News Service of Florida

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A legislative panel agreed Thursday to boost the budget of the state Office of Medical Marijuana Use by $13.29 million to help pay for issuing new licenses and covering the costs of ongoing litigation.

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Gov. Rick Scott is coming under fire for his administration's decisions to shift tens of thousands of patients with serious mental illness or HIV into new Medicaid health plans in the coming months, changes that could force many patients to switch doctors.

Amy Green / WMFE

Gov. Rick Scott said the state will “soon” begin accepting applications from citrus farmers whose crops and groves were damaged by Hurricane Irma, after the Joint Legislative Budget Commission on Thursday accepted $357 million in federal funding for the industry.

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A Leon County circuit judge this week refused a request by legislative leaders for his disqualification from a case about whether the state has properly carried out a 2014 constitutional amendment backed by environmental groups. 

Amy Green / WMFE

Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday urged the Joint Legislative Budget Commission to approve $340 million in federal block grant funding to help the state’s hurricane-ravaged citrus industry. 

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A managed-care plan owned by the North Broward and South Broward hospital districts is fighting a state decision to eliminate it from providing Medicaid services to some of Florida’s sickest children. 

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The owners of a Palm Beach Gardens home-health agency have agreed to pay $1.5 million to the federal government to settle allegations that the company illegally paid kickbacks to marketers to lead to patient referrals, federal officials announced Tuesday. 

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Florida’s top health-care regulator gave final approval last week to a pair of new hospitals for southern Sarasota County. 

Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

The state’s decision to award Medicaid managed-care contracts to three prepaid dental plans is being challenged by two companies that submitted unsuccessful bids. 

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A federal appeals court Monday cleared the way for considering a dispute about whether two teens can remain anonymous in a challenge to a new Florida law that raised the minimum age to buy rifles and other long guns.

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Barbara Lumpkin, who spent more than four decades advocating for nurses in Tallahassee and had her name affixed to a 2016 law, died Thursday, according to a statement issued by the Florida Hospital Association. She was 81.

The Ohio native received a nursing degree in 1958 and spent 16 years as a clinical nurse before moving to Florida in 1974 to work for the Florida Nurses Association.

She joined Baptist Health South Florida in 2007.

Lumpkin “built the foundation for a strong presence for nurses in the health policy arena in our state as well as nationally,”

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Florida Department of Health officials took two major actions in the medical-marijuana sphere Friday, issuing a highly sought-after license to a Miami nursery that successfully challenged the state and laying out the process for four more licenses as the cannabis industry continues to blossom.

Julio Ochoa / WUSF Public Media

Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office this week urged a circuit judge to dismiss a challenge to a law that imposes strict penalties on local governments and officials who violate a restriction on regulating guns and ammunition. 

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A school-safety commission examining the mass shooting at a Parkland high school heard testimony Thursday about Florida’s fractured and overwhelmed mental health system.

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After a lengthy process that involved awarding tens of billions of dollars in Medicaid contracts, the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration now will have to try to fend off legal challenges from health plans that were denied contracts. 

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The public will have a chance to weigh in on the future of shore-based shark fishing at a series of public meetings that kick off next week in Bradenton and Fort Myers. 

Amy Green/WMFE

The White House on Tuesday backed Florida’s effort to secure federal funding for a reservoir intended to move water away from Lake Okeechobee and reduce discharges that residents blame for repeated toxic algae outbreaks spreading on both coasts.

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A state appeals court has stepped in and at least temporarily halted the release of thousands of death records to an embattled Broward County nursing home.

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Florida Power & Light customers will see a small, one-time credit in August that in part corrects an “over-recovery” cost for Hurricane Matthew, which whipped the east coast in 2016.

In a case that focused heavily on First Amendment rights, a federal judge has issued a permanent injunction against a 2016 abortion law approved by Florida lawmakers and Gov. Rick Scott.

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Gov. Rick Scott on Monday issued an emergency order over the reemergence of toxic algae outbreaks on both coasts, as the regions’ water quality blossoms into a political issue.

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A state appeals court Friday upheld a judge’s decision to involuntarily commit a man to an inpatient treatment facility, despite the man’s arguments that his mental illness did not pose a danger to his well-being and that other less-restrictive alternatives were available. 

Amy Green/WMFE

As calls grow for state action to deal with toxic algae blooms in Southeast and Southwest Florida, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced funding is in place to speed repairs to the Herbert Hoover Dike around Lake Okeechobee.

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Chiding a judge who sided with sick patients and saying plaintiffs likely won’t win on the merits of the case, an appellate court on Tuesday refused to allow smokable medical marijuana while a legal fight continues to play out.

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An orchid grower and investors spent nearly $800,000 to purchase property in Pinellas County they believed would give them a leg up in obtaining a highly sought-after medical marijuana license.

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The Florida Department of Children and Families will seek approval from lawmakers to shift $3.1 million to help fill a gap in funding for homeless-prevention services, Gov. Rick Scott’s office said Monday. 

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Three hospitals in Marion and Citrus counties are challenging a state decision to sign off on a new 66-bed hospital in Marion County, according to documents posted Thursday on the state Division of Administrative Hearings website. 

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In a second phase of a plan to increase its use of solar energy, Tampa Electric Co. on Friday asked state regulators for approval to recoup money from customers to pay for five solar projects in Hillsborough and Polk counties. 

Sammy Mack/Health News Florida

Florida Medicaid officials announced plans Thursday to sign contracts with three managed-care companies to provide dental care. 

There is no “launch date” for new data to be uploaded to a Florida website aimed at improving health-care price transparency, a top state official told members of an advisory council on Thursday. 

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