Sen. Rene Garcia

Bill Seeks To Add Police To Hate Crime Law

Aug 22, 2017

Hate-crime protections would be extended to law-enforcement officers and other first responders under a measure reintroduced Monday by Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah.

'Huge' Revamp Of Mental-Health Services Scrapped

Apr 29, 2015
MyFloridaHouse.gov

  An ambitious proposal to revamp the state's system for delivering mental-health services became a casualty of the House's early exit from the Capitol, as the plan's Senate sponsor Wednesday refused to along with changes made by House members.

Miami lawmakers are proposing a bill that would eliminate the five-year waiting period before children of legal immigrants can enroll in Florida KidCare, the Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau reports (paywall alert).

State Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah, and state Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, R-Miami, say changing the rule would allow about 26,000 low-income children to get health coverage subsidized by state and federal funds. 

The state’s legal stance on gay marriage and Medicaid are not family friendly, say opinion columns from the Tampa Bay Times and Orlando Sentinel.

Sammy Mack / Health News Florida

A Republican state senator wants Florida to use federal Medicaid expansion money to help low-income Floridians purchase health insurance,  the Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau reports.

State Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah, filed a proposal Tuesday that is similar to the bill that won support in the state Senate last year, but died in the House. Garcia said that not taking the federal money is "irresponsible."

At least eight Florida Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives have called for "defunding" the Affordable Care Act during budget talks in September, according to a list on a conservative blog.

Nine Florida Republican Representatives were still listed as holdouts on the Americans for Limited Government website as of Friday morning.

Officials Rethink Medicaid Expansion

Jan 29, 2013
Sammy Mack / Health News Florida

When Florida sued to overturn the Affordable Care Act, lawmakers targeted a piece of the law that would have forced Florida to make Medicaid available to more than a million uninsured Floridians.

The U. S. Supreme Court upheld most of the act, but it made Medicaid expansion optional.

Now some Florida lawmakers who originally opposed Medicaid expansion are seriously considering that option.