2014 – Legislative Updates

Florida Legislative Updates for 2014


FLARA Recommendations for 2014 Legislative Session

The Florida Alliance for Retired Americans 2014 recommendations for the Florida Legislature address a range of issues of concern to seniors. A strong economy, a well-trained and educated workforce, adequately funded public services, a strong participatory democracy, and robust laws to minimize public corruption benefit seniors. In addition, FLARA strongly supports measures to ensure that future generations do not face diminished prosperity.
1. The Legislature Should Enact Legislation to Promote Economic Justice – For more than three decades there has been a huge transfer of wealth from the middle class to a small percentage of people. In 2012, the top 1 percent of earners took 22.5 percent of total income, while in 1976 the top 1 percent took 9 percent of total income. Income for the top ten percent increased from 33 percent to more than 50 percent during this same period. Between 2009 and 2012, a period of economic recovery, the top 1 percent captured 95 percent of income gains.
This unprecedented transfer of wealth has undermined trust that our economy is fair and not rigged to benefit a small number of persons. A breakdown of trust that our economy functions fairly for all undermines the well-being of society and threatens seniors and everyone else with a less secure and prosperous future. Substantial reforms are needed in the economy and in tax policy to reverse this concentration of wealth that threatens job creation, educational attainment, health status and future opportunities for young persons. To help reverse economic disparity, to rebuild trust, and to help secure a bright and prosperous future for young persons the legislature should:
Modernize and reform Florida’s regressive tax structure – Florida has the second most regressive structure among the 50 states, which means that Floridians who can least afford to support government pays higher percentage of their income in taxes compared to the wealthy. The legislature can help to restore economic fairness by reforming our unbalanced tax structure. Now is the time to close tax loopholes to make Florida’s tax system less regressive. Those tax exemptions that are the most regressive should be repealed, corporate loopholes should be closed, and the intangibles tax on stocks should be reenacted.  The elimination of taxes on accumulated wealth (the intangibles tax), eliminated during the Jeb Bush years, costs Florida more than $2 billion annually. Recommendations to modernize and reform Florida’s tax structure are contained in the Florida Center for Fiscal and Economic Policy Issue Brief, “Tax Modernization Choices for Florida,” published in February 2011.
Provide substantially increased funding to programs that support the unemployed and to others in need. These programs include, but are not limited to, unemployment compensation, the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program, affordable housing programs and programs that serve Florida’s children, the disabled, and seniors.
Increase the state’s minimum wage in incremental steps over time so that it represents a living wage. Section 24 of Florida Constitution states that, “All working Floridians are entitled to be paid a minimum wage that is sufficient to provide a decent and healthy life for them and their families…” The constitution gives the legislature the authority to increase the state minimum wage. Increasing the minimum wage will boost consumer spending which will strengthen the economy which benefits seniors and younger persons.
Provide increased funding to early childhood education and to public schools to help secure a more prosperous future for young persons.
Enact strong measures to contain health care costs. All health care prices should be transparent to consumers, health care providers should not be allowed to charge more than what Medicare reimburses for health care services, and strong enforcement action needs to be taken to identify, prosecute and punish those who commit health care fraud. Health care costs are a burden for seniors and others.
Create a study commission or task force to examine consumer protection in all areas of our economy including, credit, housing, consumer products, and employment law. Florida laws pertaining to consumer protection should be robust, and there should be strong enforcement of these laws.
Include in each legislative bill analysis, a determination as to if the bill would decrease, increase or not have an effect on income disparity.

2.  Florida Should Adequately Fund Core Government Responsibilities –   FLARA urges the Legislature to adequately fund education, public safety, health care, the courts, programs to ensure the well-being of children and the elderly, and the other basic needs of government. FLARA believes that tax reform can produce sufficient revenue to meet Florida’s core governmental needs.

3.  Health Care Continues to Require Reform– We urge the Legislature to take full advantage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act by expanding the Medicaid Program to the full extent allowed by this law using traditional fee-for service provider reimbursement. Although the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is an important step towards health care reform at the national level, expanding the Medicare program to make it a single payer would offer increased savings, better quality and better access.
Expanding Medicare to Create a Single Payer System
Primarily because of the lobbying efforts of private health insurance companies, Congress has not yet been able to enact single payer legislation to expand the Medicare program to make it available to everyone. FLARA supports expanding Medicare to cover everyone because this would be a more cost effective system than the private insurance system that is maintained by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and the expanded Medicare program would provide better quality care, at less cost and with better access.
4.  The Legislature Should Take Measures to Reduce Public Corruption – Public corruption is pervasive at all levels of government in Florida. This is according to a December 2010 report, “A Study of Public Corruption in Florida” by the 19th Statewide Grand Jury. According to the grand jury report, between 2000 and 2010 there were a total of 8,241 arrest charges and 1,126 convictions for public corruption. Florida led all states in public corruption convictions. Cadets at West Point and other military academies swear an oath not to lie, cheat or steal or tolerate others that do. Public officials should be held to this same standard. Our democracy cannot function properly unless there is public trust in elected officials. Thomas Jefferson said that, “When a man assumes a public trust, he should consider himself a public property.”
The legislature should undertake a review of current law and penalties for public corruption to determine if strengthening law and penalties is needed so that public corruption is deterred to the extent possible and punished appropriately.
5.  Retirement Benefits for Future Public Employees Should Not be Reduced – Florida’s defined benefit program should be maintained for all future public employees. Florida’s retirement system should not be made less attractive to public employees nor should public employees be required to contribute financially. Florida’s retirement system is not facing financial problems, and there is no need to alter the system to reduce costs. Reducing retirement benefits for future employees would increase income disparity in the future and place some retirees at risk of not having sufficient income to meet basic needs. A lower retirement benefit is particularly harmful to women, who typically have weaker earnings histories and thus have weaker retirement program credits than do men.
6.  Election Laws Need Further Reform – To strengthen our democracy by increasing voter participation, the legislature should enact law creating a system for online voter registration, permit local Supervisors of Elections to designate remote absentee ballot drop-off locations and to select early voting locations according to the same standards that are used for polling places on election day, provide funding to expand electronic poll books, permit persons with disabilities to move to the front of voting lines, and increase efforts to inform persons with disabilities about services to help them vote.
7.  Ethics Laws Need Further Reform – Although the legislature has made progress in strengthening laws relating to ethics, the following further actions should be taken: (1) strengthen the garnishment provisions for public officials who don’t pay their fines; (2) require that local officials undergo ethics training just like the legislature has to annually and apply many of the same ethics requirements presently in place for lawmakers to local officials; (3); hold statutorily created corporations, like Citizens Property Insurance Corporation and Enterprise Florida, and direct support organizations, like Visit Florida, to ethical standards that government organizations need to be held to; (4) remove officials from office for failing to file financial disclosure reports; (5) increase lobbying disclosure and registration throughout Florida’s special district; (6) strengthen open records and open government laws; and (7) define clear and enforceable rules for residency requirements of public officials.
8.  Health Care Prices Should be Transparent –  As mentioned in the recommendation concerning income disparity, FLARA supports legislation that would require all physicians, including physician specialists, dentists and health care providers, including hospitals, outpatient centers, clinical laboratories, and diagnostic imaging centers, to make available to the public the prices they charge persons with and without health insurance.  Price transparency provides necessary information to patients and helps control health care costs.
9.  Private For-Profit Medicaid Managed Care Should Not be Expanded – Florida cannot afford to give tax dollars to for-profit entities to use to financially reward private investors in the Medicaid program.  Using non-profit health providers to deliver Medicaid services will make the use of public health care funds more efficient.  Funding that would have gone to reward private investors, and to pay excessive compensation to health care executives, should instead be used to provide health care services on a non-profit basis. FLARA is concerned that services will be reduced to generate the profit that is required by investors.

10.  State Officials Should be Subject to Recall by the Voters – Unfortunately, the Florida Constitution does not have a provision giving voters the right to recall state officials, although there is a provision for the recall of local officials. This means that neither the Governor, members of the cabinet, legislators, or other state elected officials can be removed from office by the voters. Eighteen states have provisions for the recall of elected officials at the state level. FLARA supports HJR 7 and HR 9 (Kriseman), introduced in the 2012 session, which would give voters a constitutional mechanism to recall elected officials through petition and recall election.

11.  Elected Officials Should Face Penalties for Violating the Oath of Office – Legislation is needed to penalize elected officials at the state level who violate the oath of office in Florida’s Constitution. Article II, Section 5, Paragraph (b) requires elected officials to swear or affirm the following oath prior to assuming office:
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support, protect, and defend the Constitution and Government of the United States and of the State of Florida…”  Although the Governor and legislators must take this oath, there are no penalties in either Florida’s Constitution or in the Florida Statutes if they intentionally violate the oath. Enacting legislation to add penalties for violating the constitutional oath would help ensure that elected officials do not take action in violation of this oath such as to thwart the implementation of the voter-approved Fair Districts amendments to Florida’s Constitution or undermine the implementation of Federal law, such as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Our democracy can only remain strong if our leaders respect and abide by the law. A constitutional amendment is needed to create penalties for elected officials who intentionally violate their oath of office. The following or similar language should be enacted into law or placed in the Constitution:  “Any public officer or employee of the state who in the performance of their duties intentionally fails to support, protect or defend the Constitution and Government of the United States and of the State of Florida shall be guilty of a (misdemeanor or felony) punishable by a term of not more than one year in prison, a fine of up to $5,000, and shall forfeit their elected office or employment.”

