State Capital Briefs: Tuesday, March 14, 2017
STATE CAPITAL BRIEFS (LUNCH EDITION): TUESDAY, MARCH 14, 2017
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

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SENATE PANEL SCUTTLES 'RECOVERY CARE CENTERS'
A Senate committee Tuesday approved allowing patients to stay up to 24 hours at ambulatory surgical centers --- but turned aside a proposal to allow a type of health-care facility known as "recovery care centers" in Florida. House leaders in recent years have pushed to end a regulation that bars ambulatory surgical centers from keeping patients overnight. At the same time, they have sought to allow recovery care centers, where patients could stay up to 72 hours after undergoing procedures. Taking up a bill (SB 222), filed by Sen. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, the Senate Health Policy Committee on Tuesday approved allowing patients to stay up to 24 hours at ambulatory surgical centers. But the committee eliminated another part of the bill that would have allowed recovery care centers. A House version (HB 145), filed by Rep. Paul Renner, R-Palm Coast, and Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen, R-Fort Myers, includes the longer stays at ambulatory surgical centers and allowing recovery care centers. That bill has been moving through House committees.

LAWMAKERS BACK MEDICAL MARIJUANA RESEARCH
A House budget panel Tuesday approved a proposal that would send $2.462 million to the University of Florida for research about issues such as the effectiveness of medical marijuana in treating patients. The proposal (HB 3159), sponsored by Rep. Dane Eagle, R-Cape Coral, is related to a 2014 law that legalized non-euphoric cannabis for patients with a limited number of conditions, such as children who suffer from severe seizures. Eagle's budget request said the law requires physicians to submit information about patient treatment plans, and the proposed money would carry out research on the "efficacy and safety" of the cannabis on patients. Lawmakers last year approved allowing terminally ill patients to have access to full-strength medical marijuana, and voters followed in November by passing a constitutional amendment that will make cannabis available to patients with a wide range of medical conditions. The House and Senate are expected to negotiate a bill to carry out the constitutional amendment. The House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee on Tuesday approved Eagle's bill, which supporters said is an important step toward understanding the effects of medical marijuana. "I think this is a key component of what will hopefully be a realistic bill to implement the constitutional amendment," said Rep. Gayle Harrell, a Stuart Republican who has long been involved in health-care issues.

DURAN FACES POSSIBLE REMATCH FOR HOUSE SEAT
Freshman state Rep. Nicholas Duran, D-Miami, could face a rematch next year in his re-election bid in a Miami-Dade County House district. Republican Rosy Palomino opened a campaign account this week to run for the House District 112 seat, according to the state Division of Elections website. Duran defeated Palomino in the November election by a margin of 53.3 percent to 46.7 percent. Also in recent days, Bradenton Democrat Randy Cooper opened an account to run next year in House District 71 in Manatee and Sarasota counties, the Division of Elections website said. Cooper will try to succeed Rep. Jim Boyd, a Bradenton Republican who cannot seek re-election because of term limits. Two Republicans, James Buchanan and Will Robinson, also have opened accounts to run for the seat. Robinson loaned $100,000 to his campaign last month, finance reports show.


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3/14/2017

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