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: 01-25-2019

Jan 25, 2019

Florida's Commission on Ethics today found probable cause to begin an investigation into possible state ethics violations by former Tallahassee mayor and Democratic candidate for Florida governor Andrew Gillum. Probable cause does NOT mean Gillum is guilty, rather it allows the commission to investigate the four issues brought before it. Robbie Gaffney was at today’s commission proceeding and files this report.

Capital Report: 01-18-2019

Jan 22, 2019

Governor Ron DeSantis wants the Florida Legislature to change the current law on smoking medical marijuana. Ryan Dailey reports DeSantis is asking courts to hold off on a decision in the lawsuit challenging a smoking ban. Now even some critics of DeSantis like Parkland parent and gun safety advocate Fred Guttenberg and former Democratic Congresswoman Gwen Graham are applauding the move.  

And while we’re on the subject of constitutional amendments…

Diimworks / Flickr

Victim rights protections under Marsy’s Law are now enshrined in the state Constitution. But many state agencies are struggling to interpret the broad language, most recently law enforcement.


A law that went into effect last July requires medical providers to check a statewide database before prescribing opioids for patients. Now, lawmakers are being asked to consider an exemption for doctors whose patients are terminally ill.

The law, known as House Bill 21 (HB21), targets controlled substances that are labeled as Schedule II or higher. That includes painkillers like OxyContin and codeine. These drugs are classified as having a high potential for abuse.

Capital Report: 01-11-2019

Jan 11, 2019

Shawn Mulcahy and Tom Flanigan review the very busy first week of Florida’s new governor and (mostly) new state cabinet.

Although Florida voters approved medical marijuana a few years ago, a legal battle has raged ever since on whether the medicine can be smoked.  As Blaise Gainey reports, a new governor and mostly new cabinet may be significantly changing the dynamic of those arguments.

Governor-elect Ron DeSantis officially takes office on Tuesday.

The former Congressman stuck with Fox News as his media outlet of choice during the campaign, and he largely stayed quiet during the election recount.

Since then, his transition teams have been crafting policy plans.

Capital Report: 01-04-2019

Jan 7, 2019

Advisers to Governor-elect Ron DeSantis want greater action on school safety. Shawn Mulcahy reports this comes after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission released the first draft of its report.

Capital Report: 12-21-2018

Dec 21, 2018

Florida Governor-elect Ron DeSantis is crafting his policy agenda and has turned to a group of thinkers from across the state to help. One of those groups, the Education and Workforce Transition Committee, is working on its proposals for DeSantis. Lynn Hatter listened in on one of the group’s recent meetings.

Last week, a Florida Senate committee heard that a potential surplus of more than $220-million had likely disappeared for next year’s state budget because of Hurricane Michael.

This week, the outlook turned more positive, with analysts projecting a significant increase in state revenue over two years.

Budget analysts periodically meet inside a building next to the Capitol for what’s known as the Revenue Estimating Conference.

Capital Report: 12-14-2018

Dec 14, 2018

Governor-Elect Ron DeSantis’ economic transition team held a conference call this week to pitch suggestions on how to harness what will drive Florida’s economy going forward. Ryan Dailey has more.

Florida’s share of film and television productions is waning as the state no longer offers tax credits for the industry. A new analysis finds Florida lawmakers may have good reason to reconsider those incentives.

The HBO series “Ballers” starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson was filmed in South Florida for its first two seasons. Then it moved to California – after Florida’s film tax credit program ended in 2016. The show is still going strong, now working on its fifth season.

Capital Report: 12-07-2018

Dec 7, 2018

Governor-elect Ron DeSantis has chosen fellow Republican and Former Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran to head the State Department of Education. Ryan Dailey reports Florida’s Board of Education will vote on whether or not Corcoran gets the job later this month.

Capital Report: 11-30-2018

Nov 30, 2018

A new front in the ongoing battle between Everglades restoration and Florida’s sugar industry has opened up. This time, it’s over a planned water reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee. Environmentalists are suing to block an extension of sugar leases they say could delay construction. Lynn Hatter has more.

As the deadline to renew the National Flood Insurance Program looms over Congress, many are left wondering what they will do if it ends. While the NFIP is the primary source of flood insurance coverage, it is not the only provider. Robbie Gaffney has more.

Capital Report: 11-23-2018

Nov 23, 2018

The Florida Legislature convened in Tallahassee before the Thanksgiving holiday for an organizational session. Gina Jordan reports new lawmakers were sworn in, and new leaders were installed.

