|Update from the Capitol|
As we look back at our our fourth committee week and head into our fifth, lawmakers continue to file new legislation while the League & Capitol Alliance Group continue to monitor it all. To date, there have been a total of 1,040 bills filed. The League is tracking well over 100 various bills of importance.
During the first three interim committee weeks, most meetings were held to give updates on last year’s legislation that passed into law. Week four finally brought new legislation.
Also, during the duration of week four, League President Cecile Scoon met with Senator Ray Rodrigues (Chair of the Senate Redistricting Committee) to discuss the redistricting process and share the League’s priorities for redistricting. The meeting was very professional and productive for both parties.
The upcoming committee week will start on November 15th and end on November 19th. Along with the regular committee week, Governor Ron DeSantis announced last week that they will also be holding a special legislative session to discuss numerous issues connected to local government ordinances related to vaccine and mask mandates. The special session is anticipated to be a point of contention between the majority and minority parties.
|2021 Special Session Bills|
The League believes attacking businesses and local governments doing everything they can to keep citizens safe is plain wrong. The legislation being pursued by the Governor and legislative leaders could put our state’s economic recovery at risk and endanger the lives of millions of Floridians. While the special session is going forward and cannot be stopped, the League stands opposed to it as a whole.
We are continuing to monitor all small amount of bills filed and will speak out accordingly when appropriate.
SB 2B / HB 1B: REJECT COVID-19 VACCINE MANDATES
SB 4B/ HB 3B: PROTECT PRIVATE HEALTH CARE AND RELIGIOUS INFORMATION
SB 6B/ HB 5B: BEGIN WITHDRAWING FROM OSHA
SB 8B/ HB 7B: REMOVE AUTHORITY OF STATE HEALTH OFFICER TO ORDER VACCINATIONS
|Redistricting Digest: Senate Releases First Set of Draft Maps|
On Wednesday, November 10, the Florida Senate released four draft state senate and four draft congressional maps. These drafts are to be considered nothing more than starting point for legislators to begin their work. You can find the plans by filtering plans submitted by the Senate here.
The Florida House has yet to propose their maps, and there is not currently a timeline for when that will occur. When this does happen, we will see draft state House and additional Congressional plans.
This release of maps is the start of a long process that will pick up in January. We’ll continue to update you as maps are changed, and when new ones are released.
The League and our partners throughout this process will continue to call on Florida legislators to conduct the remainder of the map-drawing process out in the open and as transparently as possible. The public should have every opportunity to engage in the map-drawing process and provide feedback on these maps. A truly fair redistricting process is impossible without incorporating the voices from Florida’s diverse communities.
|2022 Session: Bills on the Move|
In accordance to our 2022 legislative priorities and our various issue areas, these are bills that we are monitoring that have seen action in the past week. These are by no means the only bills we are following or monitoring but are bills that had a hearing (or were scheduled to have a hearing).
NOTE: While we have six main legislative priorities this year, the League does its best to track all issues in which we have a focus. Most resources are dedicated to our legislative priorities but if/when resources are able to be attributed to other areas they are.
Senate Bill 252: Healthcare Cost SavingsSenate Bill 252 by Senator Brodeur was heard in the Banking and Insurance committee on November 3rd, 2021. This bill was voted favorably 10-0, and has now been moved under the Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government. This bill is revising the “definition of the term “shoppable health care service” to include certain items and services specified in federal regulation, etc.” This bill now defines “shoppable health care service” as a lower-cost, high-quality non-emergency health care service for which a shared savings incentive is available for insureds under a health insurer’s shared savings incentive program. These are offered under several programs that are not limited to Florida.
SB 296: Healthcare ExpensesSenate Bill 296 by Senator Garcia was heard in the Health Policy committee on November 3rd, 2021 and was on the committee agenda but has been temporarily postponed. SB 296 requires each Florida-licensed hospital and ambulatory surgical center (ASC) to, consistent with federal requirements on hospital price transparency, establish, update, and make public a list of its standard charges for all items and services provided by the facility.
