News Service of Florida

Daylina Miller / Health News Florida

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried on Friday added sexual orientation and gender identity to workplace protections at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Fried, the lone Democrat to hold one of the state’s three Cabinet positions, is the first to add such protections to hiring rules that address race, religion and disability. 

The Daily Chronic

Lawyers representing both sides in a lawsuit over the state’s ban on smoking medical marijuana have asked an appeals court to put the case on hold while they work out an agreement. 

Medical Insurance Claim Form sorrounded by pen, calculator and stethoscope.
Flickr Creative Commons

The appointment of two new Florida Supreme Court justices has galvanized the business community’s interest in tackling attorney fees in the workers’ compensation insurance system.

p1 lawyer / Flickr

A state appeals court will hear arguments in March about the constitutionality of a 2015 law that would require women to wait 24 hours before having abortions.

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After a similar proposal emerged this month in the House, Sen. Oscar Braynon, D-Miami Gardens, filed a proposal Thursday that would expand a needle-exchange program for intravenous drug users.

Michael Rivera

Florida organ donors could get free decals for their cars, minivans or trucks under a bill filed Wednesday for consideration during the 2019 legislative session.

Row of lockers
Pixabay

With the annual legislative session nearing, lawmakers and education leaders likely will have to grapple with the fallout of Hurricane Michael on Northwest Florida school districts and continued questions about how to bolster school safety throughout the state.

Prescription drugs on a shelf
Daylina Miller/WUSF

Florida lawmakers continue to respond to the state’s opioid epidemic, with Rep. Joe Geller, D-Aventura, filing a bill Tuesday that, among other things, would require pharmacists to place red warning stickers on prescription drug bottles containing opioids or other controlled substances.

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With the idea getting support from Gov. Ron DeSantis, a House Republican has filed a proposal to ban the oil- and gas-drilling process known as “fracking” in Florida.

Nick Evans/WFSU

A House Republican filed a proposal Thursday that would block physicians from performing abortions if fetal heartbeats have been detected.

Prescription drugs on a shelf
Daylina Miller/WUSF

Opioids are prescribed differently to injured workers, with factors such as age, gender, type of job and size of business making a difference, a new workers’ compensation insurance report shows.

Cheap Health Insurance / Flickr

House Speaker Jose Oliva, R-Miami Lakes, has promised to shake up the state’s health-care delivery system during his two-year tenure leading the House of Representatives.

A lot of the work will fall on two health-care panels: the Health Quality Subcommittee and the Health Market Reform Subcommittee.

Health Quality Chairwoman Colleen Burton, R- Lakeland, told her subcommittee Wednesday the panel would focus on Florida Department of Health issues.

The state has frozen payments to some providers who treat children with autism while it tries to ferret out fraudulent activity, but a high-ranking Medicaid official said the freeze should be lifted within two weeks.

Florida Board of Medicine

Gov. Rick Scott on Monday made a series of appointments during his final day in office, including appointing five judges, a member of the Florida Board of Medicine and a member of the Florida Transportation Commission.

wp paarz / Flickr

The Florida Supreme Court will hear arguments March 6 in a dispute about whether a controversial 2017 change to the state’s “stand your ground” self-defense law should apply to older cases.

Andy Teo (Flickr)

In a move that could refuel a long-running debate, a House Republican on Thursday proposed a measure that would allow people with concealed-weapons licenses to carry guns on college and university campuses.

Attorneys for a transgender inmate and the Florida Department of Corrections are battling in a federal appeals court about whether the state’s treatment of the inmate violated her constitutional rights.

George Hodan (Public Domain Pictures)

The 1st District Court of Appeal has agreed to hear arguments in a battle about the constitutionality of a 2015 state law that would require women to wait 24 hours before having abortions, according to an online docket.

Lit Cigarette
Pixabay

A Senate Republican on Wednesday filed a proposal that would make it illegal for people to smoke on public beaches.

A federal appeals court Thursday rejected a constitutional challenge to a Palm Beach County School Board policy requiring substitute-teacher applicants to take drug tests.

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Siding with an insurer in a case stemming from the treatment of an auto-accident victim, the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday said a 2000 state law focused on Southwest Florida’s Lee Memorial Health System is unconstitutional.

Florida Supreme Court
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A divided Florida Supreme Court on Thursday ruled against an anesthesiologist in a Miami-Dade County medical-malpractice case involving a woman who died while undergoing surgery in 2009 for a tumor in her skull.

Gavel and a stethoscope
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A divided appeals court Wednesday said an out-of-state firm that mines and sells talc should be dismissed from a Broward County lawsuit alleging that a woman developed ovarian cancer because of the use of talcum powder.

The 4th District Court of Appeal, in a 2-1 decision, said Florida courts do not have “jurisdiction” over Imerys Talc America, Inc. because of its lack of contact with Florida.

The ruling came in a case filed by Judith Ricketts against Imerys Talc America, Johnson & Johnson and Publix Super Markets.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Siding with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., a state appeals court Tuesday tossed out a $3 million verdict in a lawsuit filed by the husband of a woman who died of lung cancer after being a longtime smoker.

La Veu del País Valencià / Flickr

As the end of the year approaches, Florida has reported 93 cases of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in 2018, according to numbers posted Monday on the state Department of Health website.

Ron DeSantis (YouTube)

Lt. Gov.-elect Jeanette Nuñez and former Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Alan Levine are co-chairing a committee that could help shape health-care plans for incoming Gov. Ron DeSantis.

iStock

The advent of a new administration with Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis at the helm could bring a sharp turnaround in how Florida officials approach the state’s highly regulated medical marijuana industry.

Washington State House Republicans / Flickr

Law enforcement could use drones to monitor large crowds for safety and security but the unmanned devices couldn't be equipped to fire on crowds, under a proposal filed Thursday by Sen. Darryl Rouson, D- Tampa. 

Ron DeSantis (YouTube)

The transition team of Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis is expected to announce a health-care advisory committee as soon as next week. 

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Though the proposal appears likely to have little chance of passing the Legislature, a South Florida Democrat on Tuesday filed a bill that would expand Medicaid eligibility. 

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