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2018 Florida Legislature

Sunshine State Time? Florida Wants To Stop Changing Clocks

Feb 2, 2018
Alex The Shutter, Flikr

Floridians would stop changing their clocks twice a year if some state legislators get their way.

House Targets Medical Marijuana Office

Feb 1, 2018

The House on Wednesday froze $2.1 million in salary and expenses at the Department of Health for failing to respond to concerns raised by a joint legislative committee over a trio of emergency rules relating to medical marijuana.

Lawmakers Could Revamp Black Farmer Marijuana Issue

Feb 1, 2018

Florida health officials have blamed delays in issuing new medical marijuana licenses on a court fight about a law requiring one of the coveted licenses to go to a black farmer who meets certain criteria.

Senate Passes Florida Forever Funding Package

Feb 1, 2018

Over the last three years, Florida Forever has not been the titan of land preservation it once was. The conservation program has seen significant cutbacks in funding, and has lost its effectiveness in continuing to protect the state’s vast landscape. But, a bill in the Florida Senate reestablishes Florida Forever as the model of land preservation it once was.

The Florida Senate stalled a plan to ban sanctuary cities this week. But the debate around immigration enforcement is alive and well in the statehouse.

The Florida Senate has given the green light to an effort to put a statue of Mary McLeod Bethune in the U.S. Capitol. Her likeness would replace a statue of a Confederate General.

Florida Senators have approved a measure closing a loophole that allows child marriage. The bill is being called historic. If the proposal passes the full legislature, the group, Human Rights Watch, says it will be the first of its kind in the country.

A budget proposal that is advancing in the Legislature would make next year's funding for Florida's public schools contingent on the passage of Republican House Speaker Richard Corcoran's chief education priority: a new voucher directing taxpayer dollars to private schools.

A bill that would have allowed the city of Tampa to increase its water supply has dried up in the state legislature. Some feared it would have reignited the area's water wars.

There’s a fight brewing in the Capitol over how the state should pay hospitals for providing care to the poor, elderly and disabled.

A Senate committee on Tuesday approved a bill that includes some recommendations made by a state-appointed telehealth advisory panel but ignores other recommendations involving what is known as “parity” in health-care coverage and reimbursements.

A warning about pizza and a big bear as Hurricane Irma approached Florida is prompting a bill addressing how the state communicates with hearing impaired residents during weather emergencies.

Some 47,000 Florida students are being bullied or have been in some sort of violent situation—be it school fights, or harassment. And a priority of House Speaker Richard Corcoran is getting those kids some help.  A proposal allowing those kids to transfer to other public and private schools is making its way through the legislature but critics say it’s not a solution to the problem.

A measure looking to preempt local ordinances regulating vacation rentals cleared its first hurdle today in the Florida Legislature. The Senate Community Affairs Committee passed the bill by a vote of 4-2.

Florida lawmakers want broader workers' compensation coverage for first responders with post-traumatic stress disorder. But a new version of the bill would add more requirements as well.

House Democrats are crying foul over a massive education bill they say would further erode the state’s public school system. 

A bill opening the door to allow survivors of the infamous Dozier School for Boys to be later compensated unanimously passed its first committee Monday. That’s the now-closed North Florida reform school where former wards say they were physically and sexually abused decades ago.

Bill Would Ban University 'Free Speech' Zones

Jan 31, 2018

Free-speech zones would be banned, and state universities and colleges could be sued for disrupting campus speakers or peaceful protesters under a bill approved Tuesday by a House committee.

State higher education officials directed Florida's public universities to hire more mental health counselors to meet growing student demand — and asked a Florida Atlantic University administrator to help them keep track of the progress.

Florida House Signs Off On Slavery Memorial At Capitol

Jan 29, 2018

With the idea also moving quickly through the Senate, the Florida House on Thursday unanimously passed a bill to create a slavery memorial at the state Capitol.

The bill (HB 67), sponsored by Rep. Kionne McGhee, D-Miami, calls for the Florida Department of Management Services, working with the state Division of Historical Resources, to develop a plan for the memorial on the Capitol grounds.

Florida lawmakers want more people to be able to report drug or alcohol overdoses without fear of retaliation. The effort comes after the high-profile death of a college student, and as the state’s opioid-related deaths continue to rise.

Florida Lawmakers Look To Clear Way For Guns At Churches

Jan 26, 2018

The Florida House and Senate have started moving forward with measures that would allow people with concealed-weapons licenses to carry guns on the grounds of churches and other religious institutions that include schools.

'Advanced' Birth Centers Get Backing In House

Jan 25, 2018

The Florida House continues to move ahead with a proposal that would allow “advanced” birth centers where women could go as an alternative to hospitals to deliver babies.

House Looking To Earmark $50 Million For Opioid Battle

Jan 25, 2018

The Florida House wants to target $50 million toward opioid treatment and prevention in the upcoming year and spend about $1 million on a statewide prescription-drug database, the top House health-care budget writer said Tuesday.

The Florida House and Senate are already clashing over education—higher ed in particular. The House is planning deep cuts for the state’s public colleges and universities while the Senate is looking to increase funding for both systems.

Florida’s offshore drilling concerns have made headlines recently. And now, nearly 80 years into the industry’s existence in Florida, state government officials are searching for some permanency on the issue. 

Needle Exchange Program Passes Committee

Jan 25, 2018

New legislation expanding a needle-exchange program moved through both the Florida House and Senate today. 

A gun bill that’s had some problems in the Florida Senate this legislative session has passed its first House committee.

Florida Senate Seeks Slightly Higher Student Funding Than House

Jan 25, 2018

A key Senate education panel released a budget proposal Wednesday that would increase public-school funding by $110 per student in 2018-2019.

College students in Florida may soon be able to exercise free speech anywhere on a state campus.

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