Aaron Bean

Masked woman outside of an unemployment office with a "now hiring" sign.
Lynne Sladky / Associated Press

An effort to increase Florida’s much-criticized unemployment benefits, boosting the amounts and lengths of payments, continued to advance Thursday in the state Senate.

patronis speaking at a podium inside of a restaurant, alongside other local lawmakers, large windows letting in a lot of light from the side of the building.
Sky Lebron / WJCT News

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis has been travelling the state as part of his “Rally at the Restaurant” tour, calling on the creation of a bill in the 2021 legislative session to extend liability protections for small businesses from what he calls “frivolous litigation.”

Outside of City Hall, large building with steps leading to the entrance, a couple of palm trees out in the front
Sky Lebron / WJCT News

Ahead of the 2021 Florida Legislative Session, local state representatives and senators held their annual Duval Legislative Delegation Meeting to hear the concerns of organizations and community stakeholders.

State Senator Audrey Gibson with her hand raised, a pen is in her hand, at the Florida Capitol.
Via News Service of Florida

State senators Audrey Gibson, D-Jacksonville, and Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, are split on their reaction to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ proposal this week to create harsher penalties for people who participate in “disorderly assemblies” and cities that “slash” law enforcement budgets.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
Gov. Ron DeSantis Transition Team

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed a bill that would require state-financed coastal developments to account for sea level rise and storm surge.

Florida Lawmakers Weigh Whether To Ban Discrimination In Organ Transplants

Feb 17, 2020
Florida Senator Aaron Bean.
Sam Thomas / Fresh Take Florida

Florida's Legislature is moving toward ensuring new protections for disabled people who may need organ transplants, part of a national trend among states.

Fernandina Beach Republican Sen. Aaron Bean
News Service of Florida

A bill that would require state-financed coastal developments to account for sea level rise got its first no vote in a committee stop on Thursday, and it came from a prominent Northeast Florida senator.

Shealah Craighead / The White House

The Trump Administration is supporting a request Florida lawmakers just passed to curb rising drug costs by allowing the state to important cheaper prescription drugs from outside the U.S.

Canadian Drug Imports Could Get Go-Ahead In Florida

Apr 29, 2019
United States Marine Corps / Wikimedia Commons

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ push to allow the state to import prescription drugs from Canada inched closer to passage Friday in the Senate.

Maggie Bartlett, NHGRI / WIkimedia Commons

A bill that would bar life insurances companies from using genetic tests to determine coverage is inching closer to passing the Florida Legislature.

Erik Christensen / Creative Commons

A Jacksonville state lawmaker is pushing to expand a program that helps patients without traditional health insurance directly pay healthcare providers.  

 

EP_JHU / FLICKR

In an effort to curb rising healthcare costs in Florida, lawmakers are pushing to import cheaper prescription drugs from Canada. 

The Florida state capitol.
Michael Riviera / Wikimedia Commons

A bill that would prohibit local governments from regulating any requirements imposed on employers relating to minimum wage and conditions of employment cleared its first hurdle in the Florida Senate Tuesday in a party line vote.

Bob Mack / The Florida Times-Union

Funding requests totaling $3 million from two Northwest Jacksonville charter schools are being pushed by state lawmakers.

Dr.Farouk / Wikemedia commons

A Senate Bill that would permanently cut back the time Floridians have to apply for Medicaid if they want healthcare costs retroactively covered is up for debate when lawmakers reconvene in Tallahassee next week.

Bathers at American Beach.
Courtesy of the Amelia Island Museum of History

The Nassau Board of County Commissioners has made historic American Beach’s conversion from septic tanks to general sewer a priority and they’re lobbying the state government for financial aid.

Blue green algae in the St. Johns River.
Edie Widder / St. Johns Riverkeeper

During a presentation on nutrient loads caused by septic systems before the Florida Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment and General Government, Dr. Brian E. Lapointe, a research professor at Florida Atlantic University, said septic tanks are a major factor behind a recent spike in harmful algal blooms. A problem that, in his opinion, is “the most important and urgent issue facing our state.”

