Nick Evans

Nick Evans is a masters student in communications at Florida State University.  Before moving to Tallahassee, Nick lived in and around the San Francisco Bay Area for 15 years.  He listens to far too many podcasts and is a die-hard 49ers football fan.  When Nick’s not at work he likes to cook, play music and read.

Whether Medicaid expansion will ever come to Florida is far from certain.  But after more than a year in the works, one health fight finally appears settled.

A proposal mandating an abortion waiting period took center stage Tuesday on the House floor.  But lawmakers discussed a handful of other measures that could affect health administration in the state, too.

Drugs can play havoc on the body but for some drugs the mode of delivery can be just as dangerous.  That’s why one Florida lawmaker wants to launch a needle exchange program in Miami-Dade County.

Two bills that will allow concealed weapons throughout Florida’s public school system are headed for the House floor.  But Nick Evans reports their prospects for final passage are very different.  

The Florida House is close to amending the state’s Civil Rights Act to prohibit pregnancy discrimination.  It’s a symbolic move, and far from a sure thing, but lawmakers are happy to see it moving forward.

With another challenge of the Department of Health’s medical marijuana rules filed, state lawmakers are trying to untangle the mess that has become of last year’s so-called Charlotte’s Web law.  The Senate Regulated Industries committee took up the matter Tuesday.

A House measure placing greater restrictions on the use of red light cameras passed its first committee this week.  While it differs from a similar proposal in the Senate, the arguments against it sound about the same.

Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St.Petersburg) is shepherding a bill through the Senate that calls for new requirements on red light cameras.  Namely, jurisdictions that employ cameras would need to submit annual reports and show they’ve already tried alternative safety measures before setting up any new ones. 

Speaking after Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting, Florida Gov. Rick Scott echoed House Speaker Steve Crisafulli’s statements on the prospect of losing federal funds for hospitals treating low income patients.  Scott claims expanding Medicaid would not replace low income pool, or LIP, funding.

“LIP is completely separate from Medicaid expansion,” Scott says.  “If you go look at Texas, go look at California, one expanded Medicaid, one didn’t, and both of them are getting significantly more dollars under LIP than what Florida’s getting today or ever gotten.”

Mothers and fathers of children with intractable epilepsy made impassioned pleas Monday at the Department of Health’s medical marijuana rulemaking workshop.  Both parents and Department officials hope this meeting will be the last.

Despite broad opposition on Florida’s campuses, state lawmakers are moving forward with a plan to allow guns at universities.  Three months ago today, there was a shooting at Florida State University, and this week the controversial measure began its path through the Senate.

A controversial measure to allow concealed weapons on university campuses passed on a close party-line vote in a senate committee Monday. 

Concealed carry licenses in Florida are limited.  Places like bars, courtrooms—even career centers are set aside as gun-free zones.  But Sen. Greg Evers (R-Baker) is taking aim at a different area: public universities. 

Evers invited Rep. Greg Steube (R-Sarasota) to introduce the bill, and during his presentation Evers holds up a sheet of paper for Steube to see.

Some say time heals all wounds.  But this week saw the 42nd anniversary of the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, and all these years later, the ideological canyon separating opponents in the fight over abortion seems just as impossible to bridge.   

In the US House of Representatives Thursday, the temptation to use Roe v. Wade’s anniversary as a chance to vote on anti-abortion legislation was simply to great to pass up.  But it was the legislation they didn’t vote on that made the nightly news.

The House committee overseeing Florida’s rules and regulations will likely have to give their blessing before a low-THC marijuana framework can be put in place.  But some lawmakers don’t think it will be a stumbling block.

  A plan for drug testing welfare recipients in Florida came before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals this week.  The American Civil Liberties Union is looking to the Fourth Amendment to challenge the policy.

Listen here.

Opponents of the Department of Health’s proposed rules for distributing low-THC marijuana began a legal challenge this week.  Implementing the new “Compassionate Use of Marijuana” law has been a rocky, contentious ride that doesn’t appear to be easing.

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