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Capital Report: 04-15-2019

Panhandle leaders are growing frustrated at the slow pace of recovery from Hurricane Michael. They say residents of the storm-battered region are becoming disenchanted, both from inaction at the federal level, and now, from the state. And as Lynn Hatter reports, they’re calling for someone—anyone, to step in.

When Florida is hit by a hurricane, utility companies must go in and help recover immediately. They pay for the cost up front and later charge customers to recoup their losses. Blaise Gainey reports a senate bill aims to lower both the price tag and time of recovery by forcing utility companies to strengthen their infrastructure before a storm.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis says he wants the state’s colleges and Universities to do more to protect free speech on campus. He’s touting a move by all 12 state university presidents to adopt a resolution DeSantis says champions free speech. Regan McCarthy has more….

The House Appropriations Committee is set to hear an omnibus criminal justice reform bill Tuesday that among other changes, looks to increase the threshold for felony theft offenses. Ryan Dailey reports the measure also makes a significant change to who can be sentenced as a “prison release reoffender.”

Florida workers and union members are pushing for a 15-dollar minimum wage. But Casey Chapter reports it may not be an easy feat in the state.

Tom Flanigan reports Florida A&M University will be doing extensive and ongoing research into the ramifications of both medical and illegal marijuana use within Florida’s African-American population.