Capital Report - WFSU/FPRN

Capital Report - WFSU/FPRN


Weekly review of Florida statewide news. (Daily during Florida legislative session.) WFSU/Florida Public Radio Network reporters, as well as reporters from public radio stations across the state, bring you timely news and information from around Florida. Whether it's maneuvers between legislative sessions, the economy, environmental issues, tourism, business or the arts, Capital Report gives information on issues that affect the lives of everyday Floridians.More from Capital Report - WFSU/FPRN »

Most Recent Episodes

Capital Report: 07-21-2017

Education advocates went to court this week to argue that Florida isn't complying with a 20-year-old constitutional mandate to provide a "uniform" and "high quality" education. But as Jim Ash reports, the legal tug of war is raising questions about the power of petition drives to effect meaningful change. Despite past failed legislative attempts, a bipartisan pair of lawmakers is vowing to continue their work on criminal justice reform—particularly within Florida's prison system. Sascha Cordner reports. A new Florida law makes it easier for cellphone companies to spread 5-G technology. But Regan McCarthy reports the move comes with a loss of local control and what some say is the potential for eyesores. The eastern indigo snake is back in North Florida, at least that's what a group of scientists is hoping. Nick Evans reports reintroducing the species caps off three decades off environmental restoration efforts. Finally tonight, As Florida Public Radio's Stephanie Colombini reported

Capital Report: 07-14-2017

States across the country are struggling to hold off a rising tide of opioid abuse and Florida is no exception. But Nick Evans reports the return of harsh penalties for possession—a hallmark of the war on drugs—is frustrating a broad spectrum of advocates and officials. Manatee and Sarasota Counties have seen overdose deaths from drugs like heroin and fentanyl spike in the past few years. And at the same time, the number of children being removed from their homes and placed into foster care has increased dramatically. As Stephanie Colombini from member station WUSF reports, there's a connection there. A new report on how Florida handles young human trafficking victims is receiving mixed reviews. Sascha Cordner reports. One of Florida's most experienced clemency case attorneys describes the current system and its massive case backlog. At the same time, as Tom Flanigan reports, a proposed constitutional amendment would grant automatic clemency to many non-violent felons. As lawmakers

Capital Report: 07-07-2017

Federal funding that provides insurance for nearly 340,000 low-income Florida kids will expire in September unless Congress acts. Lynn Hatter has more. Local officials and cannabis advocates are chafing under Florida's latest medical marijuana legislation. But Nick Evans reports they're reacting to the new regime in different ways. The FBI is investigating Tallahassee's community redevelopment agency, while questions of cronyism swirl around city hall. The state's CRAs missed the chopping block this legislative session, despite previous reports of mismanagement. Kate Payne reports on how the agencies' loose structure is fueling their current predicament. A Florida judge calls legislative changes to the state's Stand Your Ground law unconstitutional. As both sides weigh in, Sascha Cordner reports on what statewide impact this could have on the controversial legislation. Florida Governor Rick Scott and the Seminole Tribe of Florida have reached a settlement deal over the tribe's ability

Capital Report: 06-30-2017

Prescription drug prices are the newest target in the fight over healthcare costs. Massive price hikes in common medications like EpiPens have raised questions about how prices are determined. Health insurance companies are blaming those cost on rising premiums and as Lynn Hatter reports, some patients say they're having to ration their prescriptions. A 62-year old Jefferson County widow is living in a group home after her husband's death led to a nervous breakdown and involuntary confinement. Meanwhile, her former legal guardian is behind bars until she accounts for $400,000 in missing cash, real estate and personal property. Advocates say it's an example of a faulty system and, as Jim Ash reports, a warning flag for a rapidly aging Sunshine State. This Saturday more than 100 new laws go/went into effect in Florida. Regan McCarthy has more... Advocates are happy about a new law on the books slated to take effect Saturday to help protect kids within Florida's child welfare system.

