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News Service of Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis
Fresh Take Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday said that Florida's Surgeon General Scott Rivkees will be issuing a new health advisory in response to the coronavirus.

People 65 and older, and anyone with underlying medical conditions, will be asked to stay at home for the next 14 days to minimize their exposure to COVID-19.

Sorry we are closed sign board hanging on a door of cafe
iStock

In the latest move to slow the spread of COVID-19, Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order Friday closing all Florida restaurants and food establishments to on-site customers.

However, they still may run their kitchens to provide delivery or take-out services.

stock photo of notebook, pens, glasses, and stethoscope.
iStock

The federal government has approved Florida’s request to waive some long-standing Medicaid rules and regulations as the state prepares to treat poor, elderly and disabled residents who become infected with the novel coronavirus.

The hepatitis a vaccine
Julio Ochoa / WUSF Public Media

Florida reported 31 hepatitis A cases last week, bringing the total this year to 387, according to newly released data from the state Department of Health.

Hospital building at night
Wikimedia Commons

The state Department of Health early Saturday reported 25 more cases of the coronavirus, with most of the patients in South Florida. Manatee County reported two new cases, while a third Floridian has died from the disease.

Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland
NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

After it appeared the House and Senate had agreed on spending $500 million to increase teacher salaries, the Senate on Sunday proposed increasing the amount to $600 million.

two men talk, one with his hand raised to make a point
Florida House of Representatives

House Speaker José Oliva on Saturday blasted a plan that would give Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration the power to randomly audit private businesses to ensure they are not hiring undocumented workers.

coronavirus
Wikimedia Commons

A 66-year-old woman in Volusia County and a 61-year-old female in Okaloosa County have tested presumptively positive for the novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19, according to a press release issued by the Florida Department of Health Saturday evening.

GOVERNOR'S PRESS OFFICE

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday that a fourth Florida resident has tested positive for the coronavirus but is self-quarantined in Washington state.

A woman gives a man a flu shot in the arm.
Daylina Miller/WUSF Public Media

A Senate committee Thursday approved a controversial proposal that would allow pharmacists to test and treat people for influenza. The vote by the Senate Appropriations Committee sends the bill (SB 714) to the full Senate.

iStock

As lawmakers prepare for formal budget negotiations, the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday signed off on a proposal that would provide a sales-tax “holiday” for back-to-school shoppers.

Sen. Debbie Mayfield
Florida House of Representatives

As they move forward with a proposal that would allow college athletes to receive off-field compensation, Florida senators expect the NCAA to tackle unaddressed issues such as recruitment.

GOVERNOR'S PRESS OFFICE

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday joined a chorus of Republicans criticizing Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders for comments the Vermont senator made about Cuba during an appearance Sunday on the CBS news show “60 Minutes.”

Row of men in orange jumpsuits wait for ID
Kerry Sheridan / WUSF

House Speaker Jose Oliva said Thursday the House is “very open” to a Senate proposal that would loosen sentencing laws for certain drug-trafficking offenses.

the florida house of representatives
Governor's Press Office

As the 2020 legislative session dwindles down to the final weeks, the Florida House has yet to consider an E-Verify proposal that is one of Gov. Ron DeSantis top priorities.

Motorists would face higher fines if they drive past stopped school buses, under a proposal that was unanimously approved Thursday by the House and has received support in the Senate.

The proposal (HB 37 and SB 290) would increase from $100 to $200 the minimum fine for failing to stop for school buses.

The minimum fine would increase from $200 to $400 for motorists who pass buses on the side where children get on and off the buses.

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, center, said at the Pasco County Tax Collector's Office in Dade City that review times for applications for concealed-weapons licenses have been reduced.
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried on Friday used an energy grant to a South Florida city to highlight her opposition to a House effort to move the state Office of Energy out of her department.

Fried appeared in Oakland Park to tout a $250,000 grant to retrofit baseball and soccer fields with energy-efficient LED lighting that is expected to save money for the city in the future.

Mail ballots
Thomas Iacobucci / WUSF Public Media

More than 500,000 Floridians, or about a quarter of the 2.07 million who have requested mail-in ballots, have already cast votes in the March 17 presidential primary elections, according to numbers posted midday Friday by the state Division of Elections.

Man speaking
Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

Gov. Ron DeSantis, House Speaker Jose Oliva, and University of South Florida President Steven Currall all addressed a controversial university consolidation plan for the first time Thursday.

While neither DeSantis nor Oliva endorsed the move, both like the money-saving aspect of the plan. They're also both open to another merger alternative: the University of South Florida.

BRENDAN RIVERS/ADAPT

Julia Nesheiwat, hired by Gov. Ron DeSantis in August as Florida's first chief resilience officer, is reportedly going back to the federal government.

After Senate approval of the controversial proposal, the House this week will take up a plan that would require parental consent before minors could have abortions.

Seema Verma
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma said the federal agency has received more than 4,000 comments on a proposed Medicaid regulation that is taking bipartisan heat.

House Speaker Jose Oliva
Florida House of Representatives

House Speaker José Oliva said he is "open" to supporting an E-Verify bill that would meet the goals of Gov. Ron DeSantis, but expressed doubts about the Senate’s version of the legislation.

Fifth Third Bank said Friday it will resume contributions to the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program, reversing course after saying it would stop contributing over concerns about vouchers going to schools with anti-LGBTQ policies.

Fines for killing black bears out of season would increase under legislation passed unanimously Wednesday by the Florida House.

Local communities would no longer be able to use money from tourist-development taxes and half-cent sales taxes on professional sports facilities, under a measure that drew concerns about baseball spring training.

Gov. Ron DeSantis at the podium
GOVERNOR'S PRESS OFFICE

More than 5,700 acres in Sarasota County and 17 acres in Columbia County will be up for purchase by Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Cabinet on Tuesday.

NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

House and Senate education budget writers have released competing proposals for teacher salary increases, a top priority of Gov. Ron DeSantis that is expected to be a key issue during negotiations on the upcoming state budget.

Duke Energy Florida should get approval to collect $171.3 million from customers to cover costs related to last year’s Hurricane Dorian, staff members of the Florida Public Service Commission have recommended.

Gov. Ron DeSantis
GOVERNOR'S PRESS OFFICE

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced new education standards on Friday, a year after he vowed to eliminate the “vestiges” of the controversial Common Core standards.

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