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Latest Buzz on Florida politics

TALLAHASSEE -- With several amendments, heated debates and about three weeks to spare, the Senate’s bill to repeal a ban on smokable medical marijuana is headed to the floor before the March 15 deadline set by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

DeSantis in January tasked the Legislature with amending Florida law to allow smoking medical marijuana. If legislators don’t by the deadline, the governor said he will do so with litigation.

The first time SB 182 came through committee, Sen. Jeff Brandes said it was altered beyond what he could defend.

Keep reading   4 min. read  

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday that he wants to give patients access to cheaper prescription drugs from Canada, making Florida the latest state to try to import medications to reduce rising health care costs.

“Once we get this in place, U.S. citizens will be able to have access to more affordable drugs,” DeSantis told a cheering crowd at The Villages, a retirement community near Orlando.

Flanked by Florida House Speaker José Oliva and Secretary of the state Agency for Health Care Administration Mary Mayhew, DeSantis said he would ask state lawmakers to pass a bill allowing such drug imports from Canada. The federal government would still need to approve it, something it hasn’t done since it passed a law to create the process in 2003.

Keep reading   4 min. read  

Gov. Ron DeSantis said today that he welcomed Amazon to put its second headquarters in Florida after the online retailer pulled out of a deal to build the campus in New York City.

“What I can say on behalf of Florida to companies like Amazon: We welcome you to come to Florida,” he said.

DeSantis said that New York’s political climate — not opposition to the nearly $3 billion in tax incentives New York was offering — that caused the company to leave.

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TALLAHASSEE -- The Florida Senate is set to review the suspension of Broward Sheriff Scott Israel in a matter of weeks, after lawyers for the ousted sheriff and Gov. Ron DeSantis met with a special master appointed to the case Tuesday.

DeSantis suspended Israel Jan. 11, citing neglect of duty and incompetence over his department’s response to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting last year. The former top cop is contesting his removal from office before the Senate, which is tasked by Florida statute with reviewing executive suspensions.

A special master appointed by Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, is expected to review the case, conduct a hearing on the suspension’s merits and to compile an advisory report that goes to Galvano and the Senate Rules Committee.

Keep reading   3 min. read  

TALLAHASSEE — A Tampa Bay lawmaker wants to prevent the public from seeing photos and videos or listening to the audio of mass shootings like the one that happened in Parkland last year.

The reason for the measure, said Sen. Tom Lee, a Republican from Thonotosassa, is that such material can be turned into profit, exploiting the victims of the tragedy in the process, or it can be used for more nefarious purposes.

“In the age of the internet there is potential for commercialization of these photographic and video products,” Lee said. “There is also some law enforcement that is concerned about these being used as recruiting tools and training tools for what was done right and not done right.”

Keep reading   3 min. read  

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From PolitiFact Florida