Florida Legislature

Twenty-one-year-old Representative Amber Mariano is vowing to put the “fresh” in freshman as the youngest woman ever elected to the Florida House.

Like the newly elected President and the future Congress, Florida’s future leaders will look pretty much the same. Still, while the Republican-led state legislature still continues to hold a majority, there were some upsets.

Dozens of state House and Senate seats in the Tampa Bay Area are are up for grabs on Election Day. But only a handful are truly competitive. WUSF's Steve Newborn gets the inside track on three of those races with longtime political reporter William March.
 

We focus on three local races:

One-Quarter Of Legislature Elected At End Of Qualifying

Jun 28, 2016
Florida House of Representatives

Floridians won't get to cast a ballot for more than one-fourth of the people in charge of making laws and piecing together the state budget over the next two years.

Of the 160 offices that make up the Florida House and Senate, 42 drew only a single candidate who qualified for the Aug. 30 and Nov. 8 general elections. The state Division of Elections officially finalized the list of qualified candidates just minutes before 9 p.m. on Friday.

Gun Measures Expected To Re-Emerge In 2017 Legislature Session

Jun 16, 2016

The mass shootings in an Orlando nightclub this week have fueled the already-polarizing issues of gun rights and gun control, with the debate expected to return on multiple fronts during Florida's 2017 legislative session.

Florida House of Representatives

Florida's Legislature has a new House Speaker.

Starting in November, Land O' Lakes Republican Rep. Richard Corcoran will preside over the state House of Representatives.

This week on Florida Matters, (Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday at 7:30 a.m.), we’ll feature a newsmaker conversation with him.

Corcoran, who is serving his fifth year in the Florida House and who once served as U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s chief of staff, is a conservative known to stand up against his own political party.

Expanding Access Called Key In Addressing Health Issues

Apr 27, 2016

Speakers at a health-care "summit" said Tuesday that expanding access to care for more Floridians could save the state money.

The two-day Florida Health Care Affordability Summit, sponsored by the business group Associated Industries of Florida, included lawmakers and experts addressing topics ranging from controlling drug costs to expanding treatment options through technology.

Suicide is the third leading cause of death among Florida’s youth, and a newly signed law aims to promote youth suicide prevention training in schools.

Because of a new law, Florida patients won’t have to pay for medical care by doctors outside their insurance network if the service was performed at an in-network hospital.

The law effectively bans a practice called “balance billing.” But emergency room doctors say the new law misses the mark.


Insurer, Hospital Tangle About Cost Information

Apr 20, 2016

The Florida Supreme Court is ready to wade into a dispute between State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance and a major Jacksonville hospital about contracts and other documents that contain detailed information about how much the hospital charges for services.

Retiring Senators From Tampa Bay Area Earned Respect

Apr 20, 2016
Florida Senate

When Florida’s legislative session reaches its final days, senators honor retiring colleagues with videos and floor speeches. Some of the accolades are more heartfelt than others.

This year, as they saluted Democrat Arthenia Joyner of Tampa and Republican Nancy Detert of Sarasota, it was clear that the sincerity was real.

Scott Signs Treatment, Military Bills

Apr 18, 2016

Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed two bills that are expected to help people get mental-health or substance-abuse treatment and make it easier for military personnel from Florida to vote. Scott also vetoed a controversial overhaul of alimony laws (SB 668).

Scott Signs Education Plan That Expands Choice

Apr 15, 2016
Pixabay.com

A wide-ranging education bill dealing with everything from funding for high-performing universities to school membership in athletic associations was signed into law Thursday by Gov. Rick Scott.

Scott Signs Key Health Bills, Vetoes Dental Measure

Apr 15, 2016

Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday signed a series of health-care bills, including a measure that supporters say will help shield patients from getting hit with surprise tabs after going to hospital emergency rooms.

Scott Poised To Act On Health, Education Bills

Apr 12, 2016

In a final flurry of activity from the legislative session, Gov. Rick Scott this week will take action on heavily debated health, education and tax bills.

Gov. Rick Scott has a few more days left to sign a bill that would create a statewide telehealth advisory council, but health care providers aren't waiting.

Couples Shacking Up No Longer Breaking Law In Florida

Apr 7, 2016

Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday signed a bill to repeal the state’s largely unenforced prohibition on cohabitation by couples. It was one of 20 bills he signed into law.

New cases of the virus that causes AIDS are becoming less frequent throughout the United States.

But not in Florida.

Statewide, HIV infections have been increasing in recent years, with Miami-Dade and Broward counties topping the list. But a new law might help stem the tide of those new cases. For the first time, Florida has a needle-exchange program for intravenous drug users.

The construction of the Florida Holocaust Memorial is one step closer to becoming reality. That's among 20 bills Governor Rick Scott signed into law Wednesday.

Food Stamp Recipients Face Work Requirement

Apr 7, 2016

About 300,000 Floridians who qualified for food stamps now face a work requirement that went into effect Jan. 1 -- and the possibility of at least temporarily losing benefits if they don't meet the guidelines.

Pages