2018 Florida Legislature

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.

Lawmakers Give Boost To Health Care 'Ministries'

Mar 9, 2018

A bill that could increase enrollment in health care sharing ministries was passed by the Florida House and is headed to Gov. Rick Scott.

Not all bills will make it through the annual legislative session, And this year, the impending failure of several high-profile measures is raising eyebrows.

The Florida Legislature has agreed to allow certain Florida officials to visit the state’s juvenile justice facilities. It’s now heading to the Governor’s desk.

A bill that would allow physicians, chiropractors and group practices to sign “direct primary-care” agreements with patients without running amok of Florida’s insurance laws is on its way to Gov. Rick Scott.

The Senate voted unanimously Thursday to approve the measure (HB 37), sponsored by Rep. Danny Burgess, R-Zephyrhills, and Sen. Tom Lee, R-Thonotosassa. The House passed the bill in January by a 97-10 vote.

Nursing Homes, Safety Net Hospitals Win In Budget

Mar 9, 2018

Nursing homes will get a $130 million bump in Medicaid payments, and residents who live in the facilities will get nearly a 25 percent increase in a monthly stipend they can use for personal needs, under a state budget deal finalized Thursday.

Under the spending plan, the state during the upcoming year would spend $37.1 billion across six state health-care and social-service agencies. Nearly $9.9 billion of that amount would be state general-revenue tax dollars, compared to the $9.4 billion during the current year.

This story was updated 3/9 with a response from the DCF spokesman.

State-mandated changes in safe sleep practices for infants in licensed Florida day care centers are irking Jacksonville caregivers and parents alike.

After weeks of uncertainty, the directors of Florida programs meant to reduce infant mortality are breathing a sigh of relief.

Lawmakers Wednesday agreed to keep their funding the same as last year instead of slashing it by 30 percent, which is what Senate leaders wanted to do.

Direct Primary Care Teed Up For Final Approval

Mar 8, 2018
WGCU

The Florida Legislature is poised to pass a bill that would create the “statutory footing” for direct primary-care agreements among physicians, patients and employers.

School Safety Bill Passes After Emotional Debate

Mar 8, 2018

Three weeks after Nikolas Cruz gunned down 14 students and three faculty members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida lawmakers Wednesday passed a sweeping school-safety bill that sparked bipartisan and racial divisions over gun issues. 

A measure to address Florida’s growing opioid crisis is nearing completion with just days left in the legislative session.

The Legislature’s new plan to arm school employees as a last line of defense to an active shooter might never get tested in Florida’s biggest school districts.

Officials in 10 of the state’s largest systems, which educate nearly 60 percent of all Florida school children, said they have no intention of giving teachers or other staff guns to carry into classrooms.

Update 1:40 p.m.: Florida budget chiefs have agreed on a proposed spending plan. It's still unclear how Healthy Start Coalitions fared. This is a developing story.

If Florida Senate leaders get their way, a statewide network of prenatal care providers will see an approximately 30 percent funding cut.

A proposal to arm some teachers and school employees proved particularly contentious Tuesday as Florida representatives debated amendments to a school safety bill.

Hospital Funding Forces Lawmakers Into Overtime On Budget

Mar 7, 2018
Wikimedia Commons

Florida lawmakers will need to go into overtime because of an impasse about hospital spending in final negotiations over a new state budget. 

Christopher Hopfner / Flickr

First responders being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder could soon have extended benefits under a bill passed Monday by the Florida Legislature. 

Lawmakers Sign Off On Nursing Home Generators

Mar 6, 2018

Nursing homes will be required to have generators and 72-hour fuel supplies onsite by July 1, under a rule issued by Gov. Rick Scott’s administration and approved Monday by the Legislature.

The Florida Senate is backing off a complete ban on child marriage. 

The Senate unanimously passed a bill Monday that would set the minimum age to marry at 17. 

The Senate passed a bill last month to prohibit the marriage of anyone under 18 under any circumstance, but the House carved out exceptions for 16- and 17-year-olds when there's a pregnancy. 

Rural Hospitals Wary Of Florida's Budget Proposal

Mar 4, 2018

Rural Hospitals are having trouble providing health care to their patients, and officials say the Florida Legislature’s budget plan isn’t likely to help.

Florida Senate Tees Up Gun Safety Legislation For Monday Vote

Mar 4, 2018

The Florida Senate held a rare Saturday session, discussing legislation aimed at making schools safer, following the February 14th mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland that left 14 students and three faculty members dead.

After hours of intense debate on a school-safety measure, Senate Democrats were unable Saturday to strip a controversial provision that would allow specially trained teachers to bring guns to schools or to add an assault-weapons ban demanded by survivors of last month’s mass shooting at a Broward County high school.

Florida Senators have teed up a change to the state’s death penalty rules now heading to the chamber floor. It comes two years after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling declaring the previous system unconstitutional.

The Florida House has passed a bill banning a particular medical procedure. Affiliates of Planned Parenthood and some lawmakers believe the measure is another unnecessary attempt to discard safe and legal abortions. 

With about a week left of the 2018 legislative session, lawmakers are facing increased pressure to pass gun safety legislation—in response to last month’s mass school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas. But, the process is pitting people within the same parties against one another.

An average of fourteen people die every day from opioid related abuse. That’s according to Stuart Republican Representative Gayle Harrell.

She’s glad to see a measure moving through the legislature that aims to curb opioid abuse. The House version ensures doctors and pharmacies use the PDMP or Prescription Drug Monitoring Program database before prescribing or dispensing an opioid. It also allows Florida to share its information across state lines to help cut down on so called doctor shopping. Rep. Jim Boyd (R-Bradenton) says another provision limits the number of pills a doctor can prescribe.

JESSICA BAKEMAN / WLRN

Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Tuesday that he's determined to make the Parkland school shooting the last the state ever experiences.

Key Health Budget Issues Could Get Kicked Upstairs

Mar 1, 2018
The News Service of Florida

A top budget writer said Wednesday she doesn’t expect a conference committee to settle all the differences between the House and Senate on health-care spending, leaving the issues to be decided by legislative leaders. 

House Poised To Pass Opioid Measure

Mar 1, 2018

The House on Thursday could approve a plan that would impose prescription limits to help address growing opioid use and abuse in Florida.

It is standard protocol for police, firefighters, and paramedics to run toward the danger. Over time, that can take a toll on the mental health of first responders. Now, a measure in Florida’s Legislature is focusing on protecting first responders who experience PTSD as a result of such a stressful job. 

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