will be appointed to finalize the state spending plan for next year. 

Capital Report: 02-24-2012

Feb 24, 2012

Cheating spouses could soon get a break in divorce hearings. A bill that would change the way adultery can be used to award alimony payments has cleared the House. Lynn Hatter reports it’s a part of a larger bill that seeks to scale back how the courts award alimony payments in marriage dissolution cases.

Capital Report: 02-23-2012

Feb 23, 2012

Members of the Florida Legislature are hammering out the last pieces of the state’s budget. The Senate version totals 71.2-billion dollars, which is about 2-billion dollars higher than the House proposal. But Regan McCarthy reports concerns about cuts, especially in higher education are at the forefront of many senators’ minds. 

Capital Report: 02-22-2012

Feb 22, 2012

Florida’s charter schools are looking for some extra money this year, and they’ve set their sights on traditional public schools to get it. Lynn Hatter reports the charter groups held a rally in Tallahassee Wednesday to urge the legislature to pass bills that would give them both enrollment and financial boosts. 


Capital Report: 02-21-2012

Feb 21, 2012

Hundreds of government workers rallied in Tallahassee to protest what they call a war on the middle class.  James Call reports members of the labor union representing state county and city employees roamed the halls of the state Capitol to talk to lawmakers about policies they say favor the wealthy at the expense of working people.

Capital Report: 02-20-2012

Feb 20, 2012

Today’s (Monday’s) meeting of the Florida Senate Judiciary Committee began peacefully enough.  But Tom Flanigan reports things quickly turned tense when members began debating a bill that would change the state’s laws governing foreclosure….

A bill to shield public schools from lawsuits when groups use their facilities after hours is making its way through the legislature. Lynn Hatter reports the proposal has had an easy ride through most of its committee stops, and faces little resistance. 

As the supreme court prepares to hear oral arguments about the Federal Affordable Care Act, Former Attorney General Bill McCollum explains the basis behind the claim that the law is unconstitutional.

Capital Report: 02-17-2012

Feb 17, 2012

Almost a decade after it was created the board that oversees the state university system is still working to get its footing. Over the past few months, conflicts and scandals at some of the schools have made state and national headlines. And as Lynn Hatter reports, the board’s chairman says his group should have more authority when it comes to the affairs of Florida’s universities.

Capital Report: 02-16-2012

Feb 16, 2012

Governor Rick Scott signed a bill Thursday to give a boost to Florida’s commercial space industry.  James Call reports, the measure will free up federal and state dollars to help build the facilities needed to launch equipment and people into space. 

It seems nearly everyone at the Florida Capitol now agrees that personal injury protection or “PIP” insurance fraud is a big problem.  Tom Flanigan reports the only thing those people disagree about is how to fix the problem…

Capital Report: 02-15-2012

Feb 15, 2012

Florida executed its third convicted killer in nine months Wednesday, prompting the age-old debate over capital punishment. Jessica Palombo of member station W-J-C-T in Jacksonville reports that both supporters and opponents of the death penalty say they rely on their faith to guide them.