Florida Legislature

One Florida lawmakers’ efforts to provide clear guidance for end-of-life care, turned into a conversation on death, and euthanasia. Republican Senator Jeff Brandes’ bill would lead to the creation of portable a portable form patients and their doctors fill out to make sure the patients'wishes are followed.

The state Legislature is on the verge of extending healthcare to thousands of Florida children.  Revisions to the KidCare program will cover children of legal immigrants.

A bill allowing all sexual abuse victims to avoid going physically to court to give their testimony during a trial has passed its first Senate panel. But, not without some concerns.

Planned Parenthood Responds To Latest Abortion Bill

Feb 4, 2016
Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

A Florida House panel's approval of a bill placing more regulations on abortion clinics led Planned Parenthood activists to Lakeland Thursday, where they spoke out in front of the legislative office of one of the bill sponsors.

House Aims To Approve Open-Carry Bill

Feb 3, 2016
Florida House

The Florida House is expected to vote Wednesday to allow people with concealed-weapons licenses to openly carry sidearms in most public places.
 
And in preparing the bill late Tuesday for a final vote, the House voted 72-43 to tack on an amendment that would let lawmakers with concealed-carry licenses pack heat during legislative meetings and on the House floor.

Abortion Restrictions Pass House Panel After Debate

Feb 3, 2016
Florida House

After a passionate debate, a House panel on Tuesday approved a wide-ranging bill that would place more regulations on abortion clinics and address issues such as the sale or donation of fetal tissue.

Direct Primary Care Gets Approval In Senate

Feb 2, 2016
http://www.denisegrimsley.com/

With the backing of physician groups and small businesses, a Senate committee Monday approved a bill aimed at clearing the way for "direct primary care" agreements in Florida.

Certificate Of Need Change Moves On, With A Twist

Feb 2, 2016
FLSenate.gov

Grappling with an issue that is a priority of House leaders, a Senate committee Monday stopped short of supporting the full repeal of a controversial regulatory process that helps determine whether new hospitals can be built.

KidCare For Legal Immigrants Keeps Moving In House

Feb 1, 2016

The House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee late last week unanimously approved a bill (HB 89), filed by Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, R-Miami, that would eliminate a five-year waiting period for the children of legal immigrants to be eligible for the state's KidCare health-insurance program.

'Transparency' Backed in Senate Amid Questions

Feb 1, 2016
healthcare.gov

A Senate budget panel last week approved a bill that seeks to increase transparency about health-care costs, but the measure drew pointed questions from some lawmakers.

Senate To Take Up High-Profile Health Issues

Feb 1, 2016

With House Republican leaders pushing for a wide range of regulatory changes in the health-care industry, a Senate committee will wade into some of the key issues this week.

Associated Press

A proposed constitutional amendment to allow medical use of marijuana will be back on the ballot in November and organizers said Wednesday that growing public support and a larger voter turnout in a presidential election year should help pass the measure that narrowly failed in 2014.

Florida Surgeon General Confirmation Hearing Delayed

Jan 27, 2016

A confirmation hearing for state Surgeon General John Armstrong was delayed Tuesday, with the chairman of the Senate Health Policy Committee saying the panel simply didn't have time to get to the nomination.

The Florida Legislature is moving forward with a bill that could restrict abortion access. But similar measures have been struck down in other states.

House Panel Approves Tweaks To Pot Law

Jan 26, 2016
AP

A House panel gave approval Monday to a bill that would tweak the state's low-THC cannabis law.

Judge Raises Red Flag About Pot Licenses But Can't Stop Them

Jan 25, 2016

Florida health officials lack the authority to issue final licenses to the state's first medical marijuana businesses, but an administrative law judge can't do anything to stop them, according to an order issued Friday.

Transparency, 'Telehealth' Bills Moving In House

Jan 21, 2016
myfloridahouse.gov

Continuing to look for different approaches to health care, a House committee Wednesday approved bills that would require more transparency about medical costs and seek to expand the use of "telehealth."

Balance Billing Among Legislative Priorities For Cabinet

Jan 21, 2016
State of Florida

Citrus, rape kits, credit card skimmers, synthetic drugs, life insurance, water, medical bills, racketeering and Iran.

That is the short version of the legislative priorities for Florida's three independently elected Cabinet members. While they can't sponsor or vote on bills or sign them into law, the Cabinet members hold important leadership roles in state government and each is working with lawmakers to pass legislation.

Last year, lawmakers in Tallahassee fought over how to fund health care for uninsured Floridians. Now two new reports say county leaders are the ones who really need to be concerned.

Senate Panel Backs Longer Stays At Surgical Centers

Jan 20, 2016
WLRN

A Senate committee Tuesday approved a bill that would let patients stay overnight at ambulatory-surgical centers --- but backed away from allowing another type of facility where patients could recover for longer periods after surgery.

Bill Would Require Stricter Standards For Abortion Clinics

Jan 20, 2016
Florida House of Representatives

Abortion clinics would have to meet strict new licensing requirements under a bill being considered by the Florida Legislature.

Lottie Watts / WUSF

A final report from Gov. Rick Scott’s Commission on Healthcare and Hospital Funding is recommending that Floridians should be able to find out ahead of time what it will actually cost before going into the hospital for non-emergency treatment.

Paramedics, EMTs Could Get Public-Records Exemption

Jan 19, 2016
Wikimedia Commons

Florida senators this week could approve a bill that would create a public-records exemption for information about paramedics and emergency-medical technicians.

The Senate on Friday took up the bill (SB 320), filed by Sen. Garrett Richter, R-Naples, and could vote on it during a floor session Thursday. The bill would prevent the release of records that include personal information, such as home addresses, telephone numbers and photographs, of current and former paramedics and emergency-medical technicians.

Disabilities Jobs Bill Heads To Gov. Scott

Jan 19, 2016
Florida Senate

The Florida Senate approved legislation Friday aimed at helping people with disabilities become economically independent, completing what Senate President Andy Gardiner called a "trifecta" of bills headed to Gov. Rick Scott.

The measure (HB 7003) would encourage state agencies to employ more people with disabilities, recognize businesses that hire them and establish a program to teach them financial literacy.

Lawmakers put the brakes on a Medicaid reimbursement plan this week after Attorney General Pam Bondi attended the bill’s first committee hearing to speak against it.

The Florida Hospital Association has unveiled a new site dedicated to helping consumers understand costs. The website, MissionToCare.org, pulls information from both the state and federal governments to clear up the financial picture.

To outsource or not to outsource…That’s the question facing Florida lawmakers this year, as they mull over whether the Florida Department of Law Enforcement should use outside help to take care of the state’s backlog of untested rape kits.

House Speaker Backs KidCare For Legal Immigrants

Jan 13, 2016

To the surprise and delight of lawmakers who have long backed the proposal, House Speaker Steve Crisafulli on Tuesday called for eliminating a five-year waiting period for children of legal immigrants to be eligible for the state's KidCare health-insurance program.

Health Industry Regulatory Changes Sail In House

Jan 13, 2016
myfloridahouse.gov

A House panel Tuesday quickly approved two high-profile bills that would revamp health-care regulations --- and are drawing opposition from at least parts of the hospital industry.

Florida's annual legislative session gets under way today. WUSF News will bring you live coverage of the governor's State of the State address starting today at 11 a.m. This week on Florida Matters (Tuesday, Jan. 12 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 17 7:30 a.m.), we will feature highlights of the address, along with the Democratic response.  

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