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Issue 9   |  March 13, 2020

Top News: Legislature Extends Session to Complete Budget Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

The 2020 Florida Legislature was scheduled to end today.  Now, Florida's Legislature has tentatively scheduled Sine Die, the last day of Session, on Wednesday, March 18.  The new plan is for the budget to be completed by Sunday, and then voted on Wednesday, after the mandatory 72-hour cooling off period. 
Considerations to the budget include the state's response to coronavirus.  Legislators anticipate setting aside at least $300 million in reserves to respond to the coronavirus and its impact on the state economy.  The total budget is roughly $93 billion for 2020-21, a process that has been disrupted as the coronavirus has increased in Florida.
Last night, 16 new cases of coronavirus were confirmed in Florida.  Governor DeSantis announced yesterday that the state has purchased 2,500 test kits and they will arrive this weekend.  The Governor also recommended that communities help to slow the progress of the coronavirus by postponing or limiting mass gatherings.

Priority United Way Bills Heard this Week

Week of March 9-13, 2020

CS/HB 81: Health Care for Children (Medicaid School-based Services) ( A ndrade ; R-Escambia, Santa Rosa ) - Requiring the Department of Health to create and make available electronically a pamphlet with specified information; revising applicable provisions for the reimbursement of school-based services by the Agency for Health Care Administration to certain school districts; requiring certain individual educational plan teams and individualized family support plan teams to include a specified specialist, etc.  Passed by the House on March 12. Sent to the Governor for his signature.
CS/HB 1339: Community Development and Housing (Yarborough; R-Duval) -  Authorizing a board of county commissioners to approve development of affordable housing on any parcel zoned for residential, commercial, or industrial use; revising the information that the county budget officer must submit to the Office of Economic and Demographic Research regarding the final budget and the county's economic status; amending the Florida Interlocal Cooperation Act of 1969 to authorize private entities to enter into specified loan agreements, etc. Passed by the House on March 12.  Sent to the Governor for his signature.
CS/SB 1624: Economic Self-Sufficiency (Perry; R-Alachua, Marion, Putnam) - Requires the Auditor General to review certain state economic assistance, health care, and housing programs at least once every three years. The bill requires the Auditor General to submit a report to the Governor and Legislature within 30 days of completing each review. Passed by the Senate on March 12. House companion, HB 1323 is in Messages.

Click for Updates on all Florida United Way Priority Bills.
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Questions or Comments?
Contact Rick Owen, United Way of Florida or Heather Davidson, United Way of Broward County