capital report

Capital Report: 08-16-2019

Aug 16, 2019

Earlier in the month the state’s financial impact estimating group struggled to define certain portions of a constitutional amendment petition that would ban assault weapons. Friday the group met again, this time they invited the petition sponsor Ban Assault Weapons Now and others to help clarify portions of the amendment. Blaise Gainey has the details.

Capital Report: 08-09-2019

Aug 9, 2019

As students across the state prepare to head back to school, ensuring their safety in the classroom is top of mind for teachers, administrators, law enforcement and state leaders. Regan McCarthy has more….

Currently, the state Department of Education does not keep a complete database of all substitute teachers in the state. But Ryan Dailey reports one violent tragedy in Tallahassee last year has raised concerns, and a push for better record-keeping at the state level.

Capital Report: 08-02-2019

Aug 2, 2019

Florida’s state-run crime labs don’t have the ability to determine whether a product is weed, CBD or hemp. And the issue is stopping law enforcement in its tracks. Lynn Hatter reports officials say the state’s new hemp law is creating a patchwork of enforcement efforts and will likely need the legislature to step in.

The First District Court of Appeal has reversed a ruling that declared a 2015 law requiring a one-day wait before an abortion unconstitutional. Blaise Gainey reports the American Civil Liberties Union is preparing for court once again.

Capital Report: 07-26-2019

Jul 26, 2019

State officials have heralded hemp as a new wonder crop.  But the plant’s recent legalization is complicating efforts to enforce marijuana-related charges. Shawn Mulcahy reports the new law has left police and prosecutors alike scrambling for a solution.

New State Hemp Advisory Committee is trying to kick start Florida’s hemp industry. One of its first steps is to create rules. Florida’s Director of Cannabis Holly Bell spoke to Capital Reporter Blaise Gainey on how that process will move forward.

Capital Report: 07-19-2019

Jul 19, 2019

The Florida House wants a say in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of state medical marijuana regulations. WFSU’s Shawn Mulcahy reports the chamber's lawyers asked a Tallahassee appeals court Tuesday for a chance to intervene.   

Capital Report: 07-12-2019

Jul 12, 2019

Florida courts have spoken and say the state’s medical marijuana distribution system is unconstitutional Blaise Gainey reports that could soon force the legislature and the industry to make changes.

It sounds like something out of a crime drama. A dirty cop plants illegal drugs on people, then arrests them. State investigators say that’s exactly what happened in one North Florida County. Lynn Hatter reports.

Capital Report: 07-05-2019

Jul 5, 2019

Florida’s Historic Capitol lawn was the backdrop for a protest Tuesday calling for the closure of migrant detention centers. Ryan Dailey has more.

Thousands of felons throughout the state have the right to vote thanks to Amendment 4 and Governor Ron DeSantis signing the implementing bill into law. But to do so they will have to register first. Capital Reporter Blaise Gainey joined former Leon County Commissioner Bob Rackleff as he went door to door doing just that (registering felons to vote).

Capital Report: 06-28-2019

Jun 28, 2019

Florida will soon strike up a so-called John’s Registry for people convicted of soliciting prostitution. It’s part of an effort to combat human and sex trafficking. The database has been endorsed by law enforcement who see it as a way to shame people who pay for sex, but Lynn Hatter reports, some victim advocates worry it could sweep up people who’ve been trafficked themselves.

Capital Report: 06-21-2019

Jun 24, 2019

Governor Ron DeSantis today [Friday] signed the state’s 90.9 billion dollar budget. Shawn Mulcahy has more.

This week saw suspended Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel go before the Senate special master in his appeal hearing. Ryan Dailey reports Israel pointed to Governor Ron DeSantis allegations of incompetence on the job as political.

Capital Report: 06-14-2019

Jun 14, 2019

Today (Friday) Governor Ron DeSantis approved a ban on so-called “sanctuary cities” in Florida. Ryan Dailey reports the effort sparked controversy during this legislative session, but its backers say it’s all about following the rule of law.

Capital Report: 06-07-2019

Jun 7, 2019

The U.S. Agriculture Department secretary was at a roundtable in Tallahassee today [Friday]. Shawn Mulcahy reports 8 months after Hurricane Michael, recovery still dominated the discussion.

There’s an increasing trend of hurricanes stalling as they near the coast. Regan McCarthy reports that means more storms could bring more rain.

Breaking precedent Florida Governor Ron Desantis is hiring a Chief Resiliency Officer to combat the effects of Climate Change. Kevin Del Orbe [del-Or-bay] reports on what this new position could mean for climate change policy in Florida.

Capital Report: 05-31-2019

May 31, 2019

The number of Florida School Districts that want teachers to carry guns is growing. Nearly half the districts in the state have signed up for the so-called “Guardian” Program and more have signaled they intend to do so. Lynn Hatter has more.

Capital Report: 05-24-2019

May 24, 2019

After Hurricane Michael slammed Florida’s Panhandle, courthouses were shuttered, law offices were closed and most communications were temporarily shut down. But Regan McCarthy reports the aftermath of a disaster is exactly when many people are most in need of help from the legal system.

