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Issue 7   |  April  17, 2017 

Top News: Budget Update
Senate President Negron speaks with reporters in the Senate Chamber.

$4 Billion Divide Between Senate and House Proposed Budgets: Due to the Passover and Easter holidays, the House and Senate met only two days last week. On Wednesday, the Senate passed its proposed $83.2 billion 2017-2018 state budget, and the next day the House passed its version, an $81.2 billion proposal that is actually $4 billion less because the Senate includes $2 billion in education funding that the House does not.

Speaker Corcoran (left) and President Negron (right) presiding.

Conference Committees Starting This Week? The Regular Session is scheduled to end at midnight on Friday May 5, leaving less than three weeks for joint budget conference committees to resolve the $4 billion in differences.  House Speaker Richard Corcoran, speaking on the Florida Channel's "Face to Face" said, "If allocations can get done in five to seven days...we'll absolutely, in my opinion, get done" on schedule.  If the Speaker's hopes are realized, conference committees will begin meeting this week.
Hospital Funding Announcement will Help Budget Negotiations: As legislators try to close the $4 billion gap between the House and Senate budgets, the Trump and Scott administrations jointly announced that Florida will receive $1.5 billion for the "Low Income Pool" (LIP) - services provided by hospitals to treat the poor and uninsured. The proposed Senate budget includes $600 million of these LIP funds, while the House proposal includes no LIP dollars.
Health: Medicaid Managed Care
Left: Senator Denise Grimsley and Right: Senator Kelly Stargel, co-introducers of Medicaid Managed Care bill.

Florida Medicaid is the safety net to Florida's healthcare delivery system, currently covering 20 percent of all Floridians including 47 percent of children; 63 percent of births; and 61 percent of nursing home days. The Statewide Medicaid Managed Care program (SMMC) is administered by the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA).   SB 916 (Grimsley, R-Lake Placid and Stargel, R-Lakeland) modifies and streamlines the SMMC program. A similar House bill, HB 7117 , also adds work requirements and monthly premiums for Medicaid enrollees. Read more here and here.
Education: Civic Literacy
Rep. Jake Raburn (R-Valrico) presents Civic Literacy bill in committee.

Civic literacy is the foundation of a strong democracy.   CS/CS/HB 7057 promotes civic literacy beginning in the early grades, and requires postsecondary students to demonstrate competency in civic literacy. The bill passed a full vote in the House; a similar bill, SB 1710 , will be heard in its final Senate committee this week. Read more .
Juvenile Justice: Civil Citations
Sen. Anitere Flores (R-Miami) has made juvenile justice civil citations a priority.

Bills promoting civil citations and diversion programs instead of arrests for juvenile offenders, CS/SB 196 (Flores, R-Miami) and CS/SB 448 (Brandes, R-St.Petersburg), are moving toward final committee votes. However, small but significant differences between the bills, primarily concerning whether the civil citations are mandatory or at the discretion of the law enforcement officer, will need to be resolved for the legislation to advance. Read more here and here .
Bills to Watch

Week of April 17-21, 2017

CS/CS/HB 293 Middle Grades (Burton, R-Lakeland): Requires that DOE contract to conduct comprehensive study of states with nationally recognized high-performing middle schools in reading and mathematics.
SB 468 Voluntary Prekindergarten (Stargel, R-Lakeland): Requires the Just Read, Florida! Office to provide teachers, reading coaches, and principals in prekindergarten through grade 3 with specified training; requires VPK providers to provide parents timely pre- and post- assessment results.
CS/CS/HB 989 Instructional Materials (Donalds, R-Naples): Revises district school board responsibilities relating to review and adoption of public K-12 instructional materials; authorizes county residents to challenge use or adoption of instructional materials.
Quick Links
Questions or Comments?
Contact Ted Granger, United Way of Florida, or Jess Scher, United Way of Miami-Dade.