2019 Florida Legislature

House Panel Gives Go-Ahead To Gun Bills

13 hours ago
Flickr

A House panel Tuesday advanced two gun bills, backed by the National Rifle Association, that are reopening a debate about whether people with concealed-weapons licenses should be able to carry guns on school campuses used by churches and store firearms in vehicles on school property. 

Advanced Nurses, Physician Assistants Get Boost

14 hours ago
Lying atop a mobile gurney, a patient was being prepped and coached just prior to the subsequent medical procedure that was about to take place in this hospital setting. The nurse was wearing her requisite blue colored hospital scrubs, and had draped a st
T. Grace Emori / CDC / Public Health Image Library

Saying the need for health care outpaces Florida’s physician workforce, Rep. Cary Pigman on Tuesday swayed members of a House panel to approve a bill that would give advanced practice registered nurses — and physician assistants — the ability to work independently of doctors. 

The Florida Senate is one step closer to approving a ban on fracking, but the bill looks dramatically different than environmental advocates had hoped.

WGCU

The Senate Health Policy Committee on Monday unanimously signed off on a pair of bills sponsored by the panel’s chairwoman, Gayle Harrell. 

Senate Signs Off On Smokable Marijuana

Mar 8, 2019
WGCU

Bowing to a demand by Gov. Ron DeSantis, the Florida Senate on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a measure that would allow patients to smoke medical marijuana if doctors deem it the proper treatment. 

A bill that would regulate hemp growing and sales, bringing Florida in line with federal laws, unanimously passed in its first Senate committee hearing Wednesday.

Florida Could Outlaw All Forms Of Distracted Driving

Mar 7, 2019
Rcsprinter123 / Wikimedia Commons

Florida could outlaw drivers from putting on makeup, holding a cellphone, reading or performing other distracting activities under a bill unanimously approved by a Senate committee Wednesday. 

Wikimedia Commons

With plenty of breathing room before a March 15 deadline set by Gov. Ron DeSantis, House and Senate leaders have neared completion of a measure that would do away with a state ban on smoking medical marijuana. 

House Looks To ‘Kick-Start’ Telehealth

Mar 7, 2019
Nemours Children's Hospital- YouTube

Insurers could get tax breaks worth as much as $30 million and use out-of-state health providers in their networks under a House bill meant to champion the use of “telehealth” in Florida. 

House Seeks To Lower Health Costs

Mar 6, 2019
News Service of Florida

House Speaker Jose Oliva on Tuesday promised that his chamber would focus on lowering health-care costs, seeking to change how and where health providers can work. 

DeSantis Could Come Up Short On Environment Money

Mar 6, 2019
Rachel IaCavone - WGCU

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ request for $625 million next year for environmental projects, including Everglades restoration, may be “pushing” the limits of a budget expected to be taxed because of the response to Hurricane Michael. 

Florida House Speaker Jose Oliva on Tuesday made his case during an address on the opening day of the legislative session, urging the House to pursue a fiscally conservative agenda by tackling rising health-care costs and “great excesses” in the state university system.

Oliva said a budget proposal the Florida House will craft for the upcoming fiscal year will be aligned to priorities, including reform in health care and higher education.

Senate To Quickly Take Up Smokable Medical Marijuana

Mar 5, 2019
Flickr Creative Commons

With Gov. Ron DeSantis wanting lawmakers to act by March 15, the Senate this week will take up a bill that would allow patients to smoke medical marijuana in Florida. 

Senators Move Toward Keeping Medicaid Change

Mar 5, 2019
Daylina Miller/WUSF

Despite opposition from disparate special interests, a Senate panel on Monday approved a bill that would make permanent a policy requiring poor, elderly and disabled people to apply for Medicaid the same month they become ill or suffer catastrophic injuries. 

Controversy Swirls Around Straws And Sunscreen

Mar 5, 2019

What started out as an effort to prevent local governments from regulating the distribution of plastic straws morphed Monday into a push for a study on the issue, lumped in with an attempt to prohibit cities and counties from banning certain sunscreens.

The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, the Florida Retail Association and Disability Rights Florida are among the groups supporting the study on straws.

A number of environmental groups opposing the proposal (SB 588) argue that studies already show plastic and certain sunscreens are detrimental to the environment.

Compensation Funds Proposed For Parkland Victims

Mar 4, 2019
LESLIE OVALLE / WLRN

A Senate Democrat on Friday proposed creating two compensation funds for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting victims and family members and providing $160 million in state money for the programs.

A Senate Bill that would permanently cut back the time Floridians have to apply for Medicaid if they want healthcare costs retroactively covered is up for debate when lawmakers reconvene in Tallahassee next week.

The 2019 legislative session begins Tuesday. Over 60 days, lawmakers will tackle the states’ biggest issues, including school safety, education and health care.

As health care continues to take up a growing slice of the state’s budget, House Speaker Jose Oliva has set his eyes on market reform. 

U.S. Army photo by Maj. Simon Flake

Transparency is a health-care catchphrase in the Florida Legislature this year, with lawmakers taking a closer look at how to beef up the state’s data collection and dissemination. 

Wikimedia Commons

Baby steps.

Florida policymakers readily admit that’s the approach they’ve taken when it comes to dealing with pot, both before and after voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana. 

Lawmakers Load Wish List For Health Care Money

Feb 27, 2019
News Service of Florida

Health care costs in Florida are under a microscope as House Speaker Jose Oliva pushes an ambitious goal of scaling back state health spending. 

Key Senator Backs Medicaid Change

Feb 26, 2019
Wikimedia Commons

The Senate’s top health-care budget writer wants to make permanent the elimination of Medicaid retroactive eligibility. 

Granting a request by Gov. Ron DeSantis, the Florida Supreme Court on Monday impaneled a statewide grand jury to investigate whether school districts are complying with mandatory safety requirements following last February’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Daylina Miller/WUSF

With bipartisan support, state lawmakers are moving forward with bills that would authorize a drug-repository program to redistribute prescription drugs to poor and uninsured residents.

House and Senate proposals (HB 59 and SB 104) received approval this week from the House Health Quality Subcommittee and the Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee.

The similar proposals would create a drug-repository program at the Florida Department of Health to facilitate donations of prescription drugs and supplies to people who need them.

Flickr Creative Commons

A longtime proponent of medical marijuana filed a measure Friday that would eliminate Florida’s “vertical integration” system requiring state-licensed operators to grow, process and dispense cannabis and related products. 

News Service of Florida

Florida legislators are ready to vote on measures that would allow patients to smoke medical marijuana, boosting chances of approval before a mid-March deadline set by Gov. Ron DeSantis. 

Lawmakers Renew Push To Curb Human Trafficking

Feb 21, 2019
News Service of Florida

A year ago, state Sen. Lauren Book wanted to allow human-trafficking survivors to sue hotels that turned a blind eye to abuse. But after that idea did not pass, the Plantation Democrat is back with a different proposal: training hotel employees to spot trafficking. 

A Senate Democrat filed a proposal Thursday that would lead to a requirement in the Florida Building Code that baby-changing tables be included in many buildings that are newly constructed or undergo “substantial” renovations.

House Looks For Transparency In Health Care

Feb 14, 2019
News Service of Florida

Patients admitted to Florida hospitals could get more paperwork in the future in the name of health care “transparency.” 

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