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Health News Florida

Capital: Inauguration Plans, Proposals Filed

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Florida House of Representatives
Gov. Rick Scott addressing a crowd after the end of the 2012 legislature.

Gov. Rick Scott's second inauguration day will start with prayer and later will include honoring military families, according to information released Tuesday by the Republican Party of Florida.

The governor and First Lady Ann Scott will start the Jan. 6 festivities by attending an 8 a.m. prayer breakfast at Jake Gaither Gymnasium at Florida A&M University. The inauguration ceremony will start at 11:20 a.m. on the east steps of the Old Capitol, with the governor taking the oath of office at noon. During the afternoon, Ann Scott will honor Gold Star and military families during a 3 p.m. event at Goodwood Museum in Tallahassee.

Bill Would Require Notice Before Hospital OB Closures

State Rep. Colleen Burton, R-Lakeland, filed a proposal Tuesday that would require hospitals to notify doctors at least 120 days before closing obstetrical departments or halting obstetrical services. The proposal (HB 161) is similar to a measure that passed the Senate during the 2014 session but died in the House.

A Senate staff analysis cited a 2007 decision by Bartow Regional Medical Center in Polk County to close its obstetrics department. The hospital announced the move in June 2007 and closed the department at the end of the following month. The analysis said doctors and members of the local community protested the short amount of time involved in the move, including raising questions about the effects on pregnant women who were close to delivery.

Lawmaker Calls For $1.9m Payment In Wrongful Incarceration

More than 40 years after Barney Brown was convicted of rape in Miami-Dade County, a state House member Tuesday filed a bill seeking $1.9 million in compensation for Brown because of wrongful incarceration.

The bill (HB 3507), filed by Rep. Gwyn Clarke-Reed, D-Deerfield Beach, mirrors a proposal (SB 48) filed in July by Sen. Dwight Bullard, D-Miami. Brown served 38 years in prison before a circuit judge vacated the conviction in 2008 because "significant doubt existed as to his guilt,'' the House bill said. In proposing the $1.9 million for Brown, the bill said it is "based on a moral desire to acknowledge those who are wrongfully convicted of a felony offense, incarcerated as a result of that conviction, and determined to be actually innocent."