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.

There’s just one hurdle left for a Miami-Dade needle exchange program.  The long-awaited pilot passed the House Wednesday.

Medical cannabis legislation is heading to the Senate floor for the second time after a clash in committee.  But time is running out for the proposal to gain passage in both chambers before session closes.

WMFE

The Florida Senate will again take up a medical marijuana bill today.  It expands the scope of Florida's Right to Try Act, which allows terminally-ill patients to try drugs not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The measure emerged from the rules committee Monday.

The question of abortion policy is at the center of legislative and judicial debates playing out in Florida.  A 24 hour waiting period may be on its way to the Supreme Court while lawmakers propose new, more stringent restrictions.

Florida women seeking an abortion will now have to wait 24 hours and make a separate trip to their physician.  This comes after an appeals court overturned a ruling putting the law on hold.

The Florida House is moving forward with a new capital sentencing scheme after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the existing system just over a month ago.  But even with last minute changes, lawmakers are hesitant to completely embrace unanimity.

The House Health and Human services committee sent two measures to the floor that would’ve been unthinkable just a few years ago.  The full House will now consider a needle exchange pilot program and a new medical marijuana proposal.

After years of trying, lawmakers are finding success with a plan to create a needle exchange pilot program in Miami Dade County.

A needle exchange program some lawmakers have been trying to get off the ground for years is moving in the House. 

The state Legislature is on the verge of extending healthcare to thousands of Florida children.  Revisions to the KidCare program will cover children of legal immigrants.

Lawmakers are pushing a measure encouraging the use of abuse-resistant opioids. 

State lawmakers are taking steps to protect seniors from guardian abuse.  Sen. Nancy Detert (R-Venice) says it’s too easy for private guardians to take advantage of their wards.

There are few issues that find more support among the Republican Party than guns, and Florida’s GOP dominated statehouse is no exception.  When lawmakers return to Tallahassee for the 2016 regular session, they’ll be coming back loaded for bear.

While Florida Republicans push measures allowing concealed weapons on college campuses and open carry throughout the state, a Democratic senator wants permit holders to have their papers ready for first responders.  

State health officials have selected the five nurseries charged with growing medical marijuana but their job is far from done.  Wednesday they laid out a set of rules to ensure nurseries grow the plant safely and securely.

Although the Department of Health has awarded licenses to grow cannabis, patients could still be waiting more than nine months for treatment.  But one of the nurseries is hoping to push that timeline forward.

Two Republican lawmakers are pitching a moderate expansion of the medical marijuana system they pushed through the Legislature almost two years ago.  The measure removes limits on potency, but only for terminally ill patients.

State health officials are nearing a decision on who will get to grow medical marijuana in the Florida.  Meanwhile two lawmakers are hoping to expand the pool of eligible patients.

Florida is still grappling with the pill mill crisis of four years ago.  But with the problem of too many prescriptions receding in the rear-view mirror, the problem now is too few.

Guns on campus is grabbing Florida’s attention, but it’s not the only bill aimed at expanding gun rights.  One lawmaker wants to allow open carry in the state as well.

The First District Court of Appeal is considering whether to compel public universities to allow guns in school housing.

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.

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