Florida Legislature

The state Senate Select Committee on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act wants Florida to pay for health insurance for temporary state employees who work more than 30 hours a week. 

State Sen. David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs, said going along with this part of the new federal health law is the best option.

Medical Marijuana Gets Deep-Pockets Backer

Mar 18, 2013

Attorney John Morgan, who founded a huge plaintiff’s law firm based in Orlando, will lead the effort in Florida to legalize medical marijuana, the Tampa Bay Times reports. He has the money to spend and a personal reason behind it: He says marijuana was the only thing that helped his father when was sick with cancer and emphysema.

WUSF Public Media

The Senate's special committee on the Affordable Care Act voted along party lines Monday to reject Medicaid expansion, with members saying they want to develop a Florida-specific plan. The vote was 7 to 4.

Sen. Joe Negron, chairman, led the charge of the Republican majority, saying, "I oppose the Washington plan. I want a Florida plan. I think we have the opportunity to build a better system than the one Washington created."

House Committee Rejects Medicaid Expansion

Mar 4, 2013
Florida House of Representatives

A Florida House committee on the Affordable Care Act said today Florida should not accept billions of dollars in federal funds to expand Medicaid coverage to nearly 1 million uninsured residents under the new federal health law.

The House committee voted along party lines this afternoon against Medicaid expansion. Naples Republican Matt Hudson says he doesn't believe the federal government will actually pay for the cost of the expansion.

WLRN

It's easy to play armchair quarterback -- or, in the case of politics, armchair legislator.

But as Florida's 2013 lawmaking session gets under way Tuesday, we challenge you to navigate the ethical landmine of local and state politics. When is it okay to accept a campaign check? Is it cool to lobby on behalf of an old high school classmate? And what could go wrong over a harmless cup of coffee?

Changes Might Be Coming to Florida's Voting Laws

Jan 7, 2013

Florida's legislative session doesn't start for two months, but already both Republicans and Democrats appear to agree that voting laws need to be changed.

Some legislators say they're embarrassed with Florida's election performance in November. It took several days to determine who won the presidential race in Florida.

State Sen. Chris Smith and State Rep. Perry E. Thurston, Jr. made history in various ways Tuesday when they were appointed to lead Democrats in both chambers of the Florida Legislature. It's the first time in the history of the Florida Legislature that black politicians have held the top political offices in both legislative chambers at the same time.

Imagine you’re driving home from work, and you’re hit by a reckless driver. You’d want to sue, right?

But if the person that injured you is a government employee in Florida, forget going to court. You’ll have to petition the Florida Legislature for help.

That’s what William Dillon did.  Dillon spent 27 years in prison for a murder in Brevard County. He was set free in 2008 after DNA testing showed he wasn’t the killer.

It took more than three and a half years for the Legislature to pass a bill compensating Dillon.

Hillsborough County Classroom Teachers Association

Hillsborough County Classroom Teachers Association president Jean Clements says dual efforts to toughen Florida's school grading system and approve a law allowing a majority of parents to choose how to restructure their child's failing school amount to an education land grab for private business.

Clements' op-ed was published on the Washington Post's Answer Sheet blog.

Clements argues Florida Department of Education is changing its grade standards with the intention of failing more schools. The agency argues raising standards will compel schools to find ways to improve.

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