SB 7016 – Health Care by Health Policy by Senator Burton
SB 7018 – Health Care Innovation by Health Policy by Senator Harrell
SB 7016 and SB 7018, collectively known as “Live Healthy and a top priority of Senate President Kathleen Passidomo unanimously passed the Senate floor on Thursday, January 18th. The initiative aims to revise and support healthcare innovation, healthcare workforce, healthcare services, healthcare education, and Medicaid. SB 7016 led by Senator Burton allocates $737 million to various programs for incentives like increasing positions for graduate medical students and providing incentives for health care professionals to work in rural areas.
Through a favorable amendment, roughly $96 million of Medicaid spending was cut, and requirements for hospitals to have nonemergent care access plans were modified. The health care screening grant program was renamed in honor of President Passidomo’s parents and provides grants to support nonprofit entities in providing screenings and services for the public. SB 7016 also expands the number of medical residency slots by 500, to increase the number of physicians in the state. It also establishes the Training, Education, and Clinicals in Health (TEACH) Funding Program to increase clinical opportunities. The House companion, HB 1549 by Representative Grant, allocates $548.6 million in state funding. HB 1549 successfully passed its first committee and is now waiting to be heard in its second committee of reference, the Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee. SB 7018 by Senator Harrell focuses mainly on renovating Florida’s healthcare system by creating a healthcare innovation Department that will fund a loan program to allocate $50 million to Floridians to achieve revolutionary healthcare discoveries. Both SB 7016 and SB 7018 are headed to the House floor.
HB 201 – Emergency Refills of Insulin and Insulin-related Supplies or Equipment by Representative Bell
SB 516 – Emergency Refills of Insulin and Insulin-related Supplies or Equipment by Senator Rodriguez
HB 201 introduced by Representative Bell expands the current law on emergency insulin refills.
If a pharmacist is unable to readily obtain refill authorization from a prescriber, the pharmacist is allowed to dispense an emergency refill of insulin and insulin-related supplies or equipment to treat diabetes up to three nonconsecutive times per calendar year. This bill also makes changes to the Florida Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act. HB 201 has passed favorably in each committee and has been placed on the calendar for a second reading. The Senate companion, SB 516, was referred to three committees and has yet to be heard in any committee.
HB 7039 – Education by Choice & Innovation Subcommittee and Representative Rizo
SB 7000 – Deregulation of Public Schools/ Instructional, Administrative, and Support Personnel
HB 7039 revises requirements relating to the public school system by providing more flexibility in the rules and regulations regarding how school boards conduct their meetings, adopt their budgets, and how they recruit and retain their teachers. HB 7039 passed favorably in its first committee of reference and is waiting to be heard in its final committee of reference, the Education & Employment Committee.
Its Senate companion, SB 7000, unanimously passed the Senate floor and is now waiting to be heard on the House floor.
HB 7025 – Education by Education Quality Subcommittee and Representative Trabulsy
SB 7002 – Deregulation of Public Schools/ School District Finance and Budgets, Facilities, and Administration and Oversight
HB 7025 provides various provisions, including flexibility for district school boards to determine adequate instructional materials and revise PreK-12 Assessments and student assessments for the Department of Juvenile Justice Programs. The bill removes the requirement for a school district to offer a virtual instruction option. The bill also authorizes a school district virtual program to provide the equipment and access necessary for participation to any full-time student enrolled in the program, regardless of income status. The bill has favorably passed its first two committees of reference and is now waiting to be heard in its final committee, the Education and Employment Committee. Its Senate companion, SB 7002, unanimously passed the Senate floor and is now waiting to be heard on the House floor.
HB 1403 – School Choice by Representative Tomkow
HB 1403 by Representative Tomkow is seeking to implement new limits on how voucher money can be spent by establishing firm deadlines for Scholarship Funding Organizations and implementing purchasing guidelines for recipients who received a Family Empowerment Scholarship for students with disabilities. The bill also calls for restricting the purchase of materials to only expenses associated with English, Reading, Social Studies, Science, and Math. HB 1403 passed favorably in its first two committees of reference and is scheduled to be heard in its final committee, the Education & Employment Committee, on Tuesday, January 23rd.
Children and Families
HB 1 – Social Media Use for Minors by Representative (s) Sirois and McFarland
HB 1 by Representative(s) Sirois and McFarland requires social media platforms to prohibit children under the age of 16 from creating an account and to perform reasonable age-verification methods to verify that the age of a person attempting to create an account is 16 years of age or older. The bill provides that if a social media platform violates the requirements for minor users under 16 years of age, it is an unfair and deceptive trade practice actionable under the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practice Act, solely by the Department of Legal Affairs. A priority for House Speaker Renner, HB 1 passed favorably in its final committee and has been placed on the Special-Order Calendar for Tuesday, January 23rd.
HB 757 – Defamation, False Light, and Unauthorized Publication of Name or Likenesses by Representative Andrade
SB 1780 – Defamation, False Light, and Unauthorized Publication of Name or Likenesses by Senator Brodeur
HB 757 by Representative Andrade aims to compensate constituents who have been victims of defamation through social media and other forms of media. The definition of defamation includes libel, slander, invasion of privacy, or any other tort. A person is only allowed one choice where their damage occurred through radio, television, or the internet. The bill includes artificial intelligence (AI), a relatively modern technology that can mimic human writing and cannot be used to place a person in a false light. This bill cracks down on utilizing social media to libel a person’s name or portray them negatively. HB 757 was favorable to the committee. A similar bill, SB 1780, was introduced to the committee, but a hearing has not yet been scheduled.
SB 478 – Designation of Eligible Telecommunication Carriers by Senator Rodriguez
HB 551 – Designation of Eligible Telecommunication Carriers by Representative Barnaby
SB 478 by Senator Rodriguez alters the definition of an eligible telecommunication carrier to mean a telecommunications company or a commercial mobile radio service provider. This alteration is for using these telecommunication carriers as a Lifeline Assistance Plan for qualified residential subscribers. The Public Service Commission can use these eligible telecommunication carriers for the intended purpose. It passed in committee with a vote of 5 Yeas and 0 Nays and is scheduled for another hearing on Wednesday, January 24. The comparable HB 551 was added to the committee agenda on Friday, January 19.
SB 438 – Term Limits by Senator Ingoglia
HB 57 – County Commissioner Term Limits by Representative Salzman
SB 438 by Senator Ingoglia will require county commissioners to only serve a term limit of 8 years. After that term has expired, it will be another two years until a candidate can run for a different district seat or at-large county commission seat. This bill affects term limits of offices that began on and after November 8, 2022. The committee heard the bill on Tuesday, January 16. The bill passed favorably with a vote of 5 Yeas and 3 Nays. A similar HB 57 was assigned to a committee and was found favorable.
HB 479 – Alternative Mobility Funding Systems by Representative W. Robinson
SB 688 – Alternative Mobility Funding Systems by Senator Martin
HB 479 by Representative W. Robinson revises provisions concerning impact fees and concurrency and provides additional guidance concerning mobility fees. The bill defines “mobility fee” and “mobility plan” to be used within the Community Planning Act. The bill also provides that local governments adopting and collecting impact fees by ordinance or resolution must use localized data available within the previous 12 months of adoption for the local government’s calculation of impact fees. The bill passed favorably in its second committee of reference with a vote of 21 Yeas, 0 Nays. It is now waiting to be heard in its final committee, Commerce. Its Senate Companion, SB 688, passed its first committee of reference and is now waiting to be heard in its second committee with one more to follow.