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Capital Report (large)
Capital Report
Weekly Podcast

WFSU Public Media 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 sessions, the economy, environmental issues, tourism, business, or the arts, Capital Report provides information on issues that affect the lives of everyday Floridians.

  • On tonight’s program: Florida’s motorists may have to start paying out-of-pocket to replace damaged windshields, something they haven’t had to do before; The new president of the Florida Senate faces a first-time Session very different from what he might have imagined when his colleagues picked him for the job a few years ago. That includes trying to keep good relations with a governor whose approval rating is on the downslide; Faced with having fewer voting locations for the next election, some Florida officials are looking at creating so-called “super sites”; The long-running dispute between Florida, Georgia and Alabama over who gets how water much from the river system that winds up in Apalachicola Bay is before the U.S. Supreme Court. We have both Florida and Georgia viewpoints on the issue; And what environmentalists consider an invasive species are to those who sell these creatures, a valuable and legal commodity.
  • On tonight’s program: Governor Ron DeSantis has included environmental protection money is his proposed state spending plan. Advocates are wondering if it’s enough, especially when it comes to fighting climate change; After months of protests against police brutality across the nation, members of Florida’s Legislative Black Caucus are calling for their bills to get a full hearing; Lawmakers say no baby should be left abandoned in unsafe places anywhere in Florida; Florida’s Hispanic residents are getting the coronavirus vaccines at lower rates than non-Hispanic whites. Experts say vaccine hesitancy is contributing to this disparity; And a prominent Florida scientist says new research suggests at least some of the mind-bending drugs that were so popular in the 1960s may not be as dangerous as once thought, as long as certain precautions are taken.
  • On tonight’s program: Have 90,000 Florida public school students simply vanished? That’s just one question state lawmakers will ponder as local school districts brace for budget cuts; State leaders target social media giants for censoring conservative voices; Does former Florida Governor-turned-Congressperson Charlie Crist have plans to return to the Governor’s Mansion?; Florida leaders are working to get as many of the state’s senior citizens vaccinated as they can; Property insurance is again rearing its head as an issue for Florida lawmakers. For years they’ve been trying to decrease the cost of coverage, but to avail. Is this the year they succeed?; And an academic public policy think tank has some suggestions on how Florida government, now facing serious revenue shortfalls, might be able to do more with less.
  • On tonight’s program: Florida’s revenues have been going down. But Governor Ron DeSantis is proposing a state budget in which spending is going up; Debate roils at the Capitol over a bill that would up the penalties for demonstrators if their protest gets even a little bit out of hand; Some Florida lawmakers believe the state’s election laws could use some serious tweaking. Bills to accomplish that have been submitted by both sides of the aisle; Florida officials are trying to discourage “medical tourism;” out-of-state visitors coming just to get coronavirus vaccinations while vaccine supplies remain sparse; Florida lawmakers hope to create a task force to study how many lost African-American cemeteries the state may have; And the person considered the governor’s strong right arm is moving on, just weeks before the Legislative Session when he might be needed most.
  • On tonight’s program: Medical marijuana is already legal in Florida. This week, state lawmakers filed bills that would further change the way the substance is handled; Florida’s Department of Children and Families continues to have its share of problems, especially when it comes to its foster care programs and employee turnover. We’ll talk with the Department’s secretary about those and other issues; When it comes to many people of color, it’s not just the sketchy availability of coronavirus vaccine that’s preventing immunization; Meanwhile, Florida’s black lawmakers are trying to bring coronavirus facts to the African-American community to quell concerns about COVID-19 vaccines; And Many Florida Republicans insist that Donald Trump is still president, but that posture may not be sustainable.
  • On tonight’s program: Florida’s budget luck has run out, forcing state lawmakers to start pulling out the long knives when it comes to spending; A bill giving conditional immunity to businesses from COVID-19 related lawsuits passed its first committee stop this week. But not without debate about how that immunity might work; A statewide surge in new coronavirus cases since the start of the year is leading to higher infection rates, especially in Florida’s Big Bend region; Florida health officials said this week they’d received one-point-four million doses of coronavirus vaccine so far. They say they’re working quickly to get those doses out and into the public; And Florida lawmakers are calling for sweeping reforms after a Department of Justice investigation alleged a culture of “systemic” sexual abuse and cover-ups at a women’s prison in Ocala.
