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2018 legislative session

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. 

Some blame the state legislature for not fully funding Florida’s corrections budget. Prison officials say that led to them making some hard choices. Among those choices: cutting funding to programs helpful to inmates trying to transition back into society—as we hear in the last installment of Sascha Cordner’s two-part series.

Most new laws approved during Florida's recent legislative session took effect Sunday with the start of the state's fiscal year.

The new statutes have an effect on Floridians of all ages, from bullying in schools to providing further protections against seniors.

Donna Berghauser’s office at McLane Middle School is filled with inspirational pictures, quotes and fun posters designed to get students to open up.

This week on Florida Matters we're talking about some of the key takeaways from the 2018 legislative session.

We break down parts of the state budget as well as measures on school safety, gun control and opioid prescriptions. We also debate the session's "winners and losers."


Gina Jodan/WLRN

This week on Florida Matters we're discussing the biggest takeaways from the state's 2018 legislative session.


Saying it is critical to “stop the addiction in the beginning,” Gov. Rick Scott on Monday signed a high-profile bill designed to prevent patients from getting hooked on powerful opioids.

Gun Control Among Issues Teed Up For Constitution Panel

Mar 15, 2018

The debate over gun control is ready to move to a new forum, as the Florida Constitution Revision Commission next week begins the process of deciding what issues to place on the November ballot.

A tax cut package moving through the House is facing pushback from animal rights activists, educators and working people. But the proposal does include more tax free holidays and a break for nursing homes adding generators.

Trio Of Bills Awaiting Governor Scott's Signature

Feb 20, 2018

A trio of bills are heading to Governor Rick Scott’s office this week - the final step before becoming law. 

Florida lawmakers want to restrict certain abortions for women in their second trimester. Judges in other states have struck down similar laws as unconstitutional. But legal concerns are not slowing the bill down. A warning, this story may be distressing to some.

The Florida Senate has unanimously passed a bill that allows state lawmakers to visit schools in their district, on any day and any time. That currently only applies to school board members as well as members of a charter school governing board. And, right now, principals or superintendents have the option to refuse a lawmaker’s visit or limit the scope of the visit. So, under Sen. Dorothy Hukill’s (R-Port Orange) bill, legislators can give a “heads up” or make it a surprise visit.

Aliman Senai / Wikimedia Commons

Florida could ease some of the restrictions now in place for so-called payday loans.

The state’s lawmakers are hard at work in Tallahassee as the 2018 legislative session continues. This week on the latest edition of our monthly Florida Matters news roundtable series we’re talking about some of their priorities and how they could affect residents.


This week on Florida Matters we're hosting another edition of our monthly news roundtable. We'll talk about some of the big issues to keep an eye on as the state's 2018 legislative session progresses and we’ll also discuss some of the politics behind them.


The Florida House is ready to take up two familiar healthcare reform measures Wednesday. Supporters say both bills will make care more accessible and more affordable. The plans face uphill battles in the Senate.

When lawmakers arrived at the Florida Capitol on Monday, they found thousands of cutouts of brightly-colored children's hands hanging in the rotunda, signifying the start of Children's Week.

Florida lawmakers have started moving forward with a proposal to revamp rules for the payday-loan industry, allowing customers to borrow larger amounts of money over longer periods of time.

A bill that would create a new governance board for the state college system and impose a limit on the number of four-year degrees awarded by the colleges advanced in the Senate on Wednesday.

University of South Florida

A bill under consideration by the Florida House would shake the very foundation of the University of South Florida by revoking the separate accreditations of its St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee campuses.

The Florida House has overwhelmingly approved a ban against sanctuary policies. President Trump’s disparaging comments about Haiti, El Salvador and African countries fueled an already contentious debate on the bill. Trump reportedly referred to the areas as "s***hole countries."

Florida May Join Jacksonville In Ending Red Light Cameras

Jan 16, 2018

With little comment, the House voted Friday to eliminate the red-light camera statute that lawmakers have targeted since the Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act of 2010 was created.

Unless Florida lawmakers act, an organization created to aid in the efforts of Florida’s Guardian ad Litem program is set to expire later this year.

On a recent Tuesday morning, Emy Martinez walked around a couple of blocks in Overtown, looking for used needles to deposit in the sharps container in her backpack.

She didn’t find any. 

Governor's Press Office

Gov. Rick Scott delivered his eighth and final State of the State address Tuesday on the opening day of the 2018 legislative session.

MyFlorida.com

Gov. Rick Scott will deliver his eighth and final State of the State address Tuesday on the opening day of the 2018 legislative session. WUSF will bring you special coverage of his speech throughout the day.

Florida is looking to make major changes to Children’s Medical Services, the state-run health care program for children with complex medical needs.

Florida Lawmakers Look To Make College Even Cheaper

Jan 1, 2018

For Florida residents, attending a state university or college is a bargain.

Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles

A Florida driver’s license can show if a person has served in the military. But there’s a problem with the law that permits the “veteran” designation on the license – it doesn’t prohibit counties from charging veterans extra for that service.

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