Capital Report: 05-17-2019

May 17, 2019

Governor Ron DeSantis has approved a measure that could pave the way for the state’s first major highway expansion in decades. The effort has been led by state Senate President Bill Galvano who pushed the roads as a way to aid in evacuations, promote growth in rural parts of the state and help transport an ever growing population. But environmentalists argue the idea could be a disaster for fragile ecosystems. Lynn Hatter has more.

Capital Report: 05-10-2019

May 13, 2019

A Housing crisis has emerged in the wake of Hurricane Michael. Now state and federal money is on the way to address it. Lynn Hatter reports on what’s coming, and when people will begin to see an impact.

Capital Report: 05-03-2019

May 3, 2019

The Florida Legislature is expected to approve the final product of its budget for this year Saturday. Ryan Dailey reports both chambers got their turn to weigh in on the spending plan today.

On the 60th day of Florida’s session the legislature has passed a bill that details how a felon would go about getting their voting rights restored. The moves comes after 5.1 million Floridians voted to give felons who’ve completed their sentence and did not commit a felony sexual assault or murder their voting rights back.

Capital Report: 05-02-2019

May 2, 2019

The Florida Senate approved its tax cut package. Shawn Mulcahy has the details.

Meanwhile, as the legislative session nears an end, lawmakers are sending bills to Governor Ron DeSantis’ desk for final approval. He can sign bills, veto them or let them pass without his signature.

A bill that provides benefits to firefighters diagnosed with cancer is one of the latest bills heading to the Governor. But as Casey Chapter tells us its facing some opposition.

Capital Report: 04-30-2019

Apr 30, 2019

With the passage of this Legislative session’s marquee school choice bill, a new private school voucher program is on the verge of being created. Ryan Dailey reports Senate Bill 7070 is now on the desk of Governor Ron DeSantis, who’s been a vocal supporter of school choice since before taking office.

Weeks of negotiations between a top lawmaker and the Seminole Indian tribe yielded a proposed agreement toward a new gambling compact.  But Gina Jordan reports the tentative deal that was reached last week has little chance of success with three days left in the session.

Capital Report: 04-26-2019

Apr 29, 2019

A controversial bill that bans local governments from adopting or practicing sanctuary city policies is moving forward, But as Regan McCarthy reports it comes with some new amendments.

House lawmakers recently spent nearly two hours debating a bill that would allow certain felons to vote. It’s in response to a constitutional amendment supported by more than 5 million Floridians saying they should be allowed to do so. As Blaise Gainey reports majority of the debate was focused on when felons will would have their voting right restored.

Capital Report: 04-29-2019

Apr 29, 2019

The Florida House has passed its comprehensive criminal justice reform package. But Shawn Mulcahy reports major differences still exist between the Senate and House versions.                 

As lawmakers put the final touches on the state’s spending plan the House and Senate are carving out dollars specifically for affordable housing in the Panhandle areas hit hardest by Hurricane Michael. Regan McCarthy has more….

Capital Report: 04-25-2019

Apr 25, 2019

The Florida Senate has passed its marquee school choice bill, SB 7070. Ryan Dailey reports the controversial measure that creates a new voucher program narrowly got by on a party-line vote.

Capital Report: 04-24-2019

Apr 24, 2019

A divided Florida House has approved a bill that bans sanctuary cities for immigrants. Casey Chapter reports it was met with heated debate from Democrats.

Former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum is settling his dispute with the Florida Ethics Commission. WFSU’s Shawn Mulcahy reports Gillum’s trial was scheduled to begin today [Wednesday] before an administrative law judge.

Capital Report: 04-23-2019

Apr 23, 2019

As Governor Ron DeSantis’ proposed Canadian drug importation plan looks poised to pass into law this legislative session, he and other proponents are mocking its critics as fear-mongers. Ryan Dailey reports the Governor’s defense comes amid attack ads ramping up in Florida markets.

Tuesday, lawmakers took a big step in addressing what property insurance companies have called fraud for nearly a decade. It’s called assignment of benefits. The fix makes several changes that lawmakers believe will help lower the cost of homeowner’s insurance. Blaise Gainey has more.

Capital Report: 04-22-2019

Apr 22, 2019

A bill that opens the door for industrial hemp farming in Florida is ready for the floor in both the House and Senate. Regan McCarthy has more....

Gummy Bears, Oils, cocktails and icecream. Products with CBD in them have become ubiquitous in the Sunshine State. The Chemical CBD comes from the cannibus plant, and as WLRN’s Danny Rivero reports, that’s leaving South Florida business owners to operate in a gray area.

Environmental groups gathered at the Capitol Monday, to suggest ideas on how Governor Ron DeSantis can advance clean energy. Gabrielle Bolden reports.

Capital Report: 04-19-2019

Apr 19, 2019

Governor Ron DeSantis has reached his 100 days in office. And for the most part, he’s getting good marks from the public. The new governor promised sweeping changes in the way the state addresses the environment education and, as Lynn Hatter reports, some of those promises require state lawmakers to back him up.

The Florida Senate is moving forward with certificate of need repeal. But some call the move a dramatic shift that overturns weeks of work. Shawn Mulcahy reports the plan to scrap hospital regulations points to a bigger picture about the legislative process.