2018 Florida Legislature

LESLIE OVALLE / WLRN

Students who survived the Parkland school shooting prepared to flood the Capitol on Wednesday, pushing to ban the assault-style rifle used to kill 17 people and vowing to make changes in the November election if they can't persuade lawmakers to change laws before their legislative session ends.

School Shooting Puts Pressure On Florida Lawmakers To Act

Feb 20, 2018

The deadly shooting at a Florida high school has put pressure on the state's Republican-controlled Legislature to consider a sweeping package of gun-control laws in a state that has resisted restrictions on firearms for decades, lawmakers said Monday.

Would raising the age to buy tobacco products lower the cost of healthcare in Florida? One lawmaker thinks so.

In the wake of the deaths of 17 people from a shooting at a Broward High School, people are once again focusing on school safety. Administrators and elected officials alike are pushing for more funding to shore up infrastructure, but some are beginning to wonder if that’s enough.

State lawmakers are facing renewed pressure to pass gun control legislation following last week’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland — and the Legislature is only scheduled to be in session for another two and a half weeks after it returns from the Presidents' Day recess.

State Sen. Gary Farmer, who represents nearby Fort Lauderdale, is pushing the Legislature’s Republican leadership to hear bills he and his Democratic colleagues have introduced in past years.

Florida Senate Panel To Take Up School Guns Proposal

Feb 18, 2018

Designated people would be allowed to carry concealed firearms on school grounds under a bill added to the agenda of a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting next week.

House Eyes Plan For Health Care During Hurricanes

Feb 16, 2018

During the next major storm, Florida may turn to university faculty and even students enrolled in health-care programs to help work with some of the state’s most vulnerable residents. 

House Panel Targets Abortion Procedure

Feb 16, 2018

A bill that would restrict the most common type of second-trimester abortion is ready for a floor vote in the Florida House. 

In a 13-6 vote, the House Health & Human Services Committee on Thursday approved a bill (HB 1429) that would impose new restrictions on doctors performing dilation-and-evacuation abortions, in which a woman’s cervix is dilated and the fetus is removed in pieces. 

  

As South Florida reels from Wednesday’s mass shooting at a Broward County high school, State Sen. Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, is working to secure funding for Florida school districts to better identify and address mental health concerns in students early on. 

Lawmakers Look To Ban Abortion Procedure

Feb 16, 2018

The Florida Legislature is looking to impose new restrictions on abortion. A measure that would ban a common procedure passed a divided House committee Thursday.

After being delayed twice a proposal restricting physician prescribing powers for opioids is once again moving in the senate. It’s part of a wide-ranging proposal to address overdose deaths, which have jumped in Florida and across the nation in recent years.

Foster Homes Overwhelmed By Opioid Epidemic

Feb 16, 2018

Florida foster care providers are struggling to keep up with the number of children entering the system as a result of opioid-related deaths. 

Tuesday in Tallahassee was a day for love and awareness. Governor Rick Scott marked the day as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day. Advocates took it as their cue to ask for their legislative priorities this Valentines Day.

Proposed Deal Could End Trauma Battles

Feb 15, 2018
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Legal wrangling over new trauma centers and which hospitals should be allowed to operate them could come to an end under a proposal moving through the Legislature.

Senate Health Policy Chairwoman Dana Young, R-Tampa, said Wednesday the Senate, House and major players in the hospital industry have reached agreement on how to revamp the state’s 26-year old trauma rules.

“We have a deal,” Young told members of the Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee.

Senate Panel Backs School Mental Health Initiative

Feb 15, 2018
Heidi de Marco / Kaiser Health News

Shortly before a mass shooting at a Broward County high school, a Senate committee on Wednesday unanimously approved a bill that could dedicate more funding to Florida schools for mental health services.

House Panel Sides With Doctors On Insurance Claims

Feb 15, 2018

A bill that would restrict the ability of health insurers and HMOs to retroactively deny claims passed the House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday, scoring a victory for physicians.

Two bills in the house would hold high school teachers accountable for sexual offenses against adult students. Current Florida law cannot prosecute a school authority figure who has a relationship with a student who is 18 or older. House Bill 515 makes such relationships second-degree felonies, while House Bill 1391 ensures school districts monitor offenders.  Rep. Amber Mariano (R-Port Richey), a sponsor of the bill, says this issue hits close to home.

Bill Calls For Reporting Birth 'Adverse' Incidents

Feb 9, 2018
Wikimedia Commons

Physicians, certified advanced registered nurse midwives and licensed midwives who attend at-home births or deliveries in birthing centers would be required to report to the state “adverse” medical incidents, under a bill the Senate considered Thursday.

Florida lawmakers want to restrict certain abortions for women in their second trimester. Judges in other states have struck down similar laws as unconstitutional. But legal concerns are not slowing the bill down. A warning, this story may be distressing to some.

Senators Target Use Of Genetic Information

Feb 7, 2018

With sponsor Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, saying the proposal is about “freedom and privacy,” a Senate committee Tuesday approved a bill that would bar life insurers and long-term care insurers from using customers’ genetic information in decisions about writing or canceling policies.

‘Remote’ Pharmacies Plan Gets Senate OK

Feb 7, 2018

The Senate Health Policy Committee gave unanimous approval Tuesday to a bill that would create in law so-called “remote dispensing site pharmacies” and allow managed-care plans to use them in meeting network adequacy requirements.

Lawmakers Blast Agency Over Marijuana Rules

Feb 6, 2018
Cherie Diez / Tampa Bay Times

A joint legislative oversight committee delivered a public shaming to Florida pot czar Christian Bax on Monday, repeatedly chiding the state health official and others as they sat silently while the panel shredded regulations intended to carry out a constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana.

The Florida House has passed a bill making it easier for law enforcement to return firearms to certain gun owners without a court order.

The Florida House has passed a bill making it easier for firearm dealers to pay for background checks.

A proposal to allow unused prescription drugs to be donated to low-income patients is advancing in the Florida Legislature. Florida already allows cancer drugs be donated.

Groups Warn Against ‘Premature' Workers' Comp Changes

Feb 6, 2018
Mercedes Marler (FLICKR)

After lobbying the Legislature to makes changes to the workers’ compensation insurance system for the past 18 months, business leaders are backing off this year.

A Florida lawmaker who opposes a bill to ban child marriage said Thursday that the current law allowing child rapists to marry girls they impregnate is well-crafted.

Church Gun Bills Teed Up In House, Senate

Feb 2, 2018
The News Service of Florida

Measures that would help clear the way for people with concealed-weapons licenses to carry guns at churches and other religious institutions are ready to go to the House and Senate floors.

Florida lawmakers want broader workers' compensation coverage for first responders with post-traumatic stress disorder. But a new version of the bill would add more requirements as well.

Lawmakers Look At Revamping Trauma System

Jan 30, 2018
JusticeSolutions.org

A House health-care panel on Monday approved a bill that would clear a path for increasing the number of trauma centers in the state’s biggest cities and changing rules that allow hospitals to challenge the designation of new trauma centers.

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