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Arthenia Joyner - page 15

Senate Dems sue House in Florida Supreme Court for early sine die

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Senate Democrats have filed an emergency petition with the Florida Supreme Court asking the justices to deliver an expedited ruling on whether the House of Representatives violated the state Constitution when they abruptly adjourned on Tuesday. Minority Leader Arthenia Joyner and members of the Democratic Caucus walked from the Senate Office Building at the Capitol to the Supreme Court. The suit was filed by Democratic members  Joyner, Oscar Braynon, Joseph Abruzzo, Maria Sachs, Darren Soto, Christopher Smith, Geraldine Thompson, Jeff…

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Abortion waiting period advances, constitutional questions unanswered

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Abortion rights opponents and proponents packed a Senate meeting room Wednesday when the Judiciary Committee took up a proposal to mandate a 24-hour waiting period. SB 724 requires a face-to-face meeting between a physician and a woman to discuss the procedure at least 24 hours before it is performed. “When one makes a major decision 24 hours is not an undue burden,” Sen. Anitere Flores, the bill’s sponsor, told the committee. Flores is relying on a 1992 U.S. Supreme Court…

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Lobbying ethics bill stumbles in Senate Rules

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A lengthy debate over a lobbying ethics reform bill ended with with former Senate President Don Gaetz moving to TP his own bill. The proposal — Gaetz’s SB 1372 — would tighten many restrictions on lobbying in Florida. Most notably, it would hold Gov. Rick Scott‘s brainchild — Enterprise Florida Inc., housed within another Scott innovation in the Department of Economic Opportunity — to the same standards that other state governmental apparatuses are held to. Specifically it would require those seeking to…

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Sickle cell bill on its way to governor

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The Florida Legislature on Thursday gave the nod to a bill that would allow research in sickle cell disease to be eligible for Closing the Gap Grant Program. The bill, SB 94, was passed by the House on Thursday by a unanimous vote. It passed the Senate unanimously, also. Sickle cell is a genetic inherited blood disorder. An estimated 2 million Americans have sickle cell disease and people at risk of inheriting it descend from Africa, India and the Mediterranean…

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Andy Gardiner says Senate won’t play games with Rick Scott’s health nominees

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The Florida Senate isn’t going to play games with Gov. Rick Scott’s executive appointments in the wake of the Medicaid meltdown that is occurring in Tallahassee. Senate President Andy Gardiner on Wednesday told reporters that he holds Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Liz Dudek in high regard and doesn’t see her nomination to run the state’s Medicaid agency at risk. “I like the secretary a lot and I have a tremendous amount of respect for her,” Gardiner said. He…

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Senate delays action on John Armstrong’s nomination for Health Dep’t secretary after he refuses to say whether he supports a Medicaid expansion

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The Senate Health Policy Committee on Tuesday delayed Department of Health Secretary John Armstrong‘s confirmation process after the secretary refused to answer whether expanding Medicaid would improve Floridians’ healthcare outcomes or whether he supported the Senate’s alternative proposal to expand Medicaid. State Sen. Aaron Bean asked Armstrong to return soon and said the committee looked forward to continung the hearing “very soon.” Initially, state Sen. Don Gaetz asked Armstrong about his position on the Oregon Medicaid health insurance experiment, which used a lottery system…

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Abortion rights activists object to waiting period bill

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Abortion rights backers objected angrily to time limits on public comments as a bill requiring a 24 hour waiting period for an abortion got its first Senate committee approval Tuesday. The legislation, SB 724 sponsored by Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, would require that a woman wait 24 hours after a legally required counseling session with a physician before having the procedure. Supporters say it’s intended to create a period for reflection before an important decision that a woman might come…

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