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Capital Report: 09-23-2016

Florida’s cabinet recently got its first look at state agency budget requests this (last) week.  Nick Evans reports with revenue projections showing empty state coffers, those agencies are eyeing state trust funds. 

State candidates and advocacy groups in Florida have made water a central issue in this year’s elections.  One big debate deals with Lake Okeechobee and what to do with polluted water flowing into and out of the lake.  From member station WGCU in Fort Myers, Topher Forhecz (TOE-fer FOR-hez) takes a look at both sides of the question as part of Florida Public Radio’s statewide series on election issues.

This (last) week’s survey by the free-market favoring James Madison Institute did more than show widespread support for criminal justice reform.  Jim Ash reports it lends more ammunition to children’s advocates pushing greater use of civil citations for juvenile offenders.

The Florida Department of Corrections is teeing up a new program aimed at making sure released offenders stay out of the state’s prison system. As Sascha Cordner reports, prison officials say Spectrum is a research-based program unique to Florida.

Homeschooling entered the mainstream in the 1980s and was championed largely by white evangelical Christians.  Today, the U.S. Department of Education says about 1.7 million students in the U.S. are homeschooled; 80,000 of them in Florida. And, as Cathy Carter from member station WUSF in Tampa reports, the fastest growing demographic to leave traditional schools behind are African-Americans.

More citrus farmers could be in for tax breaks when they replace trees damaged by citrus greening. Regan McCarthy reports that’s under a bill that’s making its way through congress.