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Category archives for: Florida Legislature

Judge Halts Abortion Waiting Period Set to Start Wednesday, Pending ACLU Challenge

| June 30, 2015

But the appeal by Attorney General Pam Bondi triggered an automatic stay on Francis’ decision, which could allow the law to go into effect. The American Civil Liberties Union, which filed the initial case, immediately responded by asking for Francis to lift that stay.

New Laws Kick In This Week: Body Cameras, Drones, Abortion, Traffic Tickets, Secret Recordings, Flags

| June 28, 2015

Florida’s record-setting budget goes into effect on Wednesday, along with 130 other new laws that were produced by the Legislature this year in the regular and special sessions and signed by Gov. Rick Scott. Here’s a run-down.

Judge Considering Temporary Block of Florida’s New 24-Hour Abortion Waiting Period

| June 24, 2015

A judge is considering halting the law from going in effect July 1 while a constitutional challenge goes forward. The challenge was filed by the Florida ACLU.

Scott’s Veto Pen Hits Flagler’s Top Priority, Sinking $600,000 For Malacompra Drainage

| June 24, 2015

The $600,000 appropriation for the Malacompra drainage project was among the 450 line-items and $461 million he vetoed as he approved a $78.2 billion budget.

Environmentalists Sue Florida Lawmakers Over Amendment 1, Claiming Misuse of Dollars

| June 23, 2015

The suit seeks a court declaration that money from the state’s Land Acquisition Trust Fund, which will handle all the Amendment 1 funding, may not be substituted for general-revenue funds or used to pay for other services and programs.

Lawmakers Again Refuse to Extend KidCare Coverage to Children of Legal Immigrants

| June 22, 2015

The proposal in the Florida Legislature would have eliminated a 5-year waiting period for lawful immigrants to qualify for the subsidized insurance program that serves children from low- and moderate-income families.

$780 Million More for Education in Florida, But a $500 Million Property Tax Increase

| June 22, 2015

The special session’s much-touted tax cut of $427 million is wiped out by a nearly $500 million tax increase to pay for education funding increases.

Just as Flagler County Resolves Against Fracking, Ratepayers Will Underwrite FPL’s Fracking Bills

| June 18, 2015

FPL can invest $500 million in fracking ventures at ratepayers’ expense, making it the first utility in the nation–according to an analysis by the Public Service Commission–to spend ratepayers dollars on “non-regulated risk.”

Florida’s Nature Conservancy Gets It:
It’s About Land Management

| June 18, 2015

Most Florida environmental groups this special session made a lot of noise and spent a lot of money, but came away empty-handed and unhappy. Not The Nature Conservancy.

Gov. Scott Signs $429 Million Tax-Cut Package, Saving Average Floridians a Few Dollars a Year

| June 17, 2015

The tax savings are projected at less than $2 a month for people paying $100 a month for phone or TV services. The package reduces costs on cell-phone bills, cable TV bills, gun club memberships, college textbooks and luxury boat repairs.

ACLU and Women’s Health Center Sue Florida Over 24-Hour Abortion Waiting Period

| June 12, 2015

The lawsuit contends that for women — especially low-income women who must arrange for child care, time off work and overnight travel — the law can push them past the time it is legal to have abortions.

The War on Women, Cont’d: Enough with Mandatory Vaginal Exams, Florida

| June 10, 2015

It’s not enough that in 2011 our Legislature passed a draconian law forcing women to schedule, pay for, and look at an ultrasound of their fetus if they choose to exercise their right to an abortion.

Palm Coast Passes on Supporting County In Anti-Fracking and Drilling Resolutions

| June 10, 2015

The Palm Coast City Council chose not to sign on to a pair of resolutions opposing fracking or seismic testing for oil offshore of Florida, saying the county has already spoken.

Citing “Competition,” Lawmakers Want Hospitals Deregulated. Hospitals Disagree.

| June 9, 2015

The measure would eliminate what is known as the hospital “certificate of need” process in Florida, which requires state review and approval of building new hospitals, replacing hospitals and offering certain complex, costly medical services such as organ transplants.

Senator Blasts “Hypocritical” House Over Rejecting Medicaid Money While Getting Set to Borrow

| June 8, 2015

Disagreements led Senate Appropriations Chairman Tom Lee, R-Brandon, to label the House as “hypocritical” for rejecting federal Medicaid expansion funding while being willing to issue bonds to pay for environmental projects.

