South Monroe Street
establishment of civil citations or similar diversion programs for
juveniles in each county for certain offenses.
the sales tax paid on commercial leases incrementally until
it's eliminated over a specified number of
Authorizes a matching grant program for
local governments to implement flood hazard risk mitigation policies
Works to Bring Uniformity to Regulation of Transportation Network
third week, the Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee
passed HB 221, which establishes a regulatory framework for
transportation network companies (TNCs), like Uber and Lyft, and
preempts TNC regulation to the state. This means that TNC companies
only have to worry about state laws and regulations relating to the
operation of their businesses. Currently, TNCs in Florida have to
follow local laws and regulations, which change from city to city. Some
cities have even tried to ban the operation of TNCs.
HB 221 would
implement numerous TNC regulations, including but not limited to:
minimum insurance requirements for drivers and TNCs; a zero tolerance
policy on drug and alcohol abuse by TNC drivers; extensive background
and driving history checks; nondiscrimination and disability access
compliance; and requirements to maintain records on riders and TNC
governments should not keep TNCs from operating successfully in
Florida. TNCs are efficient, safe, convenient, and most importantly,
they provide flexible jobs. I will keep you up to date on HB 221 as it
travels through the legislative process.
Subcommittee Votes to Create Veteran Sales Tax Holiday
morning of last week the Local, Federal & Veterans
Affairs Subcommittee passed a bill that creates an annual sales tax
holiday for Florida veterans. The sales tax holiday will occur on
Veterans Day starting in 2017, and it will cover certain clothing and
footwear purchases, just in time for the holidays.
Votes to Repeal Red Light Cameras
third Committee week, the House Appropriations Committee
passed HB 6007 to remove the authorization for the Department of
Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and local governments to install and
maintain traffic infraction detectors, or "red light cameras." The
committee's decision follows a previous review of the 2015-2016 Red
Light Camera Summary Report by the Transportation &
Infrastructure Subcommittee, which shows an increase in total crashes
and injuries at intersections with red light cameras.
light cameras may have good intentions, the data shows they simply do
not work. I will keep you updated as the bill moves through the
we finished our fourth Committee week in
preparation for the 2017
Legislative Session. During these
two weeks a number of bills were heard and passed in House
Committees. We will continue to hear member bills, proposed committee
bills, and appropriation project bills during the upcoming and final
remaining Committee week and Session, I will continue to keep
you up-to-date with periodic newsletters letting you know about bills
under consideration and any new laws that are passed. As always, thank
you for your confidence in my service to District 66. It is an honor
and a privilege to be your voice in Tallahassee.
|Received a warm welcome from
the students, faculty, and staff at Bardmoor Elementary during my visit
to the school for school lunch week.
Pass Free Market Healthcare Reforms
the Health Quality Subcommittee and Health Innovation Subcommittee
passed important free market healthcare reforms.
Quality Subcommittee passed proposed committee bill HQS 17-01, which: 1)authorizes
and encourages the use of telehealth by all healthcare practitioners,
including all out-of-state practitioners; and 2) allows patients to
have their health care needs addressed by experienced, highly-trained
advanced practice registered nurses without the unnecessary and
expensive supervision of a physician.
Health Innovation Subcommittee passed the following bills. HB 7
eliminates the certificate of need program
(CON) in Florida. The CON program requires certain health care
providers to obtain state approval before entering the market or
offering certain new or expanded services. The
CON program restricts competition in the healthcare market causing
unnecessary and unfair cost increases for consumers.
expands the use of ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs) and allows
recovery care centers (RCCs) in the state. ASCs are non-hospital
facilities that provide surgical care. ASCs have highly skilled staff
and surgeons and are less expensive and more convenient than having
surgery in a hospital. RCCs provide post-surgical and post-diagnostic,
short-term medical and nursing care, support, and pain control for
patients that do not require acute hospitalization. RCCs exist in some
states, but not Florida.
HB 161 helps
expand the use of direct primary care (DPC) in Florida by preventing
DPC agreements from being regulated like insurance. DPC is a medical
practice model that eliminates third party payers from the
doctor-patient relationship. By contract, a patient or employer pays a
monthly fee to the primary care provider for defined services. After
paying the fee, a patient can utilize all services in the agreement at
no extra charge. One of the most critical problems in healthcare is out
of control and unjustifiable costs. Innovations like DPC cut costs by
eliminating the administrative hassles of the third-party payer system.
requires all Florida hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers to
complete and publish patient safety culture surveys. A "patient safety
culture survey" is a survey completed by healthcare facility which asks
employees about patient safety and quality of care. The survey is
designed to measure the climate of safety at the facility. The surveys
help hospitals identify and fix problems. If published, the survey data
can also help potential patients make decisions about which facilities
are best for their own care and the care of their families.
All of these
measures are aimed at increasing access to quality and affordable
healthcare for all Floridians.
|Had the pleasure of visiting
Bardmoor Elementary in my district during school lunch week
prior to the start of Committee Weeks.
|Enjoyed learning about the
options they provide to the students, and how they focus on healthy and
balanced meals to ensure that students are able to be
more successful in their studies.
Pinellas Women's Club
Show & Mardi Gras Celebration
February 25, 2017
Salute to the Oscars
February 25, 2017
Leads Discussion on Local Government Fiscal Transparency
& Means Committee began discussing ways to increase local
government fiscal transparency, an important issue for communities
across the state. The committee focused on solutions that will help
citizens gain access to important information so they can be more
engaged in the decision-making process with their local
the committee focused on four ideas: 1) easier access to voting records
related to local option taxes and debt issuances; 2) easier access to
tax history and annual millage rate information through property
appraisers; 3) expanding public notice requirements and information;
and 4) utilizing debt affordability reports.
deserve more access to information on financial matters that directly
impact their livelihood. As this issue develops, I will make sure to
keep you informed.
Local Government Ethics Reform
Integrity & Ethics Committee passed a bill last week
to reform ethics guidelines for local governments. Some of the
provisions of the bill include the following: requiring certain elected
local officers to file a more detailed financial disclosure; expanding
annual ethics training requirements for local officers; expanding
restrictions when a conflict of interest exists; and requiring
lobbyists to register with a statewide database before they can lobby
local government bodies.
Integrity & Ethics Committee also passed measures that would
extend the current ban on post-service lobbying for legislators,
statewide elected officers, and appointed state officers from two years
to six years.
office is a public trust, and the Florida House is committed to passing
legislation in support of that sacred truth.
Subcommittee Advances Important Sentencing Legislation
The House Criminal Justice Subcommittee approved two important bills
relating to sentencing: HB 157, which deals with the sentencing of
non-violent felons; and HB 527, which will reinstate Florida's ability
to sentence the most violent offenders to death.
HB 157 is a
measure that will allow county courts to sentence certain non-violent
felony offenders to serve their time in county jails, as opposed to
state prisons. This effort will help limit overcrowding of our state
prisons and ensure that our most secure prisons are reserved for
violent and dangerous offenders.
HB 527 will
restore Florida's death penalty law, which has been stalled until we
make the changes to law that the Florida Supreme Court held were
required by the Constitution. The updated law will require that a jury
be unanimous in their recommendation to impose the death penalty.