2020 Florida legislature

stethoscope resting on cash stock photo.

Lawmakers are coming closer to reaching an agreement on the budget, but they still haven’t publicly discussed one of the biggest sections of the state's roughly $92 billion spending plan: health and human services spending.

A walker rests beside a small nursing home bed.

State attorneys could establish “elder abuse fatality review teams” under legislation that received final approval Thursday.

Lawmakers Pass Plan Targeting E-Cigarettes

Mar 13, 2020
Chloe Herring / WLRN

With little time remaining in the 2020 legislative session, Florida lawmakers approved a proposal that would largely bring the state into compliance with federal laws about electronic cigarettes.

Pharmacists could soon test, screen, and treat various sicknesses under a proposal making its way to the governor's desk. 

Lawmakers Pass Major Bills On Nurses, Pharmacists

Mar 12, 2020
The State House during the state of the state address
The Governor's press office

In the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, the Florida Legislature on Wednesday passed bills that expand the roles that advanced nurses and pharmacists play in the state’s health-care system, including allowing pharmacists to test and treat patients for the flu and strep throat and treat people with chronic medical conditions.

A walker rests beside a small nursing home bed.

Florida nursing homes will see a $74.8 million increase in their Medicaid rates beginning July 1 under an agreement reached by legislative health-care budget writers.

The arrest of a six-year-old girl with special needs in Jacksonville earlier this month is renewing calls to change Florida's Baker Act. 

members of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence speaking before a house committee
News Service Of Florida

A six-hour grilling by a key House committee Monday revealed that several board members of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence were unaware that the former CEO of the non-profit agency received $7 million in compensation over three years.

Bill Requiring Parental Consent For Abortions Awaits Desantis’ Signature

Feb 21, 2020
News Service of Florida

Minors who seek abortions would be required to obtain parental consent or convince judges to waive the requirement under a bill that received final legislative approval Thursday and has the support of Gov. Ron DeSantis.

House To Take Up Bill On Domestic Violence Agency

Feb 18, 2020

Amid probes into spending by the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the House is poised Wednesday to take up a bill that would give flexibility to the Department of Children and Families to contract for services to help victims of domestic violence. 

Florida’s Legislature is close to approving a bill requiring girls under 18 to obtain permission for an abortion from a parent. Passage would be a political win for Gov. Ron DeSantis, who had pushed for the measure, during an election year when Republicans hope to deliver the state to President Donald Trump.

House Passes Measure To Curb Athlete Heat Strokes

Jan 31, 2020

With supporters saying the bill will save lives, the Florida House has unanimously passed a measure that seeks to prevent heat strokes among high-school athletes. 

Sunscreen Ban Issue Heads To House Floor

Jan 31, 2020
Sunscreen being applied to child's face.
Wikimedia Commons

After the full Senate passed the issue Wednesday, a proposal that would block local governments from regulating over-the-counter drugs and cosmetics is headed to the House floor. 

Florida Still Working Out Flaws With Firefighter Cancer Bill

Jan 31, 2020

When Brian Kernohan complained to his doctor of merciless headaches two summers ago, he expected to get a prescription for a sinus infection, not a diagnosis of brain cancer. The 37-year-old firefighter’s eardrums were curved inward, so his doctor suggested a CT scan.

A bill that would exempt applied behavior analysis clinics from needing an expensive state license is headed to the Florida House floor for a vote in the next month.

Supporters of the proposed bill say clinics that treat children on the autism spectrum will face tough financial decisions if it doesn't pass.

Senate Weighs Medicaid Retroactivity Issue

Jan 30, 2020
Stethoscope on a pile of dollars.
Flickr Creative Commons

A Senate panel has twice delayed considering legislation that would make permanent a move to eliminate a 90-day period in which people could retroactively apply for Medicaid coverage. 

Health Spending Plans Favor Nursing Homes, Drug Importation

Jan 30, 2020

House and Senate budget writers have rolled out health-care spending plans for the coming year that would set aside money in key areas such as nursing homes and drug importation but still have wide differences. 

When the Florida Legislature convenes on Jan. 14 for the start of its 60-day session, lawmakers will be faced with several important issues – with raising teacher pay and placing new limits on abortion among the top priorities.

Here is a list of several other issues the legislature will tackle during the session.

State Rep. Mike Hill, R-Pensacola, will make a renewed attempt during the 2020 legislative session to pass a “fetal heartbeat” bill that would dramatically limit abortions in Florida.