More Than 1.3M Floridians May Lose Their Obamacare Subsidies, More Than Any Other State

| June 8, 2015

Floridians received at least $389 million in March from the federal government to help pay for their health insurance. The subsidies are at the center of a Supreme Court case challenging the health law. The case will be decided this month.

In Breakthrough, Lawmakers Agree on Health Budget and “Significant” Increase for Education

| June 7, 2015

Florida House and the Senate reached tentative agreements Saturday on money to hospitals and providers for the poor, and a $207-per-pupil increase in education funding.

At Least Now They’re Talking: Florida House and Senate Reach Deal on Budget Outline

| June 5, 2015

The agreement was the first tangible sign of progress on a budget during a special session that began Monday, but lawmakers still face days of detailed negotiations to hash out the finer points of a deal.

Opposing “Medicaid in Disguise,” Florida House Set to Kill Senate Health Plan Friday

| June 4, 2015

For all of its new provisions, House Republicans said, the so-called Florida Health Insurance Affordability Exchange, or FHIX, remains Medicaid expansion in disguise.

Senate Approves Health Plan to Resolve Budget Impasse, But House Remains Unmoved

| June 3, 2015

Gov. Rick Scott and House Republican leaders staunchly oppose the legislation, which helped grind budget negotiations to a halt earlier this year and spark a special session currently underway.

Federal Government Calls Gov. Scott’s Lawsuit Over Medicaid Expansion “Baseless”

| June 2, 2015

Federal officials fired back in court against Gov. Rick Scott’s contention that the Obama administration has unconstitutionally tried to link expanding Medicaid with the continuation of a key health-care funding program.

Despite Budget Crunch, Cable and Cell Phone Tax Cuts Still Expected in Special Session

| June 1, 2015

Floridians could still get a reduction in their cable-TV and cell-phone bills as part of a new House tax-cut package, though it’ll fall short of the nearly $700 million package projected earlier this year.

Palm Coast Wants Protection From Extortionist Lawsuits Over Public Record Requests

| May 28, 2015

Palm Coast and the Florida League of Cities are seeking a change in law that would protect local governments from opportunistic groups more individuals who sue governments and companies over public record violations.

Proposals: Scrap Hospital Regulatory Process, Give Some Nurses More Power to Prescribe Drugs

| May 27, 2015

House Republicans filed six bills Wednesday that delve into hot-button issues such as getting rid of a regulatory process for new or expanded hospitals and allowing advanced-registered nurse practitioners and physician assistants to prescribe controlled substances.

Senate Leaders Propose Compromise in Budget Impasse, Gov. Scott and House Reject It

| May 26, 2015

Scott and House Republicans have repeatedly said they have no interest in using Medicaid expansion funds from Obamacare to close a $2.2 billion budget gap and insure more Floridians.

Feds’ $1 Billion Pledge Cuts Florida Health Deficit in Half, Easing Legislative Standoff

| May 21, 2015

If Florida has to instead offset the remaining $1.2 billion deficit for low-income healthcare with tax revenues, that could eat into funding for other priorities, like public education and tax cuts.

Meeting in Bunnell, State Board of Education Urges Lawmakers to Preserve Historic Increase in Per-Student Funding

| May 20, 2015

Gov. Rick Scott warned last week that a planned $261 per student funding increase from the current year was in jeopardy if the Legislature does not resolve an impasse over health care funding.

Lawmakers Preparing A Disastrous Overhaul of Florida High School Athletics Ahead

| May 18, 2015

Not a high school in the state of Florida sees anything but disaster in proposed legislation that would overhaul the Florida High School Athletic Association, for good reason, argues Nancy Smith.

Teachers Union has No Standing to Sue Over Florida’s School Voucher System, Judge Rules

| May 18, 2015

The voucher-like program provides tax credits to companies that donate money to nonprofit entities that help pay for children to attend private schools. Some 70,000 students are enrolled.

Flagler Commissioners Formalize Opposition to Fracking and Seismic Testing for Oil and Gas

| May 18, 2015

A pair of resolutions put Flagler government on record opposing the Obama administration’s allowance for seismic testing for oil and gas offshore, and opposing hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in Florida.

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