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HEALTH INSURANCE PANEL EYES TRANSPORTATION COSTS
CHRISTINE SEXTON |
A state insurance advisory panel on Tuesday will finalize its legislative recommendations for the upcoming session and will consider, among other things, a proposal to ban emergency medical transportation providers from hitting insured customers with out-of-pocket medical bills... Story

DEADLINES LIKELY PUSHED BACK FOR BALLOT PROPOSALS
LLOYD DUNKELBERGER |
Following the disruption of Hurricane Irma, a panel on Monday recommended that the Florida Constitution Revision Commission give residents more time to file proposed constitutional amendments... Story

REGULATORS APPROVE SHUTTING DOWN COAL PLANT
JIM TURNER |
The Florida Public Service Commission approved plans Monday to close a jointly owned coal-fired power plant in Jacksonville, with supporters saying the move will cut carbon-dioxide emissions and reduce some customer costs... Story

LAST-MINUTE PUSH IN HEATED MIAMI SENATE RACE
DARA KAM |
With some residents still in the dark and massive piles of debris dominating the landscape, the candidates seeking to replace a disgraced state senator spent the weekend scrambling to drum up support before a special election Tuesday in Miami-Dade County... Story

KEYS IN A HURRY TO REOPEN TO TOURISTS
JIM TURNER |
Florida Keys tourism officials said Monday they will meet Gov. Rick Scott's Oct. 1 deadline to reopen to visitors after Hurricane Irma pounded Monroe County... Story


NURSING HOMES SAY ADDING GENERATORS `HUGE CHALLENGE'
JIM SAUNDERS |
Florida nursing-home officials made clear Friday they think it is unrealistic --- if not impossible --- to carry out a demand by Gov. Rick Scott that facilities quickly install generators that can power air-conditioning systems... Story

THRASHER GETS RAISE AT FSU MOVES UP RANKINGS
LLOYD DUNKELBERGER |
With Florida State University moving closer to becoming a top-25 public university, the school's trustees on Friday bumped up President John Thrasher's salary by 7 percent and awarded him a $200,000 bonus... Story

TOLL SUSPENSION COST $3 MILLION A DAY
JIM TURNER |
More than $45 million in revenue is believed to have been lost when the state suspended highway toll collections to help speed evacuations and relief efforts for Hurricane Irma, Florida's Turnpike system estimates... Story

MARIJUANA LAW CHALLENGED OVER BLACK FARMER LICENSE
JIM SAUNDERS AND DARA KAM |
A lawsuit filed Friday challenges the constitutionality of part of a new state law that requires a coveted medical-marijuana license to go to a black farmer... Story

WEEKLY ROUNDUP: THE AFTERMATH OF IRMA
DARA KAM |
More than 10 days after Hurricane Irma crashed through the state, thousands of Floridians were still in the dark as estimates of damage in nearly all parts of the peninsula continued to escalate... Read the Roundup

ADVANCES: WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 24, 2017
STAFF |
Five months after Republican Frank Artiles resigned from the Legislature amid a furor about vulgar and racially charged comments, Miami-Dade County voters will go to the polls Tuesday in a special election in Senate District 40... Read the Advances


TOURISM RECOVERY COULD TAKE TIME IN KEYS
JIM TURNER |
Gov. Rick Scott would like to see storm-battered Key West “open for business” within two weeks, but tourism officials marketing the southern end of U. S. 1 indicate it could take longer... Story

MEDICAL RECORDS FIGHT DRAWS ATTENTION AT HIGH COURT
JIM SAUNDERS |
In a legal battle drawing attention from medical groups across the country, the U. S. Supreme Court could be close to deciding whether to hear a Florida case about the disclosure of medical records... Story

JUDGE REFUSES TO TOSS OUT EX-LAWMAKER'S CONVICTION
JIM SAUNDERS |
A federal judge this week refused to acquit or order a new trial for former state Rep. Dwayne Taylor, who was convicted of wire-fraud charges stemming from allegations that he improperly used campaign cash... Story

BACKROOM BRIEFING: TEXTS LIGHT UP CONTROVERSY
JIM TURNER AND DARA KAM |
State Sen. Daphne Campbell wants it known she's a local champion and a victim in a controversy that has swirled around her after Hurricane Irma... Read the Briefing

LOBBYIST FILE --- DOING BUSINESS ON THE FOURTH FLOOR, SEPTEMBER 21, 2017
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA |
PETE ANTONACCI has registered to lobby for Enterprise Florida... Story


