LISTEN LIVE

2018 Florida Legislature

Laws On PTSD Benefits, Animal Abuse Set To Take Effect

Sep 25, 2018

Laws will take effect next week that will add benefits for first responders who suffer post-traumatic stress disorder and impose harsher penalties on people who abuse animals, along with 19 other measures signed by Gov. Rick Scott after the 2018 legislative session.

A new Florida rule requiring generators at all nursing homes and assisted- living facilities passed last legislative session after Hurricane Irma knocked out power to much of Florida for an extended period. In Hollywood, Florida 14 people in a rehabilitation center died, and 12 were ruled homicide. A swift push to pass legislation requiring generatros followed, and was signed by Governor Rick Scott in late March. 

As students across Florida start the new school year, incoming Senate President Bill Galvano wants lawmakers to think about expanding the school-safety efforts approved during the 2018 legislative session after the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

NRA Appeals Ruling On ‘Jane Doe’ In Gun Case

May 21, 2018

The National Rifle Association is appealing a federal judge’s refusal to keep the identity of a 19-year-old Alachua County woman secret in a challenge to a state law that raised the age to purchase rifles and other long guns.

Workers’ Comp Could Return Next Session

Apr 13, 2018

Expect efforts to revamp workers’ compensation insurance laws to return as new House and Senate leaders take over for the 2019 legislative session, according to Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier.

Altamier, who has been commissioner for nearly two years, said this week “a lot of people” continue to believe that a 2016 Florida Supreme Court ruling that tossed out strict caps on attorney fees in workers’ compensation cases will “have a negative impact on rates in the long run” and that changes are necessary to prevent employers’ premiums from increasing.

First Amendment Foundation

Some Florida lawmakers received better grades this year when it came to transparency in government, but erosion of the state's famed "Sunshine Laws" continued with more exemptions passed.

The Broward School Board unanimously voted Tuesday to reject the state’s new program to arm school staff in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High shootings.

Scott Medicaid Flip-Flop Revisited

Apr 9, 2018

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is expected to announce Monday morning that he is (shock) running for the U.S. Senate. And Florida Democrats are (shock) going after the Republican's health-care record, including his on-again, off-again support for Medicaid expansion.

From opioid prescription limits to an agreement on the regulation of trauma centers, it was a busy year for health care issues in the Florida Legislature.

Distracted Driving On The Rise In Florida

Apr 4, 2018

The number of crashes caused by distracted drivers is growing. Last year in Florida more than 50,000 accidents resulted from drivers who weren’t focused on the road.

Medical Marijuana Provider Challenges Dispensary Limits

Apr 4, 2018

Trulieve, Florida’s largest medical marijuana business, is asking a Tallahassee judge to strike down a state law that limits the number of dispensaries marijuana companies can operate, saying the restriction “arbitrarily impairs product availability and safety” and “unfairly penalizes” pot providers.

Providers, Advocates Blast Proposed $98 Million Medicaid Cut

Apr 4, 2018

A push by the Florida Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott to trim nearly $100 million from the state’s main safety-net health care program for the poor is coming under fire by health-care providers and advocates for low-income families.

Elected officials from 10 Florida cities are suing state officials over a law that prohibits local governments from enacting their own gun regulations.

Pharmacy Panel Critiques Legislature Over Flu Tests

Apr 3, 2018

A state pharmacy board on Monday criticized the Florida Legislature for not passing a bill that would have allowed Florida pharmacists to test and treat people for the flu and strep throat.

Florida arts organizations are saying they feel like losers in this year’s state budget process.

Measure Targeting Invasive Species Signed

Mar 27, 2018

Gov. Rick Scott has signed a bill aimed at reducing the number of pythons and other invasive species that cause damage in parts of the state, including the Everglades.

The bill (SB 168), which Scott signed Friday after it was unanimously approved this month by the Legislature, sets up a pilot program targeting pythons and species such as tegu lizards and lionfish.

Under the program, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will be able to enter contracts with people to capture or destroy the species on public lands and in state waters.

More than six months after residents of a Broward County nursing home died following Hurricane Irma, Gov. Rick Scott on Monday signed two bills that nail down requirements for nursing homes and assisted-living facilities to have backup generators and fuel supplies.

The bills (HB 7099 and SB 7028), passed this month by the Legislature, ratified rules issued by the Scott administration. The ratified rules replaced emergency rules issued in September following the deaths of residents of The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is outlining next steps for school districts, following his signing this month of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Safety Act.

After years of legislative discussion about the issue, Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed a measure (HB 37) that amends the state insurance code to make clear that “direct primary care” agreements do not run afoul of insurance laws.

Under direct primary-care agreements, doctors charge patients monthly fees in advance of providing services, with patients then able to access services at no extra cost.

Proposal Takes Aim At Hospital ‘Certificates Of Need’

Mar 20, 2018

A Florida panel may be on the verge of ending the state's contentious certificate-of-need process for hospitals.

Gov. Rick Scott on Monday signed 30 bills into law, including a measure that could make more permanent a controversial pregnancy “support services” program and a bill that calls for placing a statue of civil-rights leader and educator Mary McLeod Bethune in the U.S. Capitol.

Officials were so concerned about the mental stability of the student accused of last month's Florida school massacre that they decided he should be forcibly committed.

Florida school districts could get more money to hire school resource officers depending on what happens with a contentious program that allows school personnel to carry guns.

Scott Signs Budget, Takes It Easy On Vetoes

Mar 17, 2018
Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

With a light touch of his veto pen, Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed a new $88.7 billion state budget, eliminating only $64 million in spending and projects, the lowest total of his seven-plus years as governor.

Broward County filed a new lawsuit in federal court Monday against manufacturers of opioid drugs.

Walmart, Walgreens, the McKesson Corp. and CVS Health are just some of the drug makers and distributors Broward County is suing.  

 

Others include Johnson & Johnson, Cardinal Health Inc., Health Mart Systems, Mallinckrodt, Amerisourcebergen Corp., as well as Endo Janssen, Purdue, Cephalon and Teva Pharmaceuticals. 

Corcoran Health Care Success A Mixed Bag

Mar 13, 2018

Before becoming House speaker, Richard Corcoran promised in 2015 that he was going to tackle the “Gucci-loafing, shoe-wearing special interest powers” that lobby in Tallahassee and protect the status quo.

PolitiFact Florida

When Florida lawmakers began their annual 60-day session, two priorities were protecting students from bullies and government workers from sexual harassment.

Nursing homes and assisted living facilities will be required to have generators and 72 hours of fuel after the Legislature agreed to ratify a pair of proposed rules sought by Gov. Rick Scott.

Lawmakers Agree On Plan To Battle Opioids

Mar 12, 2018

In the waning hours of the annual session, the Florida Legislature approved tough new restrictions Friday on prescription drugs and agreed to spend more than $53 million on treatment and prevention to battle the state’s opioid crisis.

Flanked by the parents of Broward County teenagers slain in the nation’s second-worst school shooting, Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a sweeping package addressing mental health, school safety and guns.

Pages