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: 03-01-2019

Mar 4, 2019

As health care continues to take up a larger and larger slice of the state’s budget, House Speaker Jose Oliva has set his eyes on market reform. Shawn Mulcahy has more on the battle over health care privatization, affordability and access.

Heading into the legislative session, state lawmakers on either side of the aisle aren’t seeing eye-to-eye on education. Ryan Dailey reports school choice and school safety remain polarizing issues.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

The Republican–controlled Legislature will be tasked with an unexpected job: deciding whether to allocate funds for environmental causes championed by the governor.

The environment wasn’t a priority under former Governor Rick Scott. Florida’s new governor, Ron DeSantis, is taking a different approach - and raising eyebrows - as he seeks massive dollars to clean up the state’s water ways.

Now it's up to the Legislature to consider his funding request.

Capital Report: 02-22-2019

Feb 25, 2019

Florida Senate Republicans are pushing a new scholarship program that expands school choice. But Ryan Dailey reports if it passes, the program could end up in court.

The deadline is nearing for the Florida legislature to put a bill allowing patients to smoke medical marijuana on the Governor’s desk. Both Chambers have been moving quickly to finish in time but still are not in agreement with one another. Now both sides are expecting to file other bills to address the things they can’t come to agreement on before time runs out.  Blaise Gainey has the details.

world vide news/flickr

Florida was among the first states to pass mandatory minimum drug sentencing laws in 1979.

The Legislature loosened those requirements in 1993, then reinstated them six years later.  Now, a sweeping proposal of criminal justice reforms in Tallahassee would again make changes.

Capital Report: 02-15-2019

Feb 15, 2019

Thursday’s joint meeting of the Florida House Judiciary Committee and Criminal Justice Subcommittee brought up questions about the logistics of implementing Florida’s new Amendment 4. Ryan Dailey reports election supervisors still have questions.

Guns, parkland
Jae C. Hong / AP

One year after the  massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 dead, and many more wounded, pain and grief clouded the usually-cheery Valentine’s Day.

Communities across the state took a moment to remember the lives lost. But advocates also made their voices heard once again.

Capital Report: 02-08-2019

Feb 11, 2019

Governor Ron DeSantis is proposing changes to the state’s Best and Brightest program that he says will result in sizable bonuses for highly rated teachers. Ryan Dailey reports this comes amid a teacher shortage that has made recruitment a necessity.

Turning around a troubled school isn't easy, and Florida lawmakers have tried many formulas over the years. On Thursday, the House PreK-12 Innovation Subcommittee learned how one approach has increased graduation and income rates while driving down crime and other social ills. Margie Menzel reports.


Final invoices are going out this week to SunPass customers who got caught in a billing backlog.

The problem began with a trouble-plagued update to the state’s toll road system, and issues that have bedeviled a SunPass contractor since last June still haven’t been completely worked out.

As the last invoices were being readied, the Senate Infrastructure and Security Committee got an update on the Sunpass debacle.

A man in a brown suit speaks at a podium. In back of him is a colorful wall.

Governor Ron DeSantis says he wants to get rid of all remnants of Common Core standards in Florida’s public schools.

At a high school in Cape Coral Thursday, DeSantis gave his newly appointed education commissioner some marching orders.

“We are doing an executive order that is going to instruct Commissioner Corcoran to get to work and come up with good standards for the state of Florida which will include eliminating Common Core and the vestiges of Common Core,” DeSantis said.

Common Core standards provide benchmarks for what students should learn in math and English by the end of each grade. Five years ago, Republican leaders made some changes to the benchmarks and dumped the name Common Core, opting instead for Florida Standards.

Capital Report: 02-01-2019

Feb 1, 2019

Governor Ron DeSantis has rolled out his budget proposal for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. Shawn Mulcahy reports it follows through on key campaign promises like environmental protection, education and infrastructure.

Matthew Jones/flickr

Lawmakers are being asked to consider two competing proposals surrounding access to dental care. One would allow mid-level practitioners to be licensed, while the other would provide incentives to would-be dentists.

A coalition called Floridians for Dental Access wants the Florida Legislature to allow licenses for dental therapists.

Therapists have more training than a dental hygienist and less training than a dentist. They can perform services like filling cavities and pulling teeth.

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.