Florida Capitol

Florida’s 61-day legislative session is over, and Republican conservatives got what they hoped for

BY: - May 4, 2019

Florida lawmakers passed a $91.1 billion state budget on Saturday, ending an annual session dominated by a conservative Republican agenda. The Legislature used the 61-day session to crack down on undocumented immigrants. Lawmakers erected new barriers for felons seeking the right to vote under a constitutional amendment approved by voters last year. The Legislature endorsed […]

The Legislature won’t cap the THC levels in medical weed after all

BY: - May 3, 2019

A plan to limit medical marijuana’s potency went up in smoke as the 2019 Legislature moves to conclusion. Earlier this spring, lawmakers passed a bill and Gov. Ron DeSantis signed it into law, allowing Floridians who have debilitating diseases to smoke medical marijuana. Advocates say the law carries out of the will of Florida voters […]

Florida’s lawsuit against the opioid industry may have new key legal tool – state’s prescription tracking data

BY: - May 2, 2019

Florida lawmakers appear ready to give Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody a key legal tool in the state’s lawsuit against the opioid industry. The Republican Attorney General wants access to a database of opioid prescriptions collected by the Florida Department of Health to bolster her lawsuit against drug manufacturers and distributors. The state has accused […]

Mary Mayhew

Senate OKs DeSantis’ embattled pick to run Florida’s Medicaid agency

BY: - May 1, 2019

The Florida Senate confirmed Mary Mayhew as secretary of Florida’s Medicaid bureaucracy Wednesday on a 26-13 vote, with three Democrats siding with the GOP on the confirmation. She’ll take over the $29-billion Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, which oversees programs for some of the most vulnerable people in Florida. The agency also licenses nearly […]

Your state budget is done. Here are some highlights

BY: - May 1, 2019

Florida lawmakers flubbed their finish and will now move into an overtime session on Saturday. The glitch: the massive $91.1 billion state budget for 2019-20. House and Senate members agreed on the final spending plans on Tuesday night but were unable to print a budget until 1:32 p.m. Wednesday. The publication of the budget bill […]

Florida was a leader in fighting Big Tobacco – now the Legislature is threatening that progress

BY: - April 30, 2019

Ever since the late Florida Gov. Lawton Chiles led a successful fight against Big Tobacco, Florida has been a national leader in anti-smoking efforts. Under Chiles, Florida was one of the first states in 1997 to successfully sue tobacco companies for decades of fraud and racketeering. In 2006, voters overwhelmingly passed a constitutional amendment directing […]

Politicians’ pledges to tackle red tide eco-disaster ends at the Legislature with… wait for it… another task force

BY: - April 30, 2019

Despite political promises on the campaign trail about solving the massive red tide outbreaks that littered Florida’s shores with dead sea creatures and scared away tourists last year, the state Legislature ended up passing a bill that sets up a task force to study the perennial problem. The bill specifically names the private Mote Marine […]

A half-million poor people would lose Medicaid coverage unless they work, under legislation passed in FL House

BY: - April 26, 2019

Despite a federal court ruling rejecting the idea, the Florida House has advanced a measure that would require non-disabled adults to work if they receive Medicaid. In a 71-44 vote on Thursday night, the House backed a bill (HB 955) that could threaten the eligibility of some 500,000 Floridians who receive Medicaid, the state-federal health […]

Bringing home the bacon — to the extreme?

BY: - April 25, 2019

By the time lawmakers got to town for the spring legislative session in March, the wheels were already in motion to create a giant wish list – sort of like a kid’s list for Santa but way more expensive. The list in the state Capitol had to do with lawmakers requesting money to send home […]

Empty boots

Legislature unanimously passes measure to help firefighters stricken with cancer

BY: - April 24, 2019

After fifteen years of trying, Florida firefighters finally got the Legislature to pass a measure Wednesday that aims to help them deal with the leading cause of deaths in the line of duty: cancer. The Florida House and Senate each voted unanimously for a package that requires local governments to shoulder the cost of cancer […]

Is Florida poised for a hemp “green rush?”

BY: - April 24, 2019

Jean-Sebastien Gros has been involved in agribusiness for decades, including a long stint farming salmon in the south of Chile. He relocated his agribusiness to Putnam County several years ago to introduce what he calls a “farm-to-fork” culture in his central Florida agriculture community. Now, Gros’ newfound interest in medical marijuana is evolving into full-fledged […]

Gov. DeSantis: “Do you think I’m just going to, like, bring in a lot of drugs from Pakistan and off the street?”

BY: - April 23, 2019

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday mocked the pharmaceutical industry’s advertising campaign against his plan to import cheaper prescription drugs from Canada, and took a swipe at Asia. “Do you think I’m just going to, like, bring in a lot of drugs from Pakistan and off the street?” he said. “C’mon. We’re talking about, there’s a […]