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Capital Report: 2-11-2020

The Florida Legislature wants a lot less "sunshine" in the high-profile searches for presidents of state colleges and universities. Lawmakers are again pushing bills that would keep the names of campus presidential candidates secret until the final days before a decision is made. But there's strong opposition to this idea and passage won't come easy. Steve Bousquet reports.

As we just heard from Steve Bousquet, the a persistent desire by some in the Florida Legislature to shield public college and university presidential searches from public scrutiny is back for the umpteenth time.  The arguments remain the same. Supporters say the state’s open records laws keep good people away because they don’t want employers to know their job hunting. Opponents argue sunshine is the best disinfectant and fear closing such high-profile jobs from public access will create an environment of cronyism. Is either true? Lynn Hatter spoke with Zach Smith of the executive search firm Witt Kieffer to get an idea on what happens behind the scenes. The firm has worked in both open and confidential states.

Florida lawmakers want to tax companies that let drivers rent out their cars. A proposal in the legislature would apply the same surcharge regular rental car companies pay to transactions made through apps like Turo (TUR-ro). But Blaise Gainey reports the same companies say they aren’t rental car agencies and shouldn’t be treated as such.

Florida lawmakers want to ban for-profit eye banks. Eye banks retrieve, store, and help deliver corneas to people who need them. The industry has been dominated by non-profit groups, but Robbie Gaffney reports that trend is changing.

Gina Jordan has a preview of tomorrow’s Capitol action.

Not long ago, Florida enhanced the ABLE United program.  That’s a savings plan for the families of people who have disabilities and works a bit like the Florida Prepaid program for college savings.  Tom Flanigan talked to ABLE United “Ambassador” Elizabeth Ricci, whose daughter is a beneficiary of the plan.