Van Zant files all-out abortion ban

Last week, state Rep. Charles Van Zant, R-Palatka, followed through on his announcement that he would bring back a bill that bans abortion in the state of Florida, providing only an exception to save the life of the mother. Van Zant's bill would make performing an abortion a felony.

Despite controversies, West continues to raise big dollars

According to recent reports, tea party favorite Rep. Allen West, R-Fort Lauderdale, raised nearly $1.5 million in the second quarter of 2011. As noted in a piece featured on Allen West Nation, his second-quarter tally is more typical of a Senate candidate than a freshman member of the House. In fact, West's tally is better than that of Senate candidates George LeMieux, Mike Haridopolos and Adam Hasner.

Beyond the indvidual mandate

This week, with six new states joining Florida's lawsuit challenging federal health care reform, Kaiser Health News rounded up a range of health policy experts to talk about the individual mandate. Is there a viable Plan B?

West defeats Klein

It was perhaps the nastiest, most personal fight in the state this season, and clearly one of the most expensive. Incumbent U.S. Rep. Ron Klein, a Democrat, fought hard to stave off tea party favorite Republican Allen West during a brutal campaign in which each side attacked the other with personal insults, character assassinations, even alleged threats of personal violence.

State senator wants changes to pill mill database

State Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, one of the most vocal proponents of a statewide prescription drug monitoring database, now wants to tweak E-FORCSE, the database that will be available beginning Oct. 17. The statute creating the database currently contains a provision making it voluntary for physicians to consult the database before prescribing a controlled substance. Fasano wants it to be mandatory.

After farm-photo bill dies in Florida, animal advocacy groups wary of Monsanto-backed version in Iowa

While Sen. Jim Norman's controversial farm-photo bill may have died in the Florida Legislature, animal rights advocates are cautiously acknowledging the victory is a temporary one whose significance may ultimately be thwarted by laws currently pending in Iowa and Minnesota. The bill, which would have created penalties for taking pictures on farms, drew a firestorm of opposition from animal rights groups who felt it would hamper whistleblowers' efforts to expose inhumane farming conditions.