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 is asking the federal government to cap its funding to the state’s Medicaid program. Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Republican lawmakers say that will mean more flexibility to provide quality healthcare at an affordable cost. But critics point to welfare reform and say fewer people will get health care.

In 2011, the Florida legislature passed a measure to convert Medicaid insurance into a managed care system. But Republican lawmakers now want to take the program away from “big businesses” and change it into a block grant system. But Medicaid providers said if that happens low income families will lose access to health care.

Florida families are calling on the state to fully fund mental health services. Social service agencies say the lack of funding for mental health care and substance abuse means more people incarcerated or living on the streets.

House lawmakers got an earful this week on proposed workers' compensation measures. Business groups and health care advocates complain the draft legislation doesn’t do enough to address attorney fees, premium costs, physician fees and patient choice.

Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida members are worried federal and state lawmakers will reduce health care funding for low income Floridians.

President Donald Trump wants to streamline the U.S. Food and Drug Administration so people with rare diseases can get medication faster. But one Florida resident says the state's government needs to make improvements too.

At least 157,000 kids in Florida could lose food stamps under legislation moving in a Florida House committee Thursday.

Legislation by Frank White, R-Pensacola, sends Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program eligibility requirements back to pre-recession levels.

Top Florida Republican lawmakers are heading to Washington D.C. soon to discuss potential healthcare changes with their Congressional counterparts. They want President Donald Trump’s administration to blockgrant Medicaid funding. But some Floridians worry the sick and the poor will lose their health insurance.

Congressman Matt Gaetz, R-FL, said he wants to turn full control of the Medicaid health insurance over to Florida and the other states. It’s part of Congress’ ongoing debate about repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. But Gaetz offered few details.

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.

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 senate president Joe Negron said he’s not concerned Governor Rick Scott’s budget doesn’t include money for his proposed $2.4 billion reservoir in South Florida.

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.

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 water experts said the state needs to store water* and clean up polluted water sources in South Florida. But, state participants in the process continue to bicker over the way forward.

Changes to how Florida regulates the private system of addiction treatment in the state could help stop patient abuse and exploitation. That’s the conclusion of newly released report by the Sober Home Task Force.

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.

Two North Florida lawmakers met with Wakulla County residents Thursday to hear their concerns ahead of the upcoming legislative session.

Having private insurance companies manage Florida’s Medicaid services instead of the state has been successful, said the Agency for Health Care Administration. But long-term care providers and advocacy groups disagree and they outlined problems to Florida senators on Wednesday.