Florida 2019 Legislative Wrap-Up

By Susan E. Anderson, Esq.
FSLA Vice President of Public Policy & Legal Affairs

Florida’s legislative session is complete for 2019.  By this time, you have heard about some of the big issues that passed such as smokable medical marijuana, felon voting rights restoration, disallowing sanctuary cities, arming teachers in classrooms, and texting while driving.  Some other bills of general interest that passed include clearing the way for complete autonomous operation of vehicles without a human driver present and setting up a task force to explore the use of blockchain technology in state operations. All very interesting and we start again in just a few short months with committee meetings and the start of the 2020 legislative session on January 14, 2020.

Florida Senior Living Association will again seek sponsorship for our “Assisted Living Modernization” bill.  We were very close to passage this year, its first year of introduction, which is truly amazing.  We will work over the summer to keep promoting the ideas brought forward in the bill.  Thank you to all members who were able to attend the FSLA Legislative Workshop in March and for your gracious contributions in time and information to make the text of the bill even better.

FSLA BILLS

Assisted Living Modernization
SB 1592/ HB 1349 (Sen. Gayle Harrell – R / Rep. Margaret Good – D)

This bill was requested to be introduced by FSLA.  The bill proposed to update assisted living statutes to make the assisted living experience better for Florida’s seniors and to improve housing options for seniors who need to transition out of their own home; but, are not frail enough to need the services of a nursing home. The bill specifically allowed for assistive devices for resident mobility and preventing injuries to staff; it expanded resident admission criteria to allow the same services that are provided at home to be provided, if appropriate, to the resident in their assisted living home; limited the 1823 admission form to items addressed in a medical examination; eliminates unnecessary reporting of liability claims and the one-day adverse incident report; and the bill allowed for expanded services and choices in the residential setting through the use of technological advances and innovations in health and safety.

Status:  Passed the House and died in the Senate.

Governmental Powers and Emergency Preparedness
HB 1299 / SB 1364 (Rep. Spencer Roach – R / Sen. Joe Gruters – R)

These bills revised assisted living emergency preparedness requirements by adding clarifying language, ensuring that communities may act as evacuee receiving communities regardless of cooled square footage requirements, moving the implementation date for generators to June 1, 2020, and preempting regulation of emergency preparedness for assisted living to the state.

Status:  Passed the House and died in the Senate

Read below for details on the important bills involving senior living and senior care that passed or were either supported or opposed by Florida Senior Living Association.

BILLS PASSED and SIGNED INTO LAW or PRESENTED TO GOVERNOR

Medical Use of Marijuana
SB 182 (Sen. Jeff Brandes – R)

This bill removes the ban on smokable medical marijuana in Florida and clarifies several issues concerning resident use and for employers and employees.  The bill specifies that the use of medical marijuana and the assistance of a caregiver is allowed in assisted living if the community’s policies do not prohibit the use of medical marijuana.  It redefines the term “medical use” to include the possession, use, or administration of marijuana in a form for smoking.  The smoking of marijuana in enclosed indoor workplaces is restricted in compliance with the Florida Clean Indoor Air Act.  Employers may enforce a drug-free workplace program and the employer does not have to accommodate either the medical use of marijuana in the workplace or an employee working while under the influence of marijuana.

Status:  Approved by Governor 3/18/19, Laws of Florida Chapter No. 2019-1
Effective Date:  March 18, 2019
Note:  Assisted living communities should revise workplace smoking and drug-free policies to include medical marijuana.  House rules for residents should disclose whether the community allows smokable medical marijuana and the requirements for use, if allowed.

Assisted Living Rulemaking
SB 184 (Sen. Lauren Book – D)

This bill moves the rule writing authority for assisted living communities (along with hospice, adult day care centers, and adult family-care homes) from the Department of Elder Affairs to AHCA. Only the portions directing Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders training stay with the Department.

Currently both agencies develop rules, while licensing and inspection is solely performed by AHCA. Over time this created operational challenges due to the regulating agency (AHCA) enforcing rules that it did not write. Both agencies requested the Legislature to place all rule writing authority with AHCA.

Status:  Approved by Governor 4/26/19, Laws of Florida Chapter No. 2019-011
Effective Date:  July 1, 2019
Note:  The Assisted Living rule chapter, 58A-5 will be moving to a rule chapter governed by AHCA (59); so, it will be re-numbered.  It is a ministerial change and does not require the rule to be “opened” up. FSLA will notify everyone as soon as the new rule number is determined.