Federal law provides for similar penalties if a member of Congress violates the oath of office members of Congress must take.

12.  Affordable Housing Programs Should be Adequately Funded – FLARA supports state legislation to urge Congress to provide adequate funding for seniors and others with low incomes.


FPN Health Funders Group Webinar
Medicaid Expansion: Implications for Florida
March 13, 2014  |  Noon – 1:00 pm ET

The issue of whether or not Florida should accept federal funding to expand its Medicaid program continues to be a topic of much discussion in the state. It is rare that an issue has such significant consequences for the state’s budget, its hospitals and health care system, and its low- and moderate-income families. Because the the Medicaid program is such a complex one, FPN’s Health Funders Group is pleased to present this webinar to help cut through the complexity and present the most salient facts and data about the Medicaid expansion issue and its implications for Florida. The webinar will be presented by Joan Alker from Georgetown University, who is a national expert on Medicaid and has spent eight years studying Florida’s Medicaid program. Joan has a rare ability to explain Medicaid issues and policy in a clear-cut and engaging manner. In addition to discussing the options and implications for Florida around this issue, Joan will provide an overview of how some other states are handling the Medicaid expansion issue. (Note: This webinar will present similar information to a briefing that FPN hosted in Tallahassee on Feb. 19.)

Questions? For questions about program content, contact Chris Johnson, FPN’s Director of Programs & Learning, at 813-983-7397, chris@fpnetwork.org; For questions about program registration, contact Carla Batts, FPN’s Office Manager, at 813-983-7399, carla@fpnetwork.org.


Sign-On Letter Supporting Toxic Chemical List ‏ 

Please consider signing on to this letter in support of state legislation to create a public list of potentially toxic chemicals commonly found in consumer products. Florida is way behind on this front. Thirty-two other states are looking at serious regulation of similar chemicals but in FL the push is simply to have DOH administer a list so that we as consumers can have a better idea of what we’re bringing into our homes. The letter is attached and the deadline to sign on today. I’m guessing some groups may already have positions on this though. To sign on contact katerno@cleanwater.org

Here’s a list of groups signed on so far: (several others are still pending)

Planned Parenthood
FCAN
Physicians for Social Responsibility
Organize Now
Environmental-Health-Wellness-Beauty LLC
Florida Alliance for Consumer Protection
Florida Parent Teachers Association
Urban Environmental League
South Florida Cancer Association


Apply Now!

aarp job


sunshstatenews

LeRoy Collins Institute Releases Latest ‘Tough Choices’ Report
| Posted: February 20, 2014 10:23 AM

 

On Thursday, Florida State University’s LeRoy Collins Institute (LCI) unveiled Tougher Choices: Shaping Florida’s Future, a report on a host of fronts including state finances, education, public employee pensions and other issues. The report was written by a team of economists from the Bureau of Economic and Business Research (BEBR) at the University of Florida. LCI has been releasing Tough Choices reports since 2005.

Almost 10 years ago, the LeRoy Collins Institute published Tough Choices: Shaping Florida’s Future, which analyzed Florida’s revenue and spending trends and found that, while Florida certainly has boundless economic potential, there were tough decisions to be made to achieve that potential, said Carol Weissert, a political science professor at Florida State University and the director of the LCI. This report, Tougher Choices, revisits these concerns and, unfortunately, finds that Florida has made little progress in addressing the key issues outlined in our initial report. We hope this new report will help to further illustrate the challenges facing the state and inspire appropriate reforms. LCI offered the following overviews of the report’s findings:

Florida’s education system is struggling across the spectrum from K-12 through higher education. Funding for the state’s public schools is lagging, and Florida’s young workers are less likely to have a college degree than their peers in other states.

Florida’s reliance on retirees and tourists comes at a price as the demands of older residents and vacationers are disproportionately linked to lower-paid service jobs. To make matters worse, growing Medicaid demands due to Baby Boomer retirements and labor market polarization will likely lead to greater expenditures for the state in the near future.

Florida’s transportation congestion is among the worst in the country, especially in urban areas. The state continues to lack an appropriate amount of roads for its growing population, which is only compounded by its aging infrastructure and overcrowded highways.


 New nonprofit alliance will have big impact in Florida

Kelly: The Nonprofit Symposium held Jan. 15 by the newly created Florida Nonprofit Alliance was time very well spent and I was sorry so few of the local nonprofits attended. FNA is the newly created statewide nonprofit advocacy organization.

There are 36 other states that already have a statewide organization recognized by the National Council of Nonprofits and Florida is finally getting our own. It’s ridiculous we haven’t been one of the national leaders.

This statewide alliance is going to have a huge impact on all nonprofits in Florida and I strongly urge you to check them out atwww.flnonprofits.org and follow what they are doing. Better yet, get involved and make it all happen.

Robert Eggers, author, entrepreneur and nonprofit leader, was the opening speaker and talked about the importance of FNA. He reminded us we have a vested interest in coming together to talk about what the sector contributes. Eggers said individual lives are always important, but what the FNA is trying to do, in partnership with the 36 other state associations, is about big audacious change.

He said those of us working in nonprofits are really in the courage business. I loved that. He continued by saying he sees three groups of nonprofit folks. Those doing what we do for our organizations and populations, those who come together sometimes to share and then go back to regular work, and those that see the future and march out to meet it.

Finally, Eggers talked about how there is no profit (for businesses) without nonprofits. Business leaders depend on us to take care of their people, to create culture and arts and help the community be strong and viable. When our community is strong, people spend money and businesses make money. The nonprofit sector should never be bashful about wanting to be represented in every important discussion affecting our quality of life. It doesn’t exist at the pleasure of the other sectors; it exists because the other two sectors need it.

Alyce Lee: After its several years in the making, I was pleased to attend FNA’s first symposium. Florida’s nonprofits are in better hands now that this organization is advocating for us at the state level.

One of the interesting ideas discussed at the FNA meeting was the creation of the Florida Governor’s Office on Philanthropy. This is not a new concept and similar models are working successfully in other major cities and states. The purpose of this office would be to help educate, inform and leverage Florida’s philanthropic assets in partnership with the governor in the area of economic development and to help solve problems impacting our state.

Florida Trend included this as one of its bright ideas for 2014. The magazine believes it’s time to bring nonprofits to the table when the state is vying to bring new companies to Florida who not only want a place to work but a place to make a difference.

I spoke with David Biemesderfer, president and CEO of the Florida Philanthropic Network, an association of over 100 grant makers including many of the state’s biggest private independent, corporate and family foundations, about this idea. “We are very supportive of exploring how we can help make this happen because it will be a great way to find connections between the public and philanthropic sectors and leverage our collective resources to help improve the lives of all Floridians,” he said.

This type of collaboration brings to mind the recent example at the Detroit Institute of Arts. The museum’s vast art collection may have to go on the auction block to help bail the city of Detroit out of bankruptcy. Enter the nonprofit sector. A cadre of foundations have collectively pledged $330 million to bolster at-risk city pensions and preserve its art treasures for public benefit in perpetuity.

Although the ink isn’t dry on this deal, this is an unprecedented example of foundation support that could be a game changer for Detroit. It’s an example of what can happen when nonprofits are at the table helping to solve problems the other two sectors cannot resolve on their own. As Eggers said, the nonprofit sector is in the courage business and in Florida, it’s time for the lion to roar.

Kelly Otte, is Executive Director of PACE Center for Girls. Alyce Lee Stansbury, CFRE is President of Stansbury Consulting. Contact them at notesonnonprofits@gmail.com.


Here’s How Much Your State Is Losing If It Didn’t Expand Medicaid
The Huffington Post  | by  Shadee Ashtari

Following a 2012 Supreme Court ruling that made Medicaid expansion under theAffordable Care Act optional for states, 19 states have opted out of the reform, rejecting billions of dollars of federal funding for low-income residents. Texas and Florida will lose more than $9 billion and $5 billion, respectively.

The following map indicates the net loss of federal funds by 2022, in millions, for the 19 states choosing not to participate in Medicaid expansion, assuming all other states participate:

If adopted by all states, the Medicaid expansion — designed for residents at or below 138 percent of the federal poverty level — is projected to provide 21.3 million Americans with affordable health care by 2022 while reducing states’ uncompensated health care expenses. The ACA’s expansion program covers 100 percent of Medicaid costs for new enrollees through 2016, gradually reducing assistance to 90 percent cost coverage by 2020. Many of the states refusing to expand Medicaid under the ACA cite potentially harmful fiscal impacts on their state budgets, although expanding Medicaid coverage costs less than 1 percent of state budgets on average, according to a December report by the Commonwealth Fund.

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A state-by-state breakdown:

Alabama: -$943,000,000

Alaska: -$229,000,000

Florida: -$5,038,000,000

Georgia: -$2,862,000,000

Idaho: -$297,000,000

Kansas: -$950,000,000

Louisiana: -$1,655,000,000

Maine: -$294,000,000

Mississippi: -$431,000,000

Missouri: -$2,249,000,000

Nebraska: -$738,000,000

North Carolina: -$2,591,000,000

Oklahoma: -$1,264,000,000

South Carolina: -$807,000,000

South Dakota: -$224,000,000

Texas: -$9,217,000,000

Utah: -$719,000,000

Virginia: -$2,839,000,000

Wisconsin: -$1,848,000,000

 


ahcaThis presentation outlines the effects of the SMMC Long-term Care program on those who receive Developmental Disabilities Waiver Services.

