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Capital Report: 08-22-2014

Here’s the latest on a story we’ve been following for many weeks. Lawmakers, lawyers and the League of Women voters converged on a Leon County Courtroom this week to argue the merits of Florida’s newly revised congressional districts.  Nick Evans reports parties to the case did not see eye to eye in testimony leading up to the judge’s decision.

Florida is ranked number three in the U-S for the number of calls received at the nation’s human trafficking hotline. To curb that trend, state and local officials have worked with lawmakers over the years to put new laws in place. And, as Sascha Cordner reports, a newly-formed council is hatching plans to build on the state’s past progress and propose new legislation for next year.

One of Florida’s last remaining hospitals for mentally ill patients needs volunteers for its guardian advocacy program. But difficult patients, complicated illnesses and tricky state laws make it a very hard job to do.

As the federal government seeks to clarify which water bodies it protects, a Florida congressman came to Tallahassee this week to decry what he calls a gross overreach of power and tout his legislation blocking the effort. But as Jessica Palombo reports, Florida environmental groups and former state regulators say the federal clarification is necessary to protect Florida’s fresh water from pollution.

If you’ve opened a newspaper, browsed the Internet, or turned on the TV lately, chances are you’re heard of the “ice bucket challenge”.  It’s a campaign to raise money and awareness for ALS, also known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.”  The challenge is sweeping the nation and, as Regan McCarthy reports, that includes Florida.