2017 Florida Legislature

The Florida Legislature is cancelling upcoming committee meetings ahead of Hurricane Irma. Lawmakers’ preparations for the 2018 session will have to wait.

Surgical Center Proposal Re-Emerges For 2018 Season

Sep 6, 2017
The University of Arkansas

A Senate Republican on Tuesday proposed allowing patients to stay in ambulatory surgical centers for up to 24 hours, likely refueling a debate about regulation of the centers.

Scientists with Mote Marine Laboratory will begin a yearlong effort this summer to restore about 25,000 corals in the Florida Keys.  State lawmakers approved a $500,000 appropriation for the project in this year’s state legislative session.

As both sides of the Stand Your Ground issue weigh in, what impact could a Florida judge calling legislative changes to the state’s Stand Your Ground law unconstitutional have statewide?

Scott Signs Health Care, Renewable Energy Bills

Jun 19, 2017
Florida Governor's Office

Gov. Rick Scott late Friday signed 13 bills, including a 59-page health care bill that is linked to the new state budget.

A new law signed today requires public notification within 24 hours of pollution incidents. 

A gun rights group is declaring victory, after Governor Rick Scott signed a Stand Your Ground-related bill into law last week.

Legislature Approves Medical Marijuana Deal

Jun 11, 2017

Florida will have 10 additional marijuana operators — more than double the number of the state's current vendors — within four months, under a medical marijuana proposal approved by lawmakers Friday.

Governor Rick Scott recently signed a bill into law requiring autism awareness training for Florida’s law enforcement officers. But, some may not see the merits of the new law—that gained traction after a high profile incident last year.

A Florida lawmaker is hoping the state legislature will take up a refiled gun control bill during this week’s special session.

Senate Seeks To Bolster Hospital Funding

Jun 8, 2017
Tampa General Hospital

On the opening day of a special legislative session, Florida senators Wednesday began moving forward with a proposal to send more money to hospitals for treating Medicaid patients.

Special Session To Include Medical Marijuana

Jun 7, 2017

Florida legislative leaders have struck a deal about carrying out a voter-approved constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana for patients with debilitating illnesses.

Governor Rick Scott has signed a bill into law allowing for the creation of memorials for boys who died from the abuse at the now-closed Dozier School for Boys as well as the abuse survivors.

WMFE

Florida voters overwhelmingly passed medical marijuana last election. Now what?

Health Officials Move Ahead With Medical Marijuana Process

May 26, 2017
Coaster420

After state lawmakers failed to act, health officials on Thursday laid out a framework for adopting regulations required by a voter-approved constitutional amendment that could make Florida one of the nation's largest medical-marijuana markets.

Governor Rick Scott has signed a claims bill into law to help further compensate a young abuse survivor who—along with his sister—suffered for years, while under the supervision of the state’s child welfare agency.

Two Florida lawmakers are already looking ahead to next year’s legislative session to revive a bipartisan effort to reform the state’s claims bill process. It allows those who sue a government agency over things like injuries or negligence to receive the rest of the money awarded to them—a process that can often take years.

Lawmakers Back Payment In Death, Injury Cases

May 17, 2017

Saying the Florida Department of Children and Families didn't do its job, state lawmakers last month approved paying $3.75 million in a 2011 child-abuse case that drew national headlines.

Input Sought On Medical Pot Special Session

May 12, 2017
Daylina Miller / WUSF

Amid growing demands for a special session on medical marijuana and harsh criticism of lawmakers' failure to reach agreement on the issue, Senate President Joe Negron sent a memo to his members Thursday seeking input on the possibility of sealing a deal with the House.

Florida’s most powerful business groups want lawmakers to go back to the drawing board after an appellate court upheld a 14.5 percent hike in workers’ compensation insurance.

Governor Rick Scott is approving a 1.5 billion-dollar reservoir South of Lake Okeechobee, much to the delight of Senate President Joe Negron.

Things are a bit quieter at the state capital, now that the year's legislative session is over. Many bills were left on the table, as always happens, but one that made it is being cheered by numerous environmental groups. 

The Legislature is leaving town without addressing a dramatic spike in workers’ compensation premiums, and House Speaker Richard Corcoran is blaming Senate Republicans.

The Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act is now in the U.S. Senate. The legislation cuts state funding for the medical care of low-income people. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-FL, said he doesn’t support the proposal.

Tampa General Hospital

The state budget includes deep cuts to hospitals that serve the poor and lawmakers are betting on federal money to help offset the losses.

Chances appear slim lawmakers will pass a comprehensive workers’ compensation bill this year, but at least one reform is already headed to Governor Rick Scott’s desk.

Legislature At Odds Over Fentanyl Sentencing

May 5, 2017

The House on Thursday rejected a Senate plan to give judges more leeway in sentencing people convicted of fentanyl trafficking.

House, Senate Down To Wire On Medical Marijuana

May 5, 2017
Coaster420

With just one day left to pass a bill, House and Senate Republican leaders are still struggling to strike a deal on the rollout of a voter-approved constitutional amendment legalizing marijuana for patients with debilitating conditions.

Employer groups are threatening to bolt and trial lawyers are in open revolt as lawmakers spend the final days of the 2017 session haggling over workers’ compensation reforms.

A school bus safety bill is now heading to Governor Rick Scott, after passing the Senate this week. But, it not only received bipartisan support, but some bipartisan opposition as well.

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