  • On tonight’s program: While coronavirus vaccines remain in short supply, Florida businesses might get legal immunity from pandemic-connected litigation during the upcoming lawmaking session; Even if COVID-19 vaccines become more available than they are now, some groups of people are still hesitant to roll up their sleeves and get the shot; There may be issues with Florida’s vaccine distribution and acceptance, but we’ll also speak with a few folks who say there’s reason for optimism; In the wake of this week’s chaos in Washington, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is pushing legislation to up the penalties for protestors who become violent. The bill has its supporters. It also has some opponents; While some farmers have struggled during the pandemic, officials say hemp growers have seen an increase in demand; And a Florida entrepreneur is urging state and local governments to make more tracked chairs - kind of a cross between a wheelchair and a bulldozer - available to folks with disabilities.
  • On tonight’s program: Now that the 2020 election is in the rear-view mirror, we’ll learn what renowned Political Scientist Susan McManus had to say about it; Despite a constitutional amendment passed in 2018 to restore voting rights for most Florida felons, state lawmakers kept insisting in 2020 that felons would first have to pay off every fee connected with their crime. Even if nobody knew how much that might be; Governor Ron DeSantis proposes legislation that would crack down on what he calls “mob violence”; It seems many common commodities went missing during the first months of the pandemic; Recent changes at the post office meant sending things through the mail this holiday season required a combination of calculus and luck; And despite a raging pandemic, Florida’s college spring breakers in 2020 insisted they were doing whatever it took to stay safe.
  • On tonight’s program: Parts of a famous Florida coastal highway are slowly slipping into the Gulf of Mexico. Now state officials are scrambling to reverse the erosion; Decreased water flow in the Apalachicola River isn’t just threatening the region’s famous oysters. It’s also causing concern for the trees critical to North Florida’s tupelo honey production; Many residents of storm-tossed Northwest Florida are hoping nature-based tourism can help buttress their battered economy; One of Florida’s once thriving wild-bird species - nearly pushed to the edge of extinction - is slowly rebounding; And a renowned Florida environmental writer discovers and reveals a heart-warming connection between the natural world and caring for her father during his last days.
  • Florida's Baker Act wasn't designed for children. Yet they're the fastest-growing segment of the population being sent for involuntary psychiatric exams. More 100 kids a day are being Baker Acted. Solutions to the problem aren’t easy. And the reasons why children end up in the mental health system are complex. This special report by Lynn Hatter explores what happens when kids get committed.
  • On tonight’s program: With the first of what could be several vaccines now approved by the feds, how soon might the first shots be available in Florida?; The pandemic sparks the creation of a special committee in the Florida Senate. Its Chair, Senator Danny Burgess, says it’ll cover a lot of ground; Lawmakers are calling the Paycheck Protection Program a success. But the initiative still has some problems as many small businesses wait for more aid; Today’s knock-down-drag-out political environment has too many Americans doubting the very lynchpin of democracy; Investigators uncover a scheme to sell the content of the tests used to certify Florida teachers; And the law enforcement raid this week on the home of a former Florida data scientistprompted the resignation of a state official who insisted he could no longer work for a government that would do such a thing.
  • On tonight’s program: Florida becomes the third state in the country to surpass the mark of one million coronavirus cases. But Governor Ron DeSantis says that doesn’t mean a new lockdown will be needed; While COVID-19 case numbers soar in Florida, many of the state’s business leaders worry that could lead to a soaring number of lawsuits; Lawmakers who have always opposed tax and tuition hikes may have to reverse course as Florida’s revenues collapse because of the pandemic; A bill allowing firearms on Florida college and university campuses will be back for the 2021 lawmaking session. Its sponsor, Republican Representative Anthony Sabatini, insists the idea is to protect Second Amendment rights. Not everyone agrees; Last month’s election was marked by lots of partisanship, much of it fueled by what people were reading on the Internet; And postal workers are seeing tons of packages this holiday season.