A special message from the FAAST Executive Director

Dear Friends: 

We all need to stand tall and tell our two Senators we support Medicaid and its importance to the acquisition of assistive technology.  The Graha-Cassidy Bill will fundamentally change Medicaid from a Federal-State Partnership to a per capita cap funding mechanism.  This change would reduce the amount of Medicaid funding Florida receives over a ten-year period.  Florida Medicaid is the primary funding source for power and manual wheelchairs, communication devices, and specialty seating systems.  

This is time sensitive. Last month the Senate parliamentarian stated that the deadline for the current budget reconciliation process is September 30. This means that if voted on before September 30, this bill could pass with a simple majority – with fewer votes. Senator Cassidy claims to have 48-49 