February has begun and the legislators are going to be in Tallahassee for the next three weeks for committee meetings and then the Session will commence March 4th.
The Senate is not letting any visitors into the Capitol and have announced that they plan to continue this policy through the Session. The House is letting members meet with folks from the outside but it is highly discouraged. Testimony for the Senate and House is done remotely from the Civic Center. The House has invited experts in to testify, but there are quite a few procedural hoops to clear before going in the building. Sadly, this has led to the cancellation of the Residents annual visit to the Florida Capitol and all that surrounds that trip.
Legislatively, lots of bills have been filed. The House deadline was Friday February 29th, with the Senate final bill filing deadline of March 2nd. The Session will start March 4th.
The Governor released his $96.6 billion 2021-2022 budget recommendation on Friday January 29th. This budget proposal is $4 billion more than last year’s proposal. His staff will spend the next two weeks rolling out his budget requests to the House and Senate members of the appropriations committees.
Legislatively, Senator Brandes filed SB 72 which is a bill that will provide protection to the health care industry from lawsuits related to Covid-19. There is anticipation of a House companion measure but that bill has not been released yet.
Senator Brandes has also filed SB 424 which would allow autonomous practice by advanced practice registered nurses in his or her own specialty which has many of us concerned and opposed to the bill. I am scheduled to meet with him next week and will have more information in the next Ebrief.
Several Telehealth bills have been filed as well. Senator Burgess has filed legislation, SB 54, to repeal PIP – personal injury protection coverage and replace it with bodily injury liability coverage. At this time there is no med pay provision provided in the bill but that is being discussed.
Please feel free to reach out to me via email, if you have any questions during the session.