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What’s Moving in Capitol? What’s Not?

Higher speed limits, medical marijuana, and child abuse are among the issues in the news today as the Legislature hits its end-of-session frenzy.

Here’s a look at the progress of several health-related bills:

  • A bill to legalize a strain of marijuana extract that would help children with one type of epilepsy has cleared its final Senate committee, the Miami Herald reports. SB 1030 was amended so that it more closely resembles the House version (HB 843), which passed 15-3.  But it doesn't include all the ailments for which the drug could be used. Both bills are now headed to the floor.
  • The House and Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations conference committees agreed to an additional $47 million for child welfare services, the Miami Herald reports.  While child advocates had hoped for more, they received more funds for mental health and substance abuse treatment services than either chamber had originally considered.
  • The Florida House voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a bill that would create stiffer penalties for drivers leaving the scene of serious accidents.  SB 102 also passed unanimously in the Senate and now goes to Gov. Rick Scott, the Palm Beach Post reports.  Drivers leaving the scenes of accidents involving deaths would receive a mandatory four-year minimum sentence.  
  • The House is likely to approve SB 224, which bars sale of e-cigarettes to minors and SB 670, which places additional restrictions on nursing home lawsuits, according to the News Service of Florida.
  • The Senate will debate a proposal (SB 392) allowing speed limits of 75 mph on some highways, as well as a proposal (SB 1150) to increase medical tourism, according to the News Service of Florida.

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.