Nearly 15 years after Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment about access to records in medical-malpractice cases, a Jacksonville hospital has launched a federal lawsuit arguing it should be shielded from being required to turn over documents to a patient.
In the first execution since Gov. Ron DeSantis took office, serial killer Bobby Joe Long was put to death by lethal injection Thursday evening at Florida State Prison.
Long, 65, died at 6:55 p.m., becoming the 98th inmate executed since the death penalty was reinstated in Florida in 1976 --- and the first since Jose A. Jimenez was executed Dec. 13. Michelle Glady, a Department of Corrections spokeswoman, said the execution “took place without incident.”
Describing it as a “top priority,” Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday directed Secretary of State Laurel Lee to immediately start a review of the security of state and county elections systems after disclosures about Russian hacking during the 2016 campaign.
In a one-page letter to Lee, the state’s top elections official, DeSantis indicated the review will focus on cybersecurity and involve all 67 counties.
Florida lawmakers this month approved a controversial bill that is expected to make it harder to put citizens’ initiatives on the ballot.
The bill (HB 5) would place additional restrictions on gathering the hundreds of thousands of petition signatures needed to reach the ballot. For 2020 ballot proposals, supporters need to submit 76,632 valid signatures to trigger a review by the Florida Supreme Court. If justices sign off on the proposed ballot wording, supporters then would need to submit 766,200 signatures for the measures to go before voters.
More than a year after the Florida Legislature passed gun restrictions, a Leon County circuit judge has dismissed a lawsuit that alleged a ban on “bump stocks” was an unconstitutional taking of property.
Judge Ronald Flury last week issued a 12-page ruling that sided with the state in the dispute stemming from a law passed after the February 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
Alleging a conspiracy that has increased drug prices, Attorney General Ashley Moody announced Monday that Florida has joined states across the country in a massive anti-trust lawsuit against generic drug manufacturers.
Florida is one of 43 states and Puerto Rico taking part in the lawsuit filed in federal district court in Connecticut against numerous generic-drug companies and executives. The lawsuit, which comes after a multi-year investigation spearheaded by the Connecticut attorney general’s office, contends that the companies colluded to raise drug prices.
In his first veto, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday rejected a bill that would have blocked local governments from banning plastic straws.
DeSantis, siding with environmental groups and local governments, vetoed the measure (HB 771) just hours after formally receiving it from the Legislature. The bill initially focused on recycling issues but later was expanded to include a five-year moratorium on bans or regulations of plastic straws.
Just days after a legislative session filled with debate about state lawmakers overriding the power of local governments, the Florida League of Cities and three communities have filed a constitutional challenge to a 2017 law dealing with wireless technology.
The league and the cities of Fort Walton Beach, Naples and Port Orange filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Leon County circuit court, contending that the 2017 law infringes on home-rule powers and would lead to an unconstitutional “taking” of city property.
Maybe next year.
Florida lawmakers finished the 2019 legislative session Saturday by passing a budget for the upcoming year.
During the two-month session, lawmakers considered hundreds of bills and made $91.1 billion in spending decisions. It also was the first session for Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and began the two-year terms of Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, and House Speaker Jose Oliva, R-Miami Lakes.
Here are 10 big issues from the 2019 session: