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Florida Legislature

'Telehealth' Bill Bounces Back To House

Mar 7, 2016

A day after the House approved a bill aimed at expanding the use of "telehealth" in Florida, the Senate on Thursday scaled back the proposal.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

Computer coding is the language that tells a computer what to do, but is it a foreign language? The Florida Senate has approved a bill saying yes; if it passes into law, high school students could substitute computer coding for required foreign language credits. It's an attempt to get more of the state's students into computer science classes.

House, Senate Close In On Budget Deal

Mar 6, 2016
Florida House of Representatives

House and Senate budget chiefs drew closer Sunday to a final agreement on the spending plan for the fiscal year that begins July 1, striking deals on a slew of local projects and throwing an elbow at the leader of the state's prisons agency for an aggressive lobbying campaign.

A proposed $3 billion deal negotiated between Gov. Rick Scott and the Seminole Tribe of Florida that would have expanded gambling across the state collapsed Friday after it was rejected by state legislators.

The deal died after the Florida House failed to consider a major gambling bill that would allowed the tribe to add craps and roulette at their existing casinos. The bill would have also allowed slot machines to be added at existing dog and horse tracks across the state.

Florida lawmakers seem ready to give some terminally ill Floridians access to medical marijuana. But some medical marijuana expansion supporters are already setting their sights on November.

House, Senate Agree On Health Budget

Mar 4, 2016

House and Senate budget chiefs reached agreement Thursday night on two areas of the state spending plan for the year beginning July 1, striking deals on funding for environmental programs and health care.

House Passes Bill To Expand KidCare To Legal Immigrants

Mar 4, 2016

The Florida House on Thursday passed a long-debated proposal to help children of legal immigrants get health-insurance coverage through the state's KidCare program.

House Backs Everglades 'Legacy' Bill

Mar 3, 2016
Steve Newborn/WUSF

The House voted 117-1 on Wednesday to approve its version of the "Legacy Florida" bill (HB 989), which would provide 10 years of funding for Everglades restoration.

MoneyBlogNewz / Flickr Creative Commons

The Florida Senate budget chairman says state workers are unlikely to get an across-the-board pay raise this year.

Wikimedia Commons

Florida law would say churches can't be forced to marry same-sex couples under a bill passed by the House, despite opponents who say the legislation isn't needed.

There’s just one hurdle left for a Miami-Dade needle exchange program.  The long-awaited pilot passed the House Wednesday.

A bill aimed at helping to address the state’s rape kits backlog is now heading to the Governor, after passing the Florida Legislature unanimously.

Lawmakers Poised To Pass Child Welfare Bills

Mar 3, 2016

After a spate of child deaths in Florida, the Department of Children and Families is doubling down on child welfare reforms. Now state lawmakers are poised to pass a suite of bills to bolster that effort.

With the support of doctors and small businesses, the Florida House has unanimously passed a bill that would clear the way for "direct primary care” agreements.

Senate President Andy Gardiner said late Wednesday he was considering bringing Surgeon General John Armstrong's nomination to the Senate floor, a potentially dramatic move aimed at breaking a log jam over the agency head's fate.

Even with the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, Wednesday could mark a potential turning point for the Supreme Court on the subject of abortion. At issue is whether a new Texas law imposes restrictions that unconstitutionally limit a woman's right to terminate a pregnancy.

Last June, a federal appeals court upheld the law. If the Supreme Court agrees, it would mean a dramatic cutback on abortion rights across the country, and potentially a steppingstone toward the reversal of Roe v. Wade.

Surgeon General's Confirmation In Jeopardy

Mar 2, 2016

Despite a show of support from Gov. Rick Scott, a Senate panel Tuesday postponed for a second time a vote on the confirmation of state Surgeon General John Armstrong.

The move by the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee could end Armstrong's bid to keep his job as secretary of the Florida Department of Health.

Series Of Health Care Bills Poised To Pass House

Mar 2, 2016

After the issues sailed through committees, the House is poised to pass a series of bills dealing with health-care regulations.

House Grapples With Medical Marijuana

Mar 2, 2016

The House will hold a floor session and take up numerous issues, including proposals that would place additional restrictions on abortion clinics and allow terminally ill patients to have access to medical marijuana.

House Could Approve 'Rape Kit,' Needle Exchange Bills

Mar 2, 2016

The Florida House on Wednesday could give final approval to bills that would require faster testing of DNA evidence in sexual-assault cases and create a pilot needle-exchange program in Miami-Dade County.

The House on Tuesday agreed to take up versions of the bills that have already passed the Senate. If the House gives approval, the bills would be ready to go to Gov. Rick Scott.

Ted Murphy

With time running out, Florida legislators are still pushing ahead with a major gambling bill that would allow slot machines across much of the state.

Senators Trim 'Legacy' Money For Everglades, Springs

Mar 1, 2016
Sierra Club

Senators have reduced the amounts of proposed funding in a bill that seeks to pay for Everglades and springs-restoration projects over the next decade, as lawmakers continue to discuss how to spread voter-approved conservation money.

The Florida Senate will again take up a medical marijuana bill today.  It expands the scope of Florida's Right to Try Act, which allows terminally-ill patients to try drugs not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The measure emerged from the rules committee Monday.

Lawmakers Agree On 'LIP' Hospital Funding

Mar 1, 2016

Facing a nearly $400 million cut in the coming fiscal year, House and Senate budget negotiators late Monday agreed on a plan for divvying up money in the Low Income Pool program, which helps pay for hospital care for poor and uninsured patients.

Florida Legislators Reach A Deal Over Money For Schools

Feb 29, 2016
Wikimedia Commons

Florida legislators have a deal over how much more money will go to the state's public schools.

MyFloridaHouse.gov

As the Florida legislative session nears its end, some lawmakers are in a race against time to correct what they say is an injustice to the working poor: the suspension of driver’s licenses for reasons unrelated to driving violations.

With supporters saying they are seeking to protect patients from surprise expenses, the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday approved a bill that deals with a closely watched health-care issue known as "balance billing."

House Ready To Take Up Health Care Agenda

Feb 29, 2016

With Republican leaders pushing for major changes in the health-care system, the House will take up a series of high-profile health issues during a floor session Tuesday.

Battle Rages Over Florida Law Limiting Doctors' Gun Speech

Feb 29, 2016

As a pediatrician, Dr. Judith Schaechter can ask parents of her patients all sorts of questions regarding their safety and well-being: what the child eats, whether there's a backyard pool and whether the child gets enough sleep.

Abortion opponents hailed an appeals court decision Friday that allows the state to begin enforcing a law requiring women to wait 24 hours before getting an abortion, while a group suing to overturn the law vowed to keep fighting.

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