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Lizbeth Benacquisto - page 8

Pain clinic regs remain intact under bill passed by the Senate

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Regulations for pain management clinics are set to expire in January, but the Florida Senate passed a bill on April 1 that would keep the requirements intact indefinitely. Sponsored by state Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto, SB 450, passed unanimously and without any debate or controversy. A companion bill, HB 4017, has cleared all the committees of reference and is on the House Calendar, awaiting action. Florida had earned the reputation of being a pill mill state, a state known for prescription…

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Battle of the sexes? Legislators vote along gender lines in bid to hire new state auditor general

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It was a battle of the sexes at a joint legislative panel meeting Monday morning with a bipartisan, bicameral group of female legislators supporting a woman as the state’s new auditor general and a like group of men supporting the male candidate. It took a second vote — and Joint Legislative Committee Chairman state Sen. Joseph Abruzzo announcing he was going to support Sherrill Norman — before a candidate could muster enough votes to be named the next state auditor general.…

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Legislators pound FMPA after top officials fail to appear

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Senators and representatives serving on a panel that oversees state audits responded angrily on Monday when they were told that top officials at the Florida Municipal Power Agency were too busy to meet to discuss audit findings that described lavish spending and risky fuel trading schemes. And state Sen. Joe Abruzzo, a Democrat from Wellington who chairs the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, vowed that FMPA officials will be subpoenaed when they are requested again to attend a committee meeting. The…

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DOH chief John Armstrong gives update on Early Step programs, staff cuts

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To abate a $6.9 million shortfall the Florida Department of Health has trimmed back from 22 to seven the number of  Tallahassee staff administering the Early Steps program that serves infants and toddlers with special healthcare needs. Department of Health Secretary John Armstrong, M.D., told members of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services on Wednesday that the money saved on salary and benefits has been plugged into Early Step program on the service end and that the department has…

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Florida Senate poised to shift to the right

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From the Jacksonville Observer: The Florida Senate could be poised for a major power shift, with a bloc of moderate Republicans likely weakened by departures and intra-party rivalries. The changes are already underway, lawmakers and lobbyists say. Republican Sen. Joe Negron’s victory this week in a special election to replace outgoing Sen. Ken Pruitt, R-Port St. Lucie, is expected to tilt the seat slightly more to the right. And another special election this fall to replace the late Sen. Jim…

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