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Capital Report: 12-06-2013

The end of the investigation of Florida State University quarterback Jameis Winston this week shut the door on criminal charges, but also opened a discussion of how sexual assault is talked about.  As Stan Jastrzebski reports, experts say the rhetoric surrounding the star quarterback may foretell who’s best suited to take the handoff from the Winston case and run with it.

At the Florida Capitol, religious displays are now being touted as expressions of the religious freedom guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution.  But, as Jessica Palombo reports, the displays are also inviting debate over how separate is separate enough when it comes to church and state.

A special election in Pinellas County is opening some old elections wounds. Regan McCarthy reports both voters and state leaders are raising concerns about voter fraud, efforts to disenfranchise voters and a power struggle between Florida’s secretary of state and its election supervisors.

When it comes to popular government programs in Florida, it’s hard to top the Bright Futures Scholarship program.  It’s been helping students pay for their college educations for the past fifteen years.  But the testing requirements for the program have ramped up sharply in recent years and one lawmaker says that’s leaving some deserving kids behind.  As Ryan Benk reports, a new bill would lower the bar so many more students would be eligible.

There are a number of measures restricting smoking that have already been filed for the Florida’s 2014 legislative session. As Sascha Cordner reports, smoking may merely be the “vice du jour” that the Legislature is targeting this year.