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Election Year Could Keep Session Calm

Florida’s 2014 Legislative session will start with the typical benign tone that comes during an election year. But it’s unclear if the Republican-led legislature can keep things status quo, the Hearld/Times Tallahassee Bureau reports.

The House and Senate agendas and budgets are more ambitious than what Gov. Rick Scott has proposed, but Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, said he expects to negotiate a lot behind the scenes to avoid public dust ups for the Republican governor who is up for a second term, the Herald said.

Democrats are pushing the one topic that dominated Florida’s legislative session a year ago – Medicaid expansion. But that doesn’t have much chance of a resurrection, according to the Ocala Star-Banner.

Other health-related issues expected to emerge this session include a series of gun bills. They include some aimed at modifying Florida’s controversial “stand your ground” law, the Associated Press reports.

Also, state Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, is filing a bill that would restrict law enforcement access to the state’s prescription drug database. Senate Bill 862 contradicts a Fourth District judge’s ruling that police searches do not violate people’s right to reasonable search and seizure.

Bean says the bill would provide citizen’s more privacy protection, the Daytona Beach News-Journal 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.