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2018 Florida Legislature

The Florida House is wasting no time pursuing one of Governor Rick Scott’s session priorities.  One committee will take up a tax and fee measure on the opening day.

The aftermath of Hurricane Irma, the current dialogue about sexual misconduct, the opioid crisis and an election year in which Florida voters will replace Republican Gov. Rick Scott and all three Cabinet members will all play into the dynamics of the Legislature's annual 60-day session.

Senate Bill Would Boost Contraceptive Coverage

Jan 8, 2018

Health-insurance policies would be required to provide coverage for FDA-approved contraceptive drugs without imposing deductibles, coinsurance or co-payment requirements under a bill filed Friday by state Sen. Lauren Book, D-Plantation.

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

Public records advocates are opposing a number of bills that will be considered by the Florida legislature this year.

'Certificate Of Need' Repeal Proposed In Senate

Jan 4, 2018

With the House ready to move quickly on the issue, a Senate Republican on Wednesday filed a proposal to repeal the long-controversial “certificate of need” regulatory process for hospitals.

Proposal Would Revamp Trauma Center Law

Jan 4, 2018

A House Republican wants to revamp a law that helps determine where trauma centers can open, including eliminating a cap of 44 trauma centers statewide.

Children Collateral Damage In Opioid Epidemic

Jan 3, 2018

Ciara sobs as she recounts how, as a middle schooler, she helplessly witnessed her mother's downward spiral into drug addiction, an affliction that left Ciara at times wishing her mother would simply die to end their suffering.

AP Photo/Steve Cannon

Two state lawmakers from Tampa Bay want to change the way some special taxing districts are run in the state.

Bills filed by state Senator Tom Lee (R-Brandon) and state Representative Jake Raburn (R-Valrico) would place new regulations on community redevelopment agencies (CRAs). These agencies funnel tax dollars back into neighborhoods - many of which are impoverished.

Alex The Shutter, Flikr

A Florida lawmaker has filed a bill that proposes eliminating the observance of Daylight Saving Time.

Floridians would not have to set their clocks an hour forward each spring and an hour backward each fall if the bill passes.

workingnurse.com

Doctors would have greater leeway in prescribing medications to patients - and insurance companies would have less time to approve prior-authorization requests under a bill proposed by a lawmaker from Sarasota.

As the state House plows through a long and potentially expensive menu of options to recover from Hurricane Irma and brace for Florida's next hurricane, Senate President Joe Negron is confident the storm that walloped the state in September won't blow a hole in the upcoming budget.

The costs to settle outstanding prison lawsuits could mean less money to spend on Florida Department of Corrections’ priorities. That’s the message from the new Florida Senate Budget chair.

With the 2018 legislative session looming, state officials are doing their level best to defuse a widening sexual harassment scandal.  The governor is ordering new training at state agencies.

Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

New bills filed in the Florida House and Senate would create a "Statewide Alternative Transportation Authority” and repurpose $60 million out of an existing rail fund to fund alternative transportation projects - such as "Bus Rapid Transit" and autonomous vehicles – starting in the Tampa Bay area and Miami.

A bill funding a unique facility to help solve cold cases is starting to move forward in the Florida House.

A Florida Democrat wants to impose the same fundraising restrictions legislators face each session on the state’s cabinet officials.

Panel Supports Making It Harder To Raise Taxes

Dec 13, 2017

A measure that would require future tax or fee increases to be approved by two-thirds votes of the Legislature is ready for consideration by the state Constitution Revision Commission.

First responders run towards crashes, emergencies and catastrophes, not away from them. And for some, their experiences are leading to post traumatic stress disorder. But in Florida, first responders who develop PTSD on the job don’t get compensated, unless they have a physical injury as well. Now there are efforts at the statehouse to change that. A note to listeners, the following story includes frank discussion of death and suicide.

The official start to the 2018 legislative session is about a month away, and already, some high profile gun bills appear to be dead. Discussion surrounding the proposals not only pit Republicans against one another, it’s led to sparring between gun rights groups as well.

Senate Backs Forever Florida, St. Johns Proposals

Dec 11, 2017

Measures that would double Gov. Rick Scott's spending request for the Florida Forever conservation program and earmark money to improve the St. Johns River continued to move easily through the Senate on Thursday.

State Health Insurance Could Add Water Management Districts

Dec 8, 2017

State group health-insurance benefits, including prescription drug benefits, could be made available to Florida's five water-management districts under a measure approved Thursday by a Senate panel.

Lawmakers are once again working to assure the 3-million Floridians who play fantasy sports with friends that they’re not breaking the law. A measure from Tampa Republican Senator Dana Young would clarify that playing fantasy sports does not constitute gambling. The Seminole Tribe of Florida has raised concerns about the legislation violating the tribe’s gambling exclusivity agreement with the state. But Young says she’s not worried.

A bipartisan group of Florida lawmakers is looking to create an alternative to restore the rights of former inmates.

A push to expand gun rights in Florida appears doomed for another year after a state Senate panel on Tuesday voted down three separate gun bills.

Senators Back Overnight Stays At Surgery Centers

Dec 6, 2017

Ambulatory surgical centers could treat patients overnight under a bill approved unanimously Tuesday by the Senate Health Policy Committee.

A Senate committee unanimously approved a bill on Tuesday that would require physicians, certified advanced registered nurse midwives and licensed midwives to report to the state “adverse” medical incidents that occur during planned births outside of hospitals.

Call it a mixed day for advocates of expanding treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder in first responders.

In Tallahassee, a bill to expand workers’ compensation benefits to first responders with PTSD cleared its first committee Tuesday. But the city of Eatonville could vote tonight to fire Omar Delgado, a police officer who developed PTSD responding to the Pulse nightclub shooting.

A number of gun bills appear to be dead for the 2018 legislative session, after failing to pass their first Florida Senate committee Tuesday.

The 2017 Hurricane season is officially over. But lawmakers are still debating how to pick up the pieces.

Automation. Development. Citrus Greening. Florida’s agriculture industry is hurting, and Hurricane Irma is only the most recent blow. During this year's legislative session, lawmakers will be considering how to support the industry, which is second only to tourism.

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