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Medical Tourism Could Get Backing

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
Visit Florida
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

A House Republican on Monday filed a proposal that would lead to marketing Florida as a "medical tourism" destination --- and put state money behind it.

The proposal (HB 945), filed by Rep. Fred Costello, R-Ormond Beach, would require Enterprise Florida to market the state as a "destination for quality health care services."

That would include efforts such as promoting the qualifications and expertise of health-care providers and promoting medical-related conferences or business opportunities in Florida.

The proposal calls for setting aside at least $3.5 million a year for medical-tourism marketing from a broader pot of tourism-marketing money. Senate Health Policy Chairman Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, has filed an identical bill (SB 86) in the Senate.

Lawmaker Seeks To Legalize Recreational Pot

Amid a long-running debate about legalizing medical marijuana, a South Florida lawmaker wants to go a step further and allow the recreational use of pot.

Sen. Dwight Bullard, D-Miami, filed a detailed proposal (SB 1176) on Monday that would allow people age 21 and older to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana for personal use and to cultivate up to six marijuana plants.

The 50-page bill also would provide details about issues such as the sales and taxing of marijuana. Bullard also filed a recreational-marijuana bill last year that never received a committee hearing.

Bill Would Set Guidelines For Drones

A Republican senator Monday filed a proposal that would provide details about how aerial drones could be used --- and not used --- in Florida. The proposal (SB 1178), filed by Sen. Garrett Richter, R-Naples, would lead to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement adopting guidelines for the use of drones by state and local police.

But it also lists a series of circumstances in which drones could be used to capture images, such as for military exercises or operations, for electric or natural-gas utilities and for fire suppression. It also would make illegal the use of drones to capture images of people or property for the intent to conduct surveillance.

The proposal is the third bill dealing with drones filed for the legislative session that starts March 3. The other bills are HB 649 by Rep. Larry Metz, R-Yalaha, and SB 766 by Sen. Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange.