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: 01-05-2018

Jan 5, 2018

The Trump administration says it plans to open most U.S. waters to offshore oil drilling, and as Lynn Hatter reports that’s raising bipartisan hackles in Florida.

Florida’s Speaker of the House is promising to pass a bill restricting sanctuary policies in the first week of this year’s legislative session.  Kate Payne reports that’s despite arguments the plan is unconstitutional.

Capital Report: 12-29-2017

Dec 29, 2017

One of the biggest stories of the year has been the increasing number of people, mostly men that have lost positions of power due to sexual harassment. And the issue has hit politics particularly hard—from state houses to the halls of Congress. When the Florida legislature convenes in January, the specter surrounding one powerful lawmaker threatens to overtake the business of making laws for the state. Lynn Hatter reports on Clearwater Republican Senator Jack Latvala continued fight against allegations of sexual harassment and the mounting evidence he is on the losing end.

Capital Report: 12-22-2017

Dec 22, 2017

A powerful Florida Senator who is also vying to be the GOP candidate for governor has been toppled over accusations of public corruption and sexual harassment. Lynn Hatter has the latest.

A state government agency charged with helping investigate sexual harassment complaints may not have the necessary resources if there’s a significant increase in the number of those complaints.  Tom Flanigan has more.

Capital Report: 12-15-17

Dec 18, 2017

With the 2018 legislative session looming, state officials are doing their level best to defuse a widening sexual harassment scandal.  Nick Evans reports the governor is ordering new training at state agencies. 

Outstanding prison lawsuits will mean less money to spend on Florida Department of Corrections’ priorities. That’s the message from the new Florida Senate Budget chair. Sascha Cordner reports.

Capital Report: 12-08-2017

Dec 8, 2017

Clearwater Republican Senator Jack Latvala continues to fight against allegations of sexual harassment but there’s mounting evidence he is on the losing end. Lynn Hatter reports the state’s House Speaker said recently Latvala could end up being kicked out the chamber in January.

Capital Report: 12-01-2017

Dec 1, 2017

The 2017 Hurricane season is officially over. But lawmakers are still debating how to pick up the pieces, Kate Payne reports on where they’re focusing their efforts.

Florida voters could be asked to reconsider a ban on public funding for religious organizations. Lynn Hatter reports the language has its roots in the late 1800’s during a wave of new immigrants to the United States.

Capital Report: 11-24-2017

Nov 27, 2017

A bipartisan group of Florida legislators is making noise about criminal justice reform ahead of the 2018 session.  Nick Evans reports the group wants to lift the felony threshold for certain crimes, and give judges more flexibility in sentencing.

Lawmakers are considering a move that could limit the ability of local governments to make rules about where powerlines should go. Regan McCarthy has more.

Capital Report: 11-17-2017

Nov 20, 2017

Automation. Development. Citrus greening.  Florida’s agriculture industry is hurting and Hurricane Irma was only the most recent blow.  Kate Payne reports lawmakers will be considering how to support the industry – second only to tourism – during the upcoming lawmaking session.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is heaping praise on state Republican leaders for approving a controversial education law now heading to the courts. Lynn Hatter reports Bush calls House Bill 7069 a bold move amid slumping state educational progress.

Capital Report: 11-10-2017

Nov 10, 2017

Allegations of sexual harassment in Florida’s capitol are roiling the state legislature just as the lawmaking session is set to begin.  Nick Evans reports the flying accusations are putting other elected officials in an uncomfortable position.

The headlines have been full lately of stories about current and former government officials fighting accusations of poor behavior while in office. Some are facing investigations; others are facing time in jail. Now Regan McCarthy reports one committee is considering a number of new rules intended to help elected officials stay in line.

Capital Report: 11-03-2017

Nov 3, 2017

Local government leaders and members of the Florida House appear to be drawing their battle lines for the upcoming legislative session. Regan McCarthy has more....

The governor and state lawmakers are proposing new prescription limits to fight opioid abuse.  But they also want to require physicians use a long-standing drug monitoring database—raising the question, why wasn’t it mandatory to begin with?  Nick Evans has more.

Capital Report: 10-27-2017

Oct 27, 2017

Florida lawmakers are grappling with where one person’s rights end and another’s begin as debates over a texting while driving bill turn emotional. Regan McCarthy has more....

Late Friday (10/27) afternoon, Senator Jeff Clemons who was prominently featured in the preceding story by Regan McCarthy announced his resignation from the Florida Senate.  This followed revelations of his affair with a Tallahassee lobbyist.

Capital Report: 10-20-2017

Oct 20, 2017

More than a dozen school districts are now challenging that part of a law that requires them to share their school construction money with charter schools.  But as Lynn Hatter reports, some of those same districts are also getting a portion of the extra funding the new law provides.

Capital Report: 10-13-2017

Oct 16, 2017

Substance abuse experts and law enforcement officers are calling on lawmakers to bolster access to treatment for people battling opioid addiction.  Nick Evans reports the biggest focus is on medication- assisted treatments.

Florida’s beaches are in constant need of restoration, to truck in sand that the sea washes away. In the wake of Hurricane Irma, miles of critically eroded beaches are in even more danger. Kate Payne reports a powerful lawmaker is once again trying to get funding to replenish the shorelines.

