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Capital Report: 01-31-2014

Florida Governor Rick Scott has rolled out the lion’s share of his budget recommendations.  They include 500-million dollars in the tax cuts Scott promised, as well as additional proposals to increase spending on areas such as the environment and education. Regan McCarthy reports that’s all while reducing the size of the budget compared to last year.

Education is once again rising to the top of Florida lawmakers’ agenda. Changes to how universities are funded and public schools are graded are up for consideration during the 2014 legislative session. But as Lynn Hatter reports, not everyone is impressed with the tone being set by legislative leaders this year.

In a few weeks, University of South Florida researchers are expected to resume exhuming the bodies of boys buried on the Dozier School for Boys property. Already, researchers have discovered more skeletal remains than previously thought on the grounds of the North Florida reform school–a school with a history of abuse. And, as Sascha Cordner reports, researchers are now asking for the public’s help in providing closure to the boys’ families.

Across the country this week, volunteers fanned out across their communities.  They were conducting what’s known as the point-in-time homelessness counts.  We have two reports on how that happened in one Florida location.  Jessica Palombo joined one Tallahassee group as it tried to find those trying to weather this week’s Capital City cold snap without shelter.  Later, Nick Evens takes a look at what the numbers mean to those agencies that are trying to help the homeless.

Millions of people will be glued to the tube on Sunday to watch the SuperBowl battle between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks.  Various news reports say the event could also be a great opportunity for sex traffickers to ply their illegal trade.  Meanwhile, in South Florida, that trade goes on regardless.  Rick Stone reports on a human trafficking conference that took place this week at Broward College in Davie.