News Service of Florida

Florida Legislature
Florida House of Representatives

With a 5 p.m. Tuesday deadline for casting votes, the Republican-controlled Legislature overwhelmingly rejected a Democratic proposal to hold a special session to address gun violence. 

Hepatitis A vaccine
Julio Ochoa / WUSF Public Media

Florida’s hepatitis A outbreak continues, with 2,349 cases reported this year and 82 cases reported last week, state Department of Health numbers show. 

Dennis Rogers / U.S. Air Force

Gainesville Republican Sen. Keith Perry is continuing his crusade to require children to be in a car seat or booster seat until the age of 7, raising the age now required by state law by one year. 

woman holds child
U.S. Navy

Florida’s children’s health insurance program will require tens of millions of dollars in extra state funding over the next several years, according to new estimates prepared by state economists.

Hepatitis A vaccine
Julio Ochoa / WUSF Public Media

The number of hepatitis A cases in Florida continues to climb, with 72 new hepatitis A cases reported to the state last week.

A Democratic senator Wednesday filed a bill that seeks to repeal a decades-old prohibition on cities and counties passing gun restrictions that are stricter than state firearms laws. 

Woman addressing classroom full of children
Wikimedia Commons

The State Board of Education is poised to consider new rules next week, including a requirement that all public schools begin teaching students each year about youth substance abuse. Schools would also be mandated to report the professional qualifications of people teaching the classes, according to the rule. 

Hepatitis A sign
Julio Ochoa / WUSF Public Media

The number of hepatitis A cases in Florida continues to climb, with 68 new cases reported to state health officials last week. 

Hepatitis A vaccine
Julio Ochoa / WUSF Public Media

Florida had 81 new hepatitis A cases reported last week, as state Surgeon General Scott Rivkees declared a public health emergency because of the virus, newly released numbers show. 

Prescription drugs on a shelf.
Daylina Miller/WUSF

Florida’s initial effort to gauge interest in the operation of a Canadian drug importation program has drawn more letters of concern from critics than responses from those seeking to participate in the program.

The Agency for Health Care Administration issued a request for information from potential vendors in late May, after state lawmakers approved the drug-importation plan. During a month-long response period, two vendors --- Ernst & Young and Maximus --- responded to the agency’s request.

Hepatitis A sign
Julio Ochoa / WUSF Public Media

After more than 2,000 cases of reported hepatitis A cases in Florida this year, state Surgeon General Scott Rivkees declared a public health emergency Thursday.

Medicaid Ballot Drive Could Be Delayed

Jul 25, 2019

A drive to expand Medicaid in Florida may be pushed back two years, as organizers try to figure out if they can muster the resources to put the issue on the 2020 ballot.

A spokesman for a political committee backing a proposed constitutional amendment --- which comes after years of Florida lawmakers rejecting Medicaid expansion --- said a final decision has not been made, but he acknowledged it may be difficult to meet state-imposed deadlines to take the issue to voters in 2020.

woman holds child
U.S. Navy

The Florida Healthy Kids Corp. Board of Directors has approved contracts for three insurance companies to provide coverage in the Florida Healthy Kids program, which serves children ages five through 18. 

Heather Snyder, 31st Medical Operation Squadron educational and developmental intervention services speech and language pathologist, hands a plastic coin to Nathan Gribble, a patient at the Educational and Developmental Intervention Services clinic.
Staff Sgt. Taylor L. Marr / U.S. Air Force photo

News Service of Florida

The head of the Florida agency that helps people with disabilities told a large crowd of people Wednesday not to worry about an impending redesign of the state’s Medicaid home and community-based waiver program. 

Agency For Health Care Administration

State health care regulators on Monday announced initial approval of four new intermediate-care facilities for people with developmental disabilities. 

Stethoscope and gavel against a white backdrop.
Wikimedia Commons

By News Service of Florida

UF Health Shands Hospital is challenging the state’s preliminary approval of a proposed 42-bed psychiatric hospital in Alachua County. 

Patient in discussion with doctor at a desk.
Daylina Miller/WUSF

By News Service of Florida 

State economists said Friday that about 260,000 low-income, childless Floridians would enroll in the Medicaid program if it were expanded. 

A silouette of a family
Eric Ward / Wikimedia Commons

By News Service of Florida

State economists on Thursday concluded that the number of people being served by the state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program continues to be lower than expected. 

An electron micrograph of the hepatitis A virus, an RNA virus that can survive up to a month at room temperature.
Betty Partin / CDC

News Service of Florida

The number of hepatitis A cases reported to the state Department of Health continues to rise, with the latest data showing that 82 cases were reported between June 30 and July 6. 

Robert Neff (Flickr)

Feeling a little warm lately? You’re not alone.

Tampa Electric Co. customers set a record this week for summer electricity use. 

Florida Kids Count

Florida ranks 37th in the country in child well-being and is “not moving in the right direction,” according to a report released Monday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Mother and baby
Omar Medina Films/Pixabay

The Florida Department of Health is seeking input about how a nutrition program for women, infants and children can be improved and is giving people three weeks to send comments to Tallahassee.

WMFE

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday received a bill that would authorize needle-exchange programs across the state. 

Gov. Ron DeSantis
News Service of Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday signed a death warrant for an inmate convicted of committing three murders in Florida, including a Jacksonville murder that sent him to Death Row.

The execution of Gary Ray Bowles is scheduled for Aug. 22 at Florida State Prison, according to documents the governor’s office filed late Tuesday afternoon at the state Supreme Court.

An electron micrograph of the hepatitis A virus, an RNA virus that can survive up to a month at room temperature.
Betty Partin / CDC

The state had 63 cases of hepatitis A reported during the last week of May, bringing the total number of infections this year to 1,373 as of Saturday.

The Florida Department of Health has been encouraging people to get vaccinated to protect themselves against infection. Two doses --- six months apart --- are required. According to a Department of Health report, 96 percent of infections in April involved people who had not been vaccinated.

School resource officer
Tampa Bay Times

An executive order signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis in February helped increase the number of counties participating in a controversial “guardian” program that allows school staff members to be armed on campus, Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran said Thursday. 

Jack Kennard / Wikimedia Creative Commons/jackkennard.com

Florida recorded 628 boating accidents in 2018, down 18 percent from a year earlier, according to a new report released by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. 

Prisoners crowding around a table
Florida Department of Corrections

A federal appeals court will hear arguments in August in a legal battle about the Florida Department of Corrections’ handling of a transgender inmate. 

Pinellas County Health Department logo
Pinellas County Health Department

Despite rising hepatitis A rates, Florida public-health programs have been lauded by a national group. 

Nurse escorts elderly man using walker
Wikimedia Commons

The state’s largest nursing-home association sent a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis asking him to spare from a veto millions of dollars in Medicaid funding for long-term care facilities. Included in the proposed fiscal 2019-2020 budget is $15.5 million to enhance Medicaid payments to nursing homes. 

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