Capital Report: 10-18-2019

Oct 18, 2019

When a person undergoing cancer treatment dies Florida law allows their sealed, unused medications to be donated. But some say that practice shouldn’t be limited to cancer medicine only. Regan McCarthy reports a bill filed for the upcoming legislative session would create a prescription drug donation repository.

There’s a chance Florida voters will be presented with a constitutional amendment legalizing recreational marijuana on the 2020 ballot. This week, Florida House committees heard from a Harvard Psychobiologist who warns of legalizing the plant, and from the nation’s first state “pot czar.”

More evidence of a shift in thinking arose this week among Florida’s Republican leaders when it comes to climate change. Gina Jordan reports a Senate committee held a panel discussion focused on climate change forecasts and how state agencies should prepare.

The Florida Department of Corrections is asking state legislators to increase its budget so it can address long-standing issues with the treatment of correctional officers and prisoners. Robbie Gaffney has more.

Freestanding emergency rooms are popping up all around the Tampa Bay area -- nine have opened in the past three years alone.  Health care companies are using them to reach more consumers, drawing patients in with promises of easy access to hospital-level care. But as Health News Florida's Julio Ochoa reports, patients and insurers are finding the convenience comes at a cost.  

North Florida could be getting its first major toll road thanks to a bill signed by the Governor this summer. It’s one of three new major roadways to be built in the state. One would connect Collier County to Polk County, another extends the Florida Turnpike west to Suncoast Parkway and the third expands the Suncoast Parkway from Tampa Bay to Georgia. A task force was put in place for each section but a member on the Northern Turnpike Connector thinks plans are moving too fast. Blaise Gainey has the story.