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2018 Florida Legislature

A bill has passed its first legislative committee requiring schools to display the state motto, “In God We Trust.”

Senate Panel Backs Scholarships For Bullied Students

Jan 24, 2018

Students who are victims of bullying or sexual harassment would be eligible for voucher-like scholarships to attend private schools under a bill approved Monday by the Senate Education Committee.

Florida House Looks To Spend $50 Million On Opioid Battle

Jan 24, 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.

House Eyes Higher Education Budget Cuts

Jan 24, 2018

Florida House leaders unveiled a proposed higher-education budget Tuesday that includes cuts designed to spur state universities and colleges to spend some of their reserve funds.

House Bill Takes Aim At Prescription Costs

Jan 18, 2018

Pharmacists would be required to advise people about the costs of prescriptions and whether the retail prices of drugs are lower than cost-sharing requirements imposed by insurers or HMOs, under a bill approved unanimously Wednesday by a House health-care panel.

Two Orlando lawmakers called Wednesday for passage of legislation that would increase penalties for people who threaten and intimidate women who use reproductive-health clinics and providers who work at the clinics.

Florida’s public community and state colleges could become their own system, and move from under the authority of the state board of education. But with that newfound independence would come strict caps on the number of students that can enroll in bachelor’s degree programs at those schools, and make it harder for community and state colleges to establish such programs.

Florida lawmakers want to tighten the rules for low-income families getting cash assistance. A bill moving in the House would withhold benefits longer for those who don’t meet work requirements. 47,013 Florida families are enrolled in the program, as of October 2017.

Two Democratic Lawmakers are hoping Florida gets involved in a movement that would change the way Floridians vote for the President.

Florida House of Representatives

The Florida governor, lieutenant governor and Cabinet members wouldn't be able to accept political contributions while the Legislature is in session under a bill moving through the House.

University of South Florida St. Petersburg

Tucked away in a higher education bill moving through the Florida House is a modification that would phase out separate accreditation at two University of South Florida campuses.

Plan Would Aid First Responders With PTSD

Jan 17, 2018

A Senate panel on Tuesday gave the nod to a bill that would help first responders receive workers’ compensation insurance benefits for post-traumatic stress disorder without accompanying physical injuries.

Senate Panel Looks To 'Stem The Tide Of Addicts’

Jan 17, 2018

Doctors would be limited to ordering a maximum of seven days’ worth of potentially addictive medications for patients with acute pain and would have to consult a statewide database before writing the prescriptions, under a sweeping measure approved Tuesday by a key Senate committee.

House Panel Backs Plan For New Birth Options

Jan 17, 2018

Women with low-risk pregnancies would not have to deliver at hospitals to get epidurals or to have cesarean sections, under legislation overwhelmingly approved by a House panel Tuesday despite safety concerns raised by Florida hospitals.

The Florida Legislature didn’t waste a moment during its first week when it came to addressing the opioid addiction crisis that is exploding across the state.

Republicans Sen. Greg Steube (R-Sarasota) and Rep. Mike La Rosa (R-St. Cloud) are pushing back against local ordinances that regulate vacation rentals. The battle for home rule is heating up at the capitol.

A Florida Senate Committee passed a measure urging Congress to preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, or DACA.

The Florida House is rolling out dozens of recommendations on the state’s hurricane response efforts. Equipping emergency shelters and preparing healthcare facilities top the list.

Florida lawmakers are already moving forward a bill to reform the state’s juvenile justice system. The measure aims to address abuses within the system outlined in a Miami Herald investigative series.

As the 2018 legislative session gets under way Republicans are forging ahead with a plan to make it harder for future lawmakers to raise taxes.  The initiative has broad support among GOP leaders, and they’ve got enough members to send the idea to the ballot.

Florida Governor Rick Scott stopped at a Jacksonville mechanical company Wednesday to rally support for his proposed $180 million tax cut package.

His proposal comes as the state faces budget uncertainty.  


Following a tumultuous year that witnessed the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature get mired in scandals and finger-pointing, GOP leaders kicked off a new session on Tuesday where they promised to clamp down on sexual misconduct and pass sweeping education bills.

Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran says he won’t raise taxes—either directly or indirectly. Corcoran took aim at the Florida Senate, stating he will also fight any plan that allows an increase in property tax revenue through higher property values to be counted toward public school funding.

The 2018 legislative session opened Monday with the lingering conduct of sexual misdeeds hanging over it.  The latest lawmakers caught in the web are two of the Senate’s most powerful leaders.

A plan to move the state capitol away from Tallahassee is being met resistance from Tallahassee. The local chamber of commerce issued a statement Tuesday.

After Florida’s Republican leaders laid out their plans Tuesday, the state’s liberal-leaning advocates and lawmakers outlined their priorities in what one activist called "the people's State of the State". In Florida’s Republican-led state capitol, Democrats’ priorities often don’t get very far. This year the state’s liberal-leaning activists are trying to block efforts the House of Representatives could pass as early as this week. 

A bill making texting while driving a primary offense passed its first committee Tuesday. It also drew some concerns.

Negron Targets Sexual Harassment As Legislative Session Opens

Jan 10, 2018

Senate President Joe Negron reiterated his chamber will have “zero tolerance” for sexual harassment or misconduct against employees and visitors, as he gave an opening address Tuesday for the 2018 legislative session.

Negron also talked of the need to address impacts from Hurricane Irma and to further build up the state university system.

And Negron said the Senate will work with Gov. Rick Scott on his request for additional pay raises for law-enforcement officers and with House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O’ Lakes, on expanding school choice.

As another Florida legislative session boots up in Tallahassee this week, lawmakers are set to take another whack at regulating telehealth.


Shortly after lawmakers gavel in the 2018 session they’ll start working on measures in committee.  A Senate Criminal Justice panel will take up a raft of reforms including Sen. Randolph Bracy’s (D- Ocoee) bill raising the threshold for felony theft.

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