 


lwvLeague of Women Voters, Sen. Garcia, Rep. Murphy and other groups urge Legislature to extend healthcare coverage to Florida’s uninsured

Tallahassee — A leading Republican lawmaker today called on members of the Florida Legislature to accept $51 billion in federal money to extend healthcare coverage to nearly 1 million uninsured and provide the state with a huge economic stimulus.

Sen. Rene Garcia of Hialeah, spoke at a news conference along with Rep. Amanda Murphy (D-New Port Richey), local business owners, members of the medical community and the President of the League of Women Voters of Florida.

Their message was clear: Time is of the essence.

Garcia said it doesn’t make sense that the state of Florida accepts federal funding for things like transportation and education, but refuses to take federal dollars for healthcare expansion. “This is not about politics — its about policy and being consistent and taking care of our own,” Garcia said.

Garcia is sponsoring a bill (SB 710) that would allow Florida to accept $51 billion in federal funding available for expanding healthcare coverage, and mirrors a bill that received unanimous support in the Senate last year. Murphy is sponsoring the House version (HB 869).

This bipartisan initiative would “positively impact working families and those that have fallen on hard times by ensuring access to affordable healthcare through the free market,” Murphy said.

She called on House Speaker Weatherford and others opposing the measure to “come to the table” so that “together, we can find a way to set aside our differences and benefit Florida’s working families.”

Florida has the second-highest rate of uninsured citizens in the nation, with 1 in 4 Floridians living without basic healthcare coverage. “These people are more than just a number, they are real people with families who work hard everyday,” said Dr. Mona Mangat, Chair of Doctors for America and an Allergist-Immunologist based in St. Petersburg. “Floridians in the coverage gap deserve access to healthcare. It is time for state leaders to put patients over politics.”

Speakers at the news conference emphasized the economic imperative of expanding healthcare coverage, highlighting the $51 billion and the estimated 121,000 new jobs that the expansion is predicted to create in Florida. Additionally, extending healthcare coverage will help Florida businesses avoid the massive financial penalties they face if they are unable to provide coverage to their employees, an estimated $169-253 million a year.

 “With Florida losing $7 million a day by refusing to expand healthcare coverage, there is no time to lose,” League President Deirdre Macnab stated, urging the Legislature to take advantage of the 60-day session to act on this issue. “This is a historic economic stimulus opportunity for Florida, and will do more to improve our business climate than anything else our Legislature can address this session.”

Please contact LWVF President Deirdre Macnab for further comments.

The League of Women Voters of Florida, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. For more information, please visit the League’s website at: 


2014-2015 Interim Committee Meeting Schedule

Senate released its 2014-2015 interim committee meeting schedule. There will NOT be any interim meetings in 2014 — outside of the Organization Session slated for November 18th. Committees will hold meetings five weeks in January and February.

2014-2015 Interim Committee Meeting Schedule:
December 2014 – No Meetings
January 2015 – Week of the 5th
January 2015 – Week of the 20th
February 2015 – Week of the 2nd
February 2015 – Week of the 9th
February 2015 – Week of the 16th


Action Alert! Help Secure Health Care Access for More of Florida’s Children!

Bill: HB 7 | SB 282

House bill sponsored by Rep. Jose Felix Diaz
Co-Sponsors: Rep. Daphne Campbell,  Rep. Janet Cruz, Rep. Manny Diaz, Rep. Joe Gibbons, Rep. Dave Hood, Rep. José Javier Rodríguez, Rep. Joe Saunders, Rep. Linda Stewart
Senate bill sponsored by Sen. René García
Co-Sponsor: Sen. Anitere Flores

Thanks to the active support and engagement of Floridians, like you, members of the Health Innovation Subcommittee in the Florida House voted unanimously in favor of House Bill 7!

While this is a great first step, there is still a long way to go to ensure that more than 25,000 of our lawfully residing immigrant children have access to high-quality, affordable health care.

Please join KidsWell Florida and help us make sure that our state’s lawmakers pass House Bill 7 and Senate Bill 282 during Florida’s 2014 legislative session.

These bills would ensure that more of our state’s children have access to the medical care they need to stay healthy. It would also help us reduce the costs of uncompensated care in our state’s health care system.

In short, these bills make sense for our children and for Florida.

Send a powerful message to your legislators BEFORE they vote at 2:00 pm on Tuesday, March 25th. Call or e-mail members of the Florida House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee and the Florida Senate Committee on Health Policy asking them to do the right thing for Florida’s children.

YOU CAN ALSO…

Click here to watch a YouTube Video and learn more about House Bill 7.
Visit our website and and join KidsWell Florida’s Subscription List!
Spread the word on this issue and legislation with your networks. KidsWell Florida is on Facebook and Twitter. Follow us / ”Like” us and help us spread information, receive notice about calls to action and other important updates on this issue.
Download these talking points (English and Spanish) to share or use when you contact or speak with your legislative contacts and community leaders.
All children deserve the best possible opportunity for a full, healthy childhood.

Together, we can make that happen.

 


REP. JONES TO ANNOUNCE LEGISLATION AIMED AT TACKLING HEPATITIS C

Tallahassee, Fla. – Rep. Mia Jones (D-Jacksonville) will hold a press conference on Thursday, January 16 at 1:30 p.m. to unveil legislation that aims to address the growing health issues surrounding Hepatitis C. Rep. Jones will be joined by Florida-based leading health care voices, including Michael Ruppal, Executive Director of a group that has launchedHepInfoNow.org.
THE HEPATITIS C NUMBERS:

–  4 million U.S. residents are living with HCV.

–  17,000 new HCV infections occur annually in the United States.

– 15,000 deaths occur each year—now exceeding those who die of HIV.

– 300,000 Floridians are living with HCV.

Details of the Press Conference:

Rep. Mia Jones, Health Care leaders
Thursday, January 16th
1:30 p.m.
4th Floor Rotunda, The Capitol


Action Alert: SB 282 and HB 7 Need Your Voice Now More Than Ever Before! ‏

kidswellThanks to the relentless commitment of advocates and concerned Floridians like you, last week, SB 282 passed through the Senate Health Policy Committee. Despite this major victory, there is still work to be done to reach our goal of insuring more of Florida’s children. If the bill’s progress is stopped now, approximately 25,000 legally residing children will still be forced to endure a five year wait before they are eligible to enroll in Florida KidCare.

Making sure SB 282 and HB 7 are heard by the Senate and House Appropriations subcommittees, respectively, is the next and very crucial step to expanding access for these kids. During the five years legally residing children are forced to wait, they are less likely to see a doctor, far more likely to have unmet medical needs, and significantly more likely to miss several days of school.

Join KidsWell Florida in the fight to eliminate the 5 year waiting period for legally residing immigrant children and contact your legislators today!

The official estimate of the cost of extending coverage to these children is about $19 million in state funds, less than ¼ of 1 percent of the state’s share of the health care budget. However, children’s health experts believe that even the $19 million figure is too high, with the true price tag easily coming in at less than half that amount. The official state estimates assumes that every newly eligible child will immediately enroll in coverage, but Florida’s past experience with expansions of coverage shows that this is a highly unrealistic expectation.

Help us get these bills heard and passed through the next committee. Please call or e-mail members of the Florida House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee and the Florida Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services and ask them to do the right thing for so many of Florida’s children.

House Speaker Weatherford and Senate President Gaetz also play a pivotal role in the success of these bills. Click here to send a quick email letting them know how important this issue is to you and to Florida.

YOU CAN ALSO…

Click here to watch a YouTube video and learn more about SB 282 and HB 7

Visit our website and join KidsWell Florida’s subscription list!
Spread the word on this issue and legislation with your networks. KidsWell Florida is on Facebook and Twitter. Follow us / “Like” us and help us spread information, receive notice about calls to action and other important updates on this issue.
Download these talking points (English and Spanish) to share or use when you contact or speak with your legislative contacts and community leaders.

Week One – March 7, 2014

THE 2014 LEGISLATIVE SESSION KICKS OFF THIS WEEK

For the second consecutive year, child advocates are hopeful that the days of harmful cuts have passed and new funds might be allocated to restore vital services that were lost during the recession. With a nearly $1 billion surplus over last year, many interests will vie to persuade the Legislature that their issues are deserving of new funding. As an election year, 2014 will see the vast majority of elected officials return to the polls to seek reelection, though it remains to be seen how this will affect the task of governing this session.

In his opening remarks to the Senate, President Don Gaetz (R-Niceville) stated that his top priorities will be passing legislation that increases penalties on and oversight of sexual predators, reforming the child welfare system, increasing funding for Child Advocacy Centers, and fully funding the Agency for Persons with Disabilities waiting list for services. House Speaker Will Weatherford (R-Wesley Chapel) pledged to improve Florida’s education system by addressing “increased standards and accountability in our early learning efforts to common-sense reforms in our K-12 system.” He will also once again seek to reform the Florida Retirement System and expand the use of charter schools and private school vouchers. Both chambers will also seek tax and fee cuts aligned with those proposed by the Governor, but there is already a divergence regarding how the tax relief will be distributed, with the Governor wanting more tax breaks for businesses.

Following both legislative leaders’ addresses was Governor Rick’s Scott’s “State of the State” address. Gov. Scott reiterated his commitment to cutting as much as $500 million in taxes and automotive fees and keeping student tuition flat. He touted his record on the state’s economy and his commitment to increasing funding for the K-12 education system. However, proposed investments in early learning, Healthy Start, Healthy Families and the child welfare system, while not specifically mentioned in the State of the State address, are contained in the Governor’s proposed budget.

