Florida Legislature 2017

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Florida senators will begin hashing out possible medical marijuana laws this week.

This week lawmakers begin untangling their ideas for medical cannabis.  State senators have proposed five different measures.

Jolted by a “60 Minutes” expose, some Florida lawmakers want to deal with a blizzard of so-called “drive-by” Americans With Disabilities Act lawsuits.

The House Majority Leader says there’s a chance a hydraulic fracturing bill could pass the Florida Legislature this year.

Environmental groups are raising concerns about the Senate’s dramatically expanded plan to fight massive toxic algae blooms carpeting South Florida waterways.

Florida families are calling on the state to fully fund mental health services. Social service agencies say the lack of funding for mental health care and substance abuse means more people incarcerated or living on the streets.

Death Row inmate Mike Lambrix has lost his appeal for a new sentence.

Lambrix was one of the subjects in the WLRN documentary Cell 1, where we looked at Florida’s death penalty and the limbo it was in for more than a year.

California Department of Corrections

Moving closer to getting Florida's death penalty back on track, the Florida Senate on Thursday approved a measure that would require unanimous jury recommendations for death sentences to be imposed.

A Stand Your Ground-related bill is now teed up for a vote in the full Florida Senate. But, a bipartisan push to water down the bill Thursday is angering some gun rights groups.

The Florida Supreme Court is considering three capital cases after oral arguments in the past week.  Meanwhile the House and Senate are moving ahead with death penalty fixes.

The Senate is moving ahead with a statewide ban on hydraulic fracturing, despite industry threats of a blizzard of lawsuits. But as Jim Ash reports, the House remains a big question mark.

House lawmakers got an earful this week on proposed workers' compensation measures. Business groups and health care advocates complain the draft legislation doesn’t do enough to address attorney fees, premium costs, physician fees and patient choice.

A Senate committee in Tallahassee unanimously passed a bill that would set standards for how to swiftly notify the public about pollution. It’s an issue residents in the Tampa Bay Area have grown weary of. 


Florida lawmakers say the future is right around the corner and now is the time to get prepared. This legislative session lawmakers are talking autonomous vehicles and personal delivery devices.

A gun-related bill cleared its first committee Tuesday.

Workers compensation isn’t the sexiest item on the 2017 legislative agenda, but it promises to be one of the fiercest fights as lawmakers face enormous pressure to deal with a 14.5 percent rate hike hitting every state employer.   

Battle lines are being drawn in Florida over a perennially thorny issue: Guns.  State lawmakers have filed over a dozen bills seeking changes to existing gun laws. 

State lawmakers will consider a raft of gun bills this session primarily aimed at expanding rights.  But one representative is focused on making it easier to get firearms out of abusive households.

A bill further compensating a surviving child of an abusive adoptive home is starting to move in the Florida Senate.

Nemours Children's Hospital

When officials at Nemours Children’ Hospital in Orlando tried to establish a pediatric heart transplant center, they learned how restricting a state law regulating the opening of new health facilities can be.

Loosening regulations on who can own guns - and where they can be carried - is a hot topic in the run-up to this spring's legislative session in Tallahassee. The Florida Speaker of the House claims that most mass shootings happen in places where guns aren't allowed. WUSF's Steve Newborn checks out the claim with Amy Hollyfield of PolitiFact Florida.

At least 157,000 kids in Florida could lose food stamps under legislation moving in a Florida House committee Thursday.

Legislation by Frank White, R-Pensacola, sends Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program eligibility requirements back to pre-recession levels.

Top Florida Republican lawmakers are heading to Washington D.C. soon to discuss potential healthcare changes with their Congressional counterparts. They want President Donald Trump’s administration to blockgrant Medicaid funding. But some Floridians worry the sick and the poor will lose their health insurance.

No law in Florida prevents health insurance companies from changing the cost of a patient's prescription drugs -or from dropping coverage all together of that drug - in the middle of a 12-month contract.

But a bill filed in the Florida legislature forces insurers to stick by those contracts.

Florida voters overwhelmingly approved Amendment 2 last November, expanding the state's medical marijuana program. But how is the government going to implement it? 


The Florida Department of Health is working to implement Amendment 2 as soon as possible. But public hearings have been contentious across the state. The raucous meetings were standing room only, with crowds cheering and booing.


Gun Safety Activists to Florida Legislature: Reject Gun Bills

Feb 22, 2017

Dozens of gun safety advocates gathered at the Florida Capitol Tuesday to pressure state lawmakers to reject a raft of bills loosening gun restrictions. 

Florida parents could see cheaper diapers through legislation being considered by lawmakers. The measure by Sen. Lauren Book, D-Plantation, exempts diapers and incontinence products from sales tax.

Torrie Jasuwan, founder of BabyCycle Diaper Bank in Saint Petersburg, said one in three Florida moms can’t afford diapers. She says not having clean diapers can result in staph and urinary tract infections.

Democratic State Senator Victor Torres filed a bill Tuesday to allow first responders to get worker’s compensation coverage for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Florida lawmakers seem likely to approve unanimous jury sentences for death penalty cases in the opening weeks of this year’s legislative session.  But some warn there could be another crisis around the corner.

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