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).

Tallahassee, FL – Call it consumer backlash if you will. A few pro-business bills now working their way through the Florida Legislature are drawing fire from groups such as A-A-R-P. Tom Flanigan reports that organization has released a survey of older Floridians that suggests many of the state's seniors are already stretched to their financial limit.

The question posed to just over four-hundred Floridians fifty-years-old and up was simple and to the point.

Tallahassee, FL – The Florida Senate has revised an immigration bill to among other things make it easier for employers to qualify immigrants for work. James Call reports the proposal was released in the morning and drew numerous speakers during an afternoon hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Tallahassee, FL – Palm Beach County is calling on the Florida legislature to outlaw the sale of high-capacity ammunition magazines, like the ones used in the January 8th Tucson Arizona shooting involving US Representative Gabrielle Giffords. Trimmel Gomes reports


Tallahassee, FL – The House is ready to hold final debate on a measure that makes changes to unemployment compensation in Florida. Gina Jordan reports Republican lawmakers say it will help businesses create jobs, but critics want a complete overhaul of what they say is an antiquated system.

Tallahassee, FL – Reaction to Governor Rick Scott's first State of the State Address hasn't been limited to the official Democratic responses that followed the speech. Tom Flanigan found some of the governor's main talking points are still drawing cheers and criticism from other lawmakers.

If Rick Scott was nervous as he prepared to give his first-ever State of the State speech, he sure didn't show it.

"Thank you very much. Please be seated." (audible sigh) "Gosh, this is great!"

Tallahassee, FL – The "Son of Six" or, known by its formal name, Senate Bill 736, is a repeat of last year's controversial merit pay bill that was vetoed by former Governor Charlie Christ. Before a full Senate, bill sponsor Steven Wise, a Republican of Niceville, gave an overview of the bill and opened the door to a conversation on teacher tenure.

Tallahassee, FL – Governor Rick Scott and the Cabinet sitting as the Clemency Board voted to require many ex felons to wait five years before they can seek restoration of their civil rights. James Call reports the move repeals the automatic restoration of rights adopted four years ago by former Governor Charlie Crist and a different Cabinet.

Tallahassee, FL – There are lots of new faces around the Florida Capitol these days. There is a new governor and cabinet. There are the dozens of newly-elected lawmakers who will be considering hundreds of bills over the next couple of months. As Tom Flanigan reports, there are also a slew of new state agency heads who are tasked with trying to carry out the wishes of the lawmakers as well as the governor who appointed them.

Tallahassee, FL – Supporters of the state's environmental programs came out to the Capital on the first day of session to draw attention to several land use bills making their way through the legislature. As Lynn Hatter reports the groups are for some of them, and against others.

Tallahassee, FL – Florida lawmakers assembled in Tallahassee Tuesday for this year's spring Legislative Session. James Call reports the Senate President told lawmakers to expect a difficult time trying to balance a state budget while facing a multi-billion dollar shortfall in tax collections. James Call reports Senator Mike Haridopolos' 15-minute speech quoted Matthew, Edmund Burke and Winston Churchill but featured few applause lines.

Tallahassee, FL – The Florida House convened this morning with a speech by the new Speaker. Gina Jordan reports Dean Cannon used much of his time at the dais lashing out at the federal government.

"A quorum being present, the House of Representatives is declared officially in session for the 113th regular session of the Legislature since statehood in 1845."

Tallahassee, FL – A federal judge in Pensacola wants a legal challenge to the massive healthcare law put on a fast track to the nation's highest court. In late January, U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson struck down the reform package as unconstitutional. It took more than two weeks for the Obama administration to file a motion asking the judge to clarify whether states could continue to implement the law. On Thursday, they got their answer. Gina Jordan reports.

Tallahassee, FL – Florida is once again looking at an early presidential primary. Proponents for the date say the state deserves to be at the front because it's a must-win for Republicans and, because it has the fourth-largest population in the nation. But two years ago, that early primary cost both parties, Democrats more so than Republicans. This year, the roles are switched, with Republicans having more to lose. As Lynn Hatter reports, that party's leadership is split on the issue.

Tallahassee, FL – The Speaker of the Florida House and the Senate President are seeing their time in office being defined by a budget crisis. When the Florida Legislature begins its 2011 session Tuesday, Dean Cannon and Mike Haridopolos will have super majorities to enact their agenda, but little money to spend. And James Call reports, that seems to fit their political philosophy just fine.

Tallahassee, FL – By and large, Floridians have a great deal of regard for those who serve in the U.S. military. But a new study suggests there's less tangible support for those programs and services that help today's veterans return to civilian life. Tom Flanigan reports that both the public and private sectors need to do more.

Tallahassee, FL – Florida's new Corrections chief is finally getting settled in Tallahassee. Edwin Buss moved from Indiana this/last week, where he led that state's Corrections Department. Shortly after his arrival, Gina Jordan tells us he was quizzed by a House justice committee on prison closures, inmate population and diversion programs.

Tallahassee, FL – The Florida Senate wants to save money in the Medicaid program by moving millions of patients into managed care programs. The proposal is in a comprehensive reform plan that divides the state into 19 regions and invites private companies to bid on serving patients in the region.

Tallahassee, FL – When politicians talk about education, it's often public school teachers that come in for the most criticism. How can teachers become better and more effective? Tom Flanigan discovered there's been a quiet effort all over Florida in recent months to find out how to do exactly that.

Tallahassee, FL – Florida is fighting the federal healthcare law in the courts but the state still has to comply with what's already in the law. Several major provisions of the healthcare reform act have to be in place by 2014, and as Lynn Hatter reports, the state is looking at ways to get started.

Tallahassee, FL – As the Senate Reapportionment Committee met this week to discuss the legalities involved in drawing legislative and congressional districts, critics were lashing out at a move by Governor Rick Scott that could delay implementation of amendments five and six, known as fair districts. Gina Jordan reports.

Tallahassee, FL – A week of legislative committee meetings revealed that Florida's budget shortfall continues to grow. James Call reports, as Lawmakers began a search for savings, a Senate leader said he wants to cut spending even more to build up cash reserves to protect the state's credit rating.

Governor Rick Scott had a winning message on the campaign trail. He told voters he believed the government spends too much money and if elected he would begin deflating what he called a bloated budget.

Tallahassee, FL – In 1845, William Dunn Mosely became the first governor of the new state of Florida. He gave his inaugural speech on the east steps of the Old Capitol Building in Tallahassee. This past Tuesday, that same location was the scene of the inaugural speech by Florida's 45th governor, Rick Scott. Tom Flanigan asked an expert to help determine how the new governor did in his first major public address.

Tallahassee, FL – Governor Scott's first official act in office which came immediately after he was sworn in. He signed four executive orders, saying his goal is to transform Florida's government and make this the most business friendly environment in the country. Gina Jordan reports the new governor is taking action on ethics, undocumented workers, and discrimination.

Tallahassee, FL – Governor Rick Scott is moving private sector people into public sector jobs. Of the six agency heads that he's named, three come from the business industry, and as Lynn Hatter reports, two of them are giving public interest groups heartburn.

Tallahassee, FL – Advisers to Gov. Rick Scott have called for sweeping overhauls to Florida's corrections and juvenile justice systems. While they've targeted detention facilities and state jobs for cuts or elimination, they've also criticized lawmakers for being "tough on crime, but fiscally short-sighted." As Margie Menzel reports, the governor's advisers reflect a right-left consensus that's pushing for a more pragmatic, outcome-driven approach to justice.