In addition to the bills affecting children discussed below, other issues sure to be debated this session include: gaming and the expansion of Las Vegas-style casinos; medical marijuana; self-defense laws; water cleanup, particularly of the Indian River Lagoon, which has its own Select Subcommittee; expansion of ethics rules; education funding; human trafficking; school grades and Common Core; and red light cameras.
Throughout the 2014 session, the Florida Children’s Council and its partners will work closely with the Legislature and the Governor to increase funding for Early Learning, VPK and Healthy Kids, among other programs, and to enhance, where possible, the quality and availability of services to a greater number of children. Please stay tuned to the weekly Capitol Connection for the latest updates on bills affecting Florida’s children and families.
EARLY LEARNING

Early Learning Bill Released
Drafted over the course of many interim committee meetings, HB 7069 by Chair Marlene O’Toole (R-The Villages) and the House Education Committee will address early learning health and safety standards, licensing, and more. The bill has not yet received its committee references, and though it does not currently have a corresponding bill in the Senate, a similar committee bill is expected to eventually come out of Sen. John Legg’s (R-Lutz) Education Committee. Some notable components of the bill include the following:

Renames the School Readiness program as the Child Care and Development program
Requires that private providers must be licensed or, if the provider is a licensed-exempt faith-based provider or nonpublic school, agree to substantially comply with specified child care licensing standards and submit to inspections by the Department of Children and Families (DCF) or local licensing agency
Denies providers with serious health and safety violations in the previous year program eligibility unless certain requirements are met
Requires that by January 1, 2016, personnel must be at least 18 years of age and hold a high school diploma (or equivalent); practitioners must be trained in developmentally appropriate practices aligned to the age and needs of children served
Requires the Office of Early Learning (OEL) to develop online training on the School Readiness program performance standards and provider personnel to complete the training
Requires the Office of Early Learning to conduct a 2-year pilot project to study the impact of assessing the early literacy skills of Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program participants who are English Language Learners, in both English and Spanish
Governor Rick Scott Recommends Increased Funding to the Early Learning System
Early learning featured prominently in Governor Rick Scott’s It’s Your Money Tax Cut budget in 2014. In his annual recommendation to the Legislature, the Governor proposed allocating a total of $59.4 million in new dollars to the early learning system, including a one-time increase of $30 million in non-recurring funds to the School Readiness program to cover additional child care slots. He also suggested raising Voluntary Prekindergarten funding by $100 per child. In addition to supporting these recommendations, advocates will continue to push for more funding to improve the quality of school readiness programs.

Licensing of Facilities that Offer Health and Human Services
HB 303 by Rep. Lori Berman (D-Boynton Beach) was heard and passed by the Healthy Families Subcommittee on Wednesday, March 5. It now goes to Health Care Appropriations. The bill would make the following changes to the regulations of family day care homes, child care facilities, and large family child care homes:

Amends the definitions of “child care” and “child care facility” to delete the requirement that a payment, fee, or grant be made for care in order to be considered child care or a child care facility
Requires that child care facilities exempt from licensing requirements include the state or local agency license number or registration number of the facility when advertising
Requires licensed or registered family day care homes and large family child care homes to conspicuously display the license or registration in the common area of the home
Requires that the substitute for a registered family day care home meet the screening and training requirements of DCF
Specifies that background checks are required for the operator, each household member, and the designated substitute of a registered family day care home
The bill’s companion, SB 394 by Sen. Audrey Gibson (D-Jacksonville) was last heard on February 4 when it passed the Senate Children, Families, and Elder Affairs Committee. It is now awaiting a hearing in the Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations Committee.
HEALTHY CHILDREN
Florida KidCare Program

A bill that would allow children of legal immigrants, who have lived in the United States less than five years, to be eligible for KidCare was passed unanimously on February 11 by the House Health Innovation Subcommittee. HB 7 by Rep. Jose Felix Diaz (R-Miami) now awaits a hearing in the House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee. Agency staff estimated that these bills would extend health coverage to a total of 25,555 children, if enacted. Its companion, SB 282 by Sen. Rene Garcia (R-Hialeah), has been referred to the Senate Health Policy Subcommittee, Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services, and the Appropriations Committee. For proponents of the bills, it is timely to thank the sponsors for supporting children, contact your members to ask them to co-sponsor the bills and also contact leadership of the committees noted to help get the bills heard.

Rep. Harrell (R-Port St. Lucie) has once again filed a bill, HB 917, which would allow Federally Qualified Health Centers and other clinics to presumptively enroll children deemed eligible in the Florida KidCare Program for a brief period of time (30-60 days) while their application is being formally processed. This service, which is already available for pregnant women, will allow children to receive immediate and critical follow up care, services, and medication. It is currently in the Health Innovation Subcommittee.

Medicaid Expansion
Two bills have been filed for the 2014 session, which are identical to last year’s SB 1816 by Sen. Joe Negron (R-Stuart) and the Appropriations Committee that would have created the “Healthy Florida Program” as an alternative to Medicaid expansion, had the House approved it. SB 710 by Sen. Rene Garcia (R-Hialeah) has yet to be heard in Health Policy, its first of four assigned committee hearings. HB 869 by Rep. Amanda Murphy (D-New Port Richey) is also awaiting its first hearing in the Select Committee on PPACA, which does not currently have any scheduled meetings. Sen. Negron has stated that he does expect his former bill to be seriously considered this session, even in the Senate where it passed on a 38:1 vote last year.

Most observers fear that Medicaid expansion faces an even harder path to adoption than last year. Before being rejected by the House last session, Sen. Negron’s SB 1816 gained the support of both the Senate and governor. However, Speaker Weatherford and President Gaetz have now publicly criticized the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for not allowing enough flexibility in designing a less comprehensive package of health coverage that may charge enrollees premiums and other costs. HHS contends that they have allowed other states (including Arkansas and Iowa) to develop innovative programs of their own, but to be considered, proposed Medicaid waivers must guarantee that recipients receive adequate benefits.

Newborn Health Screening
HB 591 by Rep. Gayle Harrell (R-Port St. Lucie) will allow the State Public Health Laboratory to release the results of a newborn’s hearing and metabolic tests or screenings to the newborn’s health care practitioner, a term which it expands to include a physician or physician assistant, osteopathic physician or physician assistant, advanced registered nurse practitioner, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, midwife, speech-language pathologist or audiologist, or a dietician or nutritionist. The bill passed unanimously out of the House Health Quality Subcommittee on February 18, and now awaits a hearing by the House Health and Human Services Committee, the bill’s final committee assignment.

Its companion, SB 722 by Sen. Rene Garcia (R-Hialeah), will be heard by its first committee, Senate Health Policy, on Tuesday, March 11 at 4 pm. The bill must then go to the Senate Children, Families, and Elder Affairs and Judiciary Committees.

CHILD WELFARE
Following media coverage that dozens of children under the care of the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) had suffered senseless and preventable deaths, reforming the child welfare system has become one of the top priorities in both chambers of the Legislature. Since interim committee meetings began last fall, members (in both policy and budget committees) have heard from state agencies, Community-Based Care (CBC) agencies, national experts, OPPAGA, and other stakeholders to get a better understanding of the shortcomings of the system, and what potential solutions may exist. Some of the topics discussed, included case manager/child protective investigator retention and training, creation of a death review panel, and requiring or incentivizing investigators to have at least a bachelor’s degree in social work.

Chair Eleanor Sobel (D-Hollywood) and the Children, Families, and Elder Affair Committee have been leading efforts in the Senate and have released two proposed committee bills that will be heard on Tuesday, March 11. SPB 7072 and SPB 7074 will address a wide array of reforms, includin

Requiring the Secretary of DCF to appoint an Assistant Secretary for Child Welfare
Requiring DCF to conduct specified investigations using critical incident rapid response teams
Authorizing access to specified records in the event of the death of a child which was reported to DCF’s child abuse hotline
Requiring DCF to publish specified information on its website if the death of a child is reported to the child abuse hotline
Requiring DCF to make a reasonable effort to keep siblings together when they are placed in out-of-home care under certain circumstances
Requiring the review of all deaths of children which occur in the state and are reported to DCF’s child abuse hotline
Providing for the allocation of funds for community-based care agencies
Requiring DCF to establish community care alliances
Child Welfare Training and Certification
Two bills have been filed that would make several changes to enhance the training of child welfare workers. HB 431 by Rep. Jose Javier Rodrigues (D-Miami) and SB 1302 by Sen. Eleanor Sobel (D-Hollywood) would require a third-party credentialing entity seeking approval from DCF to administer a field internship program for certain students, as well as require DCF to budget certain federal matching funds to provide educational financial support for specified persons. Both bills are still awaiting a hearing in their first committees of reference in the House Healthy Families Subcommittee and Senate Children, Families, and Elder Affairs Committee.

Unaccompanied Youth
SB 260 by Sen. Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater) was passed unanimously out of Judiciary on Tuesday, March 4. The bill would allow certain unaccompanied youth to consent to medical, dental, psychological, substance abuse, and surgical diagnosis and treatment for themselves. The bill will now go to the Senate floor for a final vote. Its companion, HB 203 by Rep. Daniel Raulerson (R-Plant City), was passed out of its first committee, Civil Justice on Wednesday, March 5. It will now go to the Health and Human Services Committee.

