Health News Florida

Since 2006, Health News Florida has provided in-depth journalism on health policy issues in our state.

Health News Florida is a project of WUSF Public Media in Tampa and is heard on public radio stations throughout Florida. It also is available online at http://health.wusf.usf.edu

`Stand Your Ground’ Change Heads To Governor

May 8, 2017

A change to the state's “stand your ground” self-defense law is heading to Gov. Rick Scott after the Senate agreed late Friday to go along with a House proposal.

Certificate Of Need, Trauma Bills Die

May 8, 2017

Despite backing from House Republican leaders and Gov. Rick Scott, controversial bills that would have eased regulations on building hospitals and adding trauma centers died Friday night.

Medical Marijuana Deal Goes Up In Smoke

May 8, 2017

Unable to bridge a gap over how many marijuana dispensaries the state should have, Florida lawmakers Friday failed to pass legislation that would have created a framework to carry out a constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana for wide variety of patients.

John Morgan Threatens To Sue Legislature

May 8, 2017

John Morgan said he is prepared to sue the Florida Legislature over the House’s plan to implement medical marijuana.


Florida lawmakers are cracking down on the synthetic opioid fentanyl. Legislation punishing its possession is heading to the governor.

Poor Floridians may see less access to medical care. Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, D-FL, said the state is turning down billions of dollars in federal funding for health care this year because it is not expanding Medicaid. Florida lawmakers are also planning to cut Medicaid and hospital funding.

Florida officials revoked a racing greyhound trainer's license after five dogs tested positive for cocaine after a race in January.

Legislature At Odds Over Fentanyl Sentencing

May 5, 2017

The House on Thursday rejected a Senate plan to give judges more leeway in sentencing people convicted of fentanyl trafficking.

House, Senate Down To Wire On Medical Marijuana

May 5, 2017

With just one day left to pass a bill, House and Senate Republican leaders are still struggling to strike a deal on the rollout of a voter-approved constitutional amendment legalizing marijuana for patients with debilitating conditions.

‘Stand Your Ground’ Dispute Heads Into Final Day

May 5, 2017

The Florida Senate remained steadfast Thursday in a dispute with the House about a change to the state's “stand your ground” self-defense law.

After weeks of will-they-or-won't-they tensions, the House managed to pass its GOP replacement for the Affordable Care Act on Thursday by a razor-thin margin. The vote was 217-213.

Democrats who lost the battle are still convinced they may win the political war. As the Republicans reached a majority for the bill, Democrats on the House floor began chanting, "Na, na, na, na ... hey, hey, hey ... goodbye." They say Republicans could lose their seats for supporting a bill that could cause so much disruption in voters' health care.

Employer groups are threatening to bolt and trial lawyers are in open revolt as lawmakers spend the final days of the 2017 session haggling over workers’ compensation reforms.

As their constituents protested in support of the Affordable Care Act in Miami Wednesday, two South Florida republicans provided crucial votes for a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, which narrowly passed the house 217-213.

Updated at 5:37 p.m. ET

The House voted Thursday to narrowly approve a Republican-drafted measure that would eliminate many of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act — the first step toward keeping one of President Trump's campaign pledges and a victory for GOP lawmakers who have long railed against Obamacare, as the ACA is commonly known. The vote was 217-213.

The measure moves to the Senate, where its fate is far from certain — and where top lawmakers in both parties are already signaling that there is a long legislative process ahead.

Lawmakers have folded on plans to pass a comprehensive gambling overhaul bill this legislative session.

There has been a lot of attention on the issue of sexual assault on college campuses in recent years. There was an alleged case of rape on the University of Miami two years ago that ended with the firing of a professor and a lawsuit from an accused student.

Florida's universities call it a troubling trend. The need for mental health counseling services among students has gone up nearly 50 percent over the past five years.

Gov. Scott Will Sign Pollution Notification Bill

May 4, 2017

Gov. Rick Scott will sign a bill to step up public notification of pollution incidents, after the measure was unanimously approved Wednesday in the House.

Gov. Scott Will Sign Lake Okeechobee Water Bill

May 4, 2017

Gov. Rick Scott will sign a bill that includes money to speed construction of a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee — a top priority of Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart.

Florida legislators plan to take more than $1 million and 21 jobs away from a state prosecutor who announced she won't seek the death penalty any more.

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