Capital Report: 03-28-2019

Mar 28, 2019

Legislators want to close a loophole they say bad actors are exploiting, ultimately leading to insurance rates increasing across the state. A bill heading to the House floor would address the issue. Blaise Gainey reports, lawmakers and the Chief Financial Officer of Florida are now focused on stopping those so-called bad actors.

A panel of Florida lawmakers has passed a bill intended to make sure the people behind citizen initiatives to amend the state constitution are Florida citizens. But as Regan McCarthy reports opponents say the measure infringes on free speech and democracy.

A committee bill in the Florida house looking to make sweeping changes to the state’s election laws has cleared a key committee stop. Ryan Dailey reports a number of them would modify the state’s vote-by-mail procedure, which sparked a partisan debate about voter access.

Florida lawmakers approved a series of new laws last year cracking down on telemarketers. Those laws went into effect last summer, and addressed everything from unwanted voicemails to allowing phone companies to pre-emptively block robocalls. And yet, Lynn Hatter reports, the bad calls are still happening.

Not all the action is taking place in Tallahassee this week. President Donald Trump is visiting Lake Okeechobee tomorrow (Friday). The trip to the troubled lake comes as top Republican leaders in the state say the president's proposed spending on Everglades restoration is not enough.

Lake Okeechobee is among the state’s most significant natural resources, and as WMFE’s environmental reporter Amy Green explains there’s debate after last year’s toxic algae blooms over just how much water the lake should hold.

Florida’s statewide Guardian Ad Litem program represents kids who through no fault of their own wind up in legal proceedings.  An ongoing problem is that the guardians don’t look anything like the young people they are representing.  Now, as Tom Flanigan reports, the program is teaming up with Florida A&M University to help rectify that racial and cultural disconnect through a long-term research and outreach effort.