Florida Legislature

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.

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.

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