Sexual Predators
SB 522, SB 524, SB 526, SB 528 were passed by the Senate on the first day of session. This suite of bills will increase minimum sentences for sexual offenses, oversight of sexual offenders, and allow authorities to detain sexual predators under certain conditions, even after their prison term is up. It was a major priority of Senate President Don Gaetz, who earlier stated, “I don’t want to let one more day go by without making Florida scorched earth for sexual predators.” The bills were in response to a South Florida Sun-Sentinel investigation that found that “rapists and pedophiles freed by the state went on to molest 460 children, rape 121 women and kill 14.”

The House has also made sexual predators a priority and is crafting its own comprehensive bill suite, including some of which are expected to pass the House as early as the second week of session. The following bills were passed by Judiciary on Monday, March 3, and will next go to the floor of the House:

HB 7019 by Rep. Travis Hutson (R-Palm Coast) and Criminal Justice “Civil Commitment of Sexually Violent Predators”
HB 7021 by Health and Human Services Committee and Criminal Justice, “Sexually Violent Predators”
HB 7025 by Rep. Dane Eagle (R-Cape Coral), Appropriations Committee and Criminal Justice, “Sexual Offenders”
HB 7027 by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R- Fort Walton Beach) and Criminal Justice, “Sexual Offenses”
Other related bills:

HB 7013 by Rep. Irv Slosberg (D-Delray Beach) and Criminal Justice, “Sexually Violent Predator Program,” currently in Judiciary
HB 7017 by Rep. Michael Philip Clelland (D-Longwood) and Criminal Justice, “Supervision of Sexually Violent Predators,” currently in Judiciary
HB 485 by Rep. Jake Raburn (R-Valrico) and Criminal Justice, “Sexual Offenses Against Students by Authority Figures,” currently in Justice Appropriations
HB 73 by Rep. Katie Edwards (D-Sunrise), Rep. Dane Eagle (R-Cape Coral), and Criminal Justice, “Sexual Offenders,” currently House Calendar
Human Trafficking
In addition to crafting policies to combat sexual predators, leadership in both houses have vowed to fight human trafficking. In the House Healthy Families Subcommittee, Chair Gayle Harrell (R-Stuart) has been workshopping a committee bill that will provide comprehensive services for children trapped in the illicit sex trade. Some of the provisions of the proposed committee bill include:

Authorizing DCF to certify safe houses and safe foster homes
Requiring DCF to establish screening and assessment instruments
Requiring DCF, CBCs, and staff administering the detention risk assessment instrument to receive specified training
Directing DCF, DJJ, and lead agencies to participate in coalitions, task forces, or similar organizations to coordinate local response to human trafficking
Requiring reporting on a child’s treatment progress in a secure safe house
HB 989 by Rep. Carlos Trujillo (R-Doral) will be heard in Criminal Justice on Monday, March 10. The bill will makes many changes with regards to human trafficking:

Includes human trafficking in definition of term “sexual abuse of child”
Includes human trafficking within provisions providing for confidentiality of court records concerning certain offenses involving children
Includes human trafficking victims within provisions prohibiting disclosure of identifying information of certain crime victims
Provides that victims of human trafficking are eligible for crime victim compensation awards & allows them to be eligible for financial relocation assistance
Its companion, SB 768 by Sen. Oscar Braynon (D-Miami Gardens), is still awaiting its first hearing in the Criminal Justice Committee.

JUVENILE JUSTICE

Juvenile Justice, Chapter 985 Rewrite
HB 7055 by the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee and Rep. Ray Pilon (R-Sarasota) proposes a variety of changes to Chapter 985 of the Florida Statutes, relating to the Department of Juvenile Justice, its duties, and its programs. The bill will incorporate and align themes of the Roadmap to System Excellence into Chapter 985, by focusing on prevention and rehabilitation and pivoting away from the idea of punishment to consequence and care. Some specific provisions of the bill include:

Update legislative intent language and definitions applicable to Chapter 985 of the Florida Statutes
Modify procedures relating to jurisdiction, contempt of court, fingerprinting and photographing, and intake assessments
Expand the continuity of care system for children in detention
Provide authority to the department to develop, within existing resources, evening reporting centers and community re-entry teams
Expand the department’s notification requirements to a school or victim when the custody status of a youth has changed
Allow technical violations to be resolved through alternative consequence programs
Broaden the application of transition-to-adulthood services to youth of all ages
Expand when a misdemeanant youth may be committed to a residential program
Create a new offense relating to “willful and malicious neglect” of juvenile offenders
Enhance the performance accountability system for service providers
Limit the amount paid to hospitals and health care providers that do not have a contract with the department for health care services provided to juveniles
The bill (formerly PCB CRJS1) was read for the first time in the Justice Appropriations Subcommittee on Tuesday, March 4. It’s companion, SB 700 by Sen. Rob Bradley (R-Fleming Island), was heard and passed by the Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, and now goes to Criminal and Civil Justice Appropriations.

Juvenile Justice Education Programs
HB 173 by Rep. Janet Adkins (R-Fernandina Beach) passed unanimously out of the House Education Committee on Thursday, March 6. If passed, the bill would enhance transition services by requiring that local school districts, Florida Department of Juvenile Justice reentry personnel and local workforce personnel be part of a youth’s transition planning. It would also require that school districts consider the needs of individual youth when they return to school, and enhance career and technical training. This bill seeks to improve accountability, enhance access to virtual education, and require state and federal education dollars to follow the youth who generate them. The bill will now go to the House floor. Its companion, SB 598 by Sen. Aaron Bean (R-Fernandina Beach), remains in the Senate Education Committee, it’s first of four committees of reference.

Juvenile Sentencing
SB 384 by Sen. Rob Bradley (R-Fleming Island) passed its third committee, Criminal and Civil Justice Appropriations, on Wednesday, March 5 in a contentious 7:5 vote largely along party lines. An amendment by Sen. Bradley, addressing the concerns of Sen. Rene Garcia, allowing youths involved in a murder, but who did not “pull the trigger,” to have their sentence reviewed after 25 years allowed the bill to gain enough support to pass. According to the staff analysis, the bill would conform “Florida law to recent United States Supreme Court decisions involving the sentencing of juvenile offenders. The bill provides that any offender who is convicted of murder that was committed before he or she was 18 years old may be sentenced to life imprisonment only after a mandatory hearing at which the judge considers certain factors relative to the offender’s age and attendant circumstances. For capital offenses, the judge must impose a minimum sentence of at least 35 years if life imprisonment is not appropriate. The bill also provides for a judicial hearing to review any sentence of more than 25 years, including a life sentence that is imposed for a non-homicide offense committed when the offender was less than 18 years old.”

Its House companion, HB 7035 by Rep. J.W. Grant (R-Tampa) and Criminal Justice, is awaiting its first hearing in the Justice Appropriations Subcommittee.

OTHER BILLS AFFECTING CHILDREN

Resident Status for Tuition Purposes
HB 851 by Rep. Jeanette Nunez (R-Miami) passed unanimously out of Education Appropriations, its final committee on Wednesday, March 5. The bill, which has garnered the strong support of Speaker Weatherford, would allow undocumented students to receive in-state tuition at state colleges and universities. Its companion, SB 1400 by Sen. Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater), recently received four committee signings, but Senate President Don Gaetz (R-Niceville) recently expressed some reservations about the proposal.

Child Safety Devices in Motor Vehicles
A bill that would revise booster seat requirements for children has passed its first committee. SB 518 by Sen. Anitere Flores (R-Miami) was approved unanimously by the Senate Committee on Transportation on Thursday, March 6. The bill proposes to require an approved child restraint device for all children less than 7 years of age, if the child is less than 4 feet 9 inches in height. According to the staff analysis, only Florida and South Dakota still allow the use of adult seat belts without a booster seat for children less than 5 years of age. The House companion, HB 225 by Rep. Keith Perry (R-Gainesville), was read for the first time by the Transportation and Highway Safety Subcommittee on Tuesday, 3/4. Sen. Thad Altman (R-Melbourne) also is sponsoring a similar bill that is currently in the Transportation Committee, SB 454.

Medical-Grade Marijuana and Cannabis
HB 843 by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fort Walton Beach) and Rep. Katie Edwards (D-Sunrise) would allow specified physicians to proscribe a non-psychoactive strain of marijuana (called Charlotte’s Web) for medical use. The bill, which has about two dozen co-sponsors, passed its first committee on an 11:1 vote Wednesday, March5 and now goes to the House Appropriations Committee. The committee was visibly moved by testimonies from families who had children whose chronic epilepsy may be mitigated by the currently prohibited substance. The Senate companion, SB 1030 by Sen. Rob Bradley (R-Fleming Island), Sen. Aaron Bean (R- Fernandina Beach), and Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg), has yet to be heard in its first committee, Health Policy.
SPECIAL DISTRICTS
Chapter 189 Reorganization
HB 1237 by Rep. Larry Metz (R-Groveland) proposes to reorganize Chapter 189 of the Florida Statutes into eight parts, as well as:

Revise the Governor’s power to suspend public officers to include members of governing body of special district
Revise provisions relating to suspension and removal from office of municipal officers to include members of governing body of special district
Provide requirements for the chair of a governing body
Provide special district reporting requirements; provide for suspension of special districts under certain conditions
Provide penalties for special districts that fail to comply
As it was released toward the end of the filing deadline, this bill has yet to receive committees of reference. Its companion, SB 1632 by Sen. Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland), has been assigned to Ethics and Elections, Community Affairs, and Appropriations.