Capital Report: 10-06-2017

Oct 6, 2017

Nearly a month after Hurricane Irma washed eight-to-ten feet of storm surge onto Everglades City in Southern Collier County, residents with damaged, unlivable homes are still waiting on emergency temporary housing.  City officials estimate about a hundred homes in the area are uninhabitable due to flood damage and mold.  But officials say they expect relief within a week.  From member station WGCU, Jessica Meszaros takes us to Everglades City.

Capital Report: 09-29-2017

Sep 29, 2017

People whose lives depend on dialysis are especially vulnerable during a hurricane.  The machines that replace their kidneys need reliable electricity and water to operate.  That’s part of why 89 dialysis patients from St. Thomas fled to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Irma.  And then they had to evacuate again – this time to Miami – because of Hurricane Maria.  From member station WLRN in Miami, Sammy Mack has that story.

Capital Report: 09-22-2017

Sep 22, 2017

The latest attempt by Congressional Republicans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act could be in trouble now that Arizona Senator John McCain has voiced his opposition publically. Lynn Hatter reports the move comes a day after the Kaiser Family Foundation released an analysis showing Florida’s Medicaid program, which supports low income residents, could lose nearly 10-billion dollars over six years if the measure were to gain passage.  Lynne spoke with the foundation’s Policy Analyst Dr. Diane Rowland.

Capital Report: 09-15-2017

Sep 18, 2017

Hurricane Irma proved fatal to eight patients in a Hollywood Hills nursing home, which lost power and air conditioning during the storm.  Many more such homes and assisted living facilities statewide also lost power, prompting evacuations and efforts by first responders to make sure those residents who remained in those facilities were safe.  From member station WMFE in Orlando, Health News Florida reporter Abe Aboraya takes a look at what’s next for these homes.

Capital Report: 09-01-2017

Sep 1, 2017

U.S. Education Secretary Betsey DeVos praised Florida’s school choice programs during a Tallahassee visit this week. Her arrival comes as school districts across the state prepare to battle with the legislature over a new law they say will further destabilize traditional public school systems.

This year Florida lawmakers changed the way the state building codes are updated. There are concerns the new law could weaken the integrity of Florida homes, in order to cut construction costs. In the wake of Harvey, Kate Payne reports, those concerns are taking on a new significance.

Capital Report: 08-25-2017

Aug 28, 2017

This week, the State of Florida executed its first convict in more than a year and a half.  Capital punishment had been on hold since a major U.S. Supreme Court ruling found Florida’s execution process was unconstitutional.  Now, as we hear from member station WLRN’s Wilson Sayre, more than one-hundred prisoners on death row are working to reduce their sentences.

We continue our look at what the future may hold as far as Florida’s death penalty goes.  Florida Public Radio’s Nick Evans checked in with Reporter Wilson Sayre after this week’s execution of Mark Asay.

Capital Report: 08-18-2018

Aug 18, 2017

Last year, north Florida voters sent two polar opposites, Republican Neal Dunn and Democrat Al Lawson, to represent them in Congress. The wide philosophical and partisan gulf separating the two men – and much of the nation -- was on full display during recent appearances in Tallahassee. Jim Ash has more.

It’s been a tough week for the Florida Highway Patrol. Talk of speeding ticket quotas led to the resignation of a Troop Commander. But, as Sascha Cordner reports, the law enforcement agency is now trying to put that behind them, and move forward.

Capital Report: 08-11-2017

Aug 11, 2017

Bill Nelson, Florida’s senior U.S. Senator and highest-ranking Democrat, wrapped up a recent north-Florida tour with an impromptu media briefing at Tallahassee International Airport. Nelson is gearing up for reelection next year, and expecting a tough challenge from Republican Governor Rick Scott. In a 30-minute session with the Capitol press corps, Nelson touched on everything from the North Korean nuclear threat to partisan politics.  Jim Ash has more….

Capital Report: 08-04-2017

Aug 7, 2017

More than 80 thousand guns were stolen in Florida between 2012 and 2013, according to a new report by the left-leaning Center for American Progress. Advocates blame weak laws and lax oversight, but as Jim Ash reports, a lead federal law enforcement agent is vowing to turn the trend around.

Some school districts are chafing under a provision meant to adjust funding based on cost of living.  Nick Evans reports they’re applauding an effort to study the system, but for very different reasons.

Capital Report: 07-28-2017

Jul 28, 2017

South Florida is continuing its battle against the mosquitoes that carry Zika. The Florida Keys already has the region’s most intensive mosquito control programs. WLRN’s Nancy Klingenger reports the Keys are now holding Florida’s first trial of a NEW weapon against the insects

Capital Report: 07-21-2017

Jul 24, 2017

Education advocates went to court this week to argue that Florida isn’t complying with a 20-year-old constitutional mandate to provide a “uniform” and “high quality” education. But as Jim Ash reports, the legal tug of war is raising questions about the power of petition drives to effect meaningful change.  

Despite past failed legislative attempts, a bipartisan pair of lawmakers is vowing to continue their work on criminal justice reform—particularly within Florida’s prison system. Sascha Cordner reports.

Capital Report: 07-14-2017

Jul 14, 2017

States across the country are struggling to hold off a rising tide of opioid abuse and Florida is no exception.  But Nick Evans reports the return of harsh penalties for possession—a hallmark of the war on drugs—is frustrating a broad spectrum of advocates and officials.