- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 16, 2016

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Dr. John Armstrong has made it through his first confirmation test to remain State Surgeon General.

The Florida Senate’s Health Policy Committee voted 5-4 in support of the confirmation after nearly an hour of questions. He still must be confirmed by the Ethics and Election committees before the vote goes to the full Senate.

Armstrong has led the Department of Health since 2012. He was appointed by Gov. Rick Scott to serve a second term last May, but the Senate did not vote on the appointment.

The department has come under fire for many issues, including the process for getting medical marijuana up and running in the state, cutbacks to county health departments and the rise in HIV cases, particularly in South Florida.

Armstrong’s appointment must be voted on by the end of session on March 11.

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