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Capital Report: 04-12-2013

The Florida House has unveiled its long-awaited proposal for extending health insurance coverage to more low-income Floridians. The plan is the House’s alternative to a federal Medicaid expansion, which lawmakers rejected last month. But as Lynn Hatter reports, the new proposal is getting a lukewarm reception from fellow lawmakers and some view it more as a starting point, than the final say on the issue.

Should the U.S. born children of undocumented immigrants be allowed to attend Florida colleges and universities at the in-state tuition price? The Florida House of Representative thinks so. Regan McCarthy reports the House passed a measure Friday that lets those students pay in-state rather than out-of state tuition provided they can prove they actually reside in Florida.

Putting juveniles in prison for life whether they committed a homicide or not is a question Florida lawmakers are looking into this session. And, there’s a bill that would limit their maximum sentence to no more than 50 years. But, as Sascha Cordner reports, opponents of that change say it’s unfair to cap it at 50 years when kids will most likely get out when they’re much older than that.

Two bills, one predicting storm damage and another dealing with storm insurance, passed through the Florida House Government Operations Appropriations Subcommittee this week.  But Thomas Andrew Gustafson reports hurricane experts say, even more than better insurance, Florida needs stronger construction to withstand the storms.

A dozen Florida high-schoolers are embarking on a yearlong stint as advisers to government agency leaders on children’s issues. Jessica Palombo reports, the Florida Youth Commission met their state-official counterparts for the first time this week, and they brought some tough questions.