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2018 Florida Legislature

Fate Of Generator Rules Remains Unclear

Feb 26, 2018

With only two weeks left in the 2018 legislative session, proposed rules requiring generators for long-term care providers continue to await action, in part because of the financial impact on assisted living facilities. 

Florida House: Schools Must Display 'In God We Trust'

Feb 22, 2018

Every Florida school and school administrative building will have to prominently display "In God we trust" under a bill passed by the Florida House.

House Eyes Work Requirement In Medicaid

Feb 22, 2018

Florida might consider imposing work requirements on adults enrolled in the state’s Medicaid program, a move some critics contend would be “cruel” for poor people who rely on the safety-net program for health care.

A measure in the House tackles Florida’s opioid crisis by rethinking how to regulate prescription medication. If successful, lawmakers hope the new set of rules can curb opioid abuse.

Florida lawmakers say they’re working to come up with legislation aimed at curbing school shootings like the one last week in South Florida. Students from across the state are joining those from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to lobby lawmakers for tougher gun laws. But they’re confronting the often confusing reality of legislative politics.

A week after a mass shooting at a Broward County high school, survivors and gun-control advocates demanded Wednesday that state lawmakers enact tighter gun and school-safety laws as a rally drew one of the largest crowds at the Capitol since the 2000 election recount.

Several thousand people gathered outside the Old Capitol building and overflowed onto nearby Monroe Street, as students, activists and Democratic lawmakers expressed anger amid chants of “We want change,” “Not one more,” “Throw them out,” and “Never again.”

Little more than a week ago, some of the biggest problems students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School faced were math tests and the baseball team’s performance.

But seven days after a 19-year-old gunman went on a killing spree at the Parkland school, students turned into activists as they cried, pleaded and argued with lawmakers Wednesday in the state Capitol.

Hundreds of students from around the state rallied at the Florida Capitol Wednesday. They joined Parkland students to promote their gun control cause and convince lawmakers to look into what they see as better policies.

As high school students who survived the shooting in Parkland, Fla., travel to the state Capitol to demand action on guns, lawmakers offered a glimpse of the battle they face.

In Tuesday's session, which opened with prayer for the community of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 students and staff were killed last week, Florida House lawmakers declined to open debate on a bill that would ban assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition magazines.

Students who survived the Parkland school shooting prepared to flood the Capitol on Wednesday, pushing to ban the assault-style rifle used to kill 17 people and vowing to make changes in the November election if they can't persuade lawmakers to change laws before their legislative session ends.

Workers' Comp Bill Could Aid Injured Immigrants

Feb 21, 2018

A Senate committee Tuesday narrowly approved a bill that would eliminate part of Florida law that allows employers to deny benefits to injured workers who use other people’s Social Security numbers or identification to obtain jobs.

Pornography is being declared a health risk by the Florida Legislature.

The state's House of Representatives approved the resolution by a voice vote Tuesday, despite some members asking why the topic is being taken up at this time. The resolution was sponsored by Rep. Ross Spano, who is running for attorney general.

Medicaid Program Limiting Opioid Prescriptions

Feb 21, 2018

As lawmakers consider proposals to limit opioid prescriptions, Gov. Rick Scott’s administration is taking steps to do the same in the Florida Medicaid program.

The U.S. Capitol's Statuary Hall Collection is on the cusp of receiving its first statue of an African-American woman.

Cannabis Advocates and Representative Carlos Guillermo-Smith want to re-classify misdemeanor criminal offenses for marijuana possession. It would make possession under 20 grams a civil violation. 

A key Florida Senate committee has stripped language from an omnibus education bill that threatened the survival of the state’s teachers unions. Critics of the plan say it’s unfair that only teachers were targeted.

Florida lawmakers are once again looking for ways to help the sunshine state reclaim its title as the Hollywood of the South. 

​A second gun-related bill has been postponed in the Florida Senate in the wake of last week’s mass shooting at a Parkland high school.

A Florida Senate committee, Wednesday, advanced a bill (SB 1402) which aims to place a longstanding federal program that protects wetlands through the Clean Water Act under state control. 

  

As South Florida reels from Wednesday’s mass shooting at a Broward County high school, State Sen. Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, is working to secure funding for Florida school districts to better identify and address mental health concerns in students early on. 

Despite high graduation rates and increases in awarded degrees, a bill in the Senate looks to give Florida’s Community College System a governing facelift. This has led many community college leaders to warn of the unnecessary and unintended consequences that may result from such a bill. 

A bill allowing certain Florida officials to make announced and unannounced visits to the state’s juvenile justice facilities is now heading to the House floor.

State lawmakers are facing renewed pressure to pass gun control legislation following last week’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland — and the Legislature is only scheduled to be in session for another two and a half weeks after it returns from the Presidents' Day recess.

State Sen. Gary Farmer, who represents nearby Fort Lauderdale, is pushing the Legislature’s Republican leadership to hear bills he and his Democratic colleagues have introduced in past years.

Pixabay.com

"When it comes to school violence, it's not a matter of if, but when."

That was the first line of an opinion column published in the Tallahassee Democrat two weeks before Wednesday's shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The writer was Bill Lee, president of the Florida Association of School Administrators.

His group wants more money for "Safe Schools," a state Department of Education program that handles student safety through a number of initiatives, particularly funding public school resource officers.

A proposal that would allow some concealed-weapons license applications to be approved when background checks have not been completed was put on hold Thursday because of the deadly high-school shooting in Broward County.

Republicans in the Florida House are pushing for a nearly $350 million tax package that includes a new source of money for one of the nation's largest private school voucher programs.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF

Florida's cities and counties wouldn't be able to completely choose when they hold local elections under a bill passed by the Florida House.

The state would recognize the Florida Cracker cattle as the official state cattle under a bill passed by the House.

Senate Panel Backs School Mental Health Initiative

Feb 15, 2018

Shortly before a mass shooting at a Broward County high school, a Senate committee on Wednesday unanimously approved a bill that could dedicate more funding to Florida schools for mental health services.

Proposed Deal Could End Trauma Battles

Feb 15, 2018

Legal wrangling over new trauma centers and which hospitals should be allowed to operate them could come to an end under a proposal moving through the Legislature.

Senate Health Policy Chairwoman Dana Young, R-Tampa, said Wednesday the Senate, House and major players in the hospital industry have reached agreement on how to revamp the state’s 26-year old trauma rules.

“We have a deal,” Young told members of the Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee.

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