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  • Sea Turtle Nesting Season Begins 1, May22, 2015
    In addition to being the traditional beginning of beach season, Memorial Day is also the start of turtle nesting season in Florida. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, hundreds of dedicated volunteers protect nesting areas that would otherwise go unnoticed and likely be damaged by unsuspecting beach goers. As the sun rises most mornings, you’ll find […]
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  • Audubon Urges Caution for Beach Goers 1, May22, 2015
    Florida Audubon is urging beach goers to stay out of areas posted as bird nesting areas. Unlike many species sea birds lay their eggs directly on the sand and are often invisible to the untrained eye. Julie Waithmell of Audubon Florida says disturbing the birds could be catastrophic.   “Most people don’t even realize that […]
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  • Memorial Day Travel Heaviest in Ten Years 1, May21, 2015
    More Americans are expected to travel this weekend than anytime in the last ten years. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, expect more traffic and a bigger police presence this weekend. The weekend traffic has already started flowing. ”33 million people”  Thats the number of Americans AAA says will be traveling this weekend. Can you guess […]
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  • Disaster Ready 1, May21, 2015
    Florida has been lucky since 2005 when it comes to avoiding hurricanes, but every year could be *the* year the state gets hit again. As Matt Galka tells us, state officials are always at the ready. Florida’s emergency operations center was a flurry of action Thursday. Two hurricanes had just walloped Florida. Luckily it was only […]
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  • Hope for the Developmentally Disabled in Special Session? 1, May20, 2015
    The hopes of thousands of parents of children with learning disabilities were dashed when state lawmakers went home early. The kids were promised brighter futures by top lawmakers, and as Mike Vasilinda tells us Governor Rick Scott may be rekindling some of that hope. Senate President Andy Gardiner is the father of an 11 year […]
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  • Rick Scott’s Money Machine 1, May20, 2015
    Governor Rick Scotts Lets Get to Work Committee has raised more than two million dollars since last years election. The fundraising continues. Scott was asked why. “I think its important to continue to talk about what’s important to our state. You know, education funding tax cuts, to continue to grow jobs and bring companies here, […]
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  • Rick Scott’s Political Future 1, May20, 2015
      Governor Rick Scott has hinted that he is considering a run for the US Senate in 2018 or perhaps a Presidential run in 2020. In tallahassee today, Scott was asked about his future political plans, and responded like most political figures thinking about a higher office. “I got three years and seven or eight […]
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  • Standing Up for the Flag 1, May20, 2015
    Viral videos of people disrespecting the American flag have caused one patriotic Floridian to take action. Matt Galka tells us about the Panhandle woman launching her stars and stripes campaign in the run up to Memorial Day. This video from Valdosta State University, a Georgia school about 20 miles north of the state line, showed […]
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  • Budget Showdown Produces List of “What if’s” 1, May19, 2015
    State agencies are raising a myriad of things government would not be able to do if July first comes and goes without a new state budget. As Mike Vasilinda tells us the list of what state government would stop doing is 65 pages long. The Department of Revenue says child support payments would stop because […]
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  • Hospitals Say “No” to Profit Sharing 1, May19, 2015
    With a looming 2 billion dollar budget hole over healthcare money to be decided in a special session, the Governor is pushing hospitals to crunch their numbers and re-evaluate spending. But as Matt Galka tells us, hospitals are pushing back. Florida is set to lose out on a 2 billion dollar healthcare program that helps […]
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Pill Mill Bill Awaits Governor’s Signature

June 9th, 2009 by Anna Laura Rehwinkel

Legislation to stop the abuse of prescription drugs is forcing Governor Charlie Crist into a lose-lose situation. Signing the Pill Mill Bill could put peoples private medical history at risk, but as Whitney Ray tells us, not signing the legislation means people will continue to load up on prescription painkillers.

Beaches, theme parks, and sporting events attract people to Florida by the millions. But for some theres a darker force drawing them to the Sunshine State. Drug dealers from as far away as Kentucky flock to Florida to load up on prescription painkillers. Its a problem FDLE is working with the Federal Government to fix.

The Drug Enforcement Administration is now attempting to set up drug taskforces to address the problem of the illegal dispensing of legal drugs, said FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey.

Legislation to stop doctor shopping and shut down pill mills by creating a prescription drug database is on the governors desk. 38 other states have similar tracking programs. Attorney General Bill McCollum is urging the Crist to sign the legislation.

It is going to help us be able to help us stop a lot of this. Stop people from coming in from out of state, and let us find the few doctors who are abusing this, said McCollum.

But if the bill becomes law peoples private medical history could be at risk. Thirteen state lawmakers, some of whom voted for the legislation, are now asking Crist for a veto, because a similar database in Virginia was hacked.

The choice puts Crist between a rock and a hard place. Signing the legislation could jeopardize peoples privacy; not signing it allows drug dealers to keep shopping.

I think we need to keep track of where these drugs are and thats what Im coming down to as it relates to this bill, said Crist.

Crist says if he signs the bill, the state will protect peoples medical information. If the bill becomes law an electronic database will be set up by December of 2010 and pain clinics would register with the state and be subject to investigations.

Posted in Charlie Crist, Criminal Justice, Health, Legislature, State News | 152 Comments »

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