Sen. Rene Garcia

Florida Senate

The newest chairman of the committee that looks at children and elder affair issues is outlining some of his top priorities for the 2017 legislative session.

Senator Rene Garcia says his effort to crack down on texting and driving comes from personal experience.

Miami Republican Senator Rene Garcia wants Congress to reconsider the so-called, “wet foot, dry foot,” policy that gives Cuban nationals a special advantage in immigration policy.

The children of legal immigrants could soon gain access to the state’s KidCare program. KidCare offers subsidized health insurance to low- and middle-income families, and it has taken several years to get through the legislature.

Shands Jacksonville says losing LIP funds could shut it down.
University of Florida

Governor Rick Scott’s newly-formed hospital workgroup is quickly becoming a hot ticket. Several lawmakers are volunteering to serve on the panel that will examine hospital funding.

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Rene Garcia
Florida Senate / FLSenate.gov

More children could soon be allowed to sign up for the low-income health insurance program, KidCare.

SB 282 will eliminate a five-year waiting period for legal immigrant children to get healthcare.  It will allow nearly 30,000 low-income, legally residing children to participate in the KidCare insurance program.  Bill sponsor, Sen. Rene Garcia of Miami, says the proposal is long overdue and will not cost the state much money.

Florida Senate

A Senate panel on Monday blessed a Republican plan to take the traditional sales tax holiday to a whole new level. Two Republican lawmakers want to create a “Small Business Saturday” holiday targeting 80 percent of all business in Florida that pay sales taxes.

Representative Jay Fant of Jacksonville and Senator Rene Garcia of Hialeah want to put “Small Business Saturday” into Florida law. It would fall two days after Thanksgiving. Fant sees a Black Friday shopping rush but for millions of shop owners and cost-conscious customers .

Intel Free Press

Florida lawmakers have been weighing how to regulate telemedicine—generating debate between doctors’ groups and other healthcare providers. The House has been moving its telehealth proposal along, but the Senate version of the bill had its first hearing Tuesday.