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The VA Has Expanded Its Crisis Line, Helping It Better Respond To Veterans In Need

The VA has opened more call centers and hired hundreds of additional responders after complaints that some callers experienced long hold times or were sent to voicemail.

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Updated at 7:30 p.m. ET

As the confirmation vote for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh neared, both parties had seen potential political benefits for them in the upcoming midterm elections.

For Republicans, it was a chance to energize the base by putting another conservative justice on the court, potentially reshaping it for a generation.

For Democrats, the specter of rolling back abortion rights, the Affordable Care Act and more was a way to further energize an already engaged liberal base to go to the polls.

Roberto Roldan

Many Puerto Rican’s lost everything when Hurricane Maria made landfall on Sept. 20, 2017. Tens of thousands of people made the decision to take what belongings they had left and travel to the mainland. Many have started new lives in Central and South Florida. These new Floridians already have had significant influence on political races, the public school system and affordable housing.

This week on Florida Matters, we'll hear the stories of two people who chose to make the Tampa Bay area their new home:

Catherine Welch/WMFE

A new law will takes effect next month that expands workers’ compensation benefits for firefighters, paramedics, EMTs, law enforcements officers and other first responders.

Workers comp for those professions will now include post-traumatic stress disorder.

Bethany Tyne / WUSF Public Media

The Florida Department of Transportation held an industry forum Monday morning to discuss the new bridge that will replace the Howard Frankland.

They invited designers and contractors to learn about construction plans and opportunities, as well as community and environmental impacts.

Courtesy of Brian Butler / WUSF Public Media

Two small public relations firms from Tampa are being recognized for their success both locally and for their plans to expand nationwide
 

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

Florida’s general election this November is expected to see an increase in voter turnout and multiple counties are recruiting more election workers to help with the bigger crowds.

Catherine Welch/WMFE

A new law will take effect next month that expands workers’ compensation benefits for firefighters, paramedics, EMTs, law enforcement officers and other first responders.

Workers comp for those professions will now include post-traumatic stress disorder.

Updated at 6:26 p.m. ET

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the woman accusing him of sexual assault more than three decades ago, Christine Blasey Ford, will both testify publicly before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 24. The committee was supposed to vote on the nomination this Thursday but faced pressure after Ford went public with her allegation over the weekend.

Ford and Kavanaugh both agreed to testify under oath before the committee.

Governor Rick Scott’s decision to start the process of appointing new Florida Supreme Court justices has ignited a looming constitutional crisis.  At the center of the issue: who—the outgoing or incoming governor—has the ability to make those appointments.

The legality of medical marijuana is still largely a gray area in the eyes of the federal government. The confusion impacting banks, dispensaries and policy is leading some, like democratic candidate for Commissioner of Agricuture Nikki Fried, to call for reform.

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