Florida Legislature

Lawmakers Sign Off On Controversial Abortion Bill

Mar 10, 2016

In the latest round in Florida's abortion battles, lawmakers Wednesday gave final approval to a bill that would increase clinic regulations and bar public funding for organizations associated with abortion clinics.

Budget Set At $82.3 Billion Amid Intrigue, Criticism

Mar 9, 2016

Lawmakers formally unveiled an $82.3 billion budget plan on Tuesday, paving the way for a Friday end to the legislative session and setting up a potential fight with Gov. Rick Scott after curtailing or scuttling his top priorities.

Multi-State Nurse Licensing Ready For Approval

Mar 9, 2016

The Senate is poised to give final approval to a bill that could lead to Florida nurses receiving multi-state licenses --- and allowing nurses from other parts of the country to work in Florida.

The House voted 111-1 last week to approve the bill (HB 1061), sponsored by state Rep. Cary Pigman, R-Avon Park. Only Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, voted against the measure.

Associated Press

A bill establishing guidelines for law enforcement agencies in Florida that use body cameras is headed to Gov. Rick Scott.

Budget Deal Reached; Session To End On Time

Mar 8, 2016

House and Senate leaders announced a deal on the state budget during a late-night meeting Monday, pumping more than $120 million in last-minute projects into the spending plan and setting the Legislature on course to end its annual session Friday, as scheduled.

The Florida Senate is sending a medical marijuana proposal to the governor.  The reform package grants access to terminal patients and carries a number of changes for the existing regulatory system.

Senate Passes Divisive Alimony, Child Custody Revisions

Mar 7, 2016
Florida Channel

An emotionally charged bill revising alimony and child custody law passed the state Senate on Friday, moving a step closer to becoming law after several years of unsuccessful attempts.

Scott Quickly Gets Marriage, Death-Penalty Bills

Mar 7, 2016
Associated Press

Legislative leaders sent more than two-dozen bills to Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday, including quickly sending a bill that would revamp death-penalty sentencing and a controversial bill known as the "Pastor Protection Act."

Thousands of state workers -- including Gov. Rick Scott -- are expected once again to keep paying low rates for health insurance.

Lawmakers Turn Down Prison Staffing Request

Mar 7, 2016

A deal on the state's public-safety budget that lawmakers reached late Friday would not give the Department of Corrections the 734 additional positions that the agency says are necessary to make Florida's prisons more secure.

'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.