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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.

New Law Will Send More Money To Ports

Apr 5, 2016
Office of the Governor

More money will be floated yearly to the state's 15 seaports under a wide-ranging transportation bill signed into law Monday by Gov. Rick Scott.

Deadline Approaches For Victim Protections Bill

Apr 5, 2016

Governor Rick Scott has until Wednesday to act on a bill that could expand protections for victims of abuse.

Mental Health Reform Effort Heads To Scott

Apr 5, 2016

Gov. Rick Scott will have 15 days to take action on a bill (SB 12) that would make wide-ranging changes in the state's mental-health and substance-abuse treatment systems.

Another Nursery Approved For Marijuana Industry

Apr 5, 2016

State health officials on Monday paved the way for Gainesville-based San Felasco Nurseries to join five other dispensing organizations authorized to grow medical marijuana in Florida.

Florida Prisons Plan To Hire More Than 4,000 People

Apr 4, 2016

Florida's prison agency says it is planning to hire more than 4,000 new correctional officers in the next 15 months.

Feds Could Block State Ban On Planned Parenthood Money

Apr 4, 2016

A new Florida abortion law seeks to ban Medicaid funding for family-planning services at clinics that also offer elective abortions --- such as clinics run by Planned Parenthood --- but the federal government appears unlikely to allow that part of the law to take effect.

Scott Signs Medicine Age Limit, Gas Pump Skimmer Bill

Apr 4, 2016

A plan to keep teens from buying over-the-counter cough medicines was among 14 bills signed into law late last week by Gov. Rick Scott.

A prescription drug that counters the effects of an opioid overdose will soon be available over the counter.

Health Bills, Tax Cuts, 'Legacy Florida' Go To Scott

Mar 31, 2016

Scott received a handful of health-care bills, including a measure (HB 221) that addresses a controversial health-insurance issue known as "balance billing."

Governor Gives Backing To Dozier ‘Justice’ Bill

Mar 31, 2016

Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday signed a bill addressing what one lawmaker described as a "dark chapter" in Florida history at a now-shuttered reform school.

Renewable Energy Issue To Go On Primary Ballot

Mar 28, 2016
Wikimedia Commons

Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed a bill that will place on the Aug. 30 primary-election ballot a proposal that could give commercial property owners a tax break on renewable energy devices.

Scott Signs Boater Safety Bill After Tragedy

Mar 28, 2016
Yoselis Ramos/WUSF / WUSF Public Media

In an issue prompted by the disappearance last year of two young boaters, Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed a bill that will provide a discount on vessel-registration fees if boaters show they have purchased and registered emergency locator devices.

Scott Signs Bill Tightening Restrictions On Abortion Clinics

Mar 28, 2016

Gov. Rick Scott on Friday approved a sweeping measure that will tighten restrictions on Florida abortion clinics to the point that some say they will be forced to close.

Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed a bill that supporters said will help the court system address issues with criminal defendants who have mental illnesses.

Scott Approves Medical Marijuana For Terminally Ill

Mar 28, 2016

With Floridians poised to vote this fall on broad legalization of medical marijuana, Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed a bill that will allow terminally ill patients to have access to marijuana as they try to ease suffering.

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