The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 23,250 investigative stories — both print and broadcast. These stories are searchable online or by contacting the Resource Center directly (573-882-3364 or firstname.lastname@example.org) where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need. Browse or search the tipsheet section of our library below. Stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center:
The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 23,250 investigative stories — both print and broadcast.
These stories are searchable online or by contacting the Resource Center directly (573-882-3364 or email@example.com) where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.
Browse or search the tipsheet section of our library below. Stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center:
Search results for "Florida legislature" ...
What started as a look at problems in the financial aid department led to a widespread review of college operational issues and spending that angered taxpayers and frustrated students. Through several months of reviewing records and rooting out sources, we found that the college had almost no controls on the president's spending and the board offered little oversight. We learned that this was common throughout the state after we reviewed all presidential contracts in Florida - and found lots of big-money perks. Our stories prompted two consulting reviews by the college and two statewide investigations, one from the inspector general into the president's spending and a second from the Florida College System into FSCJ's finances. The president and two other top-level leaders left the college, and reforms are expected from the Legislature this year.
"Before the Legislature closed the records of concealed weapon holders, the Sun-Sentinel provided the last look at who is packing heat on Florida's streets. The paper found that well over 1,000 acknowledged criminals had valid licenses to carry guns."
This series investigated the Tampa-Hillsborough County Expressway Authority, which prompted an investigation by Governor Jeb Bush's office, an investigation by the Florida Legislature's Auditor General and an ongoing investigation by the FBI.
WPLG reports on lax enforcement of Florida's sex offender law. No convicted sex offender is supposed to live within 1,000 feet of a day care centers, but the investigation discovered that 536 such people were doing exactly that, including some in apartments overlooking day care centers. Law enforcement asserted it "lacked the resources and manpower to enforce the law." The state legislature is planning to take a hard look at what must be done to improve the situation. As part of the investigation, reporter Julie Summers compiled information including maps of the centers in relation to the offenders, and a list of Web sites people can use for more information.
WKMG found the State of Florida issuing concealed weapons permits to people who were prohibited by Federal and state law from even possessing guns because they were involuntarily committed by judges to mental institutions or drug-and-alcohol-treatment centers. The politically potent National Rifle Association and its allies have stifled any discussion in Florida about using public records to check on the mental health of the gun buyers. They claim the information is private, but this investigation shows how easily it could be done--if wanted to. This tape also looks at cases of mentally ill patients who have walked into public places like churches and opened fire to kill people.
Tags: TAPE; gun; National Rifle Association; NRA; mental; Florida; weapon; concealed weapon; permit; judge; mental institution; drug treatment; alcohol treatment; public records; mental health; gun buyer; privacy; concealed weapon permit; drug and alcohol treatment; psychotic disorder; concealed weapon permit holder; concealed weapon permit program; US Marshall Service; kill; concealed firearm; scheme; mental health record; health record; Florida legislature; gun control law; mentally ill; killing
Fields of Despair: North Florida Laborers, Lured to Farms by Recruiters' Promises, Reap Poverty, Pain and Exploitation
"'Fields of Despair' exposed the often hidden , and often brutal, working conditions encountered by farmworkers in the nation's second richest farm state. It told how the powerful profit even as workers suffer sweatshop hours, slum housing, poverty pay and criminal abuse." The reporter suggests that the fact that half of the state Legislature's House Committee on Agriculture are farmers or have connections to the industry might have affected the lack of reform legislation.
The story explains how some Florida contractors [involved in highway construction] "have used the claims process to re-engineer the low-bid system" because "they underbid to get the job and then try to make their profits with supplemental claims and lawsuits." From 1995 to 2000, Florida road builders demanded more than $185 million in claims from the State's Department of Transportation. Anderson Columbia Co. and White Construction were two of the companies that accounted for most lawsuits filed from 1995 to 2000 (18 percent and 13 percent), respectively.
Tags: Anderson Columbia Co.; White Construction; JB Coxwell Contracting; Florida Department of Transportation; Florida Transportation Builders Association; Pensacola; Tallahassee; Dispute Resolution Board; Florida Legislature
The Chronicle of Higher Education investigates violations of the Alabama sunshine law by public university boards in the state. The story details circumstances surrounding multiple closed meetings of officials at Auburn University, the University of Alabama and the University of West Alabama. The report also details lawsuits alleging violations of state freedom of information acts that are pending against public colleges or public college foundations in Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky and Missouri. In Arizona, Florida and New Jersey public college lobbyists have managed to curtail or limit the expansion of open-records or open-meeting laws.
Governing examines the effectiveness of drug courts that have been evolving over the past decade as special courts to deal with drug users. The article reveals that the vast majority of the drug courts studied "failed to track the status of the program participants after they left treatment" and "made no comparison of arrest rates of participants to nonparticipants after the conclusion of the treatment program." The story exposes the lack of recidivism rates throughout the country. The voices some judges' criticism that "drug courts are a waste of time and money" but also acknowledges a major advantage - that drug courts keep drug users out of incarceration and from continuing to use drugs, thus saving thousands of prison and jail days.
In early 1994, four separate pro-casino ballot initiative drive began in Florida. By spring, conventional political wisdom held that at least one of these drives would pass, and there was much speculation about what would happen if all four found voter approval. In anticipaiton of casino gamblig becoming legal, the Florida Legislature spent much of its spring session holding hearing on casino regulation, while promoter from Donald Trump to Thomas Kramer announced multi-million dollar deals to build casinos across Florida.