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Rick Scott declares opioid emergency in Florida

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Rick Scott is declaring a public health emergency across Florida due to the epidemic of heroin and other opioids abuse, addiction, and overdose deaths wracking the Sunshine State. While the governor signed an executive order Wednesday following action by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which declared a national opioid epidemic, it comes months after Democrats and a few others around the state urged him to declare an emergency. Scott’s order will allow state officials to immediately draw down on…

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Oscar Braynon calls for emergency declaration on heroin

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Citing reports that heroin and fentanyl overdose deaths and public health costs are exploding in numbers in Florida, Senate Minority Leader Oscar Braynon called Monday for Florida to declare a public health emergency. In a letter, Braynon urged Gov. Rick Scott to have Florida Surgeon General Dr. Celeste Philip to declare the public health emergency, which would give state agencies wider latitude to address the growing problem. His call was made on behalf of the entire Florida Senate Democratic Caucus. Braynon’s call…

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Palm Beach County Commissioner has great advice for Rick Scott

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The Very Best Idea in Florida Right This Minute comes from Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay, who is asking Gov. Rick Scott to call Florida’s heroin epidemic by its right name: a public health crisis. This should be a no-brainer for Scott. With heroin-related hospital bills running at close to a billion a year in Florida, a governor who made millions as a hospital executive and reportedly aspires to higher office should take the state’s opioid addiction problem at…

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Kristin Jacobs: Kratom lobby ‘just like Hitler’

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On Friday, Florida Politics brought you the first look at a House bill that would add Kratom to the state’s controlled substance list. House Bill 183 would add Mitragynine and Hydroxymitragynine, constituents of Kratom, to the schedule of controlled substances, offering an exception for any FDA approved substance containing these chemicals. Bill sponsor Rep. Kristin Jacobs, a Coconut Creek Democrat who has filed anti-Kratom legislation in three straight sessions, framed this bill as a “fall on the sword issue” for her, while framing the Kratom lobby in…

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For Richard Corcoran, a Sisyphean task

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“We have a spending problem in this state,” says House Speaker Richard Corcoran (R-Land ‘O Lakes), and nobody in their right mind could argue with him. Florida spends more stupid money than a drunken sailor on shore leave. Any state worker can — if they trust you — rattle off a Top Twenty list of publicly funded member projects, unnecessary junkets, sacred cows, and six figure people who just graduated college with a degree in kissing the right rear ends.…

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Marco Rubio may be ready to endorse in U.S. Senate race, defends his own pace

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Florida’s outgoing Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio suggested Monday he may be ready to endorse the Republican he wants to follow him into the office. “I’ll have something to say about that in the next couple of days,” Rubio said Monday after meeting in Orlando with Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs to discuss Central Florida’s heroin crisis. Rubio also insisted his recent flurry of activity on Florida issues is not a change in his activity level, but a change in media coverage…

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Marco Rubio says federal government needs to provide more treatment funds for uninsured heroin addicts

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Sitting with Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, Florida’s Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio pledged Monday to do whatever he can to help combat the growing heroin crisis, saying that federal funds for treatment of uninsured addicts are critical. Jacobs has made Orange County’s heroin crisis a top priority for her efforts, and recently oversaw a task force looking for answers to a dramatic increase in heroin usage and deaths in Central Florida. And Rubio arrived Monday to assure her that…

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