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While a lot of eyes are on Tallahassee to see what the state Legislature has in store in terms of gun reforms, Florida’s U.S. Senators are also talking about what they’d like to see Congress do as well.

Rural Hospitals Wary Of Florida's Budget Proposal

Mar 2, 2018
MGN Online

Rural Hospitals are having trouble providing health care to their patients, and officials say the Florida Legislature’s budget plan isn’t likely to help.

Rodrigo Senna

An average of fourteen people die every day from opioid related abuse. That’s according to Stuart Republican Representative Gayle Harrell.

She’s glad to see a measure moving through the legislature that aims to curb opioid abuse. The House version ensures doctors and pharmacies use the PDMP or Prescription Drug Monitoring Program database before prescribing or dispensing an opioid. It also allows Florida to share its information across state lines to help cut down on so called doctor shopping. Rep. Jim Boyd (R-Bradenton) says another provision limits the number of pills a doctor can prescribe.

Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

With about a week left of the 2018 legislative session, lawmakers are facing increased pressure to pass gun safety legislation—in response to last month’s mass school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas. But, the process is pitting people within the same parties against one another.

Florida Planned Parenthood Alliance via Facebook

The Florida House has passed a bill banning a particular medical procedure. Affiliates of Planned Parenthood and some lawmakers believe the measure is another unnecessary attempt to discard safe and legal abortions. 

Florida Supreme Court
Nick Evans

Florida Senators have teed up a change to the state’s death penalty rules now heading to the chamber floor. It comes two years after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling declaring the previous system unconstitutional.

Florida Channel

With no traction in the Florida House, a bill aiming to help those who say they survived abuse at the infamous Dozier school for Boys appears to be dead.

Erich Martin

Much has been made this session about efforts by Florida lawmakers to take power away from local governments. But a measure is scheduled for a discussion on the Senate floor Thursday that would expand local control—in this case when it comes to tobacco use.

Right now, decisions about where smoking is allowed are left up to the state. But Senator Debbie Mayfield wants local governments to decide whether people should be allowed to smoke in public parks.

Veterans Will Sidestep License Fee In Latest Senate Bill

Feb 28, 2018
MGN Online

Florida Veterans are eligible for a number of discounts with proper identification, but some rules put in place negate some of those benefits. A bill in the Senate looks to tackle one of those rules.

MGN Online

It is standard protocol for police, firefighters, and paramedics to run toward the danger. Over time, that can take a toll on the mental health of first responders. Now, a measure in Florida’s Legislature is focusing on protecting first responders who experience PTSD as a result of such a stressful job. 

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A number of public safety proposals have passed their first House committee, allowing them to now head to the floor. Like the Senate version bill, it does not include an assault weapons ban. Still, more people are starting to agree that while this isn’t the best bill, it’s not totally bad either.

Florida Slavery Memorial Bill Heads To Gov. Scott

Feb 27, 2018
MGN Online

The Florida Senate passed a bill to create a slavery memorial on the state Capitol grounds. Sen. Darryl Rouson (D-St. Petersburg) says he’s glad to see the measure getting attention.

MGN Online

Boat recovery potentially costs owners up to the same value of their vessels. Boat owners in Florida want to receive a warning from salvage companies informing them the possible labor prices could be expensive.

Erich Martin

A measure that would expand Florida’s rules on issuing threats is moving forward. Officials are pointing to the many copycat threats made following the school shooting in Parkland as a reason for why the change is needed. 

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RAND Corporation

The Florida Legislature is moving ahead with a plan to provide prisoners with an education. The bill is headed to the Senate floor.

The Florida Channel

The Florida Legislature is on track to make raising taxes more difficult. A measure proposing a boost in requirements for increasing taxes is on its way to the Senate floor.

 

On Friday, Governor Rick Scott announced his plan for responding to the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. It includes $50 million in additional funding to expand mental health services for children and youth. The move comes as lawmakers consider the recommendations of a panel they created last year to study the statewide rise in minors being involuntarily examined under the Baker Act.

Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

Some gun safety proposals passed their first Florida Senate committee without an assault weapons ban. While top GOP lawmakers are calling the effort bipartisan, some Democrats pushing for more gun reforms disagree.

Peeking at cards during a poker game
Michał Parzuchowski / https://unsplash.com/@mparzuchowski

Lawmakers are pushing a pair of gambling overhaul bills forward. But with just weeks left in the legislative session, leaders admit their priorities may lie elsewhere.

Andrew Quintana / WFSU

The Aftermath of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting has Florida’s lawmakers changing their focus to debates on firearms and school safety. Supporters of gun reform rallied outside the Capitol Monday with one clear message: action. 

Gov. Rick Scott, Senate President Joe Negron, House Speaker Richard Corcoran
State of Florida, Florida Senate, Florida House of Representatives

Florida lawmakers really only have one job they’re required to complete each year, and it’s not to make laws; it’s to pass a budget. But  the recent shooting at a South Florida high school and its resulting debate over gun control, has pushed the budgetary task to the back-burner, and could throw the legislature into overtime.

Emerging from his final legislative session, Republican Gov. Rick Scott holds a small lead over incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson in a potential U.S. Senate race that could help determine control of the Senate, according to a poll released Monday.  The poll
Governor Rick Scott's twitter

Governor Rick Scott as well as the Florida House and Senate leadership have unveiled their gun safety proposals, in response to last week’s mass school shooting. They include some differences and some similarities.

Following Florida's Gun Debate

Feb 23, 2018
Thousands gather at the Florida capitol (2/21/18) to push for legislative action in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fl on Valentine's Day.
Lydell Rawls / WFSU News

The tragic Parkland shooting is one of the most recent examples for a long running debate on gun control in this country. The spectrum of opinions can create either a stalemate or compromise, but at the moment a conversation is being had.

Not even two weeks after a shooter fired more than 100 bullets in the hallways of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, students and staff are returning to the campus fearful of emotional triggers that could force them to relive the traumatic event.

Since the Valentine's Day Shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fl, nearly 100 copycat threats have been logged.
WGCU News

There have been nearly 100 threats leveled against schools in the wake of the Valentine's Day shooting at a South Florida High School. Many of those who issued the threats are teens and students themselves. Some have claimed they were just, "joking." Law enforcement officials say they take all threats seriously and many student have been arrested for them, some, are facing felony charges. But whether those charges will stick is another matter, and state prosecutors say there's no law on the books that bans threats against schools. The ones that are in place for general threats of violence, are in need of updates. Second Judicial Circuit State Attorney Jack Campbell says it comes down one question: Was the threat implicit, or explicit?

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