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Capital Report: 1-16-2020

The program supporting thousands of Floridians with developmental and intellectual disabilities is likely in for an overhaul this year. Advocates had been relying on the Senate to save the ibudget program from being taken over by private companies. But Lynn Hatter reports, some say Republican Senator Aaron Bean’s proposal might be worse.

If an extended family member has gained temporary custody of a child, a legislative proposal could allow courts to create a transition plan for that child to go back to their parents. Robbie Gaffney reports an amendment was approved on the bill to allow fictive kin to take part in the process.

Senate Appropriations Chair Rob Bradley’s marquee criminal justice reform bill is headed to a vote by the full chamber. Ryan Dailey reports the measure would put a cap on sentences for low-level drug possession, and allow judges to use discretion in sentencing traffickers.

When a person depends on medical devices to stay alive—that often means they also depend on electricity to keep those devices going. Many utility companies offer a special program to ensure a person gets plenty of notice before their utilities are intentionally cut off. But it’s not a requirement for every company. Regan McCarthy reports a bill moving though the House would change that.

In recent years, the Florida Legislature has taken more and more of what used to be local government authority unto itself.  And as Steve Bousquet tells us, lawmakers weren’t slow to continue those efforts during this first week of Session.

When people think of Florida, they mostly think about the big counties like Palm Beach and Miami-Dade. This leaves some of the more rural counties overlooked. On “Rural Counties Day” these smaller Florida counties got together to show just what they are all about. Kayla Gallagher has the story.

A bill that could make it harder for citizens to amend the state constitution is moving forward. Republicans say it ensures voters know who’s behind the proposals and what the amendments would do. Blaise Gainey has the story.