Lobbying of Special Districts
SB 846 by Sen. Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater), “Government Ethics” regulates those who lobby certain independent special districts by creating a statute that closely resembles the legislative lobbying provisions and the executive branch lobbying provisions, as well as those used by The Children’s Trust. The bill will require:

Lobbyists to register for each principal represented
Prohibit unregistered lobbyists from representing clients before special districts
File quarterly compensation reports
Require special districts to maintain those filings and make them available to the public
Impose fines for failing to file the quarterly compensation reports
Prohibit expenditures from lobbyists
Provide jurisdiction to the Commission concerning complaints alleging violations of the new requirements
Require the districts to adopt procedures and forms to implement the new system
The bill passed unanimously out of the Community Affairs Committee on Wednesday, March 5, and now goes to its last stop, Appropriations. It does not currently have a House sponsor.
GOVERNOR’S RECOMMENDED BUDGET COMPARISON WITH 2013 FINAL BUDGET

Program (line number)
SB 1500 (2013)
Gov. 2014
Difference

Early Learning

School Readiness (79)
552,527,228
582,527,228
30,000,000
VPK (82)
404,927,801
405,856,816
929,015
Total BSA (82)
2,383
2,483
100
T.E.A.C.H. (78A)
3,000,000
4,500,000
1,500,000
Total Early Learning Services
1,005,251,231
1,069,891,114
64,639,883

Children’s Health

Total Medicaid and TANF (SUMMARY on PAGE 410)
23,350,508,581
22,543,746,874
-806,761,707
Therapeutic Services for Children
354,166,322
351,854,088
-2,312,234

Healthy Kids (174)
239,156,746
236,614,067
-2,542,679
Children’s Medical Services Network (179)
129,589,442
99,873,572
-29,715,870
Medikids (178)
55,933,375
66,768,792
10,835,417
Total Children’s Special Health Care*
474,825,007
450,763,830
-24,061,177
Total AHCA Budget
24,053,514,688
23,150,828,969
-902,685,719

Healthy Start (473)
30,174,890
37,012,054
6,837,164
Early and Periodic Screenings for Children (201)
354,166,322
351,854,088
-2,312,234
Early Steps**
59,689,335
56,214,642
-3,474,693

Child Welfare

Child Abuse Prevention and Intervention (Healthy Families) (336)
21,114,329
28,114,329
7,000,000
Lump Sum: Child Protection

31,741,478
31,741,478
New Funding to Reduce Caseloads for Child Protective Investigators

3,000,000
3,000,000
Grants to Sheriffs for Protective Services (334)
49,975,592
55,812,406
5,836,814
Guardian ad Litem (768)
34,475,997
40,179,728
5,703,731
Community Based Care (345)
781,885,000
777,077,669
-4,807,331
Total Family Safety and Preservation Services
1,164,813,280
1,209,317,347
44,504,067
Children’s Action Teams for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (352a)
6,750,000
6,750,000
0
Children’s Mental Health Services (353)
47,174,813
47,174,813
0
Purchased Residential Treatment Services for Emotionally Disturbed Youth (363)
19,618,052
19,416,932
-201,120
Safe Houses and Treatment for Foster Youth who are Victims of Human Trafficking

2,500,000
2,500,000
Comprehensive Case Management in Human Trafficking

1,500,000
1,500,000
About Face Program for At-Risk Youth

1,250,000
1,250,000
DCF Total Budget
2,809,469,577
2,835,314,827
25,845,250

Juvenile Justice

CINS/FINS (1163)
32,690,974
32,290,974
-400,000
PACE Centers (1158)
13,643,599
14,281,099
637,500
Juvenile Redirection Program (1091)
9,364,831
9,364,831
0
Behavior Health Overlay Services (BHOS)

18,200,000
18,200,000
Youth in Secure Detention Adjustment

17,100,000
17,100,000
Repair/Maintenance of Juvenile Residential/Detention Facilities

2,900,000
2,900,000
Negating Shortfall from Medicaid ruling

19,000,000
19,000,000
Negating Shortfall from Juvenile Cost Sharing Ruling

18,400,000
18,400,000
DJJ Total Budget
527,822,181
541,850,238
14,028,057

Mentoring

Best Buddies (92)
750,000
750,000
0
Big Brothers and Big Sisters (92)
4,030,248
4,030,248
0
Boys and Girls Clubs (92)
4,002,677
4,002,677
0
Take Stock in Children (92)
6,000,000
6,000,000
0
Teen Trendsetters (92)
300,000
300,000
0
YMCA State Alliance/YMCA Reads (92)
764,972
764,972
0

APD Total Budget
1,113,764,769
1,139,337,056
25,572,287
* The $24 million reduction in total KidCare allocation is a result of moving children from CHIP to Medicaid and anticipated savings from the implementation of the State Managed Medicaid system. There will not be a reduction in total caseloads of children served.
** Reduction in Early Steps funding for needed federal budget authority
IN THE NEWS

Legislative Panel and Discussion with State Leaders
The Florida Children’s Council held a meeting of the Executive Board of Directors in tandem with the 2014 Legislative Session opening week. The full day meeting was divided into two major portions targeting priority issues on the Council’s policy agenda for children and involved several of the state’s premier leaders. The day was spent discussing relevant and timely issues impacting early childhood (a holistic perspective of child development and growth from prenatal to 3rd grade) and supports for families (a broad range of services and programs for children, youth and their families). Joining the Council to discuss some of the most salient legislative issues were Florida House of Representatives Erik Fresen (R-Miami) and Jose Felix Diaz (R-Miami), Commissioner Pamela Stewart of the Florida Department of Education, Deputy Secretary for Health Dr. Celeste Philip of the Florida Department of Health, Secretary Esther Jacobo of the Florida Department of Children and Families, Deputy Secretary of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice Christy Daly , Director of the Agency for Persons with Disabilities Barbara Palmer, Executive Director of the Guardian ad Litem Office Alan Abramowitz, Executive Director of the Department of Education’s Office of Early Learning Shan Goff, and Executive Director of Healthy Kids Corporation Rich Robleto.

Guest speakers engaged the Board of Directors in discussions on improving access to the KidCare health insurance program, trauma informed care, dental health, workforce professional development, school readiness, data security, integrity and accountability, teacher evaluation and effectiveness, raising the bar on quality, child protection and system improvement, access for persons with disabilities, transition to work, cost-benefit analyses, improved collaboration and coordination, and the critical nature of ensuring primary prevention and early intervention systems are not only in place locally, but are affordable and accessible to all Floridians.

Bringing both state and local leaders together resulted in a rich dialogue focused on systemic and holistic improvements. Both challenges and opportunities were explored, as well as a focus on how local resources can be maximized and leveraged to make the most of critical investments.

Please contact Diana Ragbeer, Director of Public Policy and Communications at diana@thechildrenstrust.org should you need further information.


House FY 14-15 Appropriations Subcommittee Allocations 

House released its Appropriations Subcommittee Allocations for the development of the House proposed FY 2014-15 General Appropriations Act.

======================
Fiscal Year 2014-2015
ALLOCATION
(Millions of Dollars)
======================

Pre K-12 Education
———————————————–
$10,717.6 (Recurring)
$77.8 (Non-Recurring)
$10,795.4 (Total)

Higher Education
———————————————–
$3,538.1 (Recurring)
$39.6 (Non-Recurring)
$3,577.7 (Total)

Health Care
———————————————–
$8,026.6 (Recurring)
$169.4 (Non-Recurring)
$8,196.0 (Total)

Justice
———————————————–
$3,818.5 (Recurring)
$28.1 (Non-Recurring)
$3,846.6 (Total)

Transportation & Economic Development
———————————————–
$65.3 (Recurring)
$71.1 (Non-Recurring)
$136.3 (Total)

Agriculture & Natural Resources/General Government
———————————————–
$197.8 (Recurring)
$270.0 (Non-Recurring)
$467.8 (Total)

Government Operations/General Government
———————————————–
$230.8 (Recurring)
$67.2 (Non-Recurring)
$298.0 (Total)

Administered Funds-Statewide Issues (includes Education FCO)
———————————————–
$250.2 (Recurring)
$328.6 (Non-Recurring)
$578.8 (Total)

Total General Revenue Fund Allocations
———————————————–
$26,844.7 (Recurring)
$1,051.8 (Non-Recurring)
$27,896.5 (Total)
Above please find the appropriations subcommittee allocations for the development of the House proposed FY 2014-15 General Appropriations Act. Due to improved economic conditions and the continued fiscal constraint of the Legislature, our state is well on the road to financial recovery. It remains vitally important to maintain the disciplined fiscal principles that led us to where we are today but also recognize that the state can now afford to return revenues to the taxpayer in addition to funding state priorities. The allocations are the result of careful deliberations and are designed to ensure the following funding goals:

– Provide historic General Revenue tax relief

– Maintain in excess of $1.2 billion in General Revenue reserves

– Provide the largest FEFP in Florida history and in excess of a 3 percent increase in per student funding in our public schools

– Increase funding in our institutions of higher learning as well create performance incentive funding for our universities.

– Eliminate the critical waiting list for persons with disabilities

– Provide strategic funding to ensure Florida’s children are protected and have enhanced assistance in our judicial system.

– Ensure public safety through appropriately funding our correctional and judicial system.

