South Monroe Street
CS/CS/HB 205 - Juvenile Diversion Programs
Requires the automatic
expunction of certain nonjudicial records of arrests of minors after
the completion of certain diversion programs.
HB 223 - Tax on Commercial Real Property
the sales tax paid on commercial leases incrementally until
it's eliminated over a specified number of
HB 613 - Flood Hazard Mitigation
Authorizes a matching grant program for
local governments to implement flood hazard risk mitigation policies
CS/CS/HB 953- Legislative Redistricting and
Requires court to provide for
expedited hearing & ruling in challenge to state legislative or
congressional district boundaries.
HB 955 - High School Graduation Requirements
requirements for NGSSS to include financial literacy. Revises credits
for standard high school diploma to include instruction in personal
financial literacy and money management.
HB 1365 - Early Childhood Music Education
Incentive Pilot Program
Creates the Early Childhood Music Education Incentive Pilot
Program within the Department of Education.
CS/CS/HB 1441 - Pinellas County Construction
composition of the board.
House passed a bill that establishes the Schools of Excellence Program.
of Florida's statewide assessments is to identify and recognize schools
that perform well based on school quality standards established in law.
The system has evolved and increased accountability for schools and
educators by using student achievement and learning gains data from
statewide standardized assessments. Annually, school grades are given
on an A through F scale based on points earned by a school in a number
of different categories.
of Excellence Program rewards schools that consistently score in the
top 20% of schools based on their points earned in school grade
calculations. Schools are rewarded with increased administrative
flexibilities, which are intended to allow high-performing schools
freedom to explore additional high-performance strategies.
The bill now heads to
the Senate for their consideration.
week we finished our seventh week of the 2017
Legislative Session. During this week a number of bills were heard and
passed in House Committees as well as on the House floor. We are now
moving into the remaining weeks of Session.
the remainder of 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.
"Certificate of Need" Reform
passed a bill to eliminate the state's "Certificate of Need" (CON)
program for hospitals.
program, administered by the Agency for Health Care Administration
(AHCA), requires certain health care providers to obtain state approval
before entering the market or offering certain new or expanded
services. The CON program currently regulates hospices, skilled nursing
facilities, intermediate care facilities for the developmentally
disabled, hospitals and certain specialized hospital services.
CON program nearly eliminates competition in the health care market,
causing unnecessary and unfair cost increases for consumers. These
market-entry barriers prevent or delay innovation, and they incentivize
competitors to push each other out of the market with lawsuits rather
than competing based on quality.
HB 7 removes
hospitals and hospital-based services from Florida's CON review
program. As a result, any person wishing to build or replace a
hospital, or establish specialized services in a hospital, including
inpatient complex medical rehabilitation beds, need only go through the
AHCA licensure process. If an applicant can meet the licensure statutes
and regulations, the applicant will be permitted to offer new or
additional hospital facilities or services to patients in the state
without first obtaining a CON from AHCA.
reduces costs and increases quality of care. Now the bill will go to
the Senate for their consideration.
Bill Encouraging Self-Sufficiency
passed an important pro-family bill that makes changes to Florida's
Temporary Cash Assistance Program (TCA) and Supplemental Nutrition
Assistance Program (SNAP) to encourage families to be self-sufficient:
The bill has
three important parts to encourage recipients to comply with TCA
program requirements. First, the bill requires certain government
agencies to work with recipients to make individual plans with clear
expectations so that TCA recipients know what they need to do and how
to overcome problems. Second, the bill increases sanctions for
recipients who fail to meet program requirements. Third, the bill
improves workforce programs so individuals on TCA are better able to
find work to support their families. Under
the bill, at least three regional workforce boards must create
workforce programs using new techniques that work well for cash
assistance recipients to help them become "work ready".
to SNAP, or food stamps, the bill ends a change to the program made in
2010 during the devastating economic downturn. That change helped more
people qualify for food assistance in that tough time. Now, about 3.3
million Floridians - 1 in 6 people - are on SNAP. Fortunately, our
economy has improved since then - for example, the state's unemployment
rate fell from 11.4% to 5.0%. Under the bill, the state will seek
federal approval to reinstate the federal asset limit eliminated during
the downturn. The asset limit won't count assets like primary
residences, retirement accounts or vehicles used for work (like boats
used for a fishing business, or taxis). The asset limit will help
ensure that assistance goes to those who are truly in need.
families to be self-sufficient is something we can all get behind, and
that's exactly what this bill would do. The bill now heads to the
|Meeting with members of the
Florida Swimming Pool Association outside of the
House Chamber during their legislative days in Tallahassee.
House Passes Bill to
Expand Civics Education
House passed a bill last week that strengthens civics
education in our K-12 public schools and post-secondary institutions.
proposes three primary changes to law. First, the bill would designate
September as "American Founders' Month," and encourage all public
schools to coordinate instruction related to the nation's founding
fathers during September. Second, the bill would require the Just Read,
Florida! Office to develop and provide access to sequenced,
content-rich curriculum programming, instructional practices, and
resources that help elementary students increase their background
knowledge and literacy skills. Finally, the bill would require students
entering into the Florida College System or State University System in
the 2018-2019 schoolyear, or later, to either take a civics course or
pass a civic competency test.
becomes law, this legislation will help students become civically
engaged adults who make positive contributions to their communities.
The bill is
now ready to go to the Senate for their consideration.
in the Park
Wars - Rogue One
Fri. - April 28th
Downtown Gateway Festival
Sat. - April 29th
12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
"Schools of Hope" Bill
House passed a bill that would promote improved student performance,
increase accountability of failing schools, and establish the Schools
of Hope program.
schools with a 6th, 7th,
or 8th grade class must implement an early
warning system to identify students who need additional support to
improve academic performance. The bill expands the range of schools
that must implement an early warning system to schools that serve any
student in kindergarten through 8th
streamlines the school improvement process and increases accountability
of persistently low performing schools. Schools will be required to
immediately implement intervention and support strategies if the school
earns a "D" or "F" and school districts will have increased flexibility
to address the needs of those schools.
authorizes the establishment of "Schools of Hope" to provide students
in areas of persistently low-performing schools with a high-quality
education option designed to close the opportunity gap and increase
Passes Bill to Fight Human Trafficking
House is committed to fighting the perpetrators of human trafficking.
The House is also committed to supporting victims of human trafficking
who have to endure such deeply horrific circumstances.
fifth week of Session, the Judiciary Committee passed a bill that would
create a new cause of action for victims of human trafficking and allow
the Attorney General to file the cause of action on behalf of the
victim. If a victim or the Attorney General wins his or her case, in
addition to any other award imposed, the court has to award a civil
penalty against each defendant in the amount of $100,000 and enter
judgment in favor of the prevailing victim or the Attorney General.
Importantly, this penalty is in addition to, and not in lieu of, any
punitive damage award.
a law enforcement agency rescued the victim or located the property
upon which the abuse or exploitation of a victim or victims had
occurred, the court has to impose a civil penalty against the defendant
in the civil action and in favor of the law enforcement agency in the
amount of $50,000 for the benefit of the law enforcement agency's
future efforts to combat human trafficking.
also provides for civil judicial forfeiture proceedings that may be
brought by the victim or Attorney General against the real and personal
property of a person who knowingly participated in human trafficking.
Forfeiture may also be filed against property where the owner allowed
human trafficking to happen by willful blindness.