Florida Senate President Andy Gardiner

Gardiner Considers Taking Up Armstrong Confirmation

Mar 3, 2016
Florida Department of Health

Senate President Andy Gardiner said late Wednesday he was considering bringing Surgeon General John Armstrong's nomination to the Senate floor, a potentially dramatic move aimed at breaking a log jam over the agency head's fate.


A bruising budget battle that divided Republicans in the Florida Legislature is over for now, but the truce is likely only to last a few months.

Legislators passed a nearly $79 billion budget Friday with just days to spare. Legislators had until July 1 to pass a budget or state government would have been partially shut down. They didn't pass a budget during their regular session because they were divided over health care spending. That sparked a stalemate — and finger-pointing will remain when legislators return for their 2016 session.

Florida Legislature
Florida House of Representatives

The Florida Legislature kicked off a 20-day special session Monday, with legislative leaders sounding more open to compromise as they race against the clock to pass a new state budget.

The conciliatory tone espoused by House Speaker Steve Crisafulli and Senate President Andy Gardiner was different than it was just a few weeks ago when the Republican-controlled Legislature ended its session amid finger-pointing and lawsuits.

Florida Senate


Republican leaders in the Florida Senate offered up a revamped health care proposal Tuesday in an effort to end a budget stalemate that threatens to shut down state government, but the proposal was immediately rejected by Gov. Rick Scott and House GOP leaders.

Legislators are scheduled to return to the state Capitol next week for a 20-day special session where they are expected to pass a new state budget.


During the recently-concluded legislative session, Senate President Andy Gardiner constantly warned about the threat to the state's hospitals if they were to lose more than $1 billion that now comes from the federal government.

There's a good reason Gardiner understands hospitals: he works for one.

The legislature’s unscheduled Sine Die killed plenty of bills, but some say the loss of many anticipated disability bills hit the hardest.

Gardiner's Agenda On Disabilities Mostly Dies With House Exit

Apr 29, 2015

The surprise early exit of the Florida House from the 2015 regular session likely means that most of a legislative package dear to Senate President Andy Gardiner is dead.

Gardiner, R-Orlando, made it a priority this year to pass bills to give greater educational and vocational opportunities to people with disabilities --- or, as Gardiner likes to call them, "unique abilities."

Florida Senate

Florida Medicaid’s request that federal officials send the state $2.2 billion dollars to keep the Low Income Pool subsidies flowing to hospitals won’t work because a vital part is missing, Florida Senate President Andy Gardiner says.

The missing link, he said, is the Florida Health Insurance Affordability Exchange, known as the FHIX. It is the Senate’s plan to cover up to 1 million of Florida’s low-income uninsured residents by accepting billions of dollars in Medicaid expansion money under the Affordable Care Act.

Wikimedia Commons

Two bills headed for Gov.

The Florida Channel

As Andy Gardiner and his wife, Camille, drove home from the Orlando hospital with their newborn son 11 years ago, in shock at having just learned he had Down syndrome, they made a decision that reverberates in the Florida Legislature today.

With Gardiner now in the powerful post of state Senate president, lawmakers are poised to pass legislation that will put Florida on the cutting edge in education, savings and employment opportunities for the intellectually disabled.

Medical Marijuana Law Path Hazy

Feb 23, 2015

Florida could join 23 other states and the District of Columbia in allowing medical marijuana. Senate President Andy Gardiner says that wouldn’t happen, though, until a committee of growers, doctors, and cannabis experts hashes out criteria for who and how to grow the marijuana.

“It’s been tied up in rulemaking in the department, so there might be a challenge of how much you do this year when you haven’t even implemented what we did last May,” Gardiner said in a phone interview.

Republican Senator Jeff Brandes has proposed a bill to expand last year’s Charlotte’s Web law.