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Capital Report: 2-18-2020

As Republican and Democratic Florida lawmakers push criminal justice reform bills through both chambers, law enforcement groups published a report they say legislators should contemplate. Ryan Dailey reports the Florida Sheriffs and Police Chiefs associations are trying to prove low-level drug offenders are violent.

Florida lawmakers say it should be a crime for fertility doctors to inseminate patients with their own sperm without consent. Several cases have popped up recently as the popularity of at-home genetic testing has grown- revealing the actions of unscrupulous doctors. But Blaise Gainey reports most states have no laws against the act.

The lawmaker behind a bill pushing the use of a government database, called e-verify, to check employee eligibility, says he will ask the governor to veto his bill if nothing changes before it reaches his desk. Regan McCarthy reports.

A push to partially shield presidential searches at Florida’s public universities is gaining traction after years of opposition. At issue: whether a closed search process will lead to better, more qualified applicants, or whether such shrouded processes will lead to cronyism. Last week, WFSU spoke with a firm that specializes in presidential searches and argued for a more closed process to protect job seekers and improve the candidate pool. This week, Lynn Hatter talks with Frank LoMonte (LOW-MONT-EE), who runs the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information at the University of Florida. He teaches media law. His argument: the potential rewards of closed searches is overstated. LoMonte’s views do not represent those of the University of Florida.

What’s up at the Capitol tomorrow?  Gina Jordan has a preview.

Climate change could soon be a factor state agencies use when determining whether plants and animals are considered endangered or threatened. It also would ban agencies from considering economic factors when making those decisions. Robbie Gaffney reports.