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The Senate approved an $854 billion measure Thursday that funds much of the government, including $675 billion for the Defense Department.

The bill combines military spending with disbursements for Health and Human Services, Education, Labor and other agencies.

The bill was approved, 85-7, and now heads to the House.

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Florida Gov. Rick Scott formally announced Monday he will run against U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson in an election that could be one of the most expensive and highly-watched races in the nation.

‘Remote’ Pharmacies Plan Gets Senate OK

Feb 7, 2018

The Senate Health Policy Committee gave unanimous approval Tuesday to a bill that would create in law so-called “remote dispensing site pharmacies” and allow managed-care plans to use them in meeting network adequacy requirements.

The Florida legislature is again considering banning fracking—the process of extracting oil and natural gas underground. Lawmakers have tussled over the issue in recent years, but proposal sponsor Dana Young says the process is too dangerous to allow in Florida.

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.

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.

'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.

Jubilant Republicans pushed on early Wednesday to the verge of the most sweeping rewrite of the nation's tax laws in more than three decades, a deeply unpopular bill they insist Americans will learn to love when they see their paychecks in the new year. President Donald Trump cheered the lawmakers on, eager to claim his first major legislative victory.

After midnight, the Senate narrowly passed t

Protests Ahead Of Major Health Care Bill Debut

Jun 22, 2017

Senate Republicans have not revealed details of their plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, but that didn’t stop a group of protesters from gathering on Wednesday at Sen. Marco Rubio’s Orlando office.

The Florida Senate is setting the stage to override Governor Rick Scott’s veto of public school funding.  But House lawmakers say the Senate is on its own.

More than $800 billion in cuts to Medicaid are wrapped into the health care reform bill that Senators are now considering.

After weeks of will-they-or-won't-they tensions, the House managed to pass its GOP replacement for the Affordable Care Act on Thursday by a razor-thin margin. The vote was 217-213.

Democrats who lost the battle are still convinced they may win the political war. As the Republicans reached a majority for the bill, Democrats on the House floor began chanting, "Na, na, na, na ... hey, hey, hey ... goodbye." They say Republicans could lose their seats for supporting a bill that could cause so much disruption in voters' health care.

Senate Apologizes For Dozier Abuse

Apr 27, 2017

With one senator pointing Wednesday to "violations of fundamental human decency," the Florida Legislature has formally apologized for the mistreatment of juveniles held at the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna.

The ball appears to finally be rolling for medical marijuana in the Florida legislature.  After tacking on a handful of amendments, legislation is advancing in the state Senate.

A rift has emerged along a now-familiar fault line in the House and Senate Education spending plans. The chambers are again at odds over how to count what’s known as the required local effort to fund public schools.

Higher workers’ compensation rates in Florida are likely here to stay, warns a key player in the Florida Senate.

The Florida House unveiled its version of a gambling overhaul bill Thursday. What’s inside came as a surprise to lawmakers like Sarasota Republican Rep. Alex Miller (R-Sarasota).

"Decoupling would eventually in my estimation eliminate the cruelest form of entertainment we have here in Florida and as a freshman I was excited to be put on this committee to decouple. And instead I’m put on this committee with the idea that we won’t be able to do anything for 20 years. So it’s personally disappointing for me,” Miller said.

Key Senate Committees Will Look At Medicaid Issues

Jan 3, 2017

Two major Florida Senate panels will take up Medicaid issues when lawmakers return to Tallahassee in January for committee meetings, according to agendas posted online.

Senate Panel Ready To Wade Into Lake Okeechobee Issues

Jan 3, 2017

Focusing on a priority of Senate President Joe Negron, a Senate panel in January will receive a series of presentations about polluted water discharges from Lake Okeechobee and efforts to restore the Everglades.

Lawmakers To Look At Workers’ Comp Issues

Dec 7, 2016

Preparing for what likely will be a difficult debate during the 2017 legislative session, the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee next week will start delving into workers' compensation insurance issues.

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio won a second term Tuesday in a race where he was forced to defend his support for Donald Trump and turn back suggestions he was only seeking re-election to advance his future presidential ambitions.

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U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, R-FL, is giving up his seat to run for president -- and the battle has begun to take his job.

A close friend and major Democratic Party donor says U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson is launching a campaign for the seat U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is giving up.

Trial lawyer John Morgan said Wednesday that Grayson told him by email that he is running for Senate. Rubio is not seeking a second term because he's running for president. Grayson will announce his decision on Thursday.

Lawmakers in the Florida Senate voted 38 to 1 to pass the bill to create the Healthy Florida plan, state Sen. Joe Negron's alternative to Medicaid expansion.  

It accepts federal funds to provide premium assistance for about 1.1 million Floridians to buy health insurance.

Negron said people who receive the assistance will be responsible for co-pays and deductibles.

"This is not a giveaway program," Negron said.