2019 Legislative Session | Week 7
Due to the holiday weekend, Week 7 was shortened forcing legislators to hold multiple marathon meetings - one even extending over ten hours. In that time, however, much was accomplished. As is typical as we wind down the legislative session, a sense of urgency has prevailed throughout the Capitol. Policymakers and advocates are rushing to get bills heard in their final committees and posture them to better align with the other chamber’s bill language. Massive train bills encompassing a multitude of individual policy changes are moving through both chambers around education, healthcare and public safety.

One of the education bills that is moving, SB 7070, among other provisions, establishes the “Turnaround School Supplemental Services Allocation” for district-managed turnaround schools. The funds are designed to improve the overall academic and community welfare of the schools’ students and families. The funds provided for this program will be up to $500 per FTE (unweighted). This additional funding can be used to provide after-school services, parent and child counseling, nutrition counseling and other wraparound services. Like many other policy issues, this is a program that will be negotiated between the two chambers as we wind down session.

Since there are only two weeks remaining in the 2019 session, budget conference is anticipated to begin next week as legislators return from the holiday weekend. Both chambers will work to come to agreements on budget issues and put forth one General Appropriations Act (GAA). Due to the rule requiring a 3-day 'cooling off' period, the GAA would need to be completed by midnight on Tuesday, April 30th for session to conclude sine die on the last day of regular session - May 3rd.
accounts_man.jpg
Child Welfare
 SB 634 - Sen. Rouson
--------------
HB 315 - Rep. Latvala
❶❷
❶❷❸


These   similar   bills establish standards for instruction of circuit and county court judges who have responsibility for dependency cases regarding the recognition and treatment of head trauma and brain injury in a child from birth to five years of age. The bills additionally require the establishment of a communication process between DCF and law enforcement and creates a pilot for three lead agencies to develop and implement a program to more effectively provide case management to children under six years of age. These bills are known as "Jordan's Law" and aims to prevent tragedies like Jordan Belliveau's death.
 SB 262 - Sen. Albritton
--------------
HB 421 - Rep. Roach

❶❷❸
❶❷❸
These  similar   bills aim to speed up the dependency process for children removed from their home to achieve permanency within 1 year. Permanency can be reunification with parents, placement with a permanent guardian, often a relative, or adoption. The bills make changes such as requiring updated parent contact information, making referrals to services for parents within 7 days, requiring parents to notify the court of any barriers to completing their case plan, and to clearly inform parents that if they do.
 SB 1726 - Sen. Gruters
--------------
HB 1171 - Rep. Grall

❷❸
❶❷
These similar   bills establish the Parents Bill of Rights to provide a consistent mechanism for notifying parents of information related to the health, well-being, and education of the child. The bills additionally prohibit health care practitioners from performing surgical procedures, physical or mental health evaluations or prescribing medication to a minor child without written parental consent except in the case of life-threatening emergencies. 
   SB 1650 - Sen. Albritton
--------------
HB 7099 - Children, Families & Seniors

❶❷❸
❶❷

These similar bills come from recommendations of DCF staff as part of the Paths Forward Initiative to mitigate the loss of the IV-E waiver and to prepare for the implementation of the Families First Act. It includes new requirements for DCF placing a child in shelter care, changes to the Guardian Assistance Program and requirements for young adults in foster care.
   HB 1209 - Rep. Buchanon
Passed Full House

This proposed legislation creates a bill of rights for foster parents and requires the Department of Children and Families to provide for mediation with foster parents and adopt rules to implement the bill of rights. 
   HB 899 - Rep. Tomkow
❶❷❸

The bill amends current law related to the dependency system to require that evidence that conditions for return have been met or that a parent substantially complied with a case plan and is likely to complete it in a reasonable time before reunification may occur. The bill also requires planning for and monitoring or communication between foster and biological parents to encourage effective communication.
Early Learning
      SB 1456 - Sen. Perry
--------------
HB 1027 - Rep. Aloupis


