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Capital Report: 04-07-2015

Convinced the state is setting aside too many acres for conservation, some conservative lawmakers want to blur the distinction between private and public land. As Jim Ash reports, plans are in the works to open up public preserves for so called “low impact” agriculture.

A Senate health panel has refused to confirm Florida’s Surgeon General. The move comes amid a spat between Governor Rick Scott, the House and Senate over the future of Florida’s healthcare system. Lynn Hatter reports Scott says the federal government can’t be trusted when it comes to a Medicaid expansion.

The Florida House’s prison reform package passed its first committee today (Tuesday).  As Sascha Cordner reports some members there were hoping that bill would look more like the Senate’s reform measure.

When a criminal investigation goes cold in Florida, some lawmakers would like to keep the heat on. Regan McCarthy reports the legislature is considering a bill to create a cold case task force.

Every year, more than 150,000 people who are arrested in Florida need immediate mental health treatment. With large portions of the state’s inmates suffering from some level of mental illness, counties are struggling to provide enough mental-health services. That’s why local officials are hoping the state Legislature can help. As Jessica Palombo with member station WJCT in Jacksonville reports, one bill heading to the House floor is aimed at keeping more criminals with mental illness from getting locked up in the first place.

Florida’s bicyclists take to the streets for exercise and recreation, but sharing the state’s roads with motorists can be dangerous.  Nick Evans reports bills in the Florida Legislature aim to provide greater protections by increasing penalties on careless drivers.

Florida Governor Rick Scott has never been a big winner in the political polls.  But D.A. Robin spoke with Quinnipiac pollsters who admitted even their own surveys don’t count for much if the voters go in a different direction.

The theme of the third annual Everglades Action Day is clean water conservation. As Matthew Seeger reports, the ecological event was kicked off by a special guest singer who flew in all the way from Margaritaville.