USF TO SEEK STATE MONEY AS MED SCHOOL MOVES AHEAD
LLOYD DUNKELBERGER |
The University of South Florida will ask lawmakers for an additional $21 million to complete funding for its downtown Tampa medical school and heart institute... Story

STATE SUSPENDS LICENSE OF BROWARD NURSING HOME
JIM SAUNDERS |
Escalating a legal and regulatory fight, Gov. Rick Scott's administration Wednesday issued an emergency suspension of the license of a Broward County nursing home after the deaths of nine residents following Hurricane Irma... Story

STATE MOVES TOWARD MORE MEDICAL MARIJUANA LICENSES
DARA KAM |
Seemingly learning from past mistakes, state health officials have issued an emergency rule outlining the application process for new medical-marijuana vendors seeking to receive licenses in two weeks... Story

CITRUS INDUSTRY LOOKS FOR AID AFTER IRMA
JIM TURNER |
A long wait may be ahead for broad federal relief for Florida's beleaguered citrus industry, “decimated” last week by a lethal hurricane that crossed the peninsula at the start of the growing season, state Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said Wednesday... Story

NURSING HOME CHALLENGES MORATORIUM, MEDICAID CUTOFF
JIM SAUNDERS |
A Broward County nursing home has filed a lawsuit seeking to block Gov. Rick Scott's administration from cutting off Medicaid payments and carrying out a moratorium on patient admissions after the deaths of nine of the facility's residents following Hurricane Irma... Story


GET THAT SUNPASS READY --- TOLLS ARE COMING BACK
JIM TURNER |
Toll collections will resume at 12:01 a. m. Thursday on most state toll roads after being lifted Sept... Story

HOUSE SELECT COMMITTEE TO LOOK AT HURRICANE READINESS
LLOYD DUNKELBERGER |
From creating a state gasoline reserve to protecting vulnerable seniors in nursing homes, a newly created House committee will look at ways of better preparing Florida to face major storms like Hurricane Irma... Story

JUSTICES DECLINE TO HEAR CHARTER SCHOOL BATTLE
JIM SAUNDERS |
The Florida Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to hear a case that challenged the constitutionality of a law that gives power to the State Board of Education in the approval of charter schools... Story


...Read More in the Monthly Digest


INMATE SEEKS RESENTENCING AS EXECUTION LOOMS

With his execution scheduled for Oct. 5, attorneys for Death Row inmate Cary Michael Lambrix filed a brief Monday in the Florida Supreme Court arguing that his death sentence should be tossed out...

PROPOSAL WOULD PAY TUITION AT FLORIDA COLLEGES

A South Florida Democrat filed a proposal Monday that calls for the state to pay the tuition costs of many students at state colleges...

PILOT PROGRAMS COULD TARGET PLASTIC BAGS

A Senate Democrat filed a proposal Monday that would allow many Florida coastal communities to create pilot programs to regulate or ban disposable plastic bags...

IRMA DEATH TOLL AT 50, LIKELY TO HIT 75

Hurricane Irma's official death toll in Florida stood at 50 as of Monday morning but could hit at least 75...

HURRICANE INSURANCE CLAIMS CONTINUE TO CLIMB

Property-insurance claims from Hurricane Irma continue to mount, nearing $3.6 billion in estimated insured losses as of a weekend count, according to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation website...

FIELD CONTINUES TO GROW FOR SARASOTA HOUSE SEAT

Republican Alexandra Coe has opened a campaign account to run in a special election in Sarasota County's House District 72, bringing the number of candidates to five in the race to replace former Rep. Alex Miller, R-Sarasota, according to the state Division of Elections website...


DIAZ DOMINATES FUNDRAISING IN SENATE RACE

Republican Jose Felix Diaz will head into a special election Tuesday in Miami-Dade County's Senate District 40 with a major financial edge over Democratic opponent Annette Taddeo...

PEREZ PILES UP CASH AHEAD OF SPECIAL ELECTION

With backing from major players in the state Capitol, Republican Daniel Perez raised $134,353 in little more than a month as he prepares for a special election Tuesday in Miami-Dade County's House District 116, according to a newly filed finance report...

ELECTIONS AGENCY ACKNOWLEDGES HACKING ATTEMPT

The Florida Department of State, which oversees the state's elections, said Friday evening that it was the target of a hacking attempt in 2016 --- but that the attempt was unsuccessful...