❶❷❸
Passed Full House
These  identical   bills require the Office of Early Learning to establish both formal and informal pathways for early learning teachers in the school readiness program to ensure access to specialized professional development.
      SB 1594 - Sen. Perry
--------------
HB 1027 - Rep. Aloupis


❷❸
These identical   bills create   a coordinated assessment system that allows for the tracking the progress of students from VPK through grade 2, include assessments of children and teacher-child interactions and require the Office of Early Learning to adopt a minimum program score for the purpose of determining program effectiveness. The Senate sponsor temporarily postponed this bill with plans to work with the Commissioner of Education and others on this issue over the summer.
      SB 94 - Sen. Stewart
--------------
HB 69 - Rep. Aloupis


❶❷❸
❷❸
These bills are no longer similar. SB 94 requires that after January 1, 2020, vehicles used by child care facilities to transport children must be equipped with an approved alarm system that prompts the driver to inspect the vehicle for the presence of children. HB 69 requires DCF to adopt minimum safety standards regarding procedures to avoid inadvertently leaving a child in a vehicle used by a child care facility, including alarm systems, but does not make these alarm systems a requirement.
K-12 Education
            SB 190 - Sen. Stargel
❶❷❸


This bill would modify the requirements associated with the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program and removes restrictions in current law regarding funding for the operation of schools and performance funding for industry certifications.
            SB 1198 - Sen. Stargel
❶❷


This bill revises current law regarding school district reporting of costs, development of a fiscal transparency tool by DOE that compares academic achievement with percentage of funds spent on classroom instructions and requires these costs and financial efficiency to be displayed on a website for each school
            SB 1366 - Sen. Baxley
❶❷


This bill allows for an earned computer science credit, or an industry certification in computer science to meet high school science requirements currently in statute. Provides for high-quality professional development in computer science for teachers.
Juvenile Justice
            SB 624 - Sen. Montford
--------------
HB 755 - Rep. Alexander

❶❷
❶❷❸

These  similar   bills prohibit a youth from being placed in isolation except in certain circumstances. The restrictions for placing a youth in isolation created in the bill are the same for youth in the custody of the Department of Corrections (DOC) or the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ).
            SB 876 - Sen. Powell
--------------
HB 575 - Criminal Justice

❶❷
❷❸

These  similar   bills require the court to hold an evidentiary hearing to determine whether a child transferred to adult court pursuant to discretionary direct file should remain in adult court or be transferred back to juvenile court and provides that said child cannot be held in a jail or facility intended for adults prior to this hearing. Additionally, the bills repeal all provisions relating to mandatory direct file. 
            SB 7072 - Appropriations


❶❷❸


This is a proposed bill by the Senate Appropriations Committee making several revisions to Florida Statutes related to Criminal Justice. Specific revisions include increasing the threshold amount for third degree felony theft offenses from $300 to $700 and requires this threshold amount to be adjusted every two years based on the Consumer Price Index.
Health & Safety
            SB 354 - Sen. Montford
--------------
HB 213 - Rep. Massullo

❶❷❸
Passed Full Senate

These  similar bills revise provisions relating to the Immunization Registry by allowing a college or university student age 19-24 the right to refuse to be included in the immunization registry and requires health care practitioners to report vaccination data to the immunization registry for children birth to 18 unless a guardian refused to have the child included in the registry by meeting certain requirements. 
            SB 7030 - Education Committee
--------------
HB 7093 - Education Committee

  Passed Full Senate

Build upon the school safety and security foundation established in SB 7026 (2018) by addressing the school safety and security recommendations of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, and strengthening accountability and compliance oversight authority.
            SB 76 - Sen. Simmons

❶❷❸

This bill would authorize enforcement of a ban on the use of a handheld wireless communications device while operating a motor vehicle as a primary offense punishable as a moving violation.
For more information, please contact:
Donovan Lee-Sin, Public Policy & Community Engagement Officer at
donovan@thechildrenstrust.org or 305.571.5700 ext. 316.