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Capital Report: 02-15-2012

Florida executed its third convicted killer in nine months Wednesday, prompting the age-old debate over capital punishment. Jessica Palombo of member station W-J-C-T in Jacksonville reports that both supporters and opponents of the death penalty say they rely on their faith to guide them.

Lawmakers in the Florida House are looking into legislation that would give tax breaks to businesses in the state. Regan McCarthy reports legislators are considering a measure that combines several of Governor Rick Scott’s business tax initiatives like doubling the corporate income tax exemption. It’s a move that would let thousands of businesses skip the tax that Scott says will allow for more jobs....

The Senate budget committee hearing almost broke down Wednesday over a battle to fund the University of South Florida and its Polytechnic Campus. Lynn Hatter reports after hours of blistering criticism, the Senate backed off a plan to hold back money from USF until it handed over Polytechnic as part of a plan to eventually make the campus an independent university.


A bill that would have required state employees to submit to a random drug test narrowly escaped death, at least for now. As Sascha Cordner reports, the bill initially failed to pass in a House budget panel due to worries over its constitutionality, but was later revived by that same panel Wednesday.

Rolling your own could go up in smoke if a proposal moving through the legislature becomes law.  James Call reports the House Finance and Tax committee Wednesday voted to tax cigarettes rolled automatically at a convenience store at the same rate as those sold by major manufacturers like Phillip Morris and the RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company.