LISTEN LIVE

Florida Legislature 2016

Suicide is the third leading cause of death among Florida’s youth, and a newly signed law aims to promote youth suicide prevention training in schools.

Because of a new law, Florida patients won’t have to pay for medical care by doctors outside their insurance network if the service was performed at an in-network hospital.

The law effectively bans a practice called “balance billing.” But emergency room doctors say the new law misses the mark.


Retiring Senators From Tampa Bay Area Earned Respect

Apr 20, 2016
Florida Senate

When Florida’s legislative session reaches its final days, senators honor retiring colleagues with videos and floor speeches. Some of the accolades are more heartfelt than others.

This year, as they saluted Democrat Arthenia Joyner of Tampa and Republican Nancy Detert of Sarasota, it was clear that the sincerity was real.

Scott Signs Treatment, Military Bills

Apr 18, 2016

Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed two bills that are expected to help people get mental-health or substance-abuse treatment and make it easier for military personnel from Florida to vote. Scott also vetoed a controversial overhaul of alimony laws (SB 668).

Scott Signs Education Plan That Expands Choice

Apr 15, 2016
Pixabay.com

A wide-ranging education bill dealing with everything from funding for high-performing universities to school membership in athletic associations was signed into law Thursday by Gov. Rick Scott.

Scott Signs Key Health Bills, Vetoes Dental Measure

Apr 15, 2016

Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday signed a series of health-care bills, including a measure that supporters say will help shield patients from getting hit with surprise tabs after going to hospital emergency rooms.

Scott Poised To Act On Health, Education Bills

Apr 12, 2016

In a final flurry of activity from the legislative session, Gov. Rick Scott this week will take action on heavily debated health, education and tax bills.

Gov. Rick Scott has a few more days left to sign a bill that would create a statewide telehealth advisory council, but health care providers aren't waiting.

Couples Shacking Up No Longer Breaking Law In Florida

Apr 7, 2016

Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday signed a bill to repeal the state’s largely unenforced prohibition on cohabitation by couples. It was one of 20 bills he signed into law.

New cases of the virus that causes AIDS are becoming less frequent throughout the United States.

But not in Florida.

Statewide, HIV infections have been increasing in recent years, with Miami-Dade and Broward counties topping the list. But a new law might help stem the tide of those new cases. For the first time, Florida has a needle-exchange program for intravenous drug users.

The construction of the Florida Holocaust Memorial is one step closer to becoming reality. That's among 20 bills Governor Rick Scott signed into law Wednesday.

Deadline Approaches For Victim Protections Bill

Apr 5, 2016

Governor Rick Scott has until Wednesday to act on a bill that could expand protections for victims of abuse.

Mental Health Reform Effort Heads To Scott

Apr 5, 2016

Gov. Rick Scott will have 15 days to take action on a bill (SB 12) that would make wide-ranging changes in the state's mental-health and substance-abuse treatment systems.

Another Nursery Approved For Marijuana Industry

Apr 5, 2016

State health officials on Monday paved the way for Gainesville-based San Felasco Nurseries to join five other dispensing organizations authorized to grow medical marijuana in Florida.

Health Bills, Tax Cuts, 'Legacy Florida' Go To Scott

Mar 31, 2016

Scott received a handful of health-care bills, including a measure (HB 221) that addresses a controversial health-insurance issue known as "balance billing."

Governor Gives Backing To Dozier ‘Justice’ Bill

Mar 31, 2016

Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday signed a bill addressing what one lawmaker described as a "dark chapter" in Florida history at a now-shuttered reform school.

Renewable Energy Issue To Go On Primary Ballot

Mar 28, 2016
Wikimedia Commons

Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed a bill that will place on the Aug. 30 primary-election ballot a proposal that could give commercial property owners a tax break on renewable energy devices.

Scott Signs Boater Safety Bill After Tragedy

Mar 28, 2016
Yoselis Ramos/WUSF / WUSF Public Media

In an issue prompted by the disappearance last year of two young boaters, Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed a bill that will provide a discount on vessel-registration fees if boaters show they have purchased and registered emergency locator devices.

Florida has a new police body cameras law on the books. Governor Rick Scott signed the bill into statute Thursday.

Scott Ready To Take On Action On Stack Of Bills

Mar 23, 2016

It's time for Gov. Rick Scott to have his say.

Scott during the next four days will take action on more than 100 bills passed during this year's legislative session, including a proposal to expand regulations on abortion clinics and a measure that would allow terminally ill patients to have access to medical marijuana.

Children of Legal Immigrants Will Soon Be Eligible For Coverage

Mar 23, 2016

Thousands of children of legal immigrants will be closer to obtaining subsidized health insurance this summer, after the Legislature passed a long-debated expansion of the state's KidCare program.

 Florida lawmakers wrapped up their 2016 annual session last week, and as is always the case, a number of issues didn’t survive the process.

Most notably, the Senate failed to confirm Surgeon General John Armstrong, one of Gov. Rick Scott’s top appointees. Armstrong, who also served as the Secretary of the Florida Department of Health, is the first agency director not confirmed by the Senate since the mid-1990s.

Court Backs New Law In Death Penalty Cases

Mar 20, 2016

Florida's new death-penalty sentencing process should apply to prosecutions that were already underway when the new law went into effect this month, a state appeals court ruled Friday.

DCF To Move Ahead With Foster-Care Changes After Bill Fails

Mar 16, 2016

A bill aimed at reforming the way Florida foster children are placed in group homes died on the last day of the 2016 legislative session.

Office of the Governor

Florida Gov. Rick Scott says he will veto more than $256 million from a new state budget that legislators just passed days ago.

Scott announced on Tuesday that he plans to sign the $82 billion budget, but in an unusual move, he announced his planned budget vetoes ahead of time. Scott and other governors usually wait until the budget is delivered to them before announcing vetoes.

Photo courtesy the National Parks Service.

Environmentalists are calling for more spending on land and water conservation as the Florida Legislature ends its session Friday.

Uber, Lyft Bill Fails As Legislative Session Closes

Mar 14, 2016
Screenshot from Apple App Store

An effort in the Legislature to pass statewide regulations for app-based ridesharing services including Uber and Lyft is dead for this year.

A Look At Bills That Passed And Died In Florida This Year

Mar 14, 2016

The Legislature passed about 275 bills during the 2016 session that ended Friday. That means about 1,600 bills died. Here's a look at some that succeeded and some that failed.

Gambling Decisions In Judges' Hands After Lawmakers Fold

Mar 13, 2016

Whatever the label, a comprehensive gambling plan that would have authorized a $3 billion deal between Gov. Rick Scott and the Seminole Tribe proved too arduous a task for the Legislature to complete this session.

Lawmakers Sign Off On Controversial Abortion Bill

Mar 10, 2016

In the latest round in Florida's abortion battles, lawmakers Wednesday gave final approval to a bill that would increase clinic regulations and bar public funding for organizations associated with abortion clinics.

Pages