Capital Report: 03-29-2019

Mar 29, 2019

A measure moving through Florida’s House and Senate looks to add student immunization records to the Department of Health’s existing database. Ryan Dailey reports amendments to the bill would let parents opt out of being listed on the registry, but critics are still skeptical on whether their privacy is protected.

Mental health has been a frequent topic at the capital following more tragic news from Parkland. Two students who survived last year's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre took their own lives over the past two weeks. The Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald bureau reports that while the Legislature allocated $69 million for student mental health after the tragedy, almost none of it went to suicide prevention. But as Margie Menzel reports, some lawmakers have begun to study prevention programs.

Florida has multiple ways to change the state’s constitution.  But Regan McCarthy and Shawn Mulcahy say lawmakers seem determined to change the rules of the game when it comes to future modifications of Florida’s foundational document.

Lawmakers are off for the weekend and Gina Jordan gives us some insights on what might happen when they reconvene.

Last year President Donald Trump announced he would open more of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic to offshore oil and gas exploration. Florida responded by seeking a waiver from the policy. Voters responded too—by passing a ban on offshore drilling in state waters. Yet, advocates for offshore drilling, along with the group Explore Offshore, remain undeterred. Lynn Hatter spoke with former VA Secretary Jim Nicolson and the Florida Petroleum Council’s David Mica about the nation’s energy future, and why they believe offshore drilling should be on the table.