Migrant workers at Kirby Farms in Mechanicsville, VA.
U.S. Department of Agriculture

Florida businesses would have to use a federal database to verify the immigration status of new employees, under proposals filed in the House and Senate for the 2019 legislative session.

Jacksonville City Hall
Steven Martin / Flickr.com

The Duval County Legislative Delegation will meet at City Hall on Monday to elect a new chair and vice chair and to hear from constituents.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

As another Florida legislative session boots up in Tallahassee this week, lawmakers are set to take another whack at regulating telehealth.


‘Pregnancy Support Services’ Bill Divides Senators

Nov 8, 2017
The Florida Senate

A Senate panel on Tuesday narrowly approved a bill that would place into law a program that seeks to dissuade women from having abortions.


Ryan Benk / WJCT News

State Sen. Aaron Bean (R-Fernandina Beach) is sponsoring, for the second year in a row, a measure that would levy penalties against cities and counties that don’t fully cooperate with federal immigration enforcement.


Ryan Benk / WJCT News

As a statewide panel of health care experts finalizes recommendations for a telemedicine regulatory framework in Florida, Sen. Aaron Bean (R-Fernandina Beach) is sponsoring a measure incorporating a number of their initial findings.


Ryan Benk / WJCT News

It may become easier to find lawyers to represent special-needs kids if a Northeast Florida lawmaker’s bill is passed.

Sen. Aaron Bean (R-Fernandina Beach) wants taxpayers to cover court costs for their attorneys working pro bono.


Ryan Benk / WJCT News

State Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, has been cleared of wrongdoing in a state ethics investigation relating to his role in securing funding for a friend’s mental health project.

The Florida Ethics Commission probe concluded Bean did not improperly profit from state funding for medical-screening app CELPHIE developed by Nassau County-based Florida Psychological Associates.

prescription pad and stethescope
Kathea Pinto via Flickr

A bill adding more drugs to Florida’s prescription-medicine price database is heading to Governor Rick Scott’s desk for his signature.

The measure was sponsored by two Jacksonville lawmakers: Rep. Clay Yarborough, R-Jacksonville, and Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach.


Allen County Public Library / Flickr

Rep. Tracie Davis, D-Jacksonville, once ran against Mike Hogan for Duval Elections Supervisor. While Hogan won, the two are at odds over Davis’ bill offering voters an additional option for early voting.

Davis is Duval’s former Deputy Supervisor of Elections and worked for the office in varying roles for 14 years. Her bill would allow voters to drop off mail-in ballots at any early voting site in their county. Currently, Duval voters can only mail them in or take them to the elections office downtown.


Florida Psychological Associates/Carlos Slay

Fernandina Beach Republican Senator Aaron Bean helped secure $1 million in state money for a friend’s mental health program, as reported last week by the Naples Daily News.


Wikipedia / Wikimedia Commons

The Florida Legislature’s health budget chiefs are proposing deep cuts to the state’s largest spending priority: health care, including large decreases to hospital funding.

Jacksonville’s University of Florida Health could be one of the hardest hit because it treats a large number of low-income patients.

But the Senate’s budget leader is confident the cuts will be offset with the renewal of a federal program covering the costs of indigent health care.


  Friday on “First Coast Connect” was are weekly Media Roundtable with Jacksonville Business Journal editor Timothy Gibbons, blogger Fred Matthews and WJCT reporter Ryan Benk. We also spoke with Generation W founder Donna Orender and U.S. Naval War College professor of strategic leadership and leader development Olenda Johnson about next week’s conference. We spoke with Washington correspondent for The Economist James Astill about the rise of modern India, and we spoke with the star of the play “Fences” Shauntel Robinson and director Jereme Raickett. 


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