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

Gov. Rick Scott has rejected a request from Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater to consider a search for a new head of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Scott wants the cabinet to consider changes at the departments of insurance regulation, financial regulation, and revenue. The exchange comes as Democratic lawmakers call for an investigation into the ouster of former FDLE head Gerald Bailey.

The U.S. Supreme Court says it will decide whether same-sex couples nationwide have a right to marry under the Constitution. The decision by the high court to take up the case has supporters and opponents of gay marriage excited.

The Republican Party of Florida has elected a new chair, state Rep. Blaise Ingoglia (R-Spring Hill). That means Governor Rick Scott’s hand-picked chairwoman, Leslie Dougher is out.

Dougher was appointed by Scott in May. She replaced Lenny Curry, who resigned in order to run for Mayor of Jacksonville. Dougher led the party to victory during the recent election cycle—and Republicans won a super-majority in the Florida House, and secured all cabinet positions, including Governor Rick Scott’s re-election. She was campaigning for a two-year term.

The Florida Department of Education has announced plans to review the state’s standardized testing.  The move comes after a year of criticism for testing policies, and continued opposition to new learning standards.

This Spring Florida students will face a new statewide exam that replaces the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test. Students will take end-of-course exams in every grade and most subjects.

“I believe you should have accountability," Senate President Andy Gardiner recently told reporters."  I think there should be testing.  I think the jury is still out on overtesting.”

Some school districts have passed resolutions against standardized testing and some parent groups are pushing for the chance to opt their children out of some exams. The department of education says its review of standardized testing is meant to show parents how the tests are used, and to find quote “deregulation opportunities for the school system.”

Florida Department of Education Commissioner Pam Stewart says there are no plans to pause the end-of-course exams or the Florida Standards Assessment, which will start in the Spring.

During his campaign, Governor Rick Scott promised a review on standardized testing.

DOE is accepting applications for its review committee. The department says the committee will have its first meeting in March.

Florida will go to court over President Obama’s recent order granting additional protections to millions of undocumented immigrants.

Florida attorney General Pam Bondi announced Friday the state will join with Texas to sue the Obama Administration over what it describes as an overreach. The move is a response to President Obama’s executive order which allowing millions of undocumented immigrants to remain in the United States without fear of deportation.

In a statement, Bondi says the lawsuit is not about immigration, but about laws.

One of the students shot last week at Florida State University is paralyzed.

Farhan Ahmed was shot three times in front of the Strozier Library last Thursday. He was one of three people injured by a gunman. Ahmed's sister, Farhana Ahmed spoke on behalf of the family in an update on her brother’s condition at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital Monday.

"He immediately knew something was wrong because one of the first bullets struck his spine and has left him paralyzed from the waist down. But despite his injuries he’s alive and we’re so grateful he’s here with us," she says.

Hundreds of people braved the rain Monday night to show support for a Leon County sheriff's deputy killed over the weekend. Governor Rick Scott is ordering flags to be flown at half-staff.

It’s pouring rain at Florida State University’s Dick Howser stadium, something Leon County Commission Chairwoman Mary Ann Lindley says is fitting.

Florida State University is back open—a day after a gunman opened fire at the school’s Strozier Library. As FSU tries to get back to normal, an investigation into the shooting continues.

In the hours after three people were shot at FSU’s Strozier library, people gathered on the campus in a prayer vigils and rallies to show their support for the university. FSU Sophomore Gillian Newman says the shooting has shaken the campus community.

Former State Senator John Thrasher assumed his new role as President of Florida State University this week.  Thrasher says running a university is far different from running the legislature, and all of his actions are being scrutinized.

Florida voters overwhelmingly said yes to a dedicated funding source for land conservation and no to giving governors more power over the judiciary.  Another high-profile amendment fell just shy of what it needed to bring medical marijuana to Florida.

Nearly half the states have legalized marijuana either for recreational or for medicinal purposes, but Florida isn’t one of them.

One constitutional amendment proposal on the November ballot could affect Florida politics and policies for decades to come, but it hasn’t gotten much attention. Still, Amendment Three  could give a future governor the power to change the balance of the Florida Supreme Court.

The Libertarian candidate for Governor is out with a new ad running statewide. Adrian Wyllie may not win the governor’s race, but experts say he could spoil the run for either Governor Rick Scott of Democratic challenger Charlie Crist.

Adrian Wyllie has fought to be taken seriously in the 2014 gubernatorial race, and despite being excluded from most debates and voter guides, he’s polling between seven and 13 percent. Now Wyllie is out with a statewide ads promoting his candidacy.

About 40,000 Families that purchased prepaid college and university savings plans with the state of Florida could see the costs of those plans drop.

For the past two years, Florida’s top state lawmakers have opposed expanding the Medicaid program for low-income people under the federal health law. The state has rejected more than $51 billion under the federal Affordable Care Act to increase income eligibility limits and add more people to the rolls. Now one of the state’s most powerful physician groups, the Florida Medical Association is backing a Medicaid Expansion, but it may not be enough to change state lawmakers' anti-ACA stance.

Tallahassee attorney Bill Wohlsifer, the Libertarian candidate for state attorney general, wants to make sure voters understand his positions don’t amount to eliminating government control, just limiting it. That goes for everything from his support for gay marriage, to his lack of enthusiasm for Amendment Two: a proposed constitutional amendment to bring medical marijuana to Florida.

“I support medical marijuana in Florida, but I don’t think it goes far enough.”

Pages