HEALTH CARE REPORTER SEXTON JOINS NEWS SERVICE

Veteran health-care reporter Christine Sexton will join The News Service of Florida on Monday, as the online news organization expands coverage of health-related issues...

RESTORATION OF ELECTRICITY ALMOST COMPLETE

Power was back as of midday Friday for all but 13,735 homes and businesses in Florida, primarily in four counties that were hit hardest by Hurricane Irma on Sept...

FLORIDIANS LINE UP FOR FEMA ASSISTANCE

More than 1 million Floridians homeowners and renters have registered for federal individual assistance following Hurricane Irma...


TENTH BROWARD NURSING HOME RESIDENT DIES

A 10th senior citizen who had been a resident of a sweltering Broward County nursing home evacuated last week has died, according to a report issued Thursday by the Hollywood Police Department...

HURRICANE IRMA CLAIMS FILED STATEWIDE

In Hurricane Irma's destructive wake, property insurance claims have been filed in all 67 Florida counties, ranging from a high of more than 55,000 claims in Miami-Dade County to half dozen in sparsely populated Liberty County, the state Office of Insurance Regulation reported Thursday...

HIGHWAY BILL WOULD HONOR EVERS

A 13-mile stretch of State Road 4, a highway that cuts through the Blackwater River State Forest in the Panhandle, would be named after the late former Sen. Greg Evers, under a measure filed Thursday by Rep. Jayer Williamson, R-Pace...

LAWMAKERS SEEK TAX EXEMPTION FOR DIAPERS

Buying diapers for babies or adults would be free of sales taxes under a proposal filed Thursday in the Florida House...

IRMA WIND DAMAGES PEGGED AT MORE THAN $19 BILLION

Hurricane Irma caused $19.4 billion in wind-related damages in Florida, with the heaviest losses in Collier and Lee counties, according to a team led by a Florida International University researcher...

STATE PARKS REMAIN CLOSED IN HARD-HIT AREAS

Florida has reopened 114 of the state parks that were closed for Hurricane Irma, but another 53 remained off limits Thursday...

SECOND DEMOCRAT TO SEEK SARASOTA HOUSE SEAT

A second Democratic candidate has opened a campaign account to run in a special election for the House seat vacated by former state Rep. Alex Miller, R-Sarasota...


IRMA INSURANCE CLAIMS TOP 450,000

Insurance claims continue to surge in the wake of Hurricane Irma's two-day trip through Florida last week...

DEMOCRAT DOMINGUEZ TO RUN IN HOUSE SPECIAL ELECTION

Three weeks away from a special election, Orlando Democrat Eddy Dominguez has emerged as a replacement candidate to run in Orange County's House District 44...

RUBIO, NELSON PUSH FOR AGRICULTURE HELP

U. S. Sen Marco Rubio, R-Fla...

`SANCTUARY' CITIES BAN PROPOSED IN SENATE

Local government “sanctuary” designations to aid undocumented immigrants would be outlawed, and violators would face strict penalties, under a proposal filed Wednesday in the Florida Senate...

STATE REGULATORS TO LOOK AT ELECTRIC SYSTEM AFTER IRMA

After Hurricane Irma knocked out power to millions of homes and businesses, the Florida Public Service Commission will conduct a review of the electric system...

HURRICANES DRIVE UP FLORIDA GAS PRICES

Gas prices in Florida have hit a three-year high after the combination of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma...


TOURISM MARKETING TO RAMP UP AFTER IRMA

Florida will begin a post-Hurricane Irma marketing plan to lure tourists back to the Sunshine State...

HOUSE COMMITTEES SCHEDULED FOR THREE DAYS

House committees and subcommittees could hold more than 30 meetings during the second week of October, including a meeting of the newly formed Select Committee on Hurricane Response and Preparedness, according to a schedule posted online Tuesday...

NELSON, RUBIO WANT PANEL ON SENIORS AND DISASTERS

7 With the deaths last week of eight residents of a Broward County nursing home after Hurricane Irma, U. S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla...

ACLU PLOWS MONEY INTO FELONS' RIGHTS INITIATIVE

The American Civil Liberties Union contributed another $850,000 in August to support a Florida ballot initiative that would restore voting rights for felons who have completed their sentences, a new campaign-finance report shows...

CRACKER CATTLE COULD GET STATE DESIGNATION

Florida cracker cattle would be named the state “heritage cattle breed,” under a proposal filed this week by Rep. MaryLynn Magar, R-Tequesta...

