capital report

Capital Report: 1-16-2020

Jan 16, 2020

The program supporting thousands of Floridians with developmental and intellectual disabilities is likely in for an overhaul this year. Advocates had been relying on the Senate to save the ibudget program from being taken over by private companies. But Lynn Hatter reports, some say Republican Senator Aaron Bean’s proposal might be worse.

Capital Report: 1-15-2020

Jan 15, 2020

A bill to require parental consent for a minor’s abortion has one more stop to go before heading to the senate floor for a vote. If passed, it would penalize physicians for aborting a minor’s pregnancy without consent from their parents or guardians. Robbie Gaffney reports.

A bill that would remove time limits for prosecuting sexual battery on minors cleared its first hurdle in the House today. Ryan Dailey reports lawmakers heard powerful testimony from a survivor of sexual assault, who now advocates for victims.

Capital Report: 1-14-2020

Jan 14, 2020

Governor Ron DeSantis made the economy, environment and education his top-three issues for his second State of the State address to the Florida Legislature.  Tom Flanigan says the Legislature’s Democrats remain unimpressed.

Florida’s average teacher salary is among the lowest in the nation. The Florida Education Association says the state suffers from high turn-over rates and teacher shortages. Capital Reporters Robbie Gaffney and Victoria Dominguez report teachers marched to the state Capitol Monday demanding more funding for education.

Capital Report: 1-10-2020

Jan 10, 2020

In the upcoming months Florida lawmakers will grapple with a decision: how to stabilize the budget of one of its healthcare agencies. The Agency for 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: 1-3-2020

Jan 3, 2020

K-12 education is teed up to be a topic of focus during the 2020 legislative session. At issue heading into January 14 are teacher pay and bonuses. Ryan Dailey has more on what to expect as lawmakers convene in Tallahassee.  

Session begins in less than two weeks and lawmakers will soon consider the issues they believe are most important. Blaise Gainey spoke with Senators in South, Central and North Florida about what they are looking forward to this session.

Capital Report: 12-27-2019

Dec 27, 2019

The number of Florida School Districts that want teachers to carry guns is growing. When this story first aired in May, there were 30 districts participating in the state’s “Guardian” Program. Today, there are 39.  We take a look at the ongoing debate over the program, and get an update on where districts are now. Lynn Hatter has more.

Capital Report: 12-20-2019

Dec 20, 2019

There’s an affordable housing crisis in Florida and housing advocates believe the legislature isn’t taking it seriously. Over the past two decades more than $2 billion has been stripped from the state’s housing trust fund. As Blaise Gainey reports some lawmakers are now trying to limit the sweeps, while others are looking to continue the practice.

Capital Report: 12-13-2019

Dec 13, 2019

Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers in Florida’s legislature are taking aim at mandatory minimum sentencing for non-violent offenders. Ryan Dailey reports bills dealing with the rigid sentencing guidelines are advancing, and still being filed ahead of the 2020 session.

Capital Report: 12-06-2019

Dec 6, 2019

An active shooter and three victims are dead after gunfire at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola early this (Friday) morning, with at least 11 others treated at Baptist and Sacred Heart Hospitals in Pensacola. WUWF’s Dave Dunwoody reports.

Gun Safety advocates say more needs to be done to prevent mass shootings. But some say their proposals could be hard to enforce. Robbie Gaffney reports.

Capital Report: 11-29-2019

Nov 29, 2019

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is calling the 2020 legislative session the ‘Year of the Teacher.’ DeSantis recently rolled out his budget asks. Ryan Dailey has more on the requests, and the reaction from the statewide teachers’ union.

Capital Report: 11-22-2019

Nov 22, 2019

Sunshine State lawmakers are looking into a revamp of the state’s mandatory minimum sentencing requirements for low-level drug users. Some say the move could save the state money and cut down on recidivism. Others argue the current system works as a deterrent and helps to keep crime at bay. Regan McCarthy has more….

Ahead of the 2020 election, a federal judge in Florida ruled against a 70-year-old law placing the party controlling the governor’s mansion first on ballots. Ryan Dailey spoke with a professor of constitutional law who breaks down the ruling.

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.