News Service of Florida

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.

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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.

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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.

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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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The state’s concealed-weapons licensing program would be moved to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, under a measure proposed Thursday by Sen. Lauren Book, D-Plantation. 

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Saying the Legislature lacks the authority to “marginalize the responsibilities of the executive branch,” a Tallahassee judge Thursday issued an order shooting down the Florida House’s attempt to intervene in a medical-marijuana lawsuit. 

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A Miami-based political committee has proposed a constitutional amendment that would ban possession of “assault” weapons in Florida if approved by voters. 

Man in green van texts while he drives over a bridge.
Rcsprinter123 / Wikimedia Commons

A proposal that would allow law-enforcement officers to pull over motorists for using cell phones while driving will be back before lawmakers in 2019. 

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A legal challenge to the state’s Medicaid managed care patient-assignment system in Northwest Florida has been withdrawn. 

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A state appeals court Tuesday sided with the Florida Department of Health in a long-running dispute about proposed rules for determining whether trauma centers should be allowed to open --- though a law passed this year largely made the issue moot. 

Pointing to an “unprecedented” number of lawsuits, the state Agency for Health Care Administration is asking the Legislature for nearly $1.4 million in additional funding to help pay costs associated with using outside counsel next year, according to a budget document. 

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service / Wikimedia Creative Commons

Florida’s agriculture industry suffered nearly $1.49 billion in damages from Hurricane Michael, with timber growers the hardest hit, the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said Friday. 

Gage Skidmore (Flickr)

The Trump administration on Wednesday released a pair of rules that will allow employers with religious or moral objections to contraception to offer health-benefit plans without the coverage. 

Aftermath of hurricane Matthew
Gov. Rick Scott (Twitter)

State Surgeon General Celeste Philip issued an emergency order Monday that allows certain out-of-state health care professionals to provide services in Florida for another 30 days. 

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A Winter Springs company has filed the latest in a series of legal challenges arguing that the state is violating a 2016 constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana. 

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On the eve of mid-term elections where health care is a top issue with voters, a board led by Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier sidestepped voting Monday on a number of consumer-protection issues. 

Nemours Children's Hospital

Following a state administrative judge’s lead, the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration issued a pair of final orders this week denying a plan by Nemours Children’s Hospital to establish two transplant programs in Orlando. 

Mercedes Marler (Flickr)

An appeals court Wednesday ruled that an insurer shouldn’t have to pay a claim under a workers’ compensation insurance policy that was written hours after a piece of heavy machinery ran over a construction worker’s foot. 

Florida Health Choices (YouTube)

MCNA Dental, a managed-care company that was recently awarded a five-year Medicaid contract, has hired former Florida Healthy Kids Corp. director Rose Naff as its vice president of operations. 

WMFE

Throughout the summer, politicians heard from Floridians angered by the latest bouts of toxic blue-green algae in the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers, along with a festering red-tide outbreak on the Gulf Coast.

FWC employees clearing debris after Hurricane Michael
Gov. Rick Scott Twitter

State regulators moved quickly Tuesday to approve the suspension of monthly electric bills for customers of two utilities in areas hit hard by Hurricane Michael. 

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