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Lynn Hatter

Lynn Hatter is a  Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative.  When she’s not working, Lynn spends her time watching sci-fi and action movies, writing her own books, going on long walks through the woods, traveling and exploring antique stores. Follow Lynn Hatter on Twitter: @HatterLynn.

Phone: (850) 487-3086

Florida has more than 100 schools that it labels persistently failing. Those schools have earned D’s and F’s for several years in a row. Many of them suffer from high poverty and high teacher turnover. The issues facing parents, teachers, and students in such schools are complex. Now a House panel has unveiled a plan that would change the way the state deals with such situations.

A rift has emerged along a now-familiar fault line in the House and Senate Education spending plans. The chambers are again at odds over how to count what’s known as the required local effort to fund public schools.

Florida’s unemployment rate remains at 5 percent, where it’s been throughout the first quarter of the year. Lynn Hatter reports state employment officials say that’s a good thing.

Both prescription and illegal opioids are driving a national spike in overdose deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control, they were involved in more than 33,000 deaths in 2015. Florida has seen a dramatic increase in opioid-driven overdoses, up more than 20 percent.  Yet, lawmakers are still grappling with how to address the issue.

The Florida House is promising big cut to higher education funding. And it also has another idea for changes that should be made to the system.  The chamber unveiled its answer to one of Senate President Joe Negron’s top priorities this week.

A Florida Senate Panel has voted down a plan to allow recovery care centers in Florida. The facilities provide nursing care for people recently discharged from hospitals or those in need of post-operative care.

The price tag for Florida’s class size amendment is now at $34 billion. The state has spent that much since the measure was put into the Florida constitution by voters back in 2002. Since that time, its caused headaches for schools and districts which undergo the tricky task of trying to meet the standard. Now  state lawmakers are trying again to grant districts a little more wiggle room when it comes to class sizes.

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum has only been running for governor for about a week, but he’s already facing a controversy about his use of a political email system. Now Gillum says he will comply with an investigation.

The Florida Senate has approved wide-ranging changes to the state’s higher education system. It’s a top priority of Senate President Joe Negron. But that doesn’t mean it’s a priority for the House.

Dozens of gun measures are likely dead this year in the legislature. A key Republican Senator says she won’t support measures like campus carry or guns in school zones.

There’s renewed interest in requiring public school districts to share a portion of their locally generated school maintenance funds with charter schools. It’s an argument that’s been around for years and some lawmakers are worried about what that means for the state’s traditional schools.

Tallahassee Democrat Bill Montford is out with a plan to revamp the state’s testing system. A bipartisan group of lawmakers from the Senate and House flanked Montford Wednesday in the Capitol as he unveiled his plan.

House Speaker Richard Corcoran has prevailed in his lawsuit against the Florida lottery. A judge sided with the House over whether the agency violated state laws in awarding a contract.

Republican members of Florida’s Congressional Delegations have found themselves confronting angry constituents at recent town hall meetings. The move is part of a backlash from Democrats over the Presidential election. But how long will that anger last?

A controversial teacher bonus program could be up for changes this year. Teachers have complained the Best and Brightest program is unfair—it awards bonuses partly based on standardized test scores—disadvantaging older and minority educators.

A Senate plan for changes to the state’s public colleges and universities sailed smoothly through its first panel hearing Monday. Questions mostly centered on how schools could implement block tuition and use a four-year graduation rate as part of the state’s higher ed accountability system.

The future could get a little brighter for some Florida college students. There’s a growing consensus to increase awards for some of the state’s highest academic performers. Legislative and state leaders seem to be in agreement when it comes to lowering the cost of higher ed.

When Florida lawmakers new and old arrive for the annual lawmaking session they’ll be faced with a $25 billion issue: Medicaid. The state’s health insurance program for low-income Floridians just keeps getting bigger, despite continued efforts to control costs.

Governor Rick Scott is not concerned about a potential presidential recount in Florida. 

As a presidential recount continues in Wisconsin there’s an independent push for an election review in Florida. Donald Trump won Florida by more than 100,00 votes.

Florida’s higher education coordinating council wants to see more working age Floridians with certifications and degrees.

Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran is gearing up for a fight with lobbyists, unions, and maybe even his own colleagues. Corcoran used his swearing in ceremony to go after the Florida Education Association's challenge to the state's de-facto school voucher program.

Nursing homes are gearing up to fight a plan that could result in what they say are widely varied Medicaid reimbursement rates. Its part of a legislative push for efficiency, but the move is worrying providers in the $4.8 billion program.

Nearly two dozen Florida businesses and healthcare groups have signed on to a national campaign to control prescription drug costs.  The effort has been buoyed recently by reports of astronomically high prices for every-day medications like Epi Pens.

It’s no secret that longtime Florida Republican strategist Mac Stipanovich doesn’t like Donald Trump. This week he became the latest Florida GOP official to publicly back Democrat Hilary Clinton for President. Stipanovich shares his thoughts on the state of the Grand Old Party, and where it goes after this election.

The Florida Supreme Court will take up several cases that could reshape gambling, the death penalty and open carry laws in the state.  Justices will hear oral arguments this week, starting Tuesday.

Transportation apps like Uber and Lyft will continue to face local regulations. The Florida legislature couldn’t reach a deal on how to regulate the industry statewide.

Florida lawmakers seem ready to give some terminally ill Floridians access to medical marijuana. But some medical marijuana expansion supporters are already setting their sights on November.

The Florida House has approved several education bills changing everything from the way students can transfer to how how quickly they can advance in school. But some of those proposals face opposition in the Senate when they get there.

A Florida Senate health panel has killed a bill granting a new exemption to state hospital licensure rules.

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