Pre-Session Update # 5
January 29, 2021
Paul D. Seltzer, DO, Legislative Chair
Stephen R. Winn, ED
Michelle W. Larson, Assoc. ED
Jason D. Winn, Esq.
The Governor released his $96.6 billion budget recommendation for FY 2021-22, an increase of $4.3 billion over FY 2019-20. Of the increase, $2.6 billion is allocated for expenditures related to the COVID-19 pandemic response or impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic on Floridians.  Under the proposal, the state will maintain reserves totaling $6.6 billion.  According to the Governor, this will leave “ample resources for unforeseen expenditures relating to the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2021 hurricane season.”

Budget Highlights

  • $9 million to support the Office of Minority Health and Health Equity to develop strategies to reduce health disparities and advance health equity.

  • $2.8 million to support additional Advanced Practice Registered Nurses for medication administration to reduce the spread of HIV in the state.

  • $178 million to fight the opioid epidemic and includes $119.9 million from the State Opioid Response Grant to address the opioid crisis.

  • $53.9 million to provide community based behavioral health services for adults with severe and persistent mental illness and children with emotional disturbances.

  • $1.3 million to assist veterans in mentoring, training and networking throughout the state.

  • $22.6 million to support capital improvements, equipment updates, and medical costs for nursing home residents and staffing needs for the two new Veterans’ Nursing Homes.

  • Maintains funding for the Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative waitlist, the Community Care for the Elderly Program and the Home Care for Elderly Program.

DeSantis Seeks Money for Drug Importation Plan

Governor DeSantis continues to push to import lower-cost drugs from Canada and included $15 million in his proposed budget for an importation program. In November, Florida submitted a proposal to the federal government to establish a drug-importation program. The $15 million requested by Governor DeSantis would come on top of $10 million the Legislature has already directed toward establishing an importation program, which also was championed by former House Speaker Jose Oliva. The Legislature passed a bill in 2019 giving the state the green light to move ahead with importation efforts.
Legislative Spotlight
SB 0288 Victims of Reform School Abuse by Rouson

The FOMA successfully amended SB 288 to include osteopathic physicians to the list of doctors who can verify a mental injury.

SB 288 requires a person seeking to be certified as a victim of Florida reform school abuse to submit an application to the Department of State (DOS) by September 1, 2021. The DOS must notify the applicant of its determination within five business days after processing and reviewing the application. If the DOS determines that an application meets the requirements of the act, the DOS must certify the applicant as a victim of Florida reform school abuse. The DOS must also submit a list of all certified victims to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives by December 31, 2021.

The bill also provides that a victim of Florida reform school abuse may file a claim under ch. 960, F.S., which governs victim assistance, including victim compensation. The bill defines “crime,” for purposes of filing a claim and requires that a claim must be brought within 1 year of the effective date of the bill.

The Senate Criminal Justice Committee passed the bill; 6 Yeas, 1 Nay.

SB 0054 Motor Vehicle Insurance by Burgess

The Senate Banking and Insurance committee amended and passed SB 54 relating to motor vehicle insurance - 10 Yeas, 2 Nays.  As filed, the bill repeals the Florida Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law (No-Fault Law), which requires every owner and registrant of a motor vehicle in this state to maintain Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage.  

Senator Passidomo filed an amendment to the bill, providing that s. 624.156, F.S., created by the bill, will apply to all third-party bad faith failure to settle actions against motor vehicle insurers. The amendment also specifies that the failure to settle cause of action under the civil remedy provided in s. 624.155, F.S., does not apply to a third-party bad faith failure to settle action subject to the newly created s. 624.156, F.S. Thus, s. 624.156, F.S., will exclusively govern all third-party bad faith failure to settle actions against a motor vehicle insurer.  

The amendment was adopted by the Committee.  

SB 0072. Civil Liability for Damages Relating to COVID-19 by Brandes

The Senate Judiciary passed SB 72 relating to COVID civil liability - 7 Yeas, 4 Nays. All amendments filed to the bill failed.

The legislation creates civil liability protections for individuals, businesses, and other organizations against COVID-19-related claims. As drafted, healthcare providers are excluded from the liability protections in the bill.

FOMA General Counsel Jason Winn continues to meet with the coalition regarding medical-malpractice legislation designed to offer greater protections for health care providers.  
Steve Winn Meets with Senate President,
Sen. Wilton Simpson
CALENDAR - Week of February 1, 2021
Wednesday Feb 3, 2021- House Pandemics & Public Emergencies Committee 
HB 0007 Civil Liability for Damages Relating to COVID-19 McClure  
Thursday Feb 4, 2021 - Senate Health Policy     

 SB 0530. Non-opioid Alternatives, Perry  
SB 0494. Administration of Vaccines , Burgess  
SB 0352. Massage Therapy, Rodriguez (A)  
SB 0272. Rare Disease Advisory Council, Baxley  

SB 0340. Supermajority Vote Required to Enact a Single-payor Healthcare, Diaz  
Bill Tracking
Please see the link below containing a list of all legislation filed to date. Let us know if you have any specific areas of interest or concern.

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