DeSantis' Budget Vetoes A 'Big Hit' To Florida's Health Care System

Jun 30, 2020
Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed scores of health care-related projects but also cut into what is known as the "base budget, which includes programs funded with recurring dollars.

Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed more than $140.5 million in health care spending from the state’s new budget Monday as he brought the spending plan in line with reduced revenues stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The one-time busboy who is challenging the legal authority of Gov. Ron DeSantis to issue virus-related shutdown orders in Florida is a used-car salesman who worked for decades as a lawyer until he was banned from the courtroom last year in disputes over his behavior.

Youth sports and summer camps will be free to continue operations, after a Friday morning announcement from Gov. DeSantis lifting all restrictions on the activities effective immediately. 

Governor Ron DeSantis says the woman ousted from the Florida Department of Health over what the state says was “insubordination” was not the person who designed the state’s COVID-19 database.

That runs counter to a feature on Rebekah Jones out of Syracuse University, her alma mater, published earlier this year.

Vice President Mike Pence is describing Florida as a national leader as across the country states are taking gradual steps toward reopening their economies.

As he toured the state earlier this month to promote his plans to reopen Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis repeatedly touted testing for COVID-19 antibodies as a signal that immunity may be lurking, undetected, among the population.

Gov. Ron DeSantis says he sees “a light at the end of the tunnel” as Floridians continue battling the spread of the coronavirus. DeSantis sent out a Tweet Sunday thanking everyone who is involved in that fight.

Florida gymnasiums and fitness centers are among the latest places able to begin reopening.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the latest steps in his plan to get businesses back up and running during the coronavirus pandemic at a Friday press conference in Jacksonville.

Since late March, Florida hotels have been allowed to operate without state restrictions, while rental properties across the street or even in the same building have gathered dust.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said he will announce Friday additional “phase one” measures to reopen the state’s economy, with the moves expected to include allowing more people to be seated in restaurants and allowing gyms to operate.

Florida’s quest to start importing drugs from Canada got a boost Wednesday when the Trump administration announced it is moving ahead with a new rule and guidelines that could eventually allow the state to import prescription drugs to use in government-run programs.

DeSantis Administration Fights Tampa Company Over Pot Ruling

Dec 11, 2019
Gov. Ron DeSantis
News Service of Florida

Calling a Tampa company’s effort to get a medical marijuana license a “stunt,” Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration is asking the Florida Supreme Court to reject an appeals court ruling that could upend the state’s medical cannabis industry. 

A proposed federal bill would lower the costs of prescription drugs for Medicare Part D enrollees by requiring the program to negotiate prices and cap out-of-pocket expenses.

“Just Say No” isn’t doing enough to keep Florida’s youth from experimenting with drugs. That’s according to a coalition of state and local leaders who are working together to launch a new drug education initiative.

Money Sought For High-Performing Hospitals

Dec 5, 2019
Tampa General Hospital

Gov. Ron DeSantis has proposed creating a program that would increase funding for high-performing hospitals, a move that could mean more money for 66 hospitals across Florida, according to an analysis by a statewide hospital association. 

DeSantis Wants To Delay Health Insurance Changes

Nov 22, 2019

Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to put on hold for another year an overhaul of the health insurance program that provides benefits to more than 366,000 state employees and family members across Florida. 

Florida GOP Lawmakers Focus On Climate Change

Oct 15, 2019

Florida lawmakers Monday dug into issues involving climate change and greenhouse gas emissions, phrases mostly kept under wraps by state Republican leaders before last year’s elections. 

Florida would boast the second-highest starting salaries for teachers in the country under a new plan from Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.

DeSantis wants to spend $600 million on increasing teacher pay throughout the state, bringing the minimum salary to $47,500, he announced Monday during an event at a Fort Lauderdale elementary school. DeSantis said more than half of Florida’s public school teachers would get a raise.

Lobbying Urged On Changes To Disability Program

Oct 3, 2019
Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilties Director Barbara Palmer
Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration this week urged advocates for people with disabilities and care providers to start lobbying lawmakers to support a redesign of a key state program for thousands of Floridians with developmental and intellectual disabilities. 


President Donald Trump will be in The Villages Thursday for an official White House event. 

Report Recommends Changes In Disabilities Medicaid Program

Oct 1, 2019
Heather Snyder, 31st Medical Operation Squadron educational and developmental intervention services speech and language pathologist, hands a plastic coin to Nathan Gribble, a patient at the Educational and Developmental Intervention Services clinic.
Staff Sgt. Taylor L. Marr / U.S. Air Force photo

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration on Monday recommended the state keep intact a Medicaid “waiver” program for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities but called for a redesign of how the so-called iBudget program works, including capping amounts people could spend annually on services designed to keep them at home. 

Florida Health Care Agencies Seek Boost In Budget For Drug Importation, Hep A

Sep 20, 2019
Florida Legislature
Florida House of Representatives

Despite a possibly tight budget next year, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration submitted a legislative wish list this week that seeks hundreds of millions of additional dollars for health and social-service programs. 

Governor Ron DeSantis made a stop at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida in Naples on Wednesday to announce that he wants more funding for Everglades restoration in next year’s budget, and to guarantee that funding level for the following two years.

He also said he wants to increase penalties for municipalities that pollute Florida waters.

DeSantis Rolls Out Environmental Proposals

Sep 12, 2019
Rachel IaCavone - WGCU

Gov. Ron DeSantis wants lawmakers to double fines for sewage spills into waterways and to lock an environmental-funding pledge into state budgets for at least the next three years. 

Floridians prepared for the worst as they monitored Category 5 Hurricane Dorian parked over the Bahamas around Labor Day. The islands suffered from 185 mph winds and more than 20 feet of storm surges in some areas — leaving hundreds of thousands Bahamians in devastation.

“This could’ve been us,” said Jared Moskowitz, director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, in a Tuesday news conference, alongside Gov. Ron DeSantis. “Unfortunately that miracle for us came at the expense of our Bahamian brothers and sisters.”

Hepatitis A sign
Julio Ochoa / WUSF Public Media

Central Florida continues to see record numbers of hepatitis A cases. 

Gov. Ron DeSantis says he thinks the legislature acted within its authority when enacting the medical marijuana implementing bill. 

Gov. DeSantis Vows ‘Vigorous’ Scrutiny Of Guardianship Program

Jul 26, 2019
Gov. Ron DeSantis
News Service of Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis vowed to “vigorously” investigate Florida’s guardianship program after revelations that a 75-year-old man died when a Tampa hospital was barred from attempting to save his life because his appointed guardian had filed a “do not resuscitate” order, allegedly without his family’s consent. 

A new law could soon allow out-of-state physicians to treat Florida patients remotely.

Florida counties can now authorize needle exchanges, after a bill aimed at reducing HIV and hepatitis C was signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis.