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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 again becomes a national hotbed for new coronavirus infections. We’ll see how that surge is impacting some hospitals just a few miles from the State Capitol; South Florida is also seeing a COVID surge and we’ll get the latest from there; The first - and some would say the most contentious - bill to make it through this year’s Florida lawmaking session will soon have its day in court; In the wake of the 2020 Census, Florida lawmakers get ready to redraw the state’s legislative and congressional district maps. And it seems they’re determined not to repeat the mistakes of the past; And the seismic shocks from a bizarre Capital City murder case continue to reverberate. The parents of the victim still mourn for him and the grandchildren they haven’t seen in years.
  • On tonight’s program: Governor Ron DeSantis is offering bonuses for teachers who undergo civics education training. He says he wants to make sure Florida students have a good understanding of the country’s framework; Florida’s small communities get a boost in state funding for local projects. The hope is that will help jumpstart those areas’ economies; Voter advocacy groups are working to make sure Floridians keep a watchful eye on the state’s upcoming redistricting process; Protestors in Tallahassee fear the January sixth attack on the U-S Capitol was actually staged by the federal government to justify the creation of a national Gestapo-type police force; And a new statue of a famous Floridian is taking its place at the U-S Capitol in Washington.
  • On tonight’s program: As residents along Florida’s Nature Coast recover following Elsa, state officials remind all Floridians to stay prepared; As Former President Trump sues social media companies, a federal judge blocks a new state law that bars those firms from banning political candidates from their platforms. We’ll discuss with a prominent law professor; In the wake of the Surfside condo collapse, local governments around Florida are targeting buildings that are behind on inspections; Florida has three million at-home caregivers who could benefit from a proposed tax credit; And volunteers who patrol for sea turtles in one Florida Panhandle community are raising their eyebrows over the area’s low nesting numbers. So far, they’ve found only three.
  • On tonight’s program: Governor DeSantis surprises child welfare advocates by vetoing legislation to allow more young offenders who complete diversionary programs to have their records expunged; Disappointment grows after a judge blocks a program granting aid to minority farmers. A white farmer had called “discrimination” in the case. Black farming advocates disagree; As the investigation continues into the Surfside condo building collapse, anxiety builds at other high rises; The Florida Wildlife Corridor Act was signed into law this week after getting bipartisan support; And Florida’s college and university athletes are already taking advantage of a new law that lets them earn money on their personal brand.
  • On tonight’s program: Governor Ron DeSantis signs into law a measure that he and supporters insist will protect freedom of speech in institutions of higher learning; Governor Ron DeSantis’s focus on hot-button political issues has boosted his national profile. One political scientist opines the governor is just laying the groundwork for a presidential bid; Labor shortages are hammering many Florida employers. Including group homes for people with development disabilities; After a mid-Session power struggle, a new Democratic leader takes the reigns in the Florida Senate and charts a more bipartisan course than her predecessor; As the pandemic winds down, it seems for many people, fear of reconnecting with others is up. We talk with an expert in the behavioral field to learn more; And experts say higher prices for building materials could force some folks to make difficult decisions.
  • On tonight’s program: Florida’s supervisors of elections are more than a little upset with new laws telling them how to do their jobs; The association that represents Florida attorneys is also concerned about a new state supreme court rule that could restrict diversity when it comes to required continuing education courses; Governor Ron DeSantis prepares to send Florida law officers to Arizona and Texas to help with border patrol; After years of murkiness, the waters in Florida’s magnificent Wakulla Springs, the world’s largest and deepest, are once again running clear; And it’s the “case of the vanishing lake.” Tallahassee’s Lake Jackson has disappeared through a sink hole into the Floridan Aquifer. But experts say that’s a good thing.
