News Service of Florida

Amy Green/WMFE

Florida farmers awaiting federal disaster relief to help cover losses from Hurricane Irma last September may learn more details this week about the highly anticipated program. 

The U.S. Department of Justice on Monday awarded Florida $1 million to help defray the cost of law enforcement officers and other emergency workers who have been involved in the response to the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement sought the funds, at Gov. Rick Scott’s direction, through the federal agency’s Bureau of Justice Assistance and a grant program designed to reimburse states and communities that face precipitous costs related to major crime incidents.

LESLIE OVALLE / WLRN

A 16-member commission on Tuesday will begin reviewing the Feb. 14 mass shooting at a Broward County high school, looking into the circumstances of the crime, the background of the alleged shooter and recommendations to prevent future tragedies.

Caitlin Hillyard/KHN

An administrative law judge Friday rejected a challenge to decisions by the Florida Department of Corrections to award two contracts for substance-abuse treatment services in state prisons. 

Samples of medical marijuana shown on display
Wikimedia Commons

Florida’s medical-marijuana patient database has hit the 100,000 mark, according to a weekly update issued by the state Department of Health’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use.

Google Maps

Ruling against the Florida Department of Health, a circuit judge Friday said an embattled Broward County nursing home is entitled to receive copies of death certificates for people who died across the state around the time of Hurricane Irma.

Florida Supreme Court
Flickr

The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday scheduled oral arguments in a medical-malpractice appeal filed by the estate of a woman who died while undergoing surgery for a tumor in her skull.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A divided state appeals court this week upheld a nearly $6.4 million verdict in a case filed against cigarette-maker Philip Morris USA by the widow of a Jacksonville man who died of smoking-related illnesses.

Elder hands clasped
Flickr Creative Commons

The competition is on for a new hospice program in Pasco County.

The state Agency for Health Care Administration has received letters of intent from nine companies to establish a hospice program. The letters are a first step in the state’s certificate-of-need process.

The application deadline is May 16. The state on March 30 published need for one new hospice program in Pasco.

Memorials for the students who perished during the Parkland School shooting.
WLRN

Parents of students who died in the Parkland, Florida, school shooting are calling for a range of steps to prevent gun violence, including measures to "harden" schools to minimize attacks and to identify potential shooters before they act.

Mercedes Marler (Flickr)

The widow of a construction worker who was struck and killed by a truck should be able to receive workers’ compensation insurance benefits, despite the likelihood that he was intoxicated at the time of the accident, an appeals court ruled Wednesday. 

Gov. Rick Scott's Office

When it comes to health-care math, sometimes the numbers don’t add up for Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

For the second time in less than a week, a Tallahassee judge has given Tampa strip-club owner Joe Redner the go-ahead to grow his own pot, rejecting a request from state health officials to keep in place a stay blocking the cancer survivor from cultivating medical marijuana.

Pharmacy Technician amongst two shelves of prescription pills.
Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

In 2016, the city of Miami saw 641 opioid-related overdoses, a 20 percent increase from the year before. Now, attorneys for the city have filed a lawsuit in Miami-Dade County circuit court alleging that drug manufacturers violated Florida law by aggressively and deceptively marketing opioids as safe. 

Tampa General Hospital

Tampa General Hospital is throwing its support behind a bipartisan proposal that, if passed by Congress, would allow it and other large health-care systems to challenge how the government estimates additional Medicare payments.

Kris_Kolak / Flickr

Florida voters will decide whether the state Constitution should mandate death benefits be paid when law enforcement officers, correctional officers, firefighters and other first responders are killed while performing their official duties.

In a 30-7 vote on Monday, the Florida Constitution Revision Commission backed the proposal (Proposal 6002), which will appear as Amendment 7 on the Nov. 6 general-election ballot.

A ban on workplace vaping is headed to Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Mike Mozart / Flickr

Voters will get a chance to decide this fall whether to ban nearshore oil and gas drilling and prevent people from vaping or using electronic cigarettes in many public places, under a proposed constitutional amendment approved Monday.

A Leon County circuit judge has scheduled a hearing Tuesday to consider lifting a stay in a case in which Tampa businessman Joe Redner seeks to grow marijuana as part of his treatment for cancer.

WMFE

The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration’s headquarters in Tallahassee were the site Thursday of the third demonstration in as many days by supporters of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

NPR via Getty Images

Less than two months after a 19-year-old gunman shot dead 14 students and three faculty members at a Broward County high school, city and county officials in parts of Florida are pushing back against a state firearm law they say has created a chilling effect on their ability to respond to constituents’ demands.

Mercedes Marler (Flickr)

Expect efforts to revamp workers’ compensation insurance laws to return as new House and Senate leaders take over for the 2019 legislative session, according to Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier.

Altamier, who has been commissioner for nearly two years, said this week “a lot of people” continue to believe that a 2016 Florida Supreme Court ruling that tossed out strict caps on attorney fees in workers’ compensation cases will “have a negative impact on rates in the long run” and that changes are necessary to prevent employers’ premiums from increasing.

Florida Governor's Office

Gov. Rick Scott is asking U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to move quickly to get disaster-relief funding into the hands of Florida citrus growers, as it may be another three months before farmers can start to apply for the money.

Florida Supreme Court
Flickr

The Florida Supreme Court will hear arguments June 6 in a dispute about whether a car can legally be considered a weapon.

Justices on Wednesday scheduled the hearing in an appeal by Adam Lloyd Shepard, who was convicted on a charge of manslaughter with a weapon after fatally striking Spencer Schott with a car after leaving a Jacksonville Beach bar in January 2011. 

Tampa Tribune

Florida universities are making progress in expanding their research and development efforts but there is room for improvement, according to a new report from the Florida Council of 100.

Mercedes Marler (Flickr)

More than half of the disputed workers’ insurance compensation bills sent to a panel for review last year were either withdrawn or tossed out because services weren’t authorized. 

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service / Flickr

Florida faced 32 active wildfires Monday, as dry conditions in parts of the state continued to pose a threat for blazes. 

Florida Legislature
Florida House of Representatives

Wrapping up work from the 2018 legislative session, Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed 17 bills and vetoed one measure, which he said could “muddle” Florida’s efforts to protect its underground water system.

Gov. Rick Scott's Office

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is expected to announce Monday morning that he is (shock) running for the U.S. Senate. And Florida Democrats are (shock) going after the Republican's health-care record, including his on-again, off-again support for Medicaid expansion.

Older hand holding another hand
NPR

A six bed Opa-locka assisted living facility has been fined $500 after it failed to notify the state that an 84-year old resident wandered off before eventually being returned by police in 2016. 

Cherie Diez / Tampa Bay Times

After Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill last week that resolved the case, a Panama City farmer has dropped a constitutional challenge to a 2017 law that included criteria for awarding a potentially lucrative medical-marijuana license to a black farmer.

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