Florida Legislature

Hospital Agreement Ends State Budget Standoff

Mar 7, 2018
Florida Legislature
Via News Service of Florida

Helping end a budget impasse, lawmakers have agreed to keep a current Medicaid payment formula for hospitals and to increase funding for nursing homes by $40 million, the Senate’s top health-care budget writer confirmed Wednesday afternoon.

UF Health Jacksonville

Wednesday on First Coast Connect, we spoke with UF Health Jacksonville CEO Dr. Leon Haley on the troubles in Tallahassee of getting the legislature to agree on Medicaid funding and approving a budget  UPDATE - a budget was agreed upon Wednesday afternoon. There will now be a three-day “cooling off” period before the vote by the legislature (01:12).

Ahead of the City Rescue Mission’s Annual Difference Makers Banquet we spoke with Executive Director Penny Kievet and FCS Ministries Founder and Toxic Charity author Robert Lupton who’ll be speaking at the banquet (25:45).  

MOCA Jacksonville’s Caitlin Doherty and artist Anila Quayyum Agha joined the show to talk about Anila’s Project Atrium exhibit, The Greys In-Between (35:30).

Duval County Public Schools Arts Director Jeff Smith and members of the district’s Arts Advisory Council - Erin Kendrick and Shawn Pfaffman - told us about March being Arts in Our Schools Month for DCPS (46:00).  

Florida Legislature Reaches Budget Deal

Mar 7, 2018
Corcoran at lectern
Florida House of Representatives

House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O’ Lakes, indicated Wednesday afternoon that legislative leaders have reached agreement on a budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

Floridians will change their clocks this weekend as Daylight Saving Time arrives Sunday at 2 a.m. But changing the time twice-a-year could become a thing of the past.

Mark Buckawicki / Wikimedia Commons

A proposal that will ask voters to make it tougher for future state lawmakers to raise taxes narrowly cleared the Senate on Monday, with three Democrats joining Republicans in putting the measure on the November ballot.

Florida Lawmakers Reject Money For Clemency Backlog

Mar 5, 2018
Michael Rivera / Wikimedia Commons

Despite a federal court ruling that Florida's clemency process is unconstitutional, state lawmakers refused Sunday to provide funding to address a backlog of former felons seeking to have voting rights restored.

Terry Renna / Associated Press

After hours of intense debate on a school-safety measure, Senate Democrats were unable Saturday to strip a controversial provision that would allow specially trained teachers to bring guns to schools or to add an assault-weapons ban demanded by survivors of last month’s mass shooting at a Broward County high school.

Aliman Senai / Wikimedia Commons

Meeting in a rare Saturday session, the Florida Senate approved revamping regulations for payday loans and supported expanding workers’ compensation insurance benefits for police and firefighters who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Matias J. Ocner / Miami Herald via AP

Signaling problems with a sweeping proposal aimed at making schools safer, Florida Senate leaders Friday ordered a rare Saturday floor session to begin debate on a measure that has become mired in controversy over allowing armed teachers.

Florida House Backs Rule For Nursing Home Generators

Feb 28, 2018
Westwood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center
NICK TOMECEK / NORTHWEST FLORIDA DAILY NEWS VIA AP

A House committee has agreed to take steps to ratify a rule requiring nursing homes to have backup-power sources but didn’t endorse similar requirements for assisted living facilities because of concerns about the costs.

Florida Slavery Memorial Gets Senate Approval

Feb 27, 2018
Michael Rivera / Wikimedia Commons

A bill that would create a memorial to honor the untold number of slaves in Florida history awaits Gov. Rick Scott’s signature.

State Revenue Estimate Cut By $167 Million

Feb 26, 2018
Michael Rivera / Wikimedia Commons

State analysts have reduced their previous estimate for state tax and revenue collections by $167 million, citing a continued decline in corporate income tax collections.

As high school students who survived the shooting in Parkland, Fla., travel to the state Capitol to demand action on guns, lawmakers offered a glimpse of the battle they face.

News Service of Florida

Metal detectors at schools, better coordination between agencies and keeping guns out of the hands of people who are mentally ill were among the solutions three groups of experts handed Tuesday to Gov. Rick Scott, as state leaders search for ways to prevent tragedies like last week’s mass shooting that killed 17 people at a Broward County high school.

