July has arrived and the Governor finally received the $117 billion dollar budget on June 15 and acted on it the same day by signing the bill in Port St Lucie. He vetoed a little over $500 million in projects. The budget goes into effect on July 1. In the budget, an additional $61.5 million was appropriated for a statewide graduate medical education effort aimed at increasing the number of physician residency slots at Florida hospitals.
During the Session, 1,873 bills and proposed committee bills were filed, as well as, 2,674 amendments. Only 356 bills passed both chambers to head to the Governor for final action.
The final tally of Governor’s vetoes is not yet available; but, to date he has vetoed 6 bills out of the 347 he has received.
One of the bills that was vetoed was SB 230 by Senator Harrell that would have clarified health care titles and advertising rules for practitioners in law. The legislation would have applied the title or designation of “physician” only to medical doctors and osteopathic physicians for advertising or when dealing with patients. This was a bill supported by the Senate President Kathleen Passidomo whose father is an ophthalmologist. An amendment was adopted that allowed optometrists to be designated as doctors and the House would not agree to pass the bill without this language. Additionally, nearly 50 occupations were approved to refer to themselves as “physicians “including dentists, podiatrists, and chiropractic physicians. The Senate President was aware that the governor was going to veto the bill. The veto was welcome due to all the amendments to the bill.
The bills relating to coverage for diagnostic and supplemental breast examinations did not pass this session.
This next session starts in January; so, I anticipate seeing these bills filed again.
Campaign season is underway again and any financial support of the FRS PAC is greatly appreciated.
I look forward to seeing everyone at the annual meeting in Sarasota.