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Fred Costello

Endorsement watch: NRA, Fraternal Order of Police, Eagle Forum PAC and others issue endorsements

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There are just a few weeks until the election, and organizations across the state are rolling out endorsements for state and federal candidates. Several organizations — including the Conservative Leadership PAC, the National Organization for Women in Florida, and Florida REALTORS PAC — issued endorsements. — The International Association of Firefighters and the Florida Professional Fire Fighters endorsed Patrick Murphy for U.S. Senate. “We know Patrick will continue to stand up for workers’ rights, fight to protect retirement benefits, and…

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Senate committee passes 2 key bills expanding health care access

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Bills that would iron out rules for direct primary care contracts and encourage healthcare companies to give free health care to low-income Floridians passed the Senate Committee on Health Policy Monday. SB 1144, sponsored by Niceville Republican Sen. Don Gaetz, would allow new medical facilities to bypass a lengthy review process known as “certificate of need” if they commit to giving free health care to low-income patients. “This regulatory framework promotes access to care, while protecting safety net providers from…

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2 health care bills pass final committee, next stop House floor

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Two health care-related bills had final hearings Wednesday, with each passing the House Health & Human Services Committee before heading to the full chamber floor. As reported by LobbyTools, HB 37 seeks to define agreements for services between patients and health providers, cutting out insurers. That bill unanimously passed after two amendments added by Rep. Fred Costello, the Ormond Beach Republican sponsoring the bill. One change will shorten advance written notice to terminate an agreement from 60 to 30 days. The other…

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Did Chris Sprowls just finally defeat Eric Eisnaugle for House Speaker … and by default?

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Supporters of Pinellas Republican Chris Sprowls‘ bid to become Speaker of the Florida House at the beginning of the next decade have repeated a talking point again and again about rival Eric Eisnaugle: “We’re not sure who eventually will be Speaker in 2021, but we know it won’t be Eisnaugle.” They said that after the first band of House members launched a coup against Eisnaugle. They said that after Brad Drake — the North Florida legislator who owes, in part, his victory to Eisnaugle’s…

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House healthcare bills roll to third reading

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After a regular session where the House presented no healthcare plan or alternative to the headline-grabbing Senate FHIX proposal, the House on Thursday rolled to third reading a number of bills that will comprise its package. House Democrats peppered state Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen with questions before the House rolled to third reading a bill that authorizes in statutes recovery care centers and also allows ambulatory surgical centers to operate for 24 hours. HB 33 A is one of a number…

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Fred Costello says he won’t run for Ron DeSantis’ seat

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Now that U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis is running for the open U.S. Senate seat, he becomes one of the first Republicans to enter what is likely to be one of the most competitive races of the 2016 election cycle. State Rep. Fred Costello, an Ormond Beach Republican who recently returned to Tallahassee for House District 25, responded Wednesday that he would not run for Congress to replace Ron DeSantis.  In 2012, Costello lost to DeSantis in a crowded Republican primary. “I came in…

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Florida Legislature passes expanded access to overdose treatment drug

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Florida lawmakers approved a medication that could save lives during a drug overdose, with a bill now awaiting Gov. Rick Scott’s signature. On Tuesday, the Legislature passed SB 758/HB 751, known as the Emergency Treatment for Opioid Overdose Act, which increases availability of Naloxone, a drug that immediately reverses effects of opioids — prescription painkillers, heroin and the like — in the event of an overdose. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 44,000 people lost their lives to…

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