capital report

Capital Report: 11-15-2019

Nov 15, 2019

In the upcoming months state lawmakers will grapple with a decision: how to stabilize the budget of one of Florida’s healthcare agencies. The Agency for Persons with Disabilities has run deficits in most years since it was created in the early 2000’s. Lawmakers have become increasingly frustrated about constantly having to backfill those deficits. But Lynn Hatter reports advocates are concerned over which chamber will get final say over how the agency moves forward.

Capital Report: 11-08-2019

Nov 8, 2019

While separate citizen proposals to legalize recreational marijuana struggle to gather signatures in Florida, some state lawmakers learned that at least one state that has already adopted that course – namely Oregon – is seeing some downsides.  More from Tom Flanigan.

Citing what they say is a tremendous public and private cost to Floridians from divorce, two Republican state legislators want to create a “Florida Guide to Healthy Marriages.” Ryan Dailey has the details on a bill filed for the coming session.

Capital Report: 11-04-2019

Nov 1, 2019

Earlier this year, it was confirmed voting systems in two Florida counties had been hacked during the 2016 election.  Tom Flanigan reports state and federal authorities have announced new safeguards to prevent that happening in 2020.

When he took office, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis set his sights on weeding out common core in K-12 education. Now, the governor says its replacement standards will be rolled out soon. Ryan Dailey reports in the meantime, ‘the Nation’s Report Card’ shows reading proficiency in the state has fallen in the past two years.

Capital Report: 10-25-2019

Oct 25, 2019

Scott Israel’s lawyer argued against last minute introductions of new materials that show the Broward Sheriffs department lost its accreditation following Parkland, and that the department’s union voted no-confidence in Israel. Still, the former sheriff’s ouster may not be permanent. Israel has announced plans to run for re-election. And Gov. Ron DeSantis says if Israel wins, he won’t suspend him again.

Florida Public Media station WLRN has been closely following the case. The station’s Caitie Switalski and Christine DiMattei discuss the developments.

Capital Report: 10-11-2019

Oct 11, 2019

Following Hurricane Michael’s destructive path through Florida’s panhandle, headlines painted a grim future for timber, a major industry in the region. The losses were huge – valued at $1.3 billion dollars. Yet not all was lost. And Ryan Dailey reports some lumber and paper mills in the region are still going strong.

Capital Report: 10-04-2019

Oct 4, 2019

At least 90 percent of structures in Panama City were damaged in Hurricane Michael. One year later, city officials are about to resume code enforcement actions. Valerie Crowder reports residential property owners say they’re ready for the city to begin cracking down on neglected lots that pose a health and safety hazard to their neighborhoods…

Capital Report: 09-27-2019

Sep 27, 2019

A Florida appeals court has rejected a constitutional challenge against the state’s Red Flag law. The policy lets law enforcement officers temporarily remove guns from the homes of people who are seen as a threat to themselves or others. Now, as Regan McCarthy reports some state lawmakers are looking into an expansion of the rule, while other have filed for a repeal.

Capital Report: 09-20-2019

Sep 20, 2019

When it comes to the preferred weapons of choice for mass shooters, AR-15 style rifles are high on the list.  Variants of the AR-15 were used by  gunmen at the Las Vegas Harvest music festival shooting, as well as the Sandy Hook and Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shootings. That gun has taken much of the blame for lost lives, and is itself the target of proposed gun bans across America. Blaise Gainey has more.

Capital Report: 09-13-2019

Sep 13, 2019

A proposed Florida assault weapons ban would prohibit all semi-automatic shotguns and rifles that are capable of holding more than 10 rounds. State economists say that would affect around 71 percent of rifles and half of shotguns. Charlie Strickland, CEO of Tallahassee-based Talon Training Group, says it would leave a gaping exit wound in business. Capital Reporter Blaise Gainey spoke with Strickland to find out exactly how.

Capital Report: 09-06-2019

Sep 6, 2019

Floridians are no stranger to hurricanes. But for nearly a decade the state saw no direct landfall from a tropical cyclone. Now after consecutive years of major hurricanes, some citizens seem to have a kneejerk reaction when a storm system nears. That added to the intensity of recent storms has some questioning the accuracy of storm path projections. But as Blaise Gainey reports meteorologists say their technology is working better than ever.

Capital Report: 08-30-2019

Aug 30, 2019

With the number of prisoners requiring mental health treatment on the rise, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is asking stakeholders to weigh in on possible solutions. Regan McCarthy has more….

Capital Report: 08-23-2019

Aug 26, 2019

Florida lawmakers have until Tuesday (Aug. 27) to say whether they support a special session on firearms legislation. Democrats have called for the move, but 60 percent of the lawmakers in both chambers would have to back it—an unlikely outcome in the state’s GOP controlled legislature. Regan McCarthy has more….

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.