– Protect and enhance Florida’s environment by a comprehensive and balanced approach to water supply and quality, as well as to purchase lands to preserve Florida’s unique natural resources and provide recreational opportunities.

– Provide significant long term investment in infrastructure in our roads and public education facilities. Boost one-time funding for infrastructure of state buildings, parks, as well as public libraries, cultural and historic facilities.

The Appropriations Committee and Subcommittees have been focused towards these goals. I encourage their continued thoughtful evaluation and innovation as they proceed to craft the FY 2014-15 General Appropriations Act. I trust in their good judgment and look forward to reviewing the product of their hard work.

 


Budd Bell Clearinghouse Bill Tracking Report 01-31-14
Sorted by Bill Number
HB 0007
Relating to Florida Kidcare Program
Diaz (J)
Florida Kidcare Program: Defines term “lawfully residing child”; revises eligibility for Kidcare program; excludes undocumented immigrants from eligibility; provides eligibility for optional payments for medical assistance & related services for certain lawfully residing children; excludes undocumented immigrants from eligibility for optional Medicaid payments or related services. Effective Date: July 1, 2014
Current Committee of Reference: Health Innovation Subcommittee
8/19/2013
HOUSE Filed
10/7/2013
HOUSE Referred to Health Innovation Subcommittee; Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee; Health & Human Services Committee
10/7/2013
HOUSE Now in Health Innovation Subcommittee
Similar
SB 0282
Relating to Florida Kidcare Program (Garcia)
11/04/2013

SENATE Referred to Health Policy; Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services; Appropriations


 

Capitol Connection Week Four – March 29, 2014

BUDGETS AND CHILDREN’S BILLS MOVE FORWARD
Nearing the mid-point of the legislative session, the House and Senate full appropriations committees debated and passed their budgets this week, while the early learning and child welfare bills moved a step closer to passage. The booster seat bill, which had not been heard in the House for several years, received its first House committee hearing, and following months of calls and hard work by dedicated advocates, the Senate KidCare bill, SB 282 by Sen. Rene Garcia (R-Hialeah), was finally passed by the Senate Health Policy Committee on Tuesday, March 25. The bill would allow children of legal immigrants, who have lived in the United States less than five years, to be eligible for KidCare. Dozens of advocates flocked to the capitol to witness the bill’s hearing and testify in favor of it, including the Florida Hospital Association, Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops, The United Methodist Church, United Way, Florida CHAIN, KidsWell  Florida, Florida Impact, Florida Immigrant Coalition, Florida Legal Services, Florida Children’s Council, The Children’s Trust and Florida Now.

APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEES TAKE UP BUDGETS
On Wednesday, March 26, the House Appropriations Committee discussed and passed its $75.3 billion budget. Unlike last year’s spending plan, this budget passed with some bipartisan support with four Democrats supporting the Republican-crafted product. The main points of objection for most Democrats were again the decision of House leadership to forgo expanding the Medicaid program for low income, adult Floridians, as well as what they cited as an insufficient level of per student funding in the K-12 education system. Chairman Seth McKeel (R-Lakeland) expressed optimism that the nearly $400 million difference between the House and Senate budgets could be easily resolved. The following day, Sen. Joe Negron (R-Stuart) and the Senate Appropriations Committee approved their committee’s budget. Unlike its House counterpart, the $74.9 billion Senate spending plan was approved unanimously, with all Democrats signaling their support.

Immediately following their committee approvals, the Senate appropriations plan was filed as SB 2500, while the House budget, which will eventually become the official 2014-15 General Appropriations Act, was filed as HB 5001. Both will head to their respective floors next week for approval by their full bodies. During this time, there may be more amendments added. Finally, the budgets will have to be reconciled during the Budget Conference process. Stay tuned to future Capitol Connections for more detailed budget comparisons and coverage of this critical phase of the legislative session.

 

EARLY LEARNING

Early Learning Bills Pass Committees
HB 7069 by Chair Marlene O’Toole (R-The Villages) and the House Education Committee, was passed by the Education Appropriations Subcommittee on Monday, March 24. The bill, which addresses early learning health and safety standards, licensing, and more was passed with little debate or discussion. It will be heard next by the full House Appropriations committee on Wednesday, April 2, at 2:30 PM. Some notable components of the bill include the following:

Renames the School Readiness program as the Child Care and Development program
Requires that private providers must be licensed or, if the provider is a licensed-exempt faith-based provider or nonpublic school and accepts public funds, agree to substantially comply with specified child care licensing standards and submit to inspections by the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) or local licensing agency
Denies providers with serious health and safety violations in the previous year program eligibility in the Child Care and Development and Voluntary Prekindergarten Education programs unless certain requirements are met
Requires that by January 1, 2016, personnel must be at least 18 years of age and hold a high school diploma (or equivalent); practitioners must be trained in developmentally appropriate practices aligned to the age and needs of children served
Requires the Office of Early Learning (OEL) to develop online training on School Readiness program performance standards, and provider personnel to complete the training
Requires the Office of Early Learning to conduct a two-year pilot project to study the impact of assessing the early literacy skills of Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program participants who are English Language Learners, in both English and Spanish
The bill’s companion, SB 7114 by Chair John Legg’s (R-Lutz) Senate Education Committee, was heard by that same committee on Tuesday, March 25. While the bills are substantially similar, some differences do exist related to the process of notification for egregious health and safety violations and the age eligibility of a School Readiness practitioner. The Senate bill also provides DCF with the rulemaking authority to define substantial compliance for monitoring of license-exempt facilities that receive public funds. An amendment was added that would require at least 50 percent of child care personnel to be trained in first aid and child CPR. The bill was passed without discussion or debate. On Thursday, the bill received a new number, SB 1702, and will likely receive a new committee assignment.
HEALTHY CHILDREN
Florida KidCare Program
Thanks to your tireless efforts, Sen. Rene Garcia’s SB 282 has finally passed the Senate Health Policy Committee. However, more effort is needed to push this bill and Rep. Jose Felix Diaz’s HB 7 closer to the finish line.

ACTION ALERT:
Please call or email the chairs and other members of the committees below and ask them to support the bills.
House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee
Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee
Chair Matt Hudson (R-Naples)
Chair Denise Grimsley (R-Sebring)
Rep. MaryLynn Magar (R-Tequesta)
Sen. Aaron Bean (R-Fernandina Beach)
Rep. Janet Cruz (D-Tampa)
Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto (R-Fort Myers)
Rep. Jason Brodeur (R-Sanford)
Sen. Bill Galvano (R-Bradenton)
Rep. Neil Combee (R-Polk City)
Sen. Audrey Gibson (D-Jacksonville)
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fort Walton Beach)
Sen. Tom Lee (R-Brandon)
Rep. Mike Hill (R-Pensacola)
Sen. Bill Montford (D-Tallahassee)
Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-Coral Springs)
Sen. Garrett Richter (R-Naples)
Rep. Amanda Murphy (D-New Port Richey)
Sen. Christopher Smith (D-Fort Lauderdale)
Rep. David Richardson (D-Miami Beach)
Sen. Eleanor Sobel (D-Hollywood)
Rep. Elaine Schwartz (D-Hollywood)
Sen. John Thrasher (R-St. Augustine)
Rep. John Wood (R-Winter Haven)

Please call and thank Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, Sen. Rene Garcia (the bill sponsors) and Sen. Anitere Flores (the co-sponsor) who are also on these committees for their efforts.

Newborn Health Screening
SB 722 by Sen. Rene Garcia (R-Hialeah) was passed unanimously by the Senate Children, Families, and Elder Affairs Committee on Tuesday, March 25. The bill, which now goes to its final committee, Senate Judiciary, will allow the State Public Health Laboratory to release the results of a newborn’s hearing and metabolic tests or screenings to the newborn’s health care practitioner, a term which is expanded to include a physician or physician assistant, osteopathic physician or physician assistant, advanced registered nurse practitioner, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, midwife, speech-language pathologist or audiologist, or a dietician or nutritionist. An amendment was added that would require an audiologist, who has diagnosed a child with a hearing impairment, to ask the child’s parents if they would like to receive direct correspondence from a qualified Early Steps provider.

Its companion, HB 591 by Rep. Gayle Harrell (R-Port St. Lucie) was passed unanimously by its final committee, House Health and Human Services, on Thursday, March 20.

CHILD WELFARE

House Committee Passes Comprehensive Child Welfare Reform Proposed Committee Bill
The Healthy Families Subcommittee released its long-discussed committee bill, PCB HFS 14-03 on “Child Protection and Child Welfare Services.” The bill, which had been robustly work-shopped during the last few meetings, will now receive a bill number and committee assignments. Some differences noted by Chair Gayle Harrell (R-Port St. Lucie) in the newest version of the bill include:Exempting the sheriffs from the social work degree requirements until 2018; the new Child Welfare Institute will need to produce a study by 2017 comparing the effectiveness of both the sheriff and social worker models for child protective investigators
Authorizing case managers and supervisors to receive tuition reimbursement, in addition to investigators
Specifying that medically complex children have the most nurturing and least restrictive environment for them
Revising the section for the monitoring of safety plans by addressing situations where domestic violence was involved, which will require separate safety plans for the perpetrator and the victim of domestic violence
Allowing that children who are at risk for abuse and neglect, even if a report has not been filed, may receive services from CBCs
Updating the statute relating to CBCs to reflect the maturity of that system; requiring that control remains in the community, and specifying the percentage of board members that must reside in the county; mandating that CBCs must post budget (including salaries for top execs) online
Requiring DCF to monitor that CBCs have required insurance coverage
An amendment was added that will allow child protection workers to have a degree in any field, provided that they have at least 5 years of directly related experience
“Parking Lot Issues,” or topics that will be addressed as the bill goes through the committee process or next year:
Community alliances: members will continue to receive direct input from DCF and community alliances this week
Child safety issues: given what has been highlighted in the Miami Herald series, care will be taken to ensure that the bill will be effective, recognize impending dangers, and not accept “promises” in safety plans without actual performance
Grant matching program has been altered and reduced to $500,000
Meanwhile, the suite of child welfare bills in the Senate (SB 1666, SB 1668, SB 1670), which had been postponed to ensure that the bills addressed some of the issues raised by the recent Miami Herald investigation, will be heard in the Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee on Wednesday, April 2, at 1 PM.

