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Capital Report: 12-21-2018

Florida Governor-elect Ron DeSantis is crafting his policy agenda and has turned to a group of thinkers from across the state to help. One of those groups, the Education and Workforce Transition Committee, is working on its proposals for DeSantis. Lynn Hatter listened in on one of the group’s recent meetings.

Republican Former Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran will make his mark on the state’s public schools as the new Commissioner of Education. Ryan Dailey reports Corcoran was voted into the post unanimously by the state’s Board of Education this week, eliciting strong and wide-ranging reactions from stakeholders.

Florida lawmakers are hearing from the public on such things as election reform, public school funding and mental health.  Blaise Gainey reports, from Broward to bay, legislators are getting an earful from the public on exactly where the focus should be during the 2019 lawmaking session.

Last week, a Senate committee heard that - because of Hurricane Michael - a potential surplus of more than 220-million-dollars had likely disappeared for next year’s budget.  This week, the outlook turned more positive.  Florida Public Radio’s Gina Jordan reports analysts are projecting a significant increase in state revenue over two years.

Earlier today, the state of Florida said goodbye to a former leading lawmaker who would go on to become a ferocious advocate for higher education.  T.K. Wetherell died last Sunday after going into hospice care. His funeral took place at Florida State University’s Ruby Diamond Concert Hall. That’s because Wetherell was FSU President from 2003 through 2009.  Among those delivering eulogies, the school’s current president and also a former state house speaker, John Thrasher.  Here are a few of his remarks.

It’s no secret that a national title is the ultimate achievement for any collegiate athletic program. Earlier this month, the Florida State University women’s soccer team earned a national championship after beating the University of North Caroline.  Eleanor Clark reports, despite a banner year for women’s sports, FSU’s athletic funding has gone disproportionately to the men’s programs.