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Clinton, Trump Keep Hefty Lead in Florida -- Q-Poll

March 9, 2016 - 10:45am

Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump hold hefty leads as next week's presidential primaries loom in Florida --- a potentially ominous sign for home-state GOP candidate Marco Rubio, according to a poll released Wednesday.

'Common Sense' Needle Exchange Pilot Passes House, Heads to Governor

March 2, 2016 - 8:15pm

Pointing to a high rate of new HIV cases in South Florida, the House on Wednesday gave final approval to a bill that would create a pilot needle-exchange program in Miami-Dade County.

The 95-20 vote came after repeated attempts in recent years to approve such a program, which supporters say would help prevent the spread of infectious diseases among intravenous drug users. Senators voted 37-2 last week to approve the bill (SB 242), and it is now ready to go to Gov. Rick Scott.

Big Issues Remain at Mid-Point of 2016 Session

February 10, 2016 - 2:30pm

Florida's 60-day legislative session is halfway done.

Most of the major issues remain unresolved after weeks of lawmakers debating bills in committees. But that's not unusual --- lawmakers typically put off the big stuff until the end.

In the days leading up to the Jan. 12 start of the session, The News Service of Florida offered 10 issues to watch this year. Here is an update about what has --- or hasn't --- happened with those issues.

Nurseries Seek to Block Marijuana Production

February 2, 2016 - 5:45pm

In the latest twist in a nearly two-year struggle to offer limited types of medical-marijuana in Florida, three nurseries filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking to at least temporarily block competitors from starting to produce the cannabis.

Senate Signs Off on 'Unique Abilities' Bill

January 13, 2016 - 5:30pm

Sen. Don Gaetz said no lobbyists were outside the Senate chamber Wednesday "casting lots" about a bill to help children with disabilities. There were no rallies and no protests.

Court System Seeks to Bolster Communications

December 28, 2015 - 4:15pm

Pointing to issues such as the emergence of social media and efforts to build support for the judicial branch, the Florida Supreme Court on Monday released a multi-year plan to try to bolster communications about courts throughout the state.

The 41-page plan partly addresses nuts-and-bolts issues such as working with the news media and the public, while it also seeks to ensure a "unified statewide message" about the court system.

Pam Bondi Defends Medical Malpractice Limits

December 15, 2015 - 5:30pm

Pointing to the Legislature's efforts to address a "crisis," Attorney General Pam Bondi's office is urging the Florida Supreme Court to uphold a key part of a controversial 2003 medical-malpractice law.

A friend-of-the-court brief filed by Bondi's office signals the potential high stakes of a pending Supreme Court case that could further eliminate limits on damages in medical-malpractice cases.

Supreme Court Wades into FPL Drilling Fight

November 24, 2015 - 5:30pm

Almost a year after regulators gave approval to the controversial plan, Florida Supreme Court justices are ready to take up a battle about Florida Power & Light's investment in a natural-gas drilling operation in Oklahoma.

The Supreme Court on Dec. 8 will hear arguments in a challenge led by the state Office of Public Counsel, which represents consumers in utility issues, and the Florida Industrial Power Users Group, which is made up of large electricity customers.

Lawmakers Could Allow Pot for Terminally Ill Patients

October 7, 2015 - 5:30pm

Two key lawmakers Wednesday proposed allowing terminally ill patients to obtain medical marijuana to help grapple with pain, the latest twist in a nearly two-year debate about how to address the high-profile --- and emotionally charged --- issue.

Cloudy Timeline for Medical Marijuana Leads to Frustration

October 6, 2015 - 5:45pm

With the Department of Health unable to say when licenses will be issued in the state's new medical-marijuana industry, a House Republican on Tuesday blasted delays in carrying out a 2014 law billed as helping children with severe epilepsy.

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