Vaping
SB 7012 (Senate Innovation, Industry, and Technology Committee)

This legislation implements Amendment 9 to the Florida Constitution, which was approved by the voters of Florida on November 6, 2018, to ban the use of vapor-generating electronic devices, such as electronic cigarettes, in enclosed indoor workplaces.  It amends part II of ch. 386, F.S., to add the use of vapor-generating electronic devices to the current prohibition against tobacco smoking in enclosed indoor workplaces. Vaping is permitted at the same locations currently authorized to permit tobacco smoking, for example, stand-alone bars and smoking rooms in airport in-transit lounges.

Status:  Approved by Governor 4/26/19, Laws of Florida Chapter No. 2019-014
Effective Date:  July 1, 2019
Note:  Assisted living communities should revise smoking policies to include prohibitions on the indoor use of vaping and the use of e-cigarettes, e-cigars, e-cigarillos, e-pipes, and other electronic vaping devices.

Transportation
SB 7068 (Senate Infrastructure and Security Committee)

Creates new toll roads and a turnpike extension in central Florida and a new north-south corridor from Tampa to Georgia.
Status:  Presented to the Governor to be signed into law or vetoed by 5/28/19.
Effective Date:  July 1, 2019

BILLS THAT PASSED and ARE AWAITING PRESENTATION TO THE GOVERNOR

Ballot Measures
HB 5 (Rep. Nick DeCeglie – R)

Requiring a supervisor of elections to verify petition signatures and retain signature forms in a specified manner; providing that an initiative sponsor’s failure to comply with the specified requirements renders any referendum held void; prohibiting compensation for initiative petition circulators based on the number of petition forms gathered; providing penalties for failure to register as a petition circulator, etc.

Status:  5/8/2019 HOUSE Enrolled Text (ER) Filed
Effective Date: upon becoming a law
Note:  Current Florida Constitutional amendment ballot initiatives involve a proposal to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour over a period of years and to increase the Medicaid expenditure.

Certificate of Need
HB 21 (Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen- R)

Revising and eliminating the certificate of need process for general hospitals and tertiary services (like transplants and neonatal intensive-care units); specialty hospitals, such as pediatric hospitals, would also no longer be subject to the regulations starting in 2021.

Status:  4/29/2019, HOUSE Enrolled Text (ER) Filed
Effective Date:  July 1, 2019

Telehealth
HB 23 (Rep. Clay Yarborough – R)

The bill authorizes Florida licensed health care professionals, as well as those licensed under a multistate health care licensure compact, to use telehealth to deliver health care services within their respective scopes of practice. The bill also establishes standards of practice for services provided using telehealth, including patient examination, record-keeping, and controlled substances prescribing. Out-of-state health care professionals will be authorized to deliver health care services to Florida patients via telehealth if certain conditions are met.

Status:  4/29/2019, HOUSE Enrolled Text (ER) Filed
Effective Date: July 1, 2019

Wireless Communications While Driving
HB 107 (Rep. Jackie Toledo – R)

Makes texting while driving a primary offense, prohibiting a person from operating a motor vehicle while using a wireless communications device in a handheld manner in a designated school crossing, school zone, or work zone; authorizing a law enforcement office, etc.

Status:  4/29/2019, HOUSE Enrolled Text (ER) Filed
Effective Date: July 1, 2019 with a grace period in which law enforcement will issue warning through the end of the year.

Nonemergency Medical Transportation Services
HB 411 (Rep. Daniel Perez -R)

Authorizing certain transportation network companies, including ride-share companies such as Uber and Lyft, to provide nonemergency medical transportation services to a Medicaid recipient under certain circumstances; requiring the Agency for Health Care Administration to update its regulations, policies, or other guidance.

Status:  5/2/2019, HOUSE Enrolled Text (ER) Filed
Effective Date: July 1, 2019

Alzheimer’s Disease
HB 449 (Rep. Scott Plakon – R)

Increases membership of Alzheimer’s Disease Advisory Committee; requires committee to submit annual report that includes certain information & recommendations including assisted living resources as a housing option; requires Department of Elderly Affairs to review & update Alzheimer’s disease state plan every 3 years in collaboration with certain parties, etc.

Status:  4/26/2019, HOUSE Enrolled Text (ER) Filed
Effective Date: July 1, 2019

Public Utility Storm Protection Plans
SB 796 (Sen. Joe Gruters – R)

Requiring public utilities to individually submit to the Public Service Commission, for review and approval, a transmission and distribution storm protection plan; requiring the commission to conduct an annual proceeding to allow utilities to justify and recover certain costs from customers through a storm protection cost recovery clause, etc.

Status:  5/7/2019, SENATE Enrolled Text (ER) Filed
Effective Date: Upon becoming a law

Electronic Prescribing
HB 831 (Rep. Amber Mariano – R)

Beginning January 1, 2021, requires prescribers to generate and transmit all prescriptions electronically to pharmacies, except when electronic prescribing is unavailable due to a temporary electrical or technological failure; authorizing the Department of Health to adopt rules, etc.

