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Capital Report: 12-20-2013

Is life in Florida’s fast lanes fast enough?  A few lawmakers think not and have proposed hiking the speed limit on rural portions of interstate highways to seventy-five miles an hour.  As Stan Jastrzbski reports, not everyone thinks that’s such a swift idea.

Florida lawmakers are working to build on past successful legislative foster care reform efforts with a new proposal.  It’s aimed at helping Florida’s foster kids learn how to drive and get a driver’s license. As Sascha Cordner reports, that’s been pinpointed as one of the barriers they face as they try to lead a normal life.

Gay marriage supporters say Floridians’ perception of the practice has changed so much in the past five years that they predict marriage equality will come to the state by 2016. As Jessica Palombo reports, advocacy group Equality Florida is planning a legal strategy at the same time it continues a public opinion campaign and pushes new protections for LGBT people in the statehouse.

For the past few years Florida has dealt with polluted rivers, toxic algae blooms, saltwater intrusion and even drought—leaving questions about the future of water in the state unclear. But as Lynn Hatter reports, the answer to those problems could largely come by trying to restore the Everglades.

Back in October, officials in the North Florida County of Wakulla voted to strip wetland protections from the county’s comprehensive plan.  Those who backed that repeal argue the county’s protections pretty much duplicated what the state had in place.  But, as Ryan Benk tells us, the state has sided with conservationists who say statewide regulations aren’s enough to protect Wakulla’s unique environmental assets.

Does your pet deserve a tax break?  Economists forecast a revenue surplus for Florida in 2014 and Governor Rick Scott says he wants to give some of that money back to the people through tax breaks. Regan McCarthy reports one such incentive might *literally* be going to the dogs...and cats.