As I write this article, we have nine days left of the regularly scheduled Legislative Session with overtime a certainty. The Legislature was scheduled to end March 13th.
Budget allocations have not been agreed upon and the Coronavirus is threatening the state. The legislative leadership is weighing what needs to be done financially to respond to the threats the virus poses.
The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a measure on 3/3 that would allow certain nurses to treat patients without physician oversight in regions that lack adequate health care. They used federal maps when defining the areas which are rural or poor inner-city areas. The bill now would allow nurse practitioners to treat routine ailments in those regions. It would prohibit them from autonomous practice in a hospital. There is no original Senate bill addressing nurse practitioners. The bill passed 16-4.
Scope expansion for nurses is the number one priority of the Session for Speaker Oliva. The Speaker has been clear he is not leaving Tallahassee until he gets this bill passed.
Please reach out to me via email if you have questions on the Session.
Alison Dudley, FRS Lobbyist