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2018 Florida Legislature

Lawmakers Pass $88.7 Billion Budget To End Session

Mar 11, 2018
News Service of Florida

Florida lawmakers ended their 2018 session Sunday by passing an $88.7 billion budget, while Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation that provides record funding for Bright Futures college scholarships and continues expanding voucher-like programs for children to attend private schools.

Three weeks after the Parkland high school shooting, Florida Gov. Rick Scott has a gun-control bill on his desk that challenges the National Rifle Association but falls short of what the Republican and survivors of the massacre demanded.

Florida legislators want to move the date of their 2020 annual session.

Most state workers won't be getting a raise in the coming year, but Florida's judges could be getting a big one.

Hillsborough County Public Schools

Many school boards across Tampa Bay are voicing their opposition to a bill in the Florida legislature that would arm school personnel.

Florida legislators passed a bill this week that would make first responders eligible for workers compensation if they are diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Josh Vandegrift was just starting a 24-hour shift for the Cocoa Fire Department on Florida’s Space Coast when the call came in: A pedestrian had been hit by a vehicle about 100 yards from the station where he worked.

School Safety Bill Passes After Emotional Debate

Mar 8, 2018

Three weeks after Nikolas Cruz gunned down 14 students and three faculty members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida lawmakers Wednesday passed a sweeping school-safety bill that sparked bipartisan and racial divisions over gun issues. 

Direct Primary Care Teed Up For Final Approval

Mar 8, 2018

The Florida Legislature is poised to pass a bill that would create the “statutory footing” for direct primary-care agreements among physicians, patients and employers.

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Florida is a step closer to living up to its nickname as "The Sunshine State."

A piece of legislation under consideration in Florida this week has received a lot of attention because of a controversial provision that would allow some teachers to have guns in schools. But the proposed law would also designate an influx of cash for mental health services.

The Florida Legislature has passed sweeping higher education changes. The measures would permanently increase funding to the Bright Futures Scholarship, eliminate free speech zones and address university performance-based funding.

Florida lawmakers have approved a bill that will give Florida’s first responders with emotional injuries access to workers compensation. 

More than a decade of discord over how to apportion Florida’s trauma centers may have come to a close Tuesday, with the Senate’s passage of what amounts to a compromise. 

The white Republican leaders of the Florida Legislature believe giving guns to school staff members will help protect students.

But black members in both houses warn it could endanger them — particularly children of color, who are often disciplined more harshly than their white peers in school.

Lawmakers Sign Off On Nursing Home Generators

Mar 6, 2018

Nursing homes will be required to have generators and 72-hour fuel supplies onsite by July 1, under a rule issued by Gov. Rick Scott’s administration and approved Monday by the Legislature.

Momentum has stalled for a bill that would have allowed human trafficking victims to sue hotels that do not take action and train employees to prevent such atrocities. The measure’s sponsor isn’t saying why she pulled the plan.

Senate Backs Expansion Of Needle Exchange Program

Mar 5, 2018

Senate Minority Leader Oscar Braynon, D-Miami Gardens, agreed Friday to scale back his efforts to take a needle-exchange program statewide.

Gina Jodan/WLRN

The Florida Senate has agreed to advance a bill that would increase school safety and restrict gun purchases following a rare weekend session in the wake of last month's shooting at a high school that killed 17 people.

Florida Senate Tees Up Gun Safety Legislation For Monday Vote

Mar 5, 2018

The Florida Senate held a rare Saturday session, discussing legislation aimed at making schools safer, following the February 14th mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland that left 14 students and three faculty members dead.

HMO Rate Cuts Dropped In Budget Talks

Mar 5, 2018

Medicaid managed care plans are no longer on the chopping block. 

Lawmakers Approve Post-Hurricane KidCare Aid

Mar 5, 2018

Despite an earlier assertion from a top Medicaid official that the state could be giving a “freebie,” lawmakers have agreed to fund Florida KidCare health-insurance premiums for more than 6,000 children living in 48 counties that were impacted by Hurricane Irma.

The Florida Senate passed a bill that would ban injecting racing greyhounds with anabolic steroids.

Florida officials, government employees and the lobbyists and contractors who deal with them could be subject to new rules and penalties for sexual harassment under a bill the House passed unanimously on Thursday.

Florida's Republican legislative leaders are starting their final negotiations on a new state budget after reaching a deal on key details behind closed doors.

Senate Pitches Health Care Alternative For Veterans

Feb 28, 2018

A state Senate proposal would authorize Florida to begin negotiations with the federal government to see if the state could offer managed health-care programs to veterans and their families as an alternative to the health system provided by the federal Veterans Administration.

Some gun safety proposals passed their first Florida Senate committee without an assault weapons ban. While top GOP lawmakers are calling the effort bipartisan, some Democrats pushing for more gun reforms disagree.

Governor Rick Scott’s plan for responding to the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School includes $50 million in additional funding to expand mental health services for children and youth. 

Health Program Money Won't Hit Projections

Feb 26, 2018

Gov. Rick Scott last year bragged that the Trump administration had agreed to steer $1.5 billion in supplemental Medicaid funding to the state, saying at the time the money will “truly improve the quality and access to health care for our most vulnerable populations.” 

The progression has become numbingly repetitive — mass bloodshed unleashed by a gunman, followed by the stories of the fallen, the funerals, the mourning, the talking heads and the calls for change that dwindle into nothingness.

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