2018 Florida Legislature

Health Care Spending, Regulations Confront Lawmakers

Dec 28, 2017

Battles over health-care spending and regulation of Florida's vast health-care industry are likely to command a great deal of time and attention when the Florida Legislature convenes in January for its annual session.

Florida lawmakers are once again trying to reform the state’s food stamp program, which has more than doubled since the Recession. But unlike in previous years, the Republican-led effort could be making some in roads with Democrats. 

Updated Monday 12/18/17 at 11 a.m.

State Rep. Clay Yarborough, R-Jacksonville, is co-sponsoring a bill recognizing pornography as the cause of a public health crisis. The bill’s primary sponsor is Ross Spano, R-Dover.

A bill funding a unique facility to help solve cold cases is starting to move forward in the Florida House.

Senator Proposes Generator Tax Exemption

Dec 13, 2017
WMFE

A Senate Republican on Tuesday proposed creating a tax exemption for generators installed at nursing homes and assisted-living facilities.

State Faces Shortfall In Children's Medical Program

Dec 12, 2017
Nick Evans/WFSU

A Medicaid program that pays health-care costs for some of the sickest children in the state has an estimated $25 million budget shortfall, a key lawmaker said Monday night.

Negron: PIP Repeal Needs To Include Medical Coverage

Dec 10, 2017

The Senate will consider the merits of repealing Florida's long-standing requirement for drivers to carry personal-injury protection insurance, but Senate President Joe Negron said it's important to ensure that any replacement coverage still provides Florida drivers access to medical coverage and funeral benefits.

State Health Insurance Could Add Water Management Districts

Dec 8, 2017

State group health-insurance benefits, including prescription drug benefits, could be made available to Florida's five water-management districts under a measure approved Thursday by a Senate panel.

Panel Backs Millions Of Dollars In Health Projects

Dec 7, 2017

More than 208 requests for health-care related funding projects, totaling more than $172 million, had been filed and sent to the House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee as of Tuesday.

A push to expand gun rights in Florida appears doomed for another year after a state Senate panel on Tuesday voted down three separate gun bills.

More than fifty people gathered at the Leon County Public Library Monday evening to talk about combating the opioid crisis.  The epidemic hasn’t hit Leon as hard as some other counties, but local leaders want to be ready.

Tax Exemption Proposed For Nursing Home Generators

Nov 28, 2017
WMFE

A House Republican has filed a bill seeking to offer a sales-tax exemption for generators that would provide emergency electricity to nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

This month is Diabetes Awareness Month, and a bipartisan push is underway to do more about the disease that is one of the leading cause of deaths among Floridians.

With only one committee hearing, a bill seeking to regulate Florida’s pregnancy crisis centers is now heading to the House floor. But, pro-choice advocates are not happy about a provision that directs the state to only contract with providers that “promote and support childbirth.”

An organization that deals a lot with human trafficked kids says it’s important to go into the schools and educate potential victims early about traffickers.

Dentists graduate with a lot of student loan debt. That means it's hard for them to set up in rural areas where people might not have much money -- or health insurance.

Florida lawmakers are on the verge of prohibiting marriage for minors.  Identical measures have one committee left in the House and Senate, but some conservative lawmakers want exceptions.

In response to a spate of child abuse deaths in Florida, state lawmakers in 2014 created teams to investigate the root causes of these deaths and report them to Florida’s child welfare agency. Now, a similar effort is underway for the state’s elderly population.

House Starts Moving Again On 'Direct Primary Care'

Nov 15, 2017
Flu.gov

A House health care panel on Tuesday approved a bill backing “direct primary care” contracts that would allow physicians to bill patients and collect payments in advance of providing care without having to obtain an insurance license.

Florida lawmakers are trying to establish a pilot program to help newborns exposed to addictive drugs while in their mother’s womb.

Lawmakers Eye Hurricane Health Care Issues

Nov 12, 2017

Though she's concerned that emergency rules requiring nursing homes and assisted living facilities to have generators and 96 hours of fuel supplies were vague, a leading House Republican said Thursday that state health-care agencies should move ahead with implementing a pair of permanent rules.

A revived bill that wades into the abortion debate has passed its first Florida Senate Committee, but not without opposition.

Florida Universities To Bolster Mental Health Services

Nov 12, 2017

Spurred by the state Board of Governors, Florida universities will hire 56 mental-health professionals this year and a total of 105 over the next four years.

Senate Moves Again On Health Insurance Changes

Nov 8, 2017
Cheap Health Insurance / Flickr

Physicians would have greater leeway in prescribing medications to patients, and insurance companies would have less time to approve prior-authorization requests under a bill unanimously approved by a Senate panel Tuesday.

More than a week after President Donald Trump declared a public health emergency over the opioid epidemic; Florida lawmakers are considering implementing one of his federal recommendations on the state level.

Sunshine State leaders will decide whether to expand the use of the state’s prescription drug monitoring program during next year’s legislative session.

But one Jacksonville doctor says that measure is treating the wrong addiction crisis.


Fate Of Generator Requirement Unclear In Legislature

Nov 3, 2017

Though Gov. Rick Scott wants to require nursing homes and assisted living facilities to have generators and enough fuel to cool their buildings for 96 hours, legislative leaders on Thursday didn't publicly commit to supporting such a mandate.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers embarked Tuesday on a road that has resulted in a dead end in the past: getting the House and Senate to make texting while driving a “primary” traffic offense in Florida.

`Courthouse Carry' Proposal Filed In House

Oct 24, 2017
Wikimedia Commons

A measure that would allow people with concealed-weapons licenses to store firearms with security officers at courthouses was filed Monday in the House for the 2018 legislative session.

Senate Bill Seeks To Rein In Prescription Painkillers

Oct 24, 2017
Wikimedia Commons

A Senate Republican has filed a sweeping measure aimed at keeping patients from getting hooked on prescription painkillers.

Recovery Care Center Plan Filed In State House

Oct 19, 2017
Wikimedia Commons

Florida House Republicans could be poised to make a renewed attempt to allow types of health-care facilities known as “recovery care centers,” where patients could stay up to 72 hours after undergoing surgical procedures.

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