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News Service of Florida has 92 articles published.

Senate rejects nurse, telemedicine proposals

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The Senate took up a House omnibus health-care bill Thursday and stripped out proposals dealing with the powers of nurse practitioners and telemedicine. Senate President Don Gaetz and other senators have long said they oppose a House proposal to allow nurse practitioners to provide primary care without the supervision of physicians. The Senate deleted that proposal from HB 7113 during a flurry of amendmentsThursday. Also, senators have objected to a broad House proposal aimed at increasing the use of telemedicine. Those objections,…

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After two days of negotiation, a final budget deal nears

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As of Sunday night, the Florida House and Senate may be close to agreeing on a nearly $75 million budget, giving hope to the possibility a final spending plan will be ready for Tuesday’s deadline. Appropriations Chairs Sen. Joe Negron and Rep. Seth McKeel spent the weekend locking down a majority of the budget, which includes per-student increases of 2.6 percent for public education and funding for Everglades protection with projects in Lake Okeechobee and Indian River Lagoon. “I feel like it’s…

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Health battles loom in House

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A legislative “train” of three health care-related issues could face intense debate in the House on Thursday as lawmakers consider an across-the-board bill (HB 7113) allowing three disputed trauma centers to continue operating, expand powers of nurse practitioners and establish a framework for the use of telemedicine. In anticipation of the floor debate, 14 amendments have been filed as of Wednesday night; the most controversial being one filed by Rep. John Tobia, which removes the part of the bill allowing nurse practitioners to care…

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Jack Latvala says a majority of Senate will co-sponsor tuition bill

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The sponsor of a measure that would extend in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants said Friday that a majority of the Senate has agreed to co-sponsor the bill (SB 1400). Sen. Jack Latvala told reporters that he has the paperwork from 21 members in the 40-seat chamber, clearing the way for the bill to pass if it gets to the floor. “That means we have a majority of the Senate committed to supporting that bill publicly,” Latvala said. In all, Latvala said he…

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Senate backs Brandes’ flood insurance fix

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With no discussion, the Florida Senate on Wednesday unanimously approved a plan (SB 542) that seeks to bolster a private flood-insurance market in the state, reports the News Service of Florida. Lawmakers scrambled to address the issue this year after tens of thousands of Florida homeowners were threatened by massive rate increases under the National Flood Insurance Program. While Congress has taken steps to alleviate those concerns, the state Senate bill seeks to encourage the growth of the private market. As an…

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Clemson VP gets nod over George Lemieux to run FAU

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Florida Atlantic University trustees chose John Kelly Friday as their next president, over two other nominees which included long-time political insider and former Sen. George LeMieux. Kelly was previously vice president for economic development at Clemson University, reports the News Service of Florida. LeMieux was an early favorite, seen by observers as the better fundraiser, but at least one trustee saw Kelly as a “less controversial” and “safer” pick. LeMieux, former adviser to Gov. Charlie Crist until a falling out after…

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New campaign finance laws take effect today

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Friday marks an interesting turning point in Florida politics. November 1 is when candidates can raise even more money for campaigns. The higher ceiling in fundraising is only one of the biggest changes in an extensive campaign-finance bill, approved by the Legislature last session. The most notable change is higher contribution limits, writes Brandon Larrabee of The News Service of Florida. Both candidates for statewide office — such as the race for governor — and Supreme Court retention efforts can now accept…

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