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 – Lawton "Bud" Chiles III -- son of the late Democratic icon -- says he jumped into the governor's race because none of the other candidates was saying what he wanted to hear. But as Margie Menzel reports, his run may be a gift to state Republicans grappling with their party's ongoing financial scandal.

Tallahassee, FL – Two veteran lawmakers say the Legislature needs to take another look at the state budget. The $70-billion plan pays for schools, law enforcement and public health programs, among other things. It went into effect Thursday, but James Call reports it may already be in trouble.

Hialeah Senator Rudy Garcia leads the Joint Legislative Budget Commission, which keeps the state budget balanced.

Tallahassee, FL – Florida's coastal businesses have been battling a public relations nightmare as pictures of oil in the Gulf make headlines around the world. P-R professionals gathered in Tallahassee last week to talk about how the crisis is being handled in the media and what's being done to get the correct information to travelers.

Over lunch, they heard from some of those on the front lines, like Chris Thompson. He heads up Visit Florida, the state's tourism marketing agency.

Tallahassee, FL – The prosecutor said it was theft. The politician said it served the public interest. If Tallahassee State Attorney Willie Meggs is ever going to prosecute his case against former Florida House Speaker Ray Sansom, James Call reports Meggs must get a circuit judge to stop allowing the defense to file motions to dismiss charges in a case tied to a project for a panhandle college.

Tallahassee, FL – A task force created by Governor Charlie Crist in response to the Gulf oil spill met for the first time last week. Gina Jordan tells us some members are concerned about whether BP will be able to fulfill its financial responsibility to Florida and other Gulf coast states.

The Oil Spill Economic Recovery Task Force is made up of twenty-eight lawmakers, state agency heads, and business and tourism leaders from Northwest Florida. Governor Crist gave them their marching orders.

Tallahassee, FL – Governor Charlie Crist has delivered the latest in a string of controversial vetoes, striking a bill that would have required women to have and pay for ultrasounds before undergoing an abortion. Letters, phone calls and e-mails poured into the Governor's Office from both supporters and opponents. As Lynn Hatter reports, a day before the veto, a group of women walked to the Capitol to hand deliver petitions in support of the legislation.

Tallahassee, FL – Hurricane season begins June first, and there are questions about whether insurers will be able to pay if a big storm hits Florida. James Call reports failing insurance companies have state officials waving red flags.

Tallahassee, FL – Sen. Ronda Storms, R-Brandon, is horrified by accounts of children in state custody who died on psychotropic drugs that hadn't been vetted in accordance with the law. As Margie Menzel reports, the measure still hasn't been heard in the House - but Storms isn't ready to concede.

Tallahassee, FL – Attorney General Bill McCollum, the front-runner in the GOP primary for governor, has said all along that his lawsuit to block the new federal health-care-reform measure isn't driven by politics. But as Margie Menzel reports, the suit is reaping political repercussions nonetheless.

Tallahassee, FL – As lawmakers start their budget negotiations, critics say the health of Florida's children is poor and getting worse. But as Margie Menzel reports, some of the budget items on the table could make a big difference.

Tallahassee, FL – A bill that would have required Florida's eight independent Children's Services Councils to go back before the voters died in a House committee Thursday. As Margie Menzel reports, the measure's supporters argued for accountability - but opponents wondered why the CSCs were being singled out.

Tallahassee, FL – There was emotional testimony before the Public Safety and Domestic Security Policy Committee Monday, as members took up bills relating to public records, vehicle crashes and child abductions. Gina Jordan has more about some proposals approved by the committee.

Tallahassee, FL – An economic development proposal, also known as the Jobs for Florida bill, was taken up by the Policy and Steering Committee on Ways and Means Thursday. Gina Jordan tells us the measure won't be cheap, but supporters say it will cost the state a lot more if lawmakers do nothing to lure businesses and boost job creation.

Tallahassee, FL – The value of private school vouchers for low income children would go up under a bill that's advancing in the Florida Senate. This year the increase would be small, boosting each voucher by a couple hundred dollars. But James Call reports the proposal includes annual increases that could grow the voucher to at least 55-hundred dollars in three years.

Tallahassee, FL – Members of the Senate Judiciary committee took up a resolution and a bill this week calling for a balanced federal budget. But Gina Jordan tells us a vocal member of the committee said supporters are just playing politics.

Tallahassee, FL – The House PreK-12 Policy Committee took up bills relating to suicide and classroom technology on Wednesday. Gina Jordan tells us one of them passed easily.

The Suicide Prevention Education bill was brought by Representative Bill Heller, Democrat of St. Petersburg. It requires school boards to provide teachers and school administrators with access to resources and offer a suicide prevention course as part of a professional development plan.

Tallahassee, FL – House Speaker Larry Cretul says he expects when revenue estimates are released Tuesday the state will be facing a budget shortfall between one and three billion dollars. James Call reports remarks by Cretul and Senate President Jeff Atwater about budget cuts are at odds with Governor Crist's plan to increase spending.

Tallahassee, FL – Senator Mike Haridopolos, chair of the redistricting committee, said Friday he expects a lawsuit will block a proposed constitutional amendment from the November ballot. James Call reports after demonstration of software used to draw state legislative and congressional districts, Haridopolos called the Fair Districts proposals lawsuit city.

"With that here, we want to get on, too, to the simulation."

Tallahassee, FL – It's Safety Week in Tallahassee, with an emphasis on teenaged drivers. Gina Jordan spoke with a former state representative who is leading the charge because of a tragic loss in his family.

"Dori's accident happened in Boca Raton, February 23, 1996. That was the day I got old."

Dori Slosberg was 14-years-old when the speeding, crowded vehicle she was a passenger in crashed. Her dad, Irv Slosberg, said he was paralyzed when he got the news.

Tallahassee, FL – A bill allowing local governments to implement stricter regulations on dog owners cleared a Senate committee Thursday. James Call reports opponents fear it will lead to a ban on specific breeds like pit bulls.

Tallahassee, FL – The Chair of the House Finance and Tax Council provided an overview Wednesday of the House Legislative agenda to the Capital City Republican Club. James Call reports the Tallahassee group gave a warm welcome to Broward County's Ellyn Bogdanoff.

"Thank you all very much. Actually, I didn't think there were this many Republicans in Leon County."

Representative Ellyn Bogdanoff calls herself a policy nerd, but she talks like a regular person.

Tallahassee, FL – Senate President Jeff Atwater opened the 2010 Legislative Session telling lawmakers it was time to move away from the banquet table and toward the kitchen table. That's political speak foreshadowing state budget cuts. James Call reports both Atwater and House Speaker Larry Cretul say Floridians expect state government to live within its means.

Tallahassee, FL – The professional managers who oversee much of Florida's housing want more clout when it comes to dealing with the bad apples in their ranks. The Council of Community Association Managers has decided to have its case taken before state lawmakers this year.

If you live in a condominium, large housing development, time share, or mobile home park, Tim Vaccaro says there is a better than even chance that there's a professional community association manager in your life.