IRMA DEATH TOLL INCREASES TO 42 IN FLORIDA

Hurricane Irma's official death count in Florida has grown to 42, up from 34 on Monday --- and the number is expected to continue increasing...

TREATMENT FACILITY FIGHTS STATE IN PATIENT BROKERING CASE

Disputing allegations of patient brokering, a West Palm Beach drug-treatment center is challenging a decision by the Florida Department of Children and Families to revoke the facility's license...

FISH AND WILDLIFE PANEL CALLS OFF MEETING

Pointing to Hurricane Irma, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has canceled a two-day meeting next week...

HOUSE PROPOSAL CALLS PORN `PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS'

Rep. Ross Spano, R-Dover, wants state lawmakers to approve a measure that says pornography is creating a public health crisis...


SENATE REPUBLICANS SET TO DESIGNATE NEW PRESIDENT

Florida Senate Republicans are scheduled to meet Oct. 24 in a caucus to designate Sen. Bill Galvano as the next Senate president, following the 2018 elections...

NURSERY CHALLENGES DENIAL OF MARIJUANA LICENSE

A Homestead-based nursery is challenging a decision by state health officials to deny the grower a medical marijuana license...

SENATE PLANS FULL SCHEDULE OF COMMITTEE MEETINGS

After canceling committee meetings last week because of Hurricane Irma, the Florida Senate plans a full slate of meetings when it gathers the week of Oct. 9...

DEMOCRAT LINES UP TO SEEK SARASOTA HOUSE SEAT

Democrat Margaret Good has opened a campaign account to run in a special election to replace former state Rep. Alex Miller, a Sarasota Republican who resigned effective Sept...

SCOTT PUSHES COUNTIES TO REMOVE IRMA DEBRIS

Implying debris is hindering the restoration of electricity and other relief efforts, Gov. Rick Scott set a noon Tuesday deadline for Florida counties impacted by Hurricane Irma to submit detailed debris-removal plans...

FIU TOPS BAR EXAM PASSAGE RATE

Law school graduates from Florida International University led the latest round of Florida Bar examinations with an 87.8 percent passage rate in July...

FREE SCHOOL LUNCHES APPROVED AFTER IRMA

The U. S. Department of Agriculture has approved allowing free school lunches for all students in 48 counties that took the brunt of Hurricane Irma, state Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam announced Monday...

CABINET MEETING CANCELED AMID IRMA RECOVERY

Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet have called off a meeting next week as the state continues to recover from Hurricane Irma...


LAWMAKERS BACK MONEY FOR HURRICANE HARVEY AID

A joint legislative panel Friday freed up about $1.3 million to cover costs of sending Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers to Texas to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey...

PUTNAM WAIVES FEES TO REPLACE LOST WEAPON PERMITS

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam is waiving replacement fees for concealed-weapon permits and security-guard licenses lost or destroyed because of Hurricane Irma...

COURT UPHOLDS $12M IN PUNITIVE DAMAGES IN TOBACCO CASE

Rejecting arguments by R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company that the amount was “excessive,” a state appeals court Friday upheld a jury's award of $12.36 million in punitive damages in a smoking-related death...

POWER NOT RESTORED AT 50 NURSING HOMES

Commercial power had not been restored Friday morning to 50 nursing homes after getting knocked out by Hurricane Irma, according to the Florida Health Care Association, an industry group...

BOATERS URGED TO STAY OUT OF KEY WEST AREA

Boaters are encouraged to avoid waters around Key West, as the Port of Key West will remain closed for the weekend, the U. S. Coast Guard announced Friday...

FLORIDA JOBLESS RATE AT 4 PERCENT IN AUGUST

Florida's unemployment rate ticked down to 4 percent in August, as the state continued to fare better than the nation on joblessness...


RUBIO, NELSON SAY FEDS SHOULD LOOK AT HOLLYWOOD NURSING HOME

Florida's U. S. senators said Thursday they want federal health officials to delve into a Broward County nursing home where eight residents died after Hurricane Irma --- and to take steps to make sure such incidents don't happen again...

POWER OUT FOR 2.2 MILLION AS CREWS CONTINUE RESTORATION

Electricity remained out Thursday night for about 21 percent of utility customers across the state, as crews continued gradually restoring power after Hurricane Irma...

COURTS APPROVED TO EXTEND DEADLINES AFTER IRMA

Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Jorge Labarga is giving courts in Hurricane Irma-inundated areas permission to extend filing deadlines...

 
 
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