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March 11, 2021

COVID liability bills aimed at protecting businesses and health car providers from lawsuits are heading to the Senate floor after being merged together in an effort to increase their chances of passing. Kevin Del Orbe reports.

Florida House and Senate leaders have reached a deal over a plan to require out-of-state retailers to collect and remit online sales taxes to the state. The agreement calls for the revenue from sales tax collections to go toward replenishing the state’s unemployment trust fund. The House Ways and Means Committee approved the proposal this (Thursday) morning, turning some proponents of the online sales tax into opponents of the unemployment issue. Lynn Hatter sorts it all out.

Some infectious disease experts say Florida’s efforts to restrict who is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine are starting to be counterproductive. Health News Florida’s Stephanie Colombini talked with Dr. Glenn Morris, director of the University of Florida’s Emerging Pathogens Institute. He says some vaccination sites in the state aren’t reaching capacity any more and that it’s time to make it easier for essentially everyone to get shots.

Lawmakers are considering a bill to ban abortions that are being sought because a test result or diagnosis shows the baby may have a disability. Robbie Gaffney reports the proposal triggers different issues from First Amendment rights to offending people who have disabilities.

Lawmakers are once again taking up a contentious plan to expand an optometrist’s scope of practice. While supporters say the measure would increase access to care and allow optometrists to perform only minimally invasive procedures, others say there’s more to the bill than meets the eye. Regan McCarthy takes a look.

The 1 point 9 trillion dollar American Rescue Plan is now on its way to becoming law. On top of everything else, it could make it easier for Floridians who lost jobs to keep their health insurance during a pandemic. WMFE’s Abe Aboraya spoke with Karen Pollitz a senior fellow at the Kaiser Family Foundation about the bill.