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Capital Report: 04-08-2013

Florida received more than $330 million dollars as part of a multi-state foreclosure fraud settlement with the nation’s biggest banks. Other states have used their share of the dollars to plug budget holes, and they’ve been criticized for not spending the money on housing-related issues. That’s not the case in Florida. Still, as Lynn Hatter tells us, while the legislature works to craft a budget, some lawmakers worry their colleagues may be tempted to spend the money in other ways.

Women’s health advocates from Planned Parenthood are calling on Florida lawmakers to expand insurance coverage to more than a million low-income people. Jessica Palombo reports, the group is the latest of many who are rallying in support of the government expanding healthcare. Meanwhile the Legislature continues debating a couple of health care proposals.

Florida’s 2013 lawmaking session is just past the halfway mark and that has some advocates scrambling to get their bills heard.  Ryan Benk reports one group is making a last-ditch plea for lawmakers to take up four juvenile justice system measures.

There’s a new crime that is impacting a growing number of Floridians and, so far at least, it’s not yet on the radar screen of the state legislature or even Attorney General Pam Bondi.  Thomas Andrew Gustafson spent several weeks tracking down the scam, which involves mock kidnappings and the would-be kidnappers doing the entire thing by remote control from another country.

A bill that would ban loud music that can be heard more than 25 feet away is one step closer to a floor vote. The measure seeks to correct several provisions in an existing Florida law that the courts deemed unconstitutional. But, as Sascha Cordner reports, the measure received much opposition from Senate Democrats.

A measure that makes more rules for the sale of used tires is rolling through the Florida legislature, but Regan McCarthy reports industry officials are raising some concerns about the move.