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: 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.

The City of Miami Beach is in a battle with the state that could impact hundreds of Florida municipalities. It’s about home rule and the city’s ability to set its own policy when it comes to wages.

Florida’s minimum wage is $8.25 an hour. The amount may go up each year based on changes in the Consumer Price Index.

Miami Beach leaders voted two years ago to approve a higher minimum wage than the state.

Capital Report: 09-14-2018

Sep 17, 2018

Governor Rick Scott’s decision to start the process of appointing new Florida Supreme Court justices has ignited a looming constitutional crisis. Lynn Hatter reports at the center of the issue is who—the outgoing or incoming governor—has the authority to make those appointments.

The City of Miami Beach is in a battle with the state that could impact hundreds of Florida municipalities.   Gina Jordan tells us it’s about ‘home rule’ – and the city’s ability to set its own policy when it comes to wages.

Capital Report: 09-07-2018

Sep 7, 2018

Just over a week after winning their respective races for governor, Republican Ron DeSantis and Democrat Andrew Gillum announced their running mates.  As Brenden Byrne from member station WMFE in Orlando reports, the selection for DeSantis is state lawmaker Janet Nunez and for Gillum, it’s his former gubernatorial opponent, Orlando businessman Chris King.

Capital Report: 08-31-2018

Sep 4, 2018

A surprise outcome in Florida’s democratic gubernatorial primary has Democrat’s hopeful to reclaim the governor’s mansion and wrest control from Republicans for the first time in 20 years. It also marks a strong shift to the left-and hopes rest with a man who could become the first black governor in Florida’s history. Ryan Dailey prepared this report.

Congressman Ron DeSantis has won the Republican nomination for Florida governor. WMFE’s Brendan Byrne reports an endorsement from President Donald Trump propelled DeSantis over the finish line.

Capital Report: 08-24-2018

Aug 24, 2018

In the last week before the state’s primary elections, Florida’s gubernatorial candidates put rubber to the road in a final push to woo voters. Ryan Dailey has the latest on neck-and-neck races in both parties.

Capital Report: 08-17-2018

Aug 17, 2018

Florida is 21 billion dollars in debt.  And State leaders were actually happy to hear that number at the most recent Florida Cabinet meeting. The money is being used to finance initiatives like transportation and environmental projects. Gina Jordan reports the debt has fallen in recent years, bolstered in part by low interest rates and the economy.

Capital Report: 08-10-2018

Aug 10, 2018

A dispute over a parking space turned deadly last month, triggering a new debate over Florida’s already controversial Stand Your Ground Law.  Sascha Cordner takes a look at how that debate further accelerated this week, even impacting the state’s gubernatorial contest.

Florida’s problem with algal blooms has taken center stage, and efforts to mitigate it are in high demand. A partnership between an engineering and a bioplastics company aims to bring a new type of solution to the market. Ryan Dailey reports one Florida county is already trying it out.

Capital Report: 08-03-2018

Aug 3, 2018

A Leon County circuit judge this week rejected a proposed amendment to the constitution that would ban greyhound racing in Florida, and the state quickly appealed. Gina Jordan reports the Florida Supreme Court is being asked to decide the case before the November ballots are printed.

A Florida Panhandle man may be one of the first charged under a new law for posting threatening messages on social media. Sascha Cordner reports.

Capital Report: 07-27-2018

Jul 30, 2018

Hundreds of dead sea turtles have washed up on Florida’s gulf shores this year. AnnMarie Welser reports.

Once upon a time, the Red Wolf called the south and eastern United States, from Texas to Pennysylvania, home. Today, there are fewer than 40 wolves left in the wild. The species is what’s called “functionally extinct”— with most of the remaining 200 or so wolves in captivity. The Trump administration is proposing changes to the Endangered Species Act that conservationists worry, could end what little protection remains for the Red Wolves left in the wild. Lynn Hatter has more.

Capital Report: 07-20-2018

Jul 23, 2018

Election watchers are trying to avoid a repeat of 2016—when Russian hackers tried to gain access to networks across the county. They didn’t get in—but it’s a cloud that continues to hover over the mid-term cycle. Lynn Hatter has more on the story.

Capital Report: 07-13-2018

Jul 13, 2018

Local governments are continuing their battle to hang onto home rule. Regan McCarthy reports that fight is centering around a court case fighting a law that largely preempts local ordinances on firearms.

The League of Women Voters of Florida is suing to block a constitutional amendment that could pave the way for more charter schools. The League says the ballot summary-which voters see on the actual ballot—is different from the language in the amendment, and is vague and misleading.

Capital Report: 07-06-2018

Jul 6, 2018

Florida’s statewide teacher’s union is once again suing the legislature—this time over a new law that could directly impact its membership. Lynn Hatter reports it’s the latest in a line of lawsuits filed over the state’s education policies.

A new Florida law seeks to make it easier for people to get their mugshots removed from certain websites. As Sascha Cordner reports, it’s the only bill from the 2017 legislative session to take effect this month.

Capital Report: 06-22-2018

Jun 22, 2018

Hurricanes and warming ocean waters have damaged Florida’s coral reefs over the years, But as Regan McCarthy reports now experts say the state’s corals are facing a new danger—an especially pervasive bacteria.

Capital Report: 06-15-2018

Jun 15, 2018

Recent polling shows there are four constitutional amendments poised for approval on Florida’s November ballot. Three of those deal exclusively with the issue of taxation. But as Lynn Hatter reports there’s ongoing concern that determining tax policy through constitutional referendum isn’t in the public’s best interest.

Capital Report: 06-08-2018

Jun 8, 2018

The commission charged with improving school safety is looking into the effectiveness of school resource officers—a school’s main line of defense that critics say failed students at Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School amid a Valentine’s Day shooting. Seventeen students died, more than a dozen others were injured. Lynn Hatter has more.