Sarah Mueller

Sarah Mueller is the first recipient of the WFSU Media Capitol Reporting Fellowship. She’ll be covering the 2017 Florida legislative session and recently earned her master’s degree in Public Affairs Reporting at the University of Illinois Springfield. Sarah was part of the Illinois Statehouse press corps as an intern for NPR Illinois in 2016. When not working, she enjoys playing her yellow lab, watching documentaries and reading memoirs.

Florida parents could see cheaper diapers through legislation being considered by lawmakers. The measure by Sen. Lauren Book, D-Plantation, exempts diapers and incontinence products from sales tax.

Torrie Jasuwan, founder of BabyCycle Diaper Bank in Saint Petersburg, said one in three Florida moms can’t afford diapers. She says not having clean diapers can result in staph and urinary tract infections.

The Florida House is moving forward with a plan to pull out of the refugee resettlement program.

Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran recently told a Miami television show there’s a “tremendous potential likelihood” some refugees from the Middle East living in Florida are terrorists.

Insurance companies in Florida and home contractors expect to battle over changes to assignment of benefits laws again this session. The rise of lawsuits where contractors are suing insurance companies to get paid and cover attorney fees has both sides arguing they are the only ones who are protecting the homeowner’s interests.

A Florida Republican lawmaker wants to create more incentives for people who get welfare to look for work. The legislation passed a House committee Thursday.

Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier said insurance companies shouldn’t have to pay attorney fees when contractors sue them over property damage claims. He warned lawmakers this week that if the state doesn’t change its insurance rules, insurance companies will leave the market or raise rates.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations is suing President Donald Trump over his travel ban. The ban restricts refugees and travelers from certain Muslim-majority countries.

Florida House Democrats protested Republican Speaker Richard Corcoran’s decision to give a platform to a man they said is a racist.

A coalition calling itself Stand Up North Florida went public Monday. It says it wants more state water conservation money to go to North and Central Florida. Representing the group were local and state politicians and business leaders. Environmentalists were notably absent.

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Most states tax feminine hygiene products as “luxury items.” But state lawmakers across the U.S., including in Florida, are introducing so-called “tampon tax” legislation to exempt these items from sales tax. 

Most states tax feminine hygiene products as “luxury items.” But state lawmakers across the U.S., including in Florida, are introducing so-called “tampon tax” legislation.

The Anti-Defamation League said it’s concerned by the targeting of journalists on social media in the past year.

Many people considered the rhetoric during 2016 campaign cycle brutal. After voters elected Donald Trump as president, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported more than a thousand hate incidents of white nationalism and harassment of minority groups.

Florida is leading the country in signing up for federal health insurance coverage for 2017 according to federal figures. With still about a month left in the open enrollment period, the numbers are expected to grow even as the Republican-controlled Congress plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act as early as this week.

Floridians are enthusiastic about the economy and their personal budgets. That’s according to a survey by the University of Florida. Consumer confidence among Floridians surged up 6.9 points this month to 97.2, according to a news release. The high mark shows people in the state are as hopeful about the future as they were before the Great Recession and housing crisis in 2008.

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