Marco T. Paredes, Jr.

Director of

Government Affairs




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Robert Walters




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Dear Colleagues and Friends,

As Director of Government Affairs for Stearns Weaver Miller, I am monitoring bills being considered by the Legislature and will report developments regarding them in our weekly “Rotunda Report.”

Below is a high-level summary of important bills and key issues from session this week, February 19-23. We’ve also included a deeper dive into significant bills, including an analysis of how the bills may affect your business. For more information, please contact me.

Tax Package

The tax package moved forward in the House and Senate this week. The House Appropriations Committee advanced HB 7073 on a 25-4 vote. The bill was amended to include a provision proposed by Governor Ron DeSantis that would give homeowners a one-year lull on state taxes and assessments charged on insurance policies enacted or renewed after Oct 1. The Senate Finance and Tax Committee unanimously passed SB 7074. Both proposals are now ready for their respective chamber floors. Differences between the House and Senate bills are expected to be negotiated during the remaining days of session.

Health Care

The House passed the Senate’s “Live Healthy” set of bills yesterday. Both bills now head to the Governor for his consideration. SB 7016 addresses the shortage of health care providers and supports innovation in the health care marketplace by increasing positions for graduate medical students, incentivizing health care professionals to work in rural areas, enhancing Medicaid reimbursement rates and supporting expanding free health care screenings for uninsured, low-income residents. SB 7018, creates the Health Care Innovation Council, a 15-member council within the Department of Health to facilitate discussions with innovators, developers, and implementers of technologies, workforce pathways, service delivery models, or other solutions. The council will use these discussions to create best practice recommendations and focus areas for the advancement of the delivery of health care in Florida.

Social Media

The House overwhelmingly passed legislation yesterday that would prevent children under 16-years old from having accounts on social media platforms that have addictive features. The Senate amended the bill earlier in the day and sent it back to the House for their agreement. The bill now heads to the Governor for his consideration. If signed into law, HB 1 would create the strictest social media ban in the country. Since the bill was passed with two weeks left in session, the Governor will have seven days to act on the bill once it is presented to him.

Thomas Aubin

Department Chair


Ft. Lauderdale


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Matthew Podolnick


Ft. Lauderdale


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Legislation Spotlight:

Recovery of Noneconomic Damages by

Adult Children and Parents of Adult Children in Medical Malpractice

The Florida Legislature has long wrestled with altering Florida’s long-standing law banning adult children and parents of adult children from receiving noneconomic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits involving the death of their parents or adult children. In an attempt to address the criticism, SB 248, filed by Senator Yarborough, and HB 77, filed by Representative Roach, sought to expand the application of the Florida Wrongful Death Act to allow certain parents and children of a deceased patient who dies due to medical negligence to recover noneconomic damages. Under existing law, all of a decedent’s statutory survivors may recover some economic damages for the loss of the decedent. However, there is a tiered priority of classes of survivors who may recover noneconomic damages, which notably includes damages for a survivor’s pain and suffering, for the decedent’s wrongful death.

The original filed bills aligned in that neither capped the amount of noneconomic damages adults could recover. However, Senator Yarborough, as Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, filed an amendment early during Session that placed caps on damages that could be awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits as part of his legislation. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted favorably on the proposed amendment, placing caps on noneconomic damages at $500,000 per claimant, regardless of the number of health care practitioners who are liable. The limits would be $750,000 on “non-practitioners” who are liable. The cap would drop to $150,000 for health care practitioners in emergency medical cases. 

After amending the Senate version, the legislative efforts to alter the ban stalled, as Representative Roach publicly came out against the damages caps, telling reporters: “Any discussion of caps is a non-starter for me. I will continue to fight for a full repeal of [the law].” The legislative efforts appear stalled for the 2024 Session; however, given the broad support this change received, these efforts will more than likely emerge in subsequent Sessions. 

The Government Affairs Team at Stearns Weaver Miller, in conjunction with the Medical Malpractice Group is actively monitoring all aspects of these possible changes, including the possibility of this issue arising in the 2025 Legislative Session. We will continue to provide updates on the proposed changes, including the possible impacts on Florida healthcare facilities. 

The information provided in this email does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information in this email is for informational purposes only. Information in this email is general in nature and may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information. Readers of this email should contact us or an attorney of their choice to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal matter. No reader of this email should act or refrain from acting on the basis of information in this email without first seeking legal advice from counsel. Only your individual attorney can provide assurances that the information contained herein – and your interpretation of it – is applicable or appropriate to your particular situation. This email does not create an attorney-client relationship between the reader and the authors of the email or this law firm.


Our Government Affairs practice group monitors both the legislative and executive branches to stay well-informed of emerging legislative and regulatory developments. 

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About Stearns Weaver Miller


Stearns Weaver Miller is a Florida-based law firm with more than 150 attorneys and offices in Miami, Coral Gables, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa and Tallahassee. For over 40 years, our multidisciplinary team of attorneys and professionals have worked collaboratively to help our clients understand and resolve complex legal issues and disputes. For more information, please visit