Motor Vehicle Insurance and Driver Education for Children in Care
SB 744 by Sen. Nancy Detert (R-Venice) passed its third committee, Senate Banking and Insurance, on Tuesday, March 25. Its last assignment is Senate Appropriations. The bill would establish a statewide pilot program to pay for the costs of driver education, licensure, and the costs incidental to licensure, as well as motor vehicle insurance for a child in licensed out-of-home care.

Also on Tuesday, its companion, HB 977 by Rep. Ben Albritton (R-Bartow), was passed unanimously by the House Healthy Families Subcommittee. Thomas Fair, from Florida Youth Shine, testified on his struggles of not being able to attend driver’s education, afford auto insurance, or lend his car to his fellow uninsured former foster care roommates. The committee also heard from Alan Abramowitz, Executive Director of the statewide Guardian ad Litem program, who stated that less than 3 percent of children who age out of foster care have a drivers license, and as a result, cannot get a job, go to college, or get to high school. The bill now goes to House Health Care Appropriations.

Unaccompanied Youth
SB 260 by Sen. Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater) was read, amended, and placed on Third Reading on Wednesday, March 26. It is scheduled to be heard and voted on by the full Senate on Thursday, April 3. The bill would allow certain unaccompanied youth to consent to medical, dental, psychological, substance abuse, and surgical diagnosis and treatment themselves. Its companion, HB 203 by Rep. Daniel Raulerson (R-Plant City), was passed out of its final committee, House Judiciary, on Thursday, March 27. It will now go to the floor of the House.

Human Trafficking
SB 768 by Sen. Oscar Braynon (D-Miami Gardens) was passed unanimously on Monday, March 24 by the Senate Criminal Justice Committee. It is now in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill makes many changes with regards to human trafficking:  Includes human trafficking in the definition of the term “sexual abuse of child”
Includes human trafficking within provisions providing for confidentiality of court records concerning certain offenses involving children
Includes human trafficking victims within provisions prohibiting disclosure of identifying information of certain crime victims
Provides that victims of human trafficking are eligible for crime victim compensation awards and allows them to be eligible for financial relocation assistance
Its companion, HB 989 by Rep. Carlos Trujillo (R-Doral) is currently in the House Judiciary Committee, its final assignment.

The Senate Children and Families and Elder Affairs committee is expected to take up PCB HFS 14-02 on Tuesday, continuing the debate regarding whether victims of trafficking should be detained in “secure safe houses” to protect them from returning to their perpetrators, whether creating a system of care with high quality comprehensive services and supports is more appropriate, or whether both are possible, as Chair Eleanor Sobel (D-Hollywood) maintains.

JUVENILE JUSTICE

Juvenile Justice, Chapter 985 Rewrite
HB 7055 by the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee and Rep. Ray Pilon (R-Sarasota) was passed by its final committee, House Judiciary, on Thursday, March 27. The bill proposes a variety of changes to Chapter 985 of the Florida Statutes, relating to the Department of Juvenile Justice, its duties, and its programs. The bill will incorporate and align themes of the Roadmap to System Excellence into Chapter 985, by focusing on prevention and rehabilitation and pivoting away from the idea of punishment to consequence and care. Some specific provisions of the bill include:

Updates legislative intent language and definitions applicable to Chapter 985 of the Florida Statutes
Modifies procedures relating to jurisdiction, contempt of court, fingerprinting and photographing, and intake assessments
Expands the continuity of care system for children in detention
Provides authority to the department to develop, within existing resources, evening reporting centers and community re-entry teams
Expands the department’s notification requirements to a school or victim when the custody status of a youth has changed
Allows technical violations to be resolved through alternative consequence programs
Broadens the application of transition-to-adulthood services to youth of all ages
Expands when a misdemeanant youth may be committed to a residential program
Creates a new offense relating to “willful and malicious neglect” of juvenile offenders
Enhances the performance accountability system for service providers
Limits the amount paid to hospitals and health care providers that do not have a contract with the department for health care services provided to juveniles
The bill’s companion, SB 700 by Sen. Rob Bradley (R-Fleming Island), is in its final committee of reference, Senate Appropriations.

Juvenile Justice Education Programs
SB 598 by Sen. Aaron Bean (R-Fernandina Beach) was passed unanimously by the Senate Criminal Justice Committee on Monday, March 24. Its companion, HB 173 by Rep. Janet Adkins (R-Fernandina Beach), was passed unanimously by the full House on March 12 and recently received committee assignments after it passed through Messages to the Senate. These bills would enhance transition services by requiring that local school districts, Florida Department of Juvenile Justice reentry personnel and local workforce personnel be part of a youth’s transition planning. They would also require that school districts consider the needs of individual youth when they return to school, and enhance career and technical training. Additionally, these bills seek to improve accountability, enhance access to virtual education, and require state and federal education dollars to follow the youth who generate them.
OTHER BILLS AFFECTING CHILDREN
Child Safety Devices in Motor Vehicles
A bill that would revise booster seat requirements for children, HB 225 by Rep. Keith Perry (R-Gainesville), was passed by the House Transportation and Highway Safety Subcommittee on Monday, March 24. This is a big milestone as a booster seat bill has not been heard in the House for several years. The bill proposes to require an approved child restraint device for all children less than 7 years of age, if the child is less than 4 feet 9 inches in height. According to the staff analysis, only Florida and South Dakota still allow the use of adult seat belts without a booster seat for children less than 5 years of age. Its companion, SB 518 by Sen. Anitere Flores (R-Miami) was last heard on March 12 and is now waiting to be voted on by its last committee, Senate Appropriations.

SPECIAL DISTRICTS
Lobbying of Special Districts
SB 846 by Sen. Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater), “Government Ethics” regulates those who lobby certain independent special districts by creating a statute that closely resembles the legislative lobbying provisions and the executive branch lobbying provisions, as well as those used by The Children’s Trust. The bill:

Requires lobbyists to register for each principal represented
Prohibits unregistered lobbyists from representing clients before special districts
Requires the filing of quarterly compensation reports
Requires special districts to maintain the filings and make them available to the public
Imposes fines for failing to file the quarterly compensation reports
Prohibits expenditures from lobbyists
Provides jurisdiction to the Commission on Ethics concerning complaints alleging violations of the new requirements
Requires the districts to adopt procedures and forms to implement the new system
The bill was read, amended, and placed on Third Reading on Wednesday, March 26. It is scheduled to be heard and voted on by the full Senate on Thursday, April 3. It does not currently have a House sponsor.

Special Districts: Chapter 189 Reorganization
HB 1237 by Rep. Larry Metz (R-Groveland) was passed by the House Local and Federal Affairs Committee on Thursday, March 27. It now goes to the Finance and Tax Subcommittee. The bill proposes to reorganize Chapter 189 of the Florida Statutes into eight parts, as well as:

Provide requirements for the chair of a governing body
Provide special district reporting requirements
Provide for suspension of special districts under certain conditions
Provide penalties for special districts that fail to comply
Revise the Governor’s power to suspend public officers to include members of governing body of special district
Revise provisions relating to suspension and removal from office of municipal officers to include members of a governing body of a special district
Its companion, SB 1632 by Sen. Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland) will be heard by the Senate Community Affairs Committee on Tuesday, April 1.

Please contact Diana Ragbeer, Director of Public Policy and Communications at diana@thechildrenstrust.org should you need further information.


Budd Bell Clearinghouse Bill Tracking 03-14-14
Sorted by Bill Number
SB 0006
Relating to Relief of J.D.S. by the Agency for Persons with Disabilities

Soto
Relief of J.D.S. by the Agency for Persons with Disabilities; Providing for the relief of J.D.S. by the Agency for Persons with Disabilities; providing an appropriation from the General Revenue Fund to compensate J.D.S. for injuries and damages sustained as a result of negligence by the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, as successor agency of the Department of Children and Family Services; providing a limitation on the payment of fees and costs, etc. CLAIM WITH APPROPRIATION: $950,000 Effective Date: Upon becoming a law
Current Committee of Reference: Judiciary
8/1/2013
SENATE Filed
8/16/2013
SENATE Referred to Judiciary; Children, Families, and Elder Affairs; Appropriations; Rules
Identical
HB 3511
Relating to Relief/J.D.S./Agency for Persons with Disabilities (Pafford)
03/05/2014

HOUSE Now in Civil Justice Subcommittee


FY 2015-2015 Budget by Subject Index – Compares Governor Scott’s FY 2014-15 Budget Recommendations to Last Year’s Budget (SB 1500 ER)

congbudgcompar

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