SB 330: Medicaid ModernizationSenate Bill 330 by Senator Brodeur was heard on November 3rd, 2021 in the Health Policy Committee and was voted favorably 10-0. This bill is now moved to the Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services. SB 330 authorizes the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) to reimburse for remote patient monitoring and store-and-forward services as optional services in the Florida Medicaid program, subject to specific appropriations. If the services are rendered, the bill would have a minor operational and indeterminate fiscal impact on Florida Medicaid.
SB 312: Telehealth (Similar to HB 0017)Senate Bill 312 by Senator Diaz was heard on November 3rd, 2021 in the Health Policy committee and was voted favorably 10-0. This bill has now been referred to the Banking and Insurance committee. SB 312 removes a provision in the definition of “telehealth” that excludes audio-only telephone calls. The bill also amends a provision that, in practice, will allow a telehealth provider to issue a renewal prescription for a controlled substance listed through telehealth, within the scope of his or her practice, and in accordance with other state and federal laws.
SB 228: Resiliency Energy Environment Florida Programs (Similar to HB 101)Senate Bill 228 by Senator Rodriguez was heard in the Community Affairs committee on November 3rd, 2021 and voted favorably 8-0. SB 228 substantially amends the Property Assessed Clean Energy program, which allows property owners to make qualifying improvements to real property and finance the cost through annual non-ad valorem tax assessments. Qualifying improvements are those that enhance energy efficiency, renewable energy, and wind resistance. The bill names the program the Resiliency Energy Environment Florida program and enhances protections for consumers entering into PACE contracts. The bill further allows governmental leased property to qualify for the program. Senate Bill 228 has been referred to the Finance and Tax committee.
|Home Rule + Natural Resources|
SB 224 – Regulation of Smoking in Public Spaces (Comparable to HB 105)Senate Bill 224 by Senator Gruters was heard in the Community Affairs committee on November 3rd, 2021. This bill was voted favorably 8-0, and has been referred to the Environment and Natural Resources committee. This bill amends the “Florida Clean Indoor Air Act” in part II of ch. 386, F.S., which regulates vaping and tobacco smoking in Florida. The bill allows counties and municipalities to restrict smoking within the boundaries of any of the public beaches and public parks they own. Currently, the regulation of smoking is preempted to the state, and counties and municipalities are prohibited from regulating smoking. “Smoking” is defined in ch. 386, F.S., as “inhaling, exhaling, burning, carrying, or possessing any lighted tobacco product, including cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, and any other lighted tobacco product.”
SB 344 –Public Records (Identical to HB 197)Senate Bill 344 by Senator Perry was heard in the Criminal Justice committee on November 2nd, 2021. This bill was voted favorably 9-0, and the committee substitute text has been filed. This bill is meant to provide an absolvement from public records requirements for a nonjudicial record of the arrest of a minor who has successfully completed a diversion program; providing for retroactive application; providing for future legislative review and repeal of the exemption; providing a statement of public necessity. A diversion program is upheld to allow youth to be rehabilitated and learn how to “redirect” them from criminal acts. This bill was passed to ensure that the future of minors who undergo this program are able to have a future without a criminal record.
SB 342 – Juvenile Diversion Program Expunction (Similar to HB 195)Senate Bill 342 by Senator Perry was heard in the Criminal Justice committee on November 2nd, 2021. This bill was voted favorably 9-0. This bill amends the previous action which “authorizes a minor who successfully completes a diversion program for any offense, rather than only for a first-time misdemeanor offense, to lawfully deny or fail to acknowledge certain information; providing an effective date.” The amendment requires the Department of Law Enforcement to expunge the nonjudicial arrest record of certain minors who successfully complete a diversion program for specified felony offenses, rather than only for misdemeanor offenses; authorizing a minor who successfully completes a diversion program and is granted an expunction for any offense, rather than only for a first-time misdemeanor offense, to lawfully deny or fail to acknowledge certain information, etc.