The Point, Feb. 18, 2020: Florida Legislature Moves Toward A Ban On Organ Transplant Discrimination


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• From our Fresh Take Florida team: Florida has pending legislation to formally ban discrimination against people with disabilities in need of organ transplants. House and Senate committees unanimously passed separate proposals last week that would prohibit insurance companies, among others, from denying organs to people on the sole account of a physical or mental disability. (WUFT News)

• WUFT News: Alachua County Takes Step Toward Racial Reconciliation. “Alachua County held its Truth and Reconciliation Community Remembrance Project Workshop on Monday evening at the county’s Senior Recreation Center, marking another step in its process of rectifying an ugly racial past.”

• WUSF: Toll Roads To Avoid Sensitive Areas; Environmentalists Not Swayed. “The toll roads would swerve around areas such as lakes and springs. A statement from the head of the Florida Department of Transportation says they promise to protect the environment, while also planning for what he calls the state’s ‘inevitable future growth.'”

• WCJB: Tuesday is the last day to register to vote for Gainesville’s regular election. “A reminder for potential voters – tomorrow is the last day to register to vote for Gainesville’s regular election…You can register online or in person at the Alachua County Supervisor of Elections office.”

Gainesville Sun ($): New business uses salt therapy for health and healing. Relax Salt Rooms will soon open in Northwest Gainesville to promote salt therapy for breathing and skin issues.”

Florida Politics: Senate panel can’t come together on occupational licensing reform. (State Sen. Keith) Perry’s bill would preempt local governments from requiring occupational licenses that are not mandated by the state, a fix to the so-called ‘patchwork’ of regulations throughout the state.”

Citrus County Chronicle: Transportation board backs Inverness Airport Business Park. Inverness City Councilman and MPO board member Cabot McBride said an active business park at the airport, right outside city limits, would benefit the city because it would have the infrastructure in place to attract new businesses.”

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Around the state today

• Orlando Sentinel ($): Ryan Newman in serious condition after Daytona 500 crash, NASCAR says. “NASCAR driver Ryan Newman was in serious condition with non-life-threatening injuries Sunday night after a horrendous last-lap crash at the Daytona 500.”

Politico: Trump’s reelection campaign goes pedal to the metal at Daytona 500. Both Trump and the campaign are keenly aware of the importance of keeping the support of both NASCAR fans and Florida voters. The president narrowly won his recently declared home state in 2016, and he maintains a tenuous 49 percent approval rating here.”

New York Times ($): 6-Year-Old Held in Mental Health Center for 2 Days Without Mother’s Consent. A Florida kindergartner was sent to a mental health center against her mother’s wishes and held there for 48 hours this month after she reportedly threw tantrums at her school.” (This story was originally reported by the Florida Times-Union.)

Florida Times-Union ($): City spends hundreds of thousands on lawsuit against Duval Schools. The fight over putting a half-cent sales tax referendum for school maintenance on the ballot and what it would say has cost more than $200,000 so far.”

News Service of Florida: Hurdles for Constitutional Amendments in Florida May Get Higher. New proposals have emerged in the Florida House and Senate that would make it harder to place proposed constitutional amendments on the ballot.”

Tallahassee Democrat ($): Florida nursing home inspections would be cut under Florida bills. “By state law, AHCA (Agency for Health Care Administration) was required to ramp up oversight, inspecting the homes every six months for two years. But that oversight would be cut back under two bills making their way through the Florida Legislature that would reduce inspections at problem nursing homes.”

• Tampa Bay Times ($): The Republican Party asked Florida tax collectors for millions of email addresses. Why? “If the tax collectors had complied, the Republican Party would soon have a valuable trove of personal information for millions of Floridians as it gears up for the 2020 election: A detailed database of many taxpayers’ emails plus the name, address and phone number tied to that email.”

Palm Beach Post ($): Central Florida lawmakers hail federal government terrorism grant.Three Florida lawmakers on Friday hailed the awarding of a ‘major terror-prevention and preparedness grant’ from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.”

TCPalm ($): Indian River County may take Virgin Trains to US Supreme Court. “‘How can this brand new railroad, which you would think be being built to highest safety standards, be the deadliest?’ (County Commissioner Bob) Solari asked.”

WTSP: National drug summit meets in Tampa looking for answers to epidemic. “U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams is expected to be the keynote speaker TuesdayHundreds of professionals from across the country are gathering for the two-day event in Tampa, discussing topics that have rattled the state and the nation. These include issues like legalizing pot, fentanyl and vaping among young people.”

• Lakeland Ledger ($): Lakeland’s ‘snake orgy’ draws national stares. Bob Donahay, Lakeland’s director of parks and recreation, said Monday that the city began getting reports about a week and a half ago about snakes massing to mate along the northeast shore of Lake Hollingsworth, near the Hollingsworth Road roundabout.”

From NPR News

• National: 14 Americans Taken Off Cruise Ship And Flown To U.S. Test Positive For Coronavirus

• National: Boy Scouts Of America Files For Bankruptcy

• World: Taliban Says It Hopes To Sign Peace Deal With U.S. By End Of February.

• World: Israeli Settlers And Palestinians In Occupied West Bank Grapple With U.S. Peace Plan.

• Politics: Assault Weapons Ban Fails In Democratic-Controlled Virginia Senate

• Politics: Behind The Ransomware Attack On Palm Beach County Elections In 2016.

• Art & Design: Refugee Docents Help Bring A Museum’s Global Collection To Life.

About Gabriella Paul

Gabriella Paul is a reporter for WUFT. She can be reached at

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