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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: The hankie drops in mid-afternoon on the final day and Florida’s 2021 lawmaking session is over. But not before lawmakers passed a record-busting budget; When the House Appropriations chair is a North Floridian, it’s not surprising that part of the state gets a bigger slice of the Florida budget pie than it’s used to; Governor DeSantis is planning to sign off on election law changes that are opposed by Democrats and voting rights groups; Proponents of a Purple Alert for Florida say the proposal will help fill a gap in the missing persons’ alert system; Special Capital Reporter Steve Bousquet gives his take on how this year’s legislative session turned out; And a bill barring vaccine passports is on the way to the governor’s desk. But some worry the measure leaves people have been vaccinated open to discrimination
  • On tonight’s program: Lawmakers take aim at Florida’s skyrocketing property insurance rates. But while some blame frivolous lawsuits and bad actors, others argue there’s more at play; After a stand-alone measure banning transgender girls and women from female scholastic sports teams failed to pass, it returned as an add-on to another bill, much to the distress of Democrats in the Florida Legislature; In a rare display of actual bipartisanship, a police reform bill makes it through the Florida Legislature; As the end of session nears, Florida lawmakers are still hammering out legal guarantees for online data privacy; And there was an emotional end to a political career interrupted by the worst school shooting in U.S. history.
  • On tonight’s program: More restrictions for Florida voters now appear almost inevitable; The Florida Legislature draws closer to restraining social media companies’ ability to police their content; Environmentalists are urging Governor DeSantis to veto a bill they say would derail local plans to transition fully to renewable energy; A veteran Capital Reporter gives her take on what’s been a priority for this year’s Florida Legislature; And lawmakers say some people are facing discrimination based on whether or not they’ve been vaccinated.
  • On tonight’s program: Florida lawmakers are running “blue lights and siren” to try to get police reform through the process before time runs out; The Legislature approves a bill allowing licensed firearms in places of worship that are attached to schools; A major priority of Governor DeSantis, reining in social media platforms that reject conservative viewpoints, nears passage in the Florida Legislature; Florida Democrats are raising alarms over a bill that would allow police to use drones to surveil crowds of at least 50 people; Lawmakers vote down a controversial plan to create a public records exemption for college and university presidential searches; And we sit down with a new Legislative member who already is racking up a considerable social media fan base.
  • On tonight’s program: Florida lawmakers expand the state’s sales tax holidays and businesses get a bit more flexibility when it comes to participation; Democrats in the Florida Legislature charge a bill banning “disability abortions” will drive a wedge between patients and doctors; Bipartisanship emerges over an effort to increase the quality of the state’s voluntary pre-kindergarten programs; Florida’s newly-signed anti-riot law is blamed for a smaller than usual Black Lives Matter protest in Tampa; And lawmakers say they have a plan to address nursing home staffing shortages and help people find jobs at the same time.
  • On tonight’s program: With just a week remaining in this legislative session, a special session about gaming is already on lawmakers’ calendars; Will out-of-work Floridians ever see more unemployment payments than they do now? That’s a question that still has state lawmakers divided; We hear from Floridians who say the guilty verdicts in the Derek Chauvin trial this week are a far cry from justice. Miami-Dade’s police director weighs in on Florida’s new anti-riot law; A legislative proposal to expand police agencies’ use of drones is causing some lawmakers to raise privacy concerns; It seems telehealth can be just as helpful for four-legged as two-legged patients. The Florida Legislature is leaning in the direction of making the service more accessible to pet owners; And we visit a Florida habitat that seems custom-made to fight the major cause of climate change.
  • On tonight’s program: The sponsor of a bill to tighten Florida elections law insists the measure is simply a way to get ahead of those who might try to mess up future elections; Florida’s school choice programs are on the verge of getting simpler, and a lot more expansive; Republicans in the Florida Legislature are upset with what they call “The cancel culture of social media companies”; LGBTQ advocates fear a bill that was temporarily postponed may end up passing this legislative session. If so, it would impact transgender women and girls’ ability to play on female school sports teams; The Florida Legislature has long had an aversion to any kind of lawsuit aimed against businesses. That tradition continues in the current legislative session with insurance companies saying they’re the latest target of unjustified litigation; A move to expand telehealth passes in the Florida House; And in Broward County, a blockbuster development as two top officials at the county’s school district are arrested by state law enforcement officers.
  • On tonight’s program: With time growing short, the pace of budget negotiations ramps up at the Florida Capitol; Florida consumers will no longer have the burden of sending the state sales tax payments for online purchases to out-of-state businesses; We’ll also get updates on statewide efforts to promote literacy and a growing trend of having special response teams instead of armed police officers to deal with non-violent cases involving mental health issues; Military grandparents with out-of-state grandchildren could lure them to Florida with promises of in-state tuition; Tallahassee becomes the latest Florida town to try a special mental-health response team for certain kinds of police calls; And the Florida House moves forward with a program to promote more statewide literacy.
  • On tonight’s program: The Florida House and Senate are still miles apart on a plan to revamp school choice. Opponents say the ultimate plan needs to include more oversight of private schools; Once again, the Florida Legislature considers reforming the state’s alimony laws; A GOP-backed proposal to restrict transgender women and girls from playing on female teams may die in the Florida Senate; Lawmakers are looking into a program that’s supposed to provide support for children who suffered neurological or spinal cord injuries at birth; And two and a half years after the fact, the aftermath of Hurricane Michael is still the subject of analysis, and how events of the past year made the struggle of victims worse.
  • On tonight’s program: Violent protests in Florida are now even more against the law than they used to be; Even before Governor DeSantis signed the protest bill, just the threat of it was giving this demonstrator in St. Petersburg pause; Lawmakers are working to find middle ground on spending plans including an initiative that would extend Medicaid coverage for new mothers; Local elected officials in Florida are pushing back against a bill that would strip them of their ability to regulate utility fuel sources; As the Legislature’s Republican leadership racks up the winning votes for its priorities, Democrats protest, but there’s really not much they can do; And a proud legacy of former Florida Governor Lawton Chiles could disappear if the current Legislature votes to abolish it.
  • On tonight’s program: Democrats say the Florida bill aimed at violent protests is racist and they’re preparing to take the issue to court; Three controversial Florida highway proposals have hit a serious roadblock; Supporters of a bill to educate parents about the sex education being taught in Florida’s public schools say local school districts will ignore it at their peril; A gambling agreement could be coming this year. But it might not happen this session; When might there be a special election to fill the congressional vacancy caused by the death of Alcee Hastings? So far, there’s no word from the governor who would have to make that call. That certainly has plenty of Democrats upset; And we go on a trek through Florida’s ever-diminishing wilderness in search of the elusive and endangered Florida panther.
  • On tonight’s program: A plan to term-limit school board members in Florida gets blowback from rural Republicans; It took some heavy negotiation, but a policing reform bill is now up and running in the Florida legislature; A move to expand the scope of practice for physicians’ assistants has been significantly watered down. Some say it’s a missed opportunity to expand access to health care; Big changes could be coming to Florida’s dysfunctional unemployment system; As Florida’s economy slowly recovers, there are more employers looking for workers, but a significant number of workers are still in need of jobs; And advancing through the legislature is a proposal to allow human paramedics to treat and transport police canines that are hurt in the line of duty.