Capital Report

Fridays, 6:30 pm ET & 9:00 pm ET

WFSU/Florida Public Radio 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 legislative sessions, the economy, environmental issues, tourism, business or the arts, Capital Report gives information on issues that affect the lives of everyday Floridians.

Capital Report is broadcast each Friday at 6:30 pm and 9:00pm ET on 88.9FM - WFSU Tallahassee, 5:30 pm CT on 89.1FM -WFSW Panama City and on public radio stations across the state (check local listings).

During Florida Legislative Session: Weekdays 6:30 pm & 9:00 pm ET - 88.9FM WFSU Tallahassee & Weekdays 5:30 pm CT - 89.1FM WFSW Panama City and on public radio stations across the state (check local listings).

Capital Report: 09-27-2019

Sep 27, 2019

A Florida appeals court has rejected a constitutional challenge against the state’s Red Flag law. The policy lets law enforcement officers temporarily remove guns from the homes of people who are seen as a threat to themselves or others. Now, as Regan McCarthy reports some state lawmakers are looking into an expansion of the rule, while other have filed for a repeal.

Man rests elbows on window panel and he looks out
Priscilla Du Preez/Unsplash

The Florida Legislature has wrapped up its first week of meetings ahead of the regular session that begins in January. Lawmakers took time during their first Committee Week to consider the causes of mass violence and how mental illness could play a part. Those discussions came amid a request for more mental health funding for schools.

Capital Report: 09-20-2019

Sep 20, 2019

When it comes to the preferred weapons of choice for mass shooters, AR-15 style rifles are high on the list.  Variants of the AR-15 were used by  gunmen at the Las Vegas Harvest music festival shooting, as well as the Sandy Hook and Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shootings. That gun has taken much of the blame for lost lives, and is itself the target of proposed gun bans across America. Blaise Gainey has more.

Capital Report: 09-13-2019

Sep 13, 2019

A proposed Florida assault weapons ban would prohibit all semi-automatic shotguns and rifles that are capable of holding more than 10 rounds. State economists say that would affect around 71 percent of rifles and half of shotguns. Charlie Strickland, CEO of Tallahassee-based Talon Training Group, says it would leave a gaping exit wound in business. Capital Reporter Blaise Gainey spoke with Strickland to find out exactly how.

Capital Report: 09-06-2019

Sep 6, 2019

Floridians are no stranger to hurricanes. But for nearly a decade the state saw no direct landfall from a tropical cyclone. Now after consecutive years of major hurricanes, some citizens seem to have a kneejerk reaction when a storm system nears. That added to the intensity of recent storms has some questioning the accuracy of storm path projections. But as Blaise Gainey reports meteorologists say their technology is working better than ever.

Capital Report: 08-30-2019

Aug 30, 2019

With the number of prisoners requiring mental health treatment on the rise, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is asking stakeholders to weigh in on possible solutions. Regan McCarthy has more….

Capital Report: 08-23-2019

Aug 26, 2019

Florida lawmakers have until Tuesday (Aug. 27) to say whether they support a special session on firearms legislation. Democrats have called for the move, but 60 percent of the lawmakers in both chambers would have to back it—an unlikely outcome in the state’s GOP controlled legislature. Regan McCarthy has more….

Capital Report: 08-16-2019

Aug 16, 2019

Earlier in the month the state’s financial impact estimating group struggled to define certain portions of a constitutional amendment petition that would ban assault weapons. Friday the group met again, this time they invited the petition sponsor Ban Assault Weapons Now and others to help clarify portions of the amendment. Blaise Gainey has the details.

Capital Report: 08-09-2019

Aug 9, 2019

As students across the state prepare to head back to school, ensuring their safety in the classroom is top of mind for teachers, administrators, law enforcement and state leaders. Regan McCarthy has more….

Currently, the state Department of Education does not keep a complete database of all substitute teachers in the state. But Ryan Dailey reports one violent tragedy in Tallahassee last year has raised concerns, and a push for better record-keeping at the state level.

Capital Report: 08-02-2019

Aug 2, 2019

Florida’s state-run crime labs don’t have the ability to determine whether a product is weed, CBD or hemp. And the issue is stopping law enforcement in its tracks. Lynn Hatter reports officials say the state’s new hemp law is creating a patchwork of enforcement efforts and will likely need the legislature to step in.

The First District Court of Appeal has reversed a ruling that declared a 2015 law requiring a one-day wait before an abortion unconstitutional. Blaise Gainey reports the American Civil Liberties Union is preparing for court once again.

Capital Report: 07-26-2019

Jul 26, 2019

State officials have heralded hemp as a new wonder crop.  But the plant’s recent legalization is complicating efforts to enforce marijuana-related charges. Shawn Mulcahy reports the new law has left police and prosecutors alike scrambling for a solution.

New State Hemp Advisory Committee is trying to kick start Florida’s hemp industry. One of its first steps is to create rules. Florida’s Director of Cannabis Holly Bell spoke to Capital Reporter Blaise Gainey on how that process will move forward.

Capital Report: 07-19-2019

Jul 19, 2019

The Florida House wants a say in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of state medical marijuana regulations. WFSU’s Shawn Mulcahy reports the chamber's lawyers asked a Tallahassee appeals court Tuesday for a chance to intervene.   

Capital Report: 07-12-2019

Jul 12, 2019

Florida courts have spoken and say the state’s medical marijuana distribution system is unconstitutional Blaise Gainey reports that could soon force the legislature and the industry to make changes.

It sounds like something out of a crime drama. A dirty cop plants illegal drugs on people, then arrests them. State investigators say that’s exactly what happened in one North Florida County. Lynn Hatter reports.

Capital Report: 07-05-2019

Jul 5, 2019

Florida’s Historic Capitol lawn was the backdrop for a protest Tuesday calling for the closure of migrant detention centers. Ryan Dailey has more.

Thousands of felons throughout the state have the right to vote thanks to Amendment 4 and Governor Ron DeSantis signing the implementing bill into law. But to do so they will have to register first. Capital Reporter Blaise Gainey joined former Leon County Commissioner Bob Rackleff as he went door to door doing just that (registering felons to vote).

Capital Report: 06-28-2019

Jun 28, 2019

Florida will soon strike up a so-called John’s Registry for people convicted of soliciting prostitution. It’s part of an effort to combat human and sex trafficking. The database has been endorsed by law enforcement who see it as a way to shame people who pay for sex, but Lynn Hatter reports, some victim advocates worry it could sweep up people who’ve been trafficked themselves.

Capital Report: 06-21-2019

Jun 24, 2019

Governor Ron DeSantis today [Friday] signed the state’s 90.9 billion dollar budget. Shawn Mulcahy has more.

This week saw suspended Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel go before the Senate special master in his appeal hearing. Ryan Dailey reports Israel pointed to Governor Ron DeSantis allegations of incompetence on the job as political.

Capital Report: 06-14-2019

Jun 14, 2019

Today (Friday) Governor Ron DeSantis approved a ban on so-called “sanctuary cities” in Florida. Ryan Dailey reports the effort sparked controversy during this legislative session, but its backers say it’s all about following the rule of law.

This is an image of Bill Shepherd, a lawyer in Holland & Knight's Washington, D.C. and West Palm Beach offices. He is the former statewide prosecutor of Florida.

The Florida Supreme Court issued a surprise ruling in late May regarding expert witness testimony. 

Six years ago, the Florida Legislature adopted the Daubert standard for expert witnesses in court cases. But the state’s high court exercised its right to keep the Frye standard in place, which sets a lower threshold for what can be considered expert testimony.

The makeup of the Florida Supreme Court changed last January when three retiring justices were replaced with appointments made by Governor Ron DeSantis. The newly revamped court quickly decided to implement the tougher standards.

Capital Report: 06-07-2019

Jun 7, 2019

The U.S. Agriculture Department secretary was at a roundtable in Tallahassee today [Friday]. Shawn Mulcahy reports 8 months after Hurricane Michael, recovery still dominated the discussion.

There’s an increasing trend of hurricanes stalling as they near the coast. Regan McCarthy reports that means more storms could bring more rain.

Breaking precedent Florida Governor Ron Desantis is hiring a Chief Resiliency Officer to combat the effects of Climate Change. Kevin Del Orbe [del-Or-bay] reports on what this new position could mean for climate change policy in Florida.

Capital Report: 05-31-2019

May 31, 2019

The number of Florida School Districts that want teachers to carry guns is growing. Nearly half the districts in the state have signed up for the so-called “Guardian” Program and more have signaled they intend to do so. Lynn Hatter has more.

Capital Report: 05-24-2019

May 24, 2019

After Hurricane Michael slammed Florida’s Panhandle, courthouses were shuttered, law offices were closed and most communications were temporarily shut down. But Regan McCarthy reports the aftermath of a disaster is exactly when many people are most in need of help from the legal system.

David Hart, Executive Vice President of Government & Political Relations for the Florida Chamber of Commerce. / Florida Chamber of Commerce

The Florida Chamber of Commerce has released its annual Legislative Report Card. The chamber says the report card helps hold state leaders accountable for how they vote on issues relating to Florida’s business climate.

Capital Report: 05-17-2019

May 17, 2019

Governor Ron DeSantis has approved a measure that could pave the way for the state’s first major highway expansion in decades. The effort has been led by state Senate President Bill Galvano who pushed the roads as a way to aid in evacuations, promote growth in rural parts of the state and help transport an ever growing population. But environmentalists argue the idea could be a disaster for fragile ecosystems. Lynn Hatter has more.

Capital Report: 05-10-2019

May 13, 2019

A Housing crisis has emerged in the wake of Hurricane Michael. Now state and federal money is on the way to address it. Lynn Hatter reports on what’s coming, and when people will begin to see an impact.

Capital Report: 05-03-2019

May 3, 2019

The Florida Legislature is expected to approve the final product of its budget for this year Saturday. Ryan Dailey reports both chambers got their turn to weigh in on the spending plan today.

On the 60th day of Florida’s session the legislature has passed a bill that details how a felon would go about getting their voting rights restored. The moves comes after 5.1 million Floridians voted to give felons who’ve completed their sentence and did not commit a felony sexual assault or murder their voting rights back.