Kate Payne

As a Tallahassee native, Kate Payne grew up listening to WFSU. She loves being part of a station that had such an impact on her. Kate is a graduate of the Florida State University College of Motion Picture Arts. With a background in documentary and narrative filmmaking, Kate has a broad range of multimedia experience. When she’s not working, you can find her rock climbing, cooking or hanging out with her cat.

A bill aimed at clearing up confusion around redistricting court cases is ready for a vote on the Senate floor. But there are still concerns the plan challenges the independence of the judiciary.

Florida lawmakers are considering shutting down community redevelopment agencies, citing reports of misuse of public money. Supporters are hoping to strike a compromise, before the Legislature kills CRAs outright.

One of the big debates taking shape this legislative session is about state involvement in economic development. The capitol’s powerbrokers are picking sides in the battle, which is threatening to derail session before it even begins.

The Trump Administration is rolling back a federal rule that protects small waterways like wetlands and creeks. One expert says the move could leave more Florida farmers and conservationists stuck in court battles.

The children of farmworkers could get a chance to go to college for free under a state lawmaker’s plan. But one advocate is worried the requirements will put the scholarship out of reach for many.

Earlier this month, a U.S. Supreme Court-appointed lawyer ruled against Florida in its decades-long water war with Georgia. As the court prepares to make its final decision, lawmakers are going back to the legislative drawing board. WFSU News went to the coast to see what the ruling means for the struggling Apalachicola Bay and its world famous oysters.

State lawmakers want to make it harder for Floridians to amend the constitution. The plan would up the percentage of voter approval needed to pass a measure from 60 percent to more than 66 percent.

North Florida Congressman Neal Dunn wants to throw out a federal plan that would reduce freshwater flowing into the struggling Apalachicola Bay. The move comes after a Supreme Court-appointed lawyer ruled against the state in the decades-long water war with Georgia. The Court has not yet made a final ruling. But Dunn and his colleagues are going back to the legislative drawing board to challenge the Army Corps of Engineers.

Florida is a prime breeding ground for invasive species that can threaten the state’s ecology and economy. For every lionfish or Burmese python that’s captured, thousands remain. And the sheer scope of the problem is pushing some lawmakers to ask how much of a difference state funding actually makes.

Florida’s invasive species problem can be daunting, with real implications for the state’s ecology and economy. The breadth of the issue is spurring some lawmakers to ask if state funding makes a difference.

In the upcoming legislative session, lawmakers will debate how to implement the state’s new medical marijuana regulations. 71% of voters approved a measure to allow more patients to access the drug. One of the top fundraisers behind the effort wants to see more competition in the industry.

Florida Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz is reportedly drafting a bill to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency.

Once every twenty years, Floridians have the opportunity to propose changes to the state’s most important document. But some are worried political divides could pull the Constitution Revision Commission off course.

An effort to allow liquor sales in grocery stores cleared its first committee Thursday. Lawmakers are one step closer to tearing down the wall that separates liquor stores from other retailers. For many Florida shops, that’s a literal wall, because of a Prohibition-era law that prevents grocers from selling liquor alongside beer and wine.

In 2011, Florida made sweeping changes to the laws regulating new development. Now legislators are re-examining how the state is juggling the needs of a growing population. At the time, lawmakers characterized state oversight of development as bad for business, and said rolling back the regulations would boost job creation. Cutting growth management was also a campaign push for then candidate Rick Scott.

On paper, Florida’s economy has recovered since the great recession. But that progress isn’t obvious looking at the state’s public assistance enrollment.

Despite a decade of bad harvests, a Florida lawmaker says the state’s signature industry is recovering. Growers are optimistic new genetically engineered trees will survive the deadly citrus greening disease.

Some Florida environmental activists are hoping to channel public interest from one pipeline to another, by organizing a series of protests across the state. This year Native American leaders, activists and celebrities staged a months-long protest at the site of the Dakota Access Pipeline, spurring the Obama Administration to ultimately halt the project. Some Florida environmentalists are taking inspiration from the Dakota Access protests in their own fight against the Sabal Trail Pipeline

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are granting a team of Florida researchers $10 million to research Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases. University of Florida scientists will lead the regional research center, in collaboration with teams from the University of Miami, Florida International University, and the University of South Florida. 

A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows Florida’s gun homicide rates have increased dramatically under Stand Your Ground. In light of the new findings, WFSU checks in with critics and supporters of the controversial legislation.

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