Florida Legislature

Bill Galvano
News Service of Florida

State tax revenues continued to take a hit in June as Gov. Ron DeSantis expanded economic-recovery efforts amid the coronavirus pandemic, a new report shows.

The report released Monday by the Legislature’s Office of Economic & Demographic Research said Florida’s general-revenue collections in June were $427.8 million below a forecast amount. That followed even larger losses in April and May as businesses shut down or dramatically scaled back and as consumers stayed home because of the pandemic.

State Rep. Randy Fine has coronavirus. The Brevard County Republican tested positive for coronavirus along with his wife, Wendy, and sons Jacob and David.

State Sen. Oscar Braynon, Miami Gardens
News Service of Florida

Florida Senate Democrats want to scale back economic-reopening efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus, as Gov. Ron DeSantis maintains his approach has been taken with an “eye towards what's sustainable.”

Fast-Tracked Pharmacy Rules Worry Some Doctors

Jun 16, 2020
Despite resistance from doctors, the Legislature passed a law this year to expand what health services could be provided by pharmacists.

A push to expand the role Florida pharmacists play in delivering health care - deemed a growing necessity due to the coronavirus pandemic - is running into questions about how it will be carried out.

Despite resistance from doctors, the Legislature passed a law this year to expand what health services could be provided by pharmacists. But implementing new rules to carry out the law is drawing fire from physicians who worry about a lack of specifics on what pharmacists can and can’t do.

Will they or won’t they? And, if they do, when?

Oliva Lashes Out At Health Care Industry As ‘Robber Barons’

Jan 15, 2020
News Service of Florida

House Speaker Jose Oliva, who last year shepherded several contentious health-care measures through the Legislature, lashed out Tuesday at the health-care industry as modern-day "robber barons." 

U.S. Attorney Won’t Pursue Medical Marijuana Cases

Oct 25, 2019
marijuana plants
Flickr Creative Commons

Florida’s medical marijuana laws should be enough to shield the growing industry from prosecution across northern Florida. 

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. 

A candidate with a difference is running for State Senate District 23 in Sarasota. And if she wins, this difference could make a bit of history.


State health officials will hold a workshop Aug. 17 to take input on the application process for new medical marijuana licenses. 

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is scheduled to reopen to students on Tuesday. The children, teachers and staff who survived the shooting last Wednesday now have to deal with a shared trauma.

The newest chairman of the committee that looks at children and elder affair issues is outlining some of his top priorities for the 2017 legislative session.

Florida House of Representatives

Florida’s most vocal advocacy group on health issues will lay off all five of its employees next month as an indirect result of the Republican sweep in the Nov. 8 election.

Gun Measures Expected To Re-Emerge In 2017 Legislature Session

Jun 16, 2016

The mass shootings in an Orlando nightclub this week have fueled the already-polarizing issues of gun rights and gun control, with the debate expected to return on multiple fronts during Florida's 2017 legislative session.

Governor Signs Mental-Health Reform Bill

May 25, 2016

Governor Rick Scott highlighted a mental-health reform bill at a ceremonial signing in Miami on Tuesday.

Attorney John Morgan Preaches To The Choir On Medical Marijuana

May 11, 2016
Attorney John Morgan brought his medical-marijuana crusade to the nation's premiere cannabis business trade show Tuesday.

Attorney John Morgan brought his medical-marijuana crusade to the nation’s premiere cannabis business trade show Tuesday, captivating a roomful of believers before passing around the collection plate for his cause.

Opponents Take Aim At 'Docs V. Glocks' Law

Apr 28, 2016
Wikimedia Commons

Doctors and physician groups filed an 86-page brief this week asking a federal appeals court to reject a controversial Florida law that would restrict doctors from asking questions and recording information about patients' gun ownership.

State lawmakers and healthcare industry leaders are taking stock in the wake of this year’s legislative session.  The Associated Industries of Florida just wrapped up a healthcare affordability summit.

Expanding Access Called Key In Addressing Health Issues

Apr 27, 2016
A male doctor in  a white lab coat uses a stethoscope to check a male patient's heart.

Speakers at a health-care "summit" said Tuesday that expanding access to care for more Floridians could save the state money.

The two-day Florida Health Care Affordability Summit, sponsored by the business group Associated Industries of Florida, included lawmakers and experts addressing topics ranging from controlling drug costs to expanding treatment options through technology.

Suicide is the third leading cause of death among Florida’s youth, and a newly signed law aims to promote youth suicide prevention training in schools.

Because of a new law, Florida patients won’t have to pay for medical care by doctors outside their insurance network if the service was performed at an in-network hospital.

The law effectively bans a practice called “balance billing.” But emergency room doctors say the new law misses the mark.

Governor Rick Scott signed off Thursday on a measure designed to eradicate so-called “food deserts.”

Scott Signs Key Health Bills, Vetoes Dental Measure

Apr 15, 2016
Office of the Governor

Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday signed a series of health-care bills, including a measure that supporters say will help shield patients from getting hit with surprise tabs after going to hospital emergency rooms.

Florida Life Insurance Law Lands On '60 Minutes'

Apr 14, 2016
Creative Commons

State Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater said Wednesday that a new Florida life-insurance law will be part of a report Sunday on the CBS show "60 Minutes."

Scott Poised To Act On Health, Education Bills

Apr 12, 2016
Florida Governor's Office

In a final flurry of activity from the legislative session, Gov. Rick Scott this week will take action on heavily debated health, education and tax bills.

Health Care Providers Not Waiting For Telehealth Bill

Apr 11, 2016
Doctor speaks to patient on an online live chat
Nemours Children's Hospital- YouTube

Gov. Rick Scott has a few more days left to sign a bill that would create a statewide telehealth advisory council, but health care providers aren't waiting.

Food Stamp Recipients Face Work Requirement

Apr 7, 2016

About 300,000 Floridians who qualified for food stamps now face a work requirement that went into effect Jan. 1 -- and the possibility of at least temporarily losing benefits if they don't meet the guidelines.

The construction of the Florida Holocaust Memorial is one step closer to becoming reality. That's among 20 bills Governor Rick Scott signed into law Wednesday.

Another Nursery Approved For Marijuana Industry

Apr 5, 2016
Wikimedia Commons

State health officials on Monday paved the way for Gainesville-based San Felasco Nurseries to join five other dispensing organizations authorized to grow medical marijuana in Florida.

Mental Health Reform Effort Heads To Scott

Apr 5, 2016
Florida Governor's Office

Gov. Rick Scott will have 15 days to take action on a bill (SB 12) that would make wide-ranging changes in the state's mental-health and substance-abuse treatment systems.