A new crop of leaders will make their way to Tallahassee in January. The state canvassing board has signed off on the results of a contentious election that has seen Florida’s leadership through another big change.

Florida Legislature

The Florida Legislature convened in Tallahassee before the Thanksgiving holiday for an organizational session. New lawmakers were sworn in, and new leaders were installed.

Chief Justice Charles Canady administered the oath of office to senators in groups of five. Then,  Sen. Bill Galvano (R-Bradenton) was nominated unopposed to be the 88th Florida Senate President. Galvano was elected to the chamber in 2012 and previously served in the Florida House. 

Capital Report: 11-09-2018

Nov 9, 2018

It seemed as though the tight race for U.S. Senate was a done deal on Election Night.  Governor Rick Scott was out to unseat incumbent Senator Bill Nelson.  WGCU’s Rachel Iacovone (yah-ku-VOAN-ee) was at the presumptive victor’s watch party.

Capital Report: 11-02-2018

Nov 7, 2018

Panhandle schools hit hard by Hurricane Michael are re-opening, and many students are experiencing a “new normal” as they return. Ryan Dailey reports some districts are having to get creative to get all students in the classroom. He recently spoke with two superintendents who are having to do just that.

Weeks after Hurricane Michael made landfall in the panhandle, some displaced residents say FEMA has been slow to respond.


Weeks after Category 4 Hurricane Michael made landfall in the Panhandle, some displaced residents say FEMA has been slow to respond.

So, we asked former Florida Emergency Management Director Bryan Koon to explain the process of local, state, and government response.

Koon was a Governor Rick Scott appointee who may be best known for the controversy surrounding the Scott administration’s unofficial edict banning the term “climate change” from official communications.

Capital Report: 10-26-2018

Oct 29, 2018

In storm-ravaged Panama City, a new crisis is emerging: housing. Across the city, evictions are taking place as apartment complexes and rental units are condemned. Many of these are rent-controlled and income-based. Lynn Hatter reports that’s leaving hundreds of people scrambling for places to go. For some, there’s nowhere to go.

Tom Flanigan reports the fury of Hurricane Michael did severe damage to the region’s financial services networks.  Now the area’s bankers are doing what they can to speed the recovery of residents and businesses.

Capital Report: 10-19-2018

Oct 19, 2018

Panhandle Counties ravaged by Hurricane Michael are trying to rebuild, with many still waiting for power. Ryan Dailey recently went to Liberty and Calhoun counties, neighboring areas both dealing with their own challenges.

Capital Report: 10/05/2018

Oct 11, 2018

Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Ron DeSantis has released his plan for Florida’s economy. Ryan Dailey reports the former congressman bills himself as an enemy of taxes, as state Democrats attack him for his economic record in Washington.

Veteran Republican lobbyist and advocate Mac Stipanovich shares his thoughts on the state’s gubernatorial race.

The Florida Channel

Fundraising began this week for a state-sanctioned scholarship program that helps victims of bullying and other mistreatment at school.

The Hope Scholarship program for K – 12 students is part of a sweeping education law passed by the Florida Legislature last March and signed by Governor Rick Scott.

When the legislative session opened in January, House Speaker Richard Corcoran gave an impassioned speech about education.

Capital Report: 09-28-2018

Sep 28, 2018

Child advocates are pushing for changes in the way Florida law treats kids in welfare and the state’s juvenile justice system. Lynn Hatter reports the Children’s Campaign of Florida rolled out varying proposals Friday.

Voters will decide whether to place victims’ rights in the Florida Constitution this November. Advocates say it’s necessary to give victims a voice in the criminal justice process. But opponents argue these rights already exist under Florida law. Shawn Mulcahy reports.

Capital Report: 09-21-2018

Sep 21, 2018

The number of Floridians living in poverty has fallen since the Great Recession. But it’s still higher than the national average. According to federal data 14 percent of Floridians had incomes below the poverty line. The figure is closer to 13.2 percent nationally. Lynn Hatter takes a look what it means to live below the state poverty line, or in some cases, right on the edge.

Aglez the city guy/flickr

A minimum wage case before the Florida Supreme Court will determine whether Miami Beach can move ahead with an ordinance passed by the city commission in 2016.

The issue is whether a 2003 state law stopping local governments from setting their own minimum wage supersedes a 2004 voter-approved constitutional amendment.

Miami Beach city commissioners voted to phase in a higher minimum wage that would reach $13.31 an hour by 2021. That would be about $5 more an hour than the state’s minimum wage.