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Florida Legislature

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.

Committee Slated To Take Up Armstrong Confirmation

Feb 29, 2016

A Senate committee is scheduled Tuesday to consider the confirmation of state Surgeon General John Armstrong, as some medical groups offer a show of support for the embattled secretary of the Florida Department of Health.

State lawmakers want to make Florida the most veteran friendly in the nation. This session, lawmakers are sticking with that pledge, with a push to improve veteran employment and education.

The Florida Senate has passed a bill allowing the state to provide financial help to the families who want to rebury the remains of their loved ones, found on the Panhandle property of the former Dozier School for Boys. Its House counterpart is also heading to the floor.

Computer Coding Proposal Ready For Senate Vote

Feb 26, 2016
NPR- State Impact

The Senate is poised to vote on a bill that would allow high-school students to take computer-coding courses to satisfy two credits of foreign-language requirements.

Budget Talks Likely To Start This Weekend

Feb 26, 2016
MyFloridaHouse.gov

House and Senate leaders said late Thursday they expect formal budget negotiations to start this weekend. An email to lawmakers from Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, and House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island, did not provide details.

Mark Schreiner/WUSF / WUSF 89.7 News

 Florida would pay to rebury students whose remains were once interred on the grounds of a now shuttered reform school, under a bill passed by the Senate.

A body cameras-related bill is now headed to the Senate floor.

The Florida House passed a controversial bill making changes to Florida’s Retirement System.

Senate Approves Needle Exchange Program

Feb 25, 2016

The Florida Senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a proposal that would create a needle-exchange pilot program in Miami-Dade County.

Medical Marijuana Bill Sent Back To Committee

Feb 25, 2016

With more than two-dozen amendments stacked up on the bill Wednesday, Senate President Andy Gardiner yanked a medical marijuana measure off the floor and sent it back to a committee for another vetting.

Back when Laura Rollins first used food stamps for her family—more than two decades ago—she was sometimes embarrassed to use her  stamps at the grocery store.

“When we used to have those books of food stamps that you know that to me was embarrassing because that was telling everybody that was around me and letting them know that, ‘oh, she’s poor,’” Rollins recalls.

Elder Protection Effort Heads To Scott

Feb 25, 2016

The Florida House on Wednesday gave final approval to a proposal that would lead to increased oversight of professional guardians who manage the affairs of seniors. The House voted 115-2 to back the bill (SB 232), which earlier passed the Senate and is now ready to go to Gov. Rick Scott.

The Florida Senate is proposing $75 million for children's programs at hospitals that serve the poor.

The Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida supports the proposal, which would bring in just over $21 million for facilities in the Tampa Bay area.

Senators: Give Notice In Obstetrical Unit Closures

Feb 24, 2016

With supporters saying such closures can affect pregnant women who are close to giving birth, the Senate on Tuesday unanimously approved a bill that would require hospitals to give 120-day notices to doctors before shutting down obstetrical departments or halting obstetrical services.

The bill (SB 586), sponsored by state Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, now will go to the House.

Lawmakers Back Elevator Bill Stemming From Boy's Death

Feb 23, 2016

In an issue spurred by the death of a 12-year-old Manatee County boy, a House panel Monday approved a bill that would require the installation of sensors in new elevators in private homes.

Realtors Could Get Protections From Crime

Feb 23, 2016
Florida Realtors Association

People who commit violent crimes against real-estate agents would face stiffer penalties, under a measure that started to move Monday in the Senate.

The Florida Legislature has killed a measure that would let doctors increase what they charge patients for copies of medical records to $1 a page.

The proposal died not with a bang but a whimper,  tabled indefinitely without ever coming to a vote in the House Subcommittee on Rulemaking Oversight and Repeal .

That panel reviews proposed state rules that would have significant cost to the public. The increase was approved by the Florida Board of Medicine a year ago and affirmed by a hearing officer in December.

AP

 A proposal to remove a statue of a Confederate leader at the National Statuary Hall is generating speculation among Florida legislators about whose image should replace it.

In Tallahassee, Bills Are Dying

Feb 22, 2016

Members, bills are dying.

Those four words --- or something like them --- have long been used by legislative committee chairmen and presiding officers to try to get lawmakers to focus on the task at hand or to move quickly through contentious agendas. The line also happens to fit what starts happening as the session enters its second half.

The Internet allows savvy consumers to comparison shop for big ticket items. Those items may soon include medical procedures.

Armstrong Set To Go Before Another Senate Panel

Feb 22, 2016

After narrowly winning the support of the Senate Health Policy Committee, state Surgeon General John Armstrong will face another confirmation test Tuesday.

Senate To Take Up Medical Marijuana, 'Pastor Protection'

Feb 22, 2016

The full Senate is slated Tuesday to take up a bill that would allow patients with terminal illnesses to have access to medical marijuana.

Kristen M. Clark

The Florida House of Representatives last week wrestled with key education proposals. 
 

In the run-up to Tuesday’s meeting, some questioned surrounded whether Florida Surgeon General John Armstrong would be confirmed. Armstrong’s been under fire for decreasing enrollment in the Children's Medical Services program, rising HIV infections and staff cuts in local health departments.  The Senate Health Policy Committee narrowly confirmed him on a 5-to-4 vote.

AHCA, DCF Leaders Get Senate Panel’s Blessing

Feb 17, 2016

A Senate committee signed off Tuesday on the confirmation of seven agency heads, including leaders of some of the state's highest-profile departments.

After a lobbying battle that has included insurers, doctors and hospitals, a Senate committee Tuesday approved a potential compromise on a controversial issue known as "balance billing."

The issue primarily stems from some patients receiving emergency treatment from doctors and other health providers who are not part of the networks in the patients' insurance plans. That has led to patients receiving unexpected bills for treatment.

Education Bills Lined Up In House

Feb 16, 2016
Robin Sussingham/WUSF

The Florida House this week could pass a series of education bills that range from trying to provide more school choice to families to ensuring children have time for recess.

Florida Senate

The Florida Senate approved a nearly $81 billion budget this afternoon, and now, the Florida Legislature has less than a month left in its regular session to reach a deal over a new state budget.

The Florida House has passed a nearly $80 billion budget after a lengthy partisan debate.

The House on Thursday voted 85-29 for the spending bill that includes money for schools, health care and environmental programs. The Senate is expected to pass a rival budget later in the day. 

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