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Doctors Could Face New Requirement If Performing Abortions

A Northwest Florida lawmaker filed a proposal Monday that would require doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.

The proposal (HB 147), filed by Rep. Mike Hill, R-Pensacola Beach, is similar to measures that have spurred political and legal battles in other states. It would require physicians who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at hospitals 30 miles or less from where the abortions take place.

Supporters have argued such proposals help ensure patient safety, while critics contend the requirements are designed to make it harder to provide abortions.

Insurance, Sugar Money Boost Inauguration

With big chunks of money coming in from the insurance and sugar industries, the Republican Party of Florida has raised more than $500,000 to pay for Gov. Rick Scott's inauguration activities.

The party on Friday released a list of donations it had received through Dec. 19, including $100,000 from the Florida Insurance Council and $90,000 from Florida Crystals Corp., a major player in the sugar industry.

In earlier reports, the party said it received $30,000 from insurance companies and $25,000 from U.S. Sugar Corp. In all, the party had raised $512,700 through Dec. 19 for activities surrounding Scott's Jan. 6 inauguration, according to lists of donors released in recent weeks. Among other donations in the latest list were $25,000 from the Florida Concrete & Products Association and $25,000 from the law firm Holland & Knight.

Senators to Get Ethics Training

Leaders have set aside two hours during committee meetings next week for members of the Florida Senate to receive ethics training.

The ethics session is scheduled from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 7 and will include a presentation by Senate General Counsel George Levesque. Senators will hold committee meetings spread over four days next week as they prepare for the annual legislative session that starts in March.

The Senate returns intact from last session, except for a seat that former Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, vacated in November when he became president of Florida State University.

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