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Capital Report: 03-07-2013

More than a hundred protesters descended on the seat of state government.  Some of them dressed as characters from the original Wizard of Oz movie to demand the expansion of Medicaid.  Steven Rodriguez reports the group visited legislative leaders’ offices to press their case.

The so-called “parent trigger” bill that riled Democrats, teachers’ unions and parent groups last year is back.  The bill would give parents whose kids are in failing public schools a say in the fate of that school.  Lynn Hatter reports those against the bill have pretty much conceded it will pass the Florida Legislature this year, but they’re not about to go down without a fight.

A bill that would rate public employee pension funds the same way private company pensions are rated hit a key Florida Senate committee today.  Jessica Palombo reports public employee unions are crying “foul”.

Student government association people from all over Florida rallied at the Capitol today.  As Ryan Benk reports, they were there to share their priorities and it seems one of them has a good chance of becoming law.

Several advocates and Florida lawmakers are hoping this will be the year that they can get rid of the so called “R-word.” As Sascha Cordner reports, they’re working hoping to get a bill passed in the Florida Legislature that would remove all references of “mental retardation” in state law and replace those words with the term “intellectual disability.”

The Florida Cabinet meeting played to a packed house today.  Regan McCarthy reports there were so many spectators packed in to watch the procedings; there simply weren’t enough seats to go around.

A few miles southwest of the Florida Capitol is a small laboratory that’s Florida A&M University’s Center for Plasma Science and Technology.  There, says Thomas Andrew Gustafson, researchers are determined to make solar power from their own sun.