2018 legislative session

News Service of Florida

TALLAHASSEE --- More than 100 bills that Gov. Rick Scott signed into law from the 2018 legislative session will take effect Sunday, including a new state budget that tops $88 billion.

Lawmakers sent 195 bills to Scott from the session that ended in March. The governor vetoed two, while signing the rest.

Of the signed measures, 105 will hit the books Sunday. Of the remainder, 54 went into effect upon Scott’s signature, with the rest effective in October or in 2019.

Among the measures slated to take effect Sunday:

Pharmacy Panel Critiques Legislature Over Flu Tests

Apr 3, 2018

A state pharmacy board on Monday criticized the Florida Legislature for not passing a bill that would have allowed Florida pharmacists to test and treat people for the flu and strep throat.

Scott Backs Benefits For First Responders With PTSD

Mar 28, 2018

Firefighters, police officers and other first responders who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder will qualify for a full array of workers’ compensation insurance benefits effective Oct. 1, under a bill that Gov. Rick Scott signed into law Tuesday.

Joined by state Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, Attorney General Pam Bondi and legislative leaders, Scott signed the measure (SB 376) during an appearance at the Tampa Firefighters Museum.

Gov. Scott Faces Decisions on 14 Bills This Week

Mar 20, 2018

Gov. Rick Scott will act on at least 14 bills this week, including a proposal (HB 67) to create a slavery memorial at the Capitol and a measure (HB 41) dealing with “pregnancy support” services.

Lawmakers Agree On Plan To Battle Opioids

Mar 12, 2018

In the waning hours of the annual session, the Florida Legislature approved tough new restrictions Friday on prescription drugs and agreed to spend more than $53 million on treatment and prevention to battle the state’s opioid crisis.

Nursing homes and assisted living facilities will be required to have generators and 72 hours of fuel after the Legislature agreed to ratify a pair of proposed rules sought by Gov. Rick Scott.

Associated Press

In a rare Sunday overtime session, the Florida Legislature passed a budget of nearly $89 billion for next year to end a session that was overshadowed by the mass shootings in Parkland.

Lawmakers needed extra time to finish a budget after the mass shooting in Parkland forced them to quickly craft a response that included a three-day waiting period, a minimum age of 21 to buy a gun in Florida, and $400 million for mental health, school safety and a program that allows school personnel to carry concealed weapons.

Associated Press

After consulting with the families of Parkland victims, Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed new gun restrictions in response to last month’s massacre that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Scott, a Republican who has long enjoyed the political support of the National Rifle Association, approved a three-day waiting period for the purchase of all firearms and raising the minimum age to buy a gun from 18 to 21 — changes the NRA opposes.

Andrew Pollack
Associated Press / WLRN

Gov. Rick Scott will meet Friday with the families of victims of last month’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, raising expectations that he will sign into law a sweeping school-safety measure that sparked veto requests from critics on both ends of the gun-control spectrum.

Nursing Homes, Safety Net Hospitals Win In Budget

Mar 9, 2018
Steve Lambert / flickr

Nursing homes will get a $130 million bump in Medicaid payments, and residents who live in the facilities will get nearly a 25 percent increase in a monthly stipend they can use for personal needs, under a state budget deal finalized Thursday.

Under the spending plan, the state during the upcoming year would spend $37.1 billion across six state health-care and social-service agencies. Nearly $9.9 billion of that amount would be state general-revenue tax dollars, compared to the $9.4 billion during the current year.

doctor
Flickr Creative Commons/Hamza Butt / WLRN

A bill that would allow physicians, chiropractors and group practices to sign “direct primary-care” agreements with patients without running amok of Florida’s insurance laws is on its way to Gov. Rick Scott.

The Senate voted unanimously Thursday to approve the measure (HB 37), sponsored by Rep. Danny Burgess, R-Zephyrhills, and Sen. Tom Lee, R-Thonotosassa. The House passed the bill in January by a 97-10 vote.

Senate Poised To Approve Tax Package

Mar 9, 2018
Associated Press

The Senate is set Friday to approve a business-friendly tax package that would allow Floridians to buy tax-free clothes and school supplies during three days in August and tax-free hurricane gear at the start of June.

The $168.6 million package, if passed by the Senate, would still have to go back to the House for approval before the end of the legislative session, now likely to be Sunday. The Senate on Thursday made changes to a House bill (HB 7087) to offer shorter tax “holidays” and a smaller cut in a business-lease tax.

Not all bills will make it through the annual legislative session, And this year, the impending failure of several high-profile measures is raising eyebrows.

The Florida Legislature has agreed to allow certain Florida officials to visit the state’s juvenile justice facilities. It’s now heading to the Governor’s desk.

After weeks of uncertainty, the directors of Florida programs meant to reduce infant mortality are breathing a sigh of relief.

Lawmakers Wednesday agreed to keep their funding the same as last year instead of slashing it by 30 percent, which is what Senate leaders wanted to do.

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