It has been almost an article of faith in Florida politics: residents do not want oil drilling off the state’s coasts.

But poll results released Thursday suggest that a drilling ban might not have enough voter support to go into the Florida Constitution.

All this week, Health News Florida partner station WMFE is looking into Florida’s public records as a way to highlight Sunshine Week. Today WMFE host Nicole Darden Creston speaks with the station’s news director Catherine Welch about how the criminal justice system handles people with mental illness.

Lawmakers this week sent a bill to Gov. Rick Scott that could help provide information to police about whether drivers are deaf before officers approach cars during traffic stops.

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A bill approved by the Florida Legislature would end HCA’s bid to open a trauma center at Northside Hospital in St. Petersburg.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Florida’s smoking rates may have dropped, but the need continues for an anti-smoking campaign --- making ill-advised a proposed constitutional amendment that would divert money from advertising to cancer research, a group of health advocates warned Wednesday.


The debate over gun control is ready to move to a new forum, as the Florida Constitution Revision Commission next week begins the process of deciding what issues to place on the November ballot.


The Florida Department of Health this week asked a circuit judge to dismiss a public-records lawsuit filed by a Broward County nursing home where residents died after Hurricane Irma.

The House overwhelmingly approved a bill to improve school safety Wednesday, the first gun-related action by Congress since the shooting that left 17 dead at a Florida high school.

Department of Energy

Energy Secretary Rick Perry said he had no interest in becoming the next head of the Department of Veterans Affairs, flatly rejecting speculation that he would soon take over the position amid rapidly eroding White House support for embattled VA Secretary David Shulkin.

While students across the nation walked out of school to protest gun violence, the 19-year-old accused of killing 17 people and wounding more in the Florida school shooting sat in court silently, his head bowed.

In April, the government will start sending out new Medicare cards, launching a massive, yearlong effort to alter how 59 million people enrolled in the federal health insurance program are identified.


Almost immediately after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Melissa Kornhaus, a licensed mental health counselor with a specialty in trauma therapy, was looking for a way to help.

A bill approved by the Legislature allows utilities to pump treated sewage into Florida’s aquifer system.

Most state residents get their drinking water from the aquifers.

The measure is aimed at boosting the state’s over-tapped aquifers.

Facing Death Penalty, Parkland School Shooting Suspect In Court

Mar 14, 2018
Wikimedia Commons

Now formally facing the death penalty, the suspect in the Valentine's Day school shooting that killed 17 people in Parkland is headed for a court appearance Wednesday on a 34-count indictment.

Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

A program to give naloxone overdose-antidote kits and training to front-line officers. Funding for pill disposal boxes in pharmacies, clinics and police stations across North Carolina. A radio campaign in Connecticut warning of the dangers of opioid abuse. A new medicine to treat opioid-induced constipation.

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The House rejected legislation Tuesday easing how experimental drugs are provided to people with terminal illnesses, as Democrats calling the bill risky and misleading overcame support from President Donald Trump and emotional arguments by Republican lawmakers and ailing constituents.

Workers’ Comp, Health Care Bills Go To Scott

Mar 14, 2018

Three health care-related bills, including one to expand workers’ compensation insurance benefits for injured first responders, were sent Monday to Gov. Rick Scott. 

Central Florida’s Biggest Polluters

Mar 14, 2018
Amy Green/WMFE

Amy: My investigation started with the question: Who are central Florida’s biggest polluters?

Nikki: Amy Green covers the environment. And this week we are marking Sunshine Week, which was established by the American Society of News Editors to highlight the importance of freedom of information and open government.

Gage Skidmore (Flickr)

President Donald Trump is considering ousting embattled Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, who has faced an insurgency within his department and fresh allegations that he used a member of his security detail to run personal errands.

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For their 23rd wedding anniversary, Cesar Calle gave his wife Monica a kidney.

Health-Care Regulatory Revamp On Scott’s Desk

Mar 14, 2018

Gov. Rick Scott has until March 27 to take action on a broad regulatory bill that would affect health-care providers throughout the state.

It started as a bipartisan attempt to curb soaring health care premiums.

But Congress' effort to stabilize the nation's insurance markets is faltering amid escalating demands by each party and erratic positions by President Donald Trump. Democrats want bigger federal subsidies for consumers under President Barack Obama's health care law while Republicans, still fighting that statute, aim to relax its coverage requirements and win abortion restrictions.

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A leading House Democrat announced his opposition Monday to a Republican bill making it easier for some terminally ill patients to try experimental drugs, clouding the measure's fate.

A prominent Republican donor says he is among those launching a new group aiming to pressure Congress to enact what he calls reasonable gun legislation.

How Widespread Is Child Food Insecurity In Orange County?

Mar 13, 2018
Crystal Chavez, WNFE

More children in the Orlando area are in need of a free hot meal. Food insecurity—not having reliable access to enough affordable, nutritious food stresses families living in poverty. To get a grasp on child hunger for our series marking Sunshine Week, 90.7’s Crystal Chavez took a look at the need for free and reduced lunch at Orange County Public Schools. She spoke to Morning Edition Host Nicole Darden Creston.

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The death toll from Hurricane Irma's catastrophic rampage across the Caribbean and the southeastern U.S. has risen to 44 fatalities directly caused by its strong winds and heavy rains, plus 85 fatalities indirectly linked to the storm, according to a report released Monday by the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

Barbershop Study Trimmed Black Men's Hair And Blood Pressure

Mar 13, 2018

Trim your hair, your beard, your blood pressure? Black men reduced one of their biggest medical risks through a novel project that shows the power of familiar faces and trusted places to improve health.

News Service of Florida

Before becoming House speaker, Richard Corcoran promised in 2015 that he was going to tackle the “Gucci-loafing, shoe-wearing special interest powers” that lobby in Tallahassee and protect the status quo.

Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

A program that helps thousands of Florida seniors sign up for Medicare could lose all of its funding by the end of the month if Congress doesn't act.

Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

In the waning hours of the annual session, the Florida Legislature approved tough new restrictions Friday on prescription drugs and agreed to spend more than $53 million on treatment and prevention to battle the state’s opioid crisis.