Gerald Herbert / Associated Press

​A second gun-related bill has been postponed in the Florida Senate in the wake of last week’s mass shooting at a Parkland high school.

City of Jacksonville

Jacksonville City Councilman Reggie Brown is challenging incumbent Democratic state Senator Audrey Gibson.

Florida Senate Panel To Take Up School Guns Proposal

Feb 16, 2018
Mike Stocker / South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP

Designated people would be allowed to carry concealed firearms on school grounds under a bill added to the agenda of a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting next week.

Webmaster102 / Wikimedia Commons

A proposal that would allow some concealed-weapons license applications to be approved when background checks have not been completed was put on hold Thursday because of the deadly high-school shooting in Broward County.

Anthony Inswasty / Wikimedia Commons

Over objections that more money would flow away from public schools and that airport projects could be grounded, the Florida House Ways & Means Committee on Wednesday approved a nearly $350 million tax package that would help farmers impacted by Hurricane Irma and lower a lease tax on businesses.

Florida House Approves Push For Year-Round Daylight-Saving Time

Feb 14, 2018
UoGkstennet / Wikimedia Commons

The Florida House on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a proposal aimed at observing daylight-saving time year-round in the state.

Bethune Statue Bill Ready For Full Florida House

Feb 14, 2018
Photo provided by The News Service of Florida

A proposal to place a statue of civil-rights leader and educator Mary McLeod Bethune in the U.S. Capitol is ready to be considered by the full Florida House.

Florida House Readies 'Across The Board' Tax Package

Feb 14, 2018
myfloridagov.com

Farmers, nursing homes and property owners impacted by Hurricane Irma could receive tax relief as part of a $332.7 million package that is being introduced Wednesday in the Florida House.

'Hope Scholarships' Move Ahead In House

Feb 8, 2018
Wikimedia Commons

The Florida House has moved forward with two heavily debated bills that would create the “Hope Scholarship” program, which would provide voucher-like scholarships to thousands of students who are bullied or suffer other abuses in public schools.

visitflorida.com

Gov. Rick Scott and the state tourism-marketing agency continue to push lawmakers to boost marketing dollars to $100 million next year, a figure well above what the House and Senate have budgeted for Visit Florida.

people holding anti-fracking signs
Progress Ohio via Flickr

A measure that would ban the controversial oil- and natural-gas drilling process known as “fracking” is again on the move in the Florida Senate. However, the proposal remains sidelined in the House as the 60-day legislative session nears its midpoint.

Victor / Flickr

A proposal to allow unused prescription drugs to be donated to low-income patients is advancing in the Florida Legislature. Florida already allows cancer drugs be donated.

Legislative Leaders, Tribe Officials Discuss Gambling

Feb 2, 2018
Jamie Adams / Wikimedia Commons

Incoming Senate President Bill Galvano and incoming House Speaker Jose Oliva met with leaders of the Seminole Tribe of Florida as lawmakers attempt to craft a gambling proposal, Galvano told The News Service of Florida.

Tougher Texting While Driving Ban Heads To House Floor

Feb 1, 2018
Intel Free Press / Wikimedia Commons

A bill that would let police pull over motorists for texting while driving cruised through the House Government Accountability Committee on Thursday and is now ready to go to the House floor.

Education System Challenge Put On Hold By Florida Supreme Court

Jan 29, 2018
Florida Supreme Court exterior
Tim Ross / Wikimedia Commons

The Florida Supreme Court has put on hold a long-running lawsuit alleging that the state has failed to meet its constitutional duty of providing a high-quality system of public schools.

Florida House Signs Off On Slavery Memorial At Capitol

Jan 26, 2018
Michael Rivera / Wikimedia Commons

With the idea also moving quickly through the Senate, the Florida House on Thursday unanimously passed a bill to create a slavery memorial at the state Capitol.

The bill (HB 67), sponsored by Rep. Kionne McGhee, D-Miami, calls for the Florida Department of Management Services, working with the state Division of Historical Resources, to develop a plan for the memorial on the Capitol grounds.

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