Capital Report: 06-23-2017

Former U.S. Senator and Florida Governor Bob Graham says the Legislature's decision not to fund Florida Forever is a blatant violation of Amendment 1, the 2014 conservation amendment. As Jim Ash reports, Graham says the Legislature's recent track record on complying with voter mandates has him thinking citizens' initiatives need more teeth. The deadline is approaching for Florida's governor to sign off on a bill aimed at tracking the use of addictive prescription drugs. Kate Payne reports some medical professionals see the measure as key to fighting the opioid epidemic. James Call, capital bureau chief for the Tallahassee Democrat, talks about how lingering animosities and unfinished business from the 2017 Florida Legislative Session could mean a contentious 2018 meeting of lawmakers. Governor Rick Scott has signed a bill into law that's meant to be an update to the Victims of Wrongful Incarceration Act. The aim is to help exonerees have an easier time receiving compensation for a

Capital Report: 06-16-2017

Governor Rick Scott has approved a new law requiring school districts to share some locally generated and federal funds with public schools. But the fight over the measure may not be over yet. Lynn Hatter reports. State workers are in for a raise after Governor Rick Scott approved a sweeping measure earlier this week [last week, but Nick Evans reports the pay bump comes with a tradeoff. Under a newly signed Florida law, Possession of just four grams of the synthetic drug fentanyl can land a person in jail for a minimum of 3 years. Regan McCarthy reports some are pushing back against the mandatory minimum sentence. But others claim it makes sense when one considers that that same amount—just four grams--is enough to kill a room full of people. Gun rights supporters as well as gun control advocates are declaring victory over this year's Florida legislative session. But, as Sascha Cordner reports, they're marking some disappointments as well. It's been about a year since a gunman killed

Capital Report: 06-09-17

The Florida Legislature drops the hankie and ends its three-day special session after reaching compromise on a number of sticking points. Lynn Hatter provides the overview. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist John Lantigua (lan-TEEG-wah) spent months investigating last summer's massive toxic algae bloom that fouled beaches along the Treasure Coast and Southwest Florida. Lantigua's report for the American Civil Liberties Union raises concerns about the state's handling of the crisis. Lantigua talked about it with Florida Public Radio's Jim Ash. The Florida Panhandle, like many rural areas across the country, is experiencing a shortage of healthcare providers. Competitive residencies and high-paying specialties draw graduates toward big cities. Kate Payne went on the road to find out what it's like to stay in those rural areas. A report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York says on average, recent college grads are leaving school with more than 30-thousand dollars in debt. And Florida

Capital Report: 06-02-2017

Hurricane season officially began Thursday, June 1 and will end the final day of November. Officials across Florida are urging residents to get ready now for whatever storms may come. From member station WUFT in Gainesville, Grace King has some helpful tips on what that preparation should include. One very important lesson learned last year. Even though Hurricane Hermine was technically a Category One storm – a minimal hurricane – and was more than one hundred miles offshore from Cedar Key, its storm surge in that area ranked in the top five. Florida Public Radio Emergency Network Meteorologist Jeff Huffman says this is why the National Hurricane Center will be issuing two different types of warnings this season. Certainly wind is the primary danger from hurricanes, but water runs a close second. In low-lying Florida, flood insurance is a must for many property owners. But the deadline is looming for federal reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program. Quincy Walters with

Capital Report: 05-26-2017

Florida Tax Watch is calling for Governor Rick Scott to veto money for more than 100 projects it calls "budget turkeys" that didn't go through the legislature's proper vetting process. But the watchdog group says the process was more transparent this year. Sarah Mueller reports. The US Supreme court's silence on Florida's appeal settles it: capital cases in the state require unanimous jury sentences. But Nick Evans reports many are dubious about how state courts are applying the standard to previously settled cases and state officials remain uncertain of how far the changes reach. Capital reporters Kate Payne, Nick Evans, Jim Ash and Regan McCarthy discuss the week in Tallahassee and look ahead to a probably legislative special session and an ever-expanding race for Florida governor, among other issues. Governor Rick Scott has signed a bill into law inspired by two teenagers who remain lost at sea. Sascha Cordner reports. Florida's Haitian immigrants are getting a six month reprieve on

Capital Report: 05-19-2017

Florida's charter schools have emerged as winners from the legislative session. The schools have won long-fought battles over local revenue, and where and how they can expand. But even supporters say some of those victories are likely to end up in court. And Governor Scott is under pressure to veto those policies, and the education budget. Lynn Hatter reports. This week Governor Rick Scott handed State Senate President Joe Negron a big win, by signing Senate Bill 10. That clears the way for a one-point-two billion dollar reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee. Everglades Foundation CEO Erick Eikenberg spoke with Florida Public Radio's Jim Ash about the significance of the project and what happens next. The medical marijuana industry is lurching forward as lawmakers consider whether and how to call a special session. Nick Evans has more. The Florida legislature directed funding toward water projects instead of land conservation this year. But environmental groups complain that the state has

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