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2017 Legislative session

This Saturday more than 100 new laws go into effect in Florida. Here's a look at five.

Ride-for-hire services like Lyft and Uber will have to comply with statewide rules, and religious expression at public schools will be explicitly protected in Florida, under new laws that go into effect Sat., July 1.

The changes are among 125 revisions the state Legislature passed and Gov. Rick Scott approved this year.

Hard-Fought Budget Finally Takes Effect

Jun 30, 2017

It took an extension to the regular session and a special session on top of that to finally get a state spending plan for the new fiscal year, but the budget that tied up lawmakers for months finally takes effect Saturday.

Legislators May Take Up Medical Marijuana During Special Session

Jun 5, 2017

Next week's special legislative session focused on funding for education and economic development won't include medical marijuana, at least for now.

Governor Rick Scott says he will veto the legislature’s education funding proposal, sending lawmakers back to the drawing board in a special session next week. Scott says he and legislative leaders have agreed to spend another $200 million for education, and put more money into the state’s tourism and job recruitment agencies.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

Among the $410 million worth of projects struck from the new state budget by Governor Rick Scott's veto pen are a number of items with ties to the Tampa Bay area.

Governor Rick Scott has signed a bill into law allowing for the creation of memorials for boys who died from the abuse at the now-closed Dozier School for Boys as well as the abuse survivors.

After weeks in a holding pattern, Florida Governor Rick Scott has the budget for the coming fiscal year on his desk.

Health Officials Move Ahead With Medical Marijuana Process

May 26, 2017

After state lawmakers failed to act, health officials on Thursday laid out a framework for adopting regulations required by a voter-approved constitutional amendment that could make Florida one of the nation's largest medical-marijuana markets.

The Florida Legislature has passed its budget and gone home.  But the manner in which lawmakers closed out this year’s session raises a number of questions about process, special session, and the veto pen.

Input Sought On Medical Pot Special Session

May 12, 2017

Amid growing demands for a special session on medical marijuana and harsh criticism of lawmakers' failure to reach agreement on the issue, Senate President Joe Negron sent a memo to his members Thursday seeking input on the possibility of sealing a deal with the House.

The Florida Legislature may have sent an $82.4 billion dollar budget to Governor Rick Scott Monday, but Scott is still indicating he may veto it.

It took them three days longer than it was supposed to, but Florida lawmakers have finally passed a new state budget.

This week on Florida Matters we’ll take a look at what’s in the $83 billion spending plan along with a few other issues decided during the 60-day session.

Our guests include:

State lawmakers finally signed off on a new state budget Monday night after a bit of a delay.

This week on Florida Matters we’ll take a look at what’s in the $82.4 billion spending plan along with a few other issues decided during the 60-day session.


Medical Marijuana Deal Goes Up In Smoke

May 8, 2017

Unable to bridge a gap over how many marijuana dispensaries the state should have, Florida lawmakers Friday failed to pass legislation that would have created a framework to carry out a constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana for wide variety of patients.

John Morgan Threatens To Sue Legislature

May 8, 2017

John Morgan said he is prepared to sue the Florida Legislature over the House’s plan to implement medical marijuana.


The Florida Legislature has lined up a series of spending measures to complete the state budget.  Leaders are cramming some of the largest and thorniest issues into measures that some lawmakers will be debating for the first time.

Optimistic lawmakers flooded the Capitol with a record number of bills this spring.

Florida lawmakers are on track to vote on the budget Monday. That makes Friday the last chance for them to get the remaining bills passed. Here's a rundown of some of the Senate’s 11th hour deliberations.

Can Florida Lawmakers leave Tallahassee on time? The mood in the state capital has gone from one of pessimism, to cautious optimism that leaders can strike key deals in time.

House Speaker Richard Corcoran says changes to the Senate’s plan to buy land south of Lake Okeechobee make the proposal better, but he’s refusing to cave on one big issue: whether to borrow money to finance the system.

A couple of bills moving in the Florida legislature aims to make law enforcement officers’ jobs a bit easier.

A Senate panel is discussing how to re-envision Florida’s affordable housing system. 

Justices Refuse To Reconsider ‘PIP’ Fees Ruling

Mar 30, 2017

The Florida Supreme Court this week rejected a request from medical providers that it plunge again into a dispute about payments by Allstate Insurance Company to care for auto-accident victims.

Florida currently requires auto drivers to carry personal injury protection of at least $10,000 in medical benefits. But critics say that isn’t enough to cover health care costs when there’s an accident. Lawmakers are considering changing up the insurance coverage drivers must have.

The Florida House is pushing for $164 million in budget cuts in its initial higher-education budgets.

Under a plan outlined by the House Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee on Monday, universities would see a $110 million cut, while state colleges would face $61 million in reductions. Small increases in other higher-education programs, including workforce education and private colleges, lowers the proposed net reduction to $164 million.

The Florida legislative session has begun, which means it’s time to get serious about the state’s budget.  But the past few months of prologue have done little to bring the parties together.

The azaleas are in bloom -- that means the legislative session in Tallahassee is just around the corner. What’s likely to happen, and how will it affect you?


It's that time of year again -- Florida's legislative session begins next Tuesday, March 7.

This week on Florida Matters we're exploring some proposals lawmakers are considering in the upcoming session, and talking about the politics behind it all. 


Nursing Homes Fight Repeal Of ‘Certificate of Need’ Process

Feb 21, 2017

As Florida's 2017 legislative session prepares to start March 7, the debate about repealing what is known as the "certificate of need" regulatory process has expanded to include nursing homes and hospice facilities — and has touched off a new wave of lobbying by industry groups.

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