  • On tonight’s program: You won’t find things like “Critical Race Theory” being taught in Florida Public Schools. The State Board of Education has so ruled with the enthusiastic support of Governor Ron DeSantis; Governor Ron DeSantis signs new legislation making changes in the property insurance market aimed at reducing expensive litigation. Private and public insurers are applauding. But even some lawmakers still have their doubts; A former Florida governor would like to have his old job back. He’s criticizing the current governor for many things, including changes to the state’s voting rules; Florida leaders are working to help military members as they transition from active duty to civilian life; Summertime also means algae bloom time for parts of Tampa Bay and the Piney Point Wastewater spill may be at least partly to blame; And a federal court bans the use of a chemical used as a citrus pesticide. A chemical that some researchers worry might have devastating long-term impacts on people.
  • On tonight's program: Governor Ron DeSantis signed Florida’s new state budget earlier this week. But left out of it was federal money that he says shouldn’t have been there in the first place; On the very first day of Pride Month, Governor Ron DeSantis signs into law a bill banning transgender women and girls from competing in female school sports; A battle royal over affordable housing in Florida is over for the moment. But disappointment still remains; School districts are releasing their kids for the summer and are looking back on how they managed to keep teaching during a pandemic. But the work isn’t done quite yet; A legislative move to pre-empt local regulation of cruise ship traffic winds up targeting only one specific city; And we travel to a Florida wildlife refuge where we meet an endangered animal from another land....a very LOUD endangered animal.
  • On tonight’s program: Governor Ron DeSantis is going to battle against Big Tech firms over censorship. But those companies are fighting back; The Florida Elections Commission, now tasked with even more work than before, finds itself understaffed; No general revenue money sent to Florida from the federal government was used to help provide utility relief for customers who’ve experienced disconnections. Now some are saying it was the state legislature that dropped the ball; Florida Taxwatch unleashes its 2021 list of budget turkeys; Florida lawmakers have given harness race tracks the okay to stop holding live races, but operate slot machines and card rooms. Thoroughbred tracks still have to race and some say that could hurt standard-bred horse businesses; And researchers who care for manatees are seeing many of the gentle giants suffering from an affliction that’s causing them to literally waste away.
  • On tonight’s program: Lawmakers have signed off on a new gambling deal with the Seminole Tribe of Florida. It’s expected to earn the state at least 500-million dollars in annual revenue. But how will lawmakers spend the money?; One of the main legislative players in the new Seminole Compact deal will give his take on the agreement; Florida’s governor and education commissioner grab onto the latest conservative flashpoint: how and what students should be taught about American history and civics; All across Florida, restaurants are experiencing a hiring crunch; A former Florida Chief Financial Officer is raising objections to the state’s new Internet sales tax law; And days ago, Florida’s State House Democrats chose their next two leaders. They’ve already begun thinking about how to regain seats in the House after losing some of them in the last election.
  • On tonight’s program: Governor Ron DeSantis has signed into law a major expansion of the state's school choice voucher program; Local governments could now face penalties for creating their own gun regulations even if they’re unwritten. But some worry the move could open cities and counties up to more lawsuits; A national survey shows rural Americans are less likely to get vaccinated compared to those living in urban and suburban areas; Florida State University faces a choice--hire a president to get to the top tier of research schools, or go with a politician who can bring in the money; A former Florida House Speaker - now a retiring university president - gives this session's speaker high marks; And the case over whether Zachary Wester, a former Jackson County sheriff, planted drugs in motorists’ vehicles during traffic stops kicked off this week. Wester took the stand Friday to tell his side.
  • On tonight’s program: A plan closing a loophole in parental notification in Baker Act cases has mental health advocates cheering; Robbie Gaffney speaks with lawyers over the legality of Florida’s proposed transgender athlete ban and whether it discriminates against transgender students on the basis of sex; We compare and contrast election laws passed by the Georgia Legislature, with those just passed by Florida lawmakers and signed into law by Governor DeSantis this week; After being mostly trounced in the 2020 election and essentially steam rolled during the legislative session just ended, Florida Democrats are shopping for a winning strategy; And lawmakers are gearing up for a special session on a new gambling proposal. Legislative leaders say they plan to vet the already controversial plan carefully.