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Capitol: Budget, Hospital Pay, More

The Florida Senate unanimously passed a $74.3-billion budget that includes raises for state employees and more money for schools and the Everglades; it also leaves the door open to accept federal funds that would expand coverage to the uninsured, the Times/Herald Bureau reports.

But since the House budget does not allow for the federal funds, Democrats who like the other budget provisions say they can’t go along with it when it comes up for a vote on Friday, the Florida Currentreports.

In other legislative news:

  • Senators approved a change on in the way Medicaid pays hospitals but expect to make further changes via the budget, the Miami Herald reports.
  • Internet sweepstakes cafes are now banned, despite protests from elderly fans, the Times/Herald Bureaureports.
  • Increased regulations for assisted-living facilities are now one step from a House vote, the Florida Currentreports.
  • Nurse practitioners lobby for lawmakers to give them the authority to “Baker Act” patients, the News Service of Floridareports.
  • The texting-while-driving ban appears poised to pass the House, the Palm Beach Post reports.
Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.