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.

Rep. Jay Trumbull, R-Panama City, has revamped his legislation on the state’s trauma centers. It’s not clear whether the House bill will make it through the Senate because the Senate’s legislation on trauma centers is already dead.

Florida Governor Rick Scott says Republicans should start chipping away at eliminating the Affordable Care Act. He spoke to Fox News after attending a White House bill signing.

Florida Senate President Joe Negron said he appreciates Governor Rick Scott’s support for water storage south of Lake Okeechobee. But he’s concerned about Scott’s request to include $200 million to fix the Herbert Hoover dike. Negron said he doesn’t trust the federal government to reimburse the state for repairs to the federally-operated levee.

Panama City State Representative Jay Trumball’s legislation makes it easier to set up more trauma centers in the state. But hospitals say it will destroy the quality of care patients get. Doctors took to the Capitol Tuesday to oppose the measure.

Gov. Rick Scott met Monday with members of the Safety Net Alliance of Florida to discuss hospital funding. Hospitals have said doctors will leave the state and the poor may not get care if proposed budget cuts become permanent.

Death penalty opponents rallied at Florida’s Capitol in support of Orlando State Attorney Aramis Ayala. Republican lawmakers are considering cutting her office’s budget due to her refusal to seek the death penalty in capital cases. But Ayala said a budget cut would hurt her office’s ability to prosecute crimes.

Florida’s universities say they need more money to hire additional mental health counselors and law enforcement officers. University officials said they’re seeing a dramatic rise in students needing help coping with anxiety, depression and academic stress.

The Florida House and Senate are planning big cuts to Florida hospitals and those groups say it will hurt medical care access for the poor and disabled.

Florida currently requires auto drivers to carry personal injury protection of at least $10,000 in medical benefits. But critics say that isn’t enough to cover health care costs when there’s an accident. Lawmakers are considering changing up the insurance coverage drivers must have.

Florida is asking for extraordinary power to revamp its Medicaid program. It’s prompting alarms from health advocacy organizations and policy analysts because it could cut off access to health care for millions of Floridians. They also complain it’s being done without stakeholder input.

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum says Gov. Rick Scott should be careful asking the federal government for Medicaid block grants. The gubernatorial candidate said the city helps support local hospitals and Leon County helps fund local public health services.

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.