Status:  5/2/2019, HOUSE Enrolled Text (ER) Filed
Effective Date: January 1, 2020 

Business Organizations
HB 1009 (Rep. Cord Byrd -R)

A comprehensive amendment to the Florida Business Corporation Act (FBCA), Florida Revised Limited Liability Company Act, corporations not for profit, and limited partnership laws. The bill predominantly mirrors the 2016 version of the Model Business Corporation Act

Status:  4/30/2019, HOUSE Enrolled Text (ER) Filed
Effective Date:  The amended FBCA applies to all corporations registered or authorized to do business in Florida on January 1, 2020. However, the bill amends s. 607.1907, F.S., to provide that any pending action, proceeding, or right accrued prior to January 1, 2020, will be completed as though the amendments made to the FBCA by this bill had not taken effect.

Continuing Care Contracts
HB 1033 (Rep. Clay Yarborough – R)

Revises & provides provisions related to continuing care contracts including financing, refinancing, procedures & standards for certificates of authority & provisional certificates, escrowed funds, provider acquisitions, expansion of facilities, rulemaking, filing of information, management contracts, minimum standards, procedures for providers not meeting standards, & composition of Continuing Care Advisory Council.

Status:  5/3/2019, HOUSE Enrolled Text (ER) Filed
Effective Date: January 1, 2020

Workforce Education
HB 7071 (House Higher Education & Career Readiness Subcommittee)

Revises provisions relating to preapprenticeship & apprenticeship programs, and secondary & postsecondary workforce education; grants high school credit for apprenticeship programs.

Status:  5/2/2019, HOUSE Enrolled Text (ER) Filed
Effective Date: 7/1/2019

Taxation
HB 7123 (House Ways & Means Committee)

Reducing sales tax rates on commercial leases from 5.7% to 5.5% beginning January 1, 2020, reenacts Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday from May 31, 2019 through June 6, 2019 with qualifying items such as batteries, portable self-powered light sources, weather radios, portable generators (valued at $750 or less), etc.

Status:  5/7/2019, HOUSE Enrolled Text (ER) Filed
Effective Date: upon becoming a law

BILLS THAT DID NOT PASS

 Sorted by Bill Number
SB 188 Department of Health Harrell
Department of Health; Revising health care practitioner licensure application requirements; revising licensure requirements for a person seeking licensure or certification as an osteopathic physician; revising requirements for examinations of dental hygienists; revising athletic trainer licensure requirements; revising qualifications for licensure as a massage therapist; revising requirements for licensure by endorsement or certification for specified professions, etc. Effective Date: 7/1/2019
5/3/2019 SENATE Died in returning Messages
HB 253 Independent Living Task Force Gottlieb
Independent Living Task Force: Establishes Independent Living Task Force within Florida Housing Finance Corporation; provides for duties, membership, & meetings of task force; requires task force to submit report to Governor & Legislature by specified date; provides for expiration. Effective Date: upon becoming a law
5/3/2019 SENATE Died in Children, Families, and Elder Affairs
HB 305 At-Risk Adult Alert Plan Ausley
At-Risk Adult Alert Plan: Requires FDLE, in cooperation with DOT, DHSMV, & local law enforcement agencies, to establish & implement At-Risk Adult Alert Plan; requires local law enforcement agency to broadcast information to public & media about certain missing adults. Effective Date: July 1, 2019
5/3/2019 HOUSE Died in Justice Appropriations Subcommittee
Elder Abuse Fatality Review Teams Gibson
Elder Abuse Fatality Review Teams; Authorizing the establishment of elder abuse fatality review teams in each judicial circuit and housing the review teams, for administrative purposes only, in the Department of Elderly Affairs; assigning responsibility for paying the administrative costs of review team operations to the team members or the entities they represent, etc. Effective Date: 7/1/2019
5/3/2019 HOUSE Died in Messages
SB 454 Public Records and Public Meetings/Elder Abuse Fatality Review Team Gibson
Public Records and Public Meetings/Elder Abuse Fatality Review Team; Specifying that information obtained by an elder abuse fatality review team which is exempt or confidential and exempt from public records requirements retains its protected status; providing an exemption from public records requirements for identifying information of an elder abuse victim in records created by a review team; providing for future legislative review and repeal; providing statements of public necessity, etc. Effective Date: On the same date that SB 452 or similar legislation takes effect, if such legislation is adopted in the same legislative session or an extension thereof and becomes a law
5/3/2019 SENATE Died in Governmental Oversight and Accountability
HB 583 Elder Protection Watson (B)
Elder Protection: Authorizes establishment of elder abuse fatality review teams in each judicial circuit to review deaths of elderly persons under certain circumstances; provides for membership, operations, meetings, & duties of review teams; authorizes review teams to access certain information & records under certain circumstances; provides reporting requirements; provides immunity from monetary liability under certain conditions. Effective Date: July 1, 2019
5/3/2019 HOUSE Indefinitely postponed and withdrawn from consideration
HB 585 Pub. Rec. and Meetings/Elder Abuse Fatality Review Teams Watson (B)
Pub. Rec. and Meetings/Elder Abuse Fatality Review Teams; Provides exemptions from public records & meetings requirements for certain information or victim’s identity obtained by elder abuse fatality review team; provides for future legislative review & repeal; provides statements of public necessity. Effective Date: on the same date that HB 583 or similar legislation takes effect
5/3/2019 HOUSE Died in Children, Families and Seniors Subcommittee
SB 588 Preemption of Local Regulations Hutson
Preemption of Local Regulations; Prohibiting certain governmental entities from adopting or enforcing local ordinances or regulations relating to over-the-counter proprietary drugs and cosmetics before a specified date; preempting the establishment of the requirements for alternate generated power sources to the state and to the Division of Emergency Management, etc. Effective Date: 7/1/2019
5/3/2019 SENATE Died in Rules
SB 670 Assisted and Independent Living Task Force Rader
Assisted and Independent Living Task Force; Creating the task force to evaluate proposals that incentivize building contractors and developers to create space for assisted living facilities and independent living communities within mixed-use developments; establishing the task force adjunct to the Agency for Persons with Disabilities; providing for duties, membership, and meetings of the task force, etc. Effective Date: Upon becoming a law
5/3/2019 SENATE Died in Rules
HB 821 Health Care Practitioners Pigman
Health Care Practitioners: Authorizes autonomous practice for specified health care practitioners; requires Board of Health or DOH to register physician assistant or advanced practice registered nurse if applicant meets criteria; authorizes such autonomous health care practitioners to perform specified acts without physician supervision or supervisory protocol; provides appropriations & authorizes positions. Effective Date: July 1, 2019, if HB 7079 or similar legislation is adopted in the same legislative session or an extension thereof and becomes a law
5/3/2019 SENATE Died in Health Policy
SB 844 Orange Alert Berman
Orange Alert; Redefining the term “missing endangered person” to include a missing adult who meets the criteria for activation of the Orange Alert of the Department of Law Enforcement; requiring the Department of Law Enforcement, in cooperation with the Department of Transportation, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, the Department of the Lottery, and local law enforcement agencies, to establish and implement the Orange Alert; authorizing local law enforcement agencies to broadcast to subscribers of notifications, to the media, and on lottery terminals about certain missing adults, etc. APPROPRIATION: $322,836.00 Effective Date: 7/1/2020
5/3/2019 SENATE Died on Calendar
HB 961 Health Innovation Commission Fine
Health Innovation Commission: Creates Health Innovation Commission within AHCA; provides purpose, membership, meetings, & duties of commission; provides requirements for innovative proposals & requests for exemptions from specified laws or rules; requires commission to review such proposals & provide its findings & decision to applicant within specified timeframe; requires AHCA to submit annual report to Governor & Legislature by specified date; provides rulemaking; authorizes positions & provides appropriations. Effective Date: July 1, 2019
5/3/2019 SENATE Died in Innovation, Industry, and Technology
HB 1035 Patient Access to Records Rommel
Patient Access to Records: Requires certain licensed facilities, providers, & health care practitioners to furnish & provide access to records & reports within specified timeframe after receiving request; authorizes facilities, providers, & practitioners to charge reasonable cost associated with reproducing or providing access to such records & reports. Effective Date: July 1, 2019
5/3/2019 SENATE Died in Health Policy
SB 1348 Health Innovation Commission Gruters
Health Innovation Commission; Creating the Health Innovation Commission within the Agency for Health Care Administration; providing requirements for proposals for innovative improvements to the health care delivery system and requests for exemptions from specified laws or rules; requiring the commission to review such proposals with the assistance of relevant state agencies, if needed, etc. Effective Date: 7/1/2019
5/3/2019 SENATE Died in Innovation, Industry, and Technology
HB 7119 Use of Regulated Substances Health & Human Services Committee
Use of Regulated Substances: Preempts establishment of minimum age for sale or delivery of tobacco products, nicotine products, or nicotine dispensing devices to the state; provides it is unlawful for qualified physician to issue a certificate for marijuana in a form for smoking to patient under 21 years of age; requires standard informed consent form to include specified health effects to persons under 21 years of age; revises age for smoking near school property; revises prohibited age related to sale, delivery, gift, possession, & purchase of tobacco products; provides it is unlawful to misrepresent age or military service to acquire tobacco products; revises provisions relating to restrictions on sale & delivery of nicotine products or nicotine dispensing devices. Effective Date: October 1, 2019
5/3/2019 HOUSE Died on Calendar

 

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