TALLAHASEE -- Florida lawmakers are set to vote today on a bill to increase accountability on for-profit Medicaid providers as the Legislature moves to privatize the $20 billion-a-year program statewide in hopes of cutting its costs.
Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, said Thursday the bill represents a consensus with House leaders that would put the care of the state’s nearly 3 million Medicaid beneficiaries into the hands of private companies and hospital networks. Both sides worked long hours over the weekend to reach an agreement in effort to pass a bill before the session ends Friday.
The bill loosely expands a five-county pilot program that has drawn widespread criticism.
Legislature passes overhaul of state courts
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Florida lawmakers have put a watered down court-system overhaul on the November 2012 ballot, where it’ll need 60 percent voter approval.
The proposed constitutional amendment (HJR 7111) received final legislative approval in the Senate by a 24-11 vote -- the bare minimum needed for passage.
The Senate earlier removed a provision from the House proposal that would have expanded the Supreme Court from seven to 10 justices and split them into two divisions for civil and criminal appeals.
Limit on development challenges goes to Scott
Legislation making it more difficult to challenge development or mining in wetlands and other environmentally sensitive areas has gone to Florida Gov. Rick Scott.
Environmentalists opposed the bill that received final passage Thursday in the House. The 76-39 vote was largely party line with most Republicans in favor and most Democrats against.
Current law puts the burden on a developer or owner to prove a project conforms to permitting or licensing requirements.
The bill (HB 993) would require challengers, instead, to prove it does not comply.
Scott is expected to sign the bill. It was advocated by Department of Environmental Regulation Secretary Hershel Vinyard, a Scott appointee.
Florida ‘droopy drawers’ bill goes to governor
‘Droopy drawers’ will be out in Florida schools if Gov. Rick Scott signs a bill that’s heading his way.
Florida lawmakers have taken a dim view of the saggy pants fad and other sloppy or risqué fashion practices.
The bill (SB 228) that Wednesday passed the House 101-15 would require school districts to include dress standards in their codes of conduct.
It had unanimously passed in the Senate on March 24.
The dress codes must prohibit students from wearing clothing in a revealing or disruptive way. Penalties would range from a verbal warning and parental notice to in-school suspension.
-- Associated Press