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Capital Report: 2-12-2020

Both the Florida House and Senate have their respective budget plans teed up in preparation for the haggling to come.  Tom Flanigan has a quick overview of their similarities and differences.

The House Education committee is considering a plan to merge Florida Polytechnic University with the University of Florida, and New College of Florida with Florida State University. The proposal was filed Monday and has since gotten mixed reactions. Blaise Gainey has more.

A bill that would have mandated newborn babies be given a certain eye exam just got a drastic overhaul by way of a strike-all amendment. Proponents of the original say it’s now watered down, but Ryan Dailey reports some are glad to see what they feel is progress.

Florida’s property insurance rates keep climbing, both in response to the cost of paying legitimate claims, AND the cost of avoiding even more expensive lawsuits filed by unscrupulous contractors and trial lawyers.  At least, that’s what the state’s insurance industry is insisting as Tom Flanigan reports.

There’s a new proposed state scholarship program under debate at the Capitol. Audriana Thomas reports the Sunshine Scholarship Program targets low-income students who are struggling to pay tuition.

Colossal oysters are shrinking in size and in numbers. They once thrived in Florida's northern Gulf Coast. Scientists at the University of South Florida published a study in the journal Biology Letters last week [2/5] that examines this loss. WUSF's Jessica Meszaros spoke with the head researcher, Stephen Hesterberg.

In 2018 more than 156,000 people got married in Florida. That same year, about half that number got divorced. To curb the state’s divorce rate, lawmakers want to create a handbook couples can read before they get a marriage license. Robbie Gaffney has more.