Note: These are only our most recent legislative updates. To receive legislative updates via e-mail, fill out a Request Information form and select the Public Policy Roundup option.
2018 State Legislative Priorities
The Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology (FAAST), our state’s assistive technology (AT) program, and the Florida AT Advisory Council have already selected a few initiatives for its 2018 state legislative priorities.
FAAST is proposing a pilot project to collect, refurbish, and reassign durable medical equipment purchased by Florida Medicaid. The pilot project will serve Broward, Henry, Glades, Charlotte, Lee, and Collier counties. Last year FAAST invested $16,000 for equipment recycling services in this area. Fair Market Value (FMV) of recycled items in this area totaled $96,052 for a Return on Investment (ROI) of $6.00 for every $1 of public funds.
The next priority is purely a procedural correction to Florida Statute (FS) 413.407. This statute mandates the Florida AT Advisory Council serve as the Board of Directors for FAAST. Florida is the only state AT program in the nation with this directive. This statute also specifies five state agencies to serve on the Advisory Council. These members often have to recuse themselves in matters related to budget, public policy, and advocacy issues relating to the funding of AT. Removing this requirement would eliminate the problem. Also, 413.407 states a maximum board census of 27. National averages for nonprofit Board of Directors range from seven to nine members.
For the last two legislative sessions, FAAST has advocated for legislation that will allow students with disabilities to earn high school language credit for successful completion of a course(s) in a computer coding language. A bill passed last session allowing computer coding classes to count as requirements for graduation in math and science.
As with each session, FAAST will be looking to increase it general revenue funding to support services provided in its Regional Demonstration and ReUse Centers.