2018 Florida Legislature

Gov. Rick Scott's Office

When it comes to health-care math, sometimes the numbers don’t add up for Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

On 100 acre stretch of land, seven houses sit in various stages of construction. The exposed, wooden beams are decorated with motivational quotes and Bible verses like, "Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is Freedom” from Corinthians.


Gov. Rick Scott's Office

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is expected to announce Monday morning that he is (shock) running for the U.S. Senate. And Florida Democrats are (shock) going after the Republican's health-care record, including his on-again, off-again support for Medicaid expansion.

From opioid prescription limits to an agreement on the regulation of trauma centers, it was a busy year for health care issues in the Florida Legislature.

Distracted Driving On The Rise In Florida

Apr 4, 2018

The number of crashes caused by distracted drivers is growing. Last year in Florida more than 50,000 accidents resulted from drivers who weren’t focused on the road.

Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

Members of the Florida Board of Pharmacy were told Monday that it shouldn’t take long to alter regulations for pharmacists to comply with a new law aimed at combating the opioid epidemic.

Board of Pharmacy counsel David Flynn told members of the board’s Legislative Committee that, given the board’s experience in past crackdowns on controlled substances, it shouldn’t take long for the Board of Pharmacy to revamp the regulations.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A state pharmacy board on Monday criticized the Florida Legislature for not passing a bill that would have allowed Florida pharmacists to test and treat people for the flu and strep throat.

Amy Green / WMFE

A Florida judge is ordering the state agricultural department to immediately pay residents their share from a class-action lawsuit filed after the state removed their citrus trees.

Lee Circuit Judge Keith Kyle's ruling Tuesday follows a saga in which the state destroyed nearly 34,000 residential trees under the failed citrus canker eradication program in 2000.

Nearly 12,000 Lee County households are part of the suit filed 15 years ago.

A spokeswoman for the agriculture department told the News-Press they're reviewing the ruling.

Firefighters, police officers and other first responders who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder will qualify for a full array of workers’ compensation insurance benefits effective Oct. 1, under a bill that Gov. Rick Scott signed into law Tuesday.

Joined by state Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, Attorney General Pam Bondi and legislative leaders, Scott signed the measure (SB 376) during an appearance at the Tampa Firefighters Museum.

Miami Herald

Gov. Rick Scott has signed a bill aimed at reducing the number of pythons and other invasive species that cause damage in parts of the state, including the Everglades.

The bill (SB 168), which Scott signed Friday after it was unanimously approved this month by the Legislature, sets up a pilot program targeting pythons and species such as tegu lizards and lionfish.

Under the program, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will be able to enter contracts with people to capture or destroy the species on public lands and in state waters.

Politico

After years of legislative discussion about the issue, Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed a measure (HB 37) that amends the state insurance code to make clear that “direct primary care” agreements do not run afoul of insurance laws.

Under direct primary-care agreements, doctors charge patients monthly fees in advance of providing services, with patients then able to access services at no extra cost.

Orange Park Medical Center is celebrating a new state law cementing its status as a trauma center. The law settles a long-fought battle over how many trauma centers are allowed to operate in Florida and where.

Agriculture officials are warning Floridians to use caution due to significantly heightened wildfire risk. Dangerous conditions are present statewide.

US Army Medical Command

Gov. Rick Scott signed 38 bills into law on Wednesday, including a measure that supporters hope will end years of battling in the hospital industry about the approval of trauma centers.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials are in Gadsden County to present more than 26 million dollars to Florida’s conservation agency. The funds will go to boost conservation, purchase land and build recreation facilities in parks like Gadsden’s Joe Budd Youth Conservation Center.

djtrumpnetwork SOsos / Flickr

Gun owners have filed a second lawsuit against the state over gun-related provisions in a new school-safety law, this time alleging that a ban on “bump stocks” is an unconstitutional taking of property.

Gov. Rick Scott's Office

Gov. Rick Scott on Monday signed 30 bills into law, including a measure that could make more permanent a controversial pregnancy “support services” program and a bill that calls for placing a statue of civil-rights leader and educator Mary McLeod Bethune in the U.S. Capitol.

Within one week, Governor Rick Scott not only signed a gun safety bill into law, he also approved the budget, which includes millions of dollars for school safety purposes. Still, that didn’t prevent the National Rifle Association from filing a federal lawsuit against a provision in the new safety law. And, on the one month mark of the Parkland mass school shooting, thousands of kids across the nation walked out of their schools. Some Parkland families also asked officials to put ideas on the ballot to ban assault rifles and have universal background checks, and lawmakers in Washington D.C. may be moving forward on gun safety bills of their own.

Lawmakers this week sent a bill to Gov. Rick Scott that could help provide information to police about whether drivers are deaf before officers approach cars during traffic stops.

Google Maps

A bill approved by the Florida Legislature would end HCA’s bid to open a trauma center at Northside Hospital in St. Petersburg.

A bill approved by the Legislature allows utilities to pump treated sewage into Florida’s aquifer system.

Most state residents get their drinking water from the aquifers.

The measure is aimed at boosting the state’s over-tapped aquifers.

News Service of Florida

Before becoming House speaker, Richard Corcoran promised in 2015 that he was going to tackle the “Gucci-loafing, shoe-wearing special interest powers” that lobby in Tallahassee and protect the status quo.

Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

In the waning hours of the annual session, the Florida Legislature approved tough new restrictions Friday on prescription drugs and agreed to spend more than $53 million on treatment and prevention to battle the state’s opioid crisis.

Abe Aboraya/Health News Florida

Nursing homes and assisted living facilities will be required to have generators and 72 hours of fuel after the Legislature agreed to ratify a pair of proposed rules sought by Gov. Rick Scott.

Lawmakers Funnel $100 Million To Florida Forever

Mar 11, 2018

Neglected for nearly a decade, the Florida Forever conservation program would get $100.8 million in a proposed $88.7 billion budget that lawmakers are expected to approve Sunday.

Rep. Ben Albritton, a Wauchula Republican who chairs the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee, said most of the money would go for land preservation.

“We started at a much lower number for Florida Forever here in the House,” Albritton said. “Thank goodness, in conference (negotiations), we raised that number significantly.”

As Florida’s legislative session winds down, the clock is running out on a bill that would expand legal needle exchange access in Broward and Palm Beach counties—and the doctor behind the proposal says he’ll keep pushing for a vote until the handkerchief drops in Tallahassee.

In an issue that drew widespread attention during this year’s legislative session, the House on Friday gave final approval to a measure that will largely block minors from getting married in Florida.

Updated at 6:50 p.m. ET

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has signed legislation tightening gun restrictions in the state. Among other things, the legislation raises the legal age for gun purchases to 21, institutes a waiting period of three days, and allows for the arming of school personnel who are not full-time teachers.

In a statement, Scott's office highlights mental health provisions in the bill:

The National Rifle Association has filed a federal lawsuit over gun control legislation Florida Gov. Rick Scott has signed, saying it violates the Second Amendment by raising the age to buy guns from 18 to 21.

Marijuana Rules Become Issue In Budget Plan

Mar 9, 2018

Lawmakers agreed Thursday to withhold more than $1.9 million from the Florida Department of Health until it implements rules necessary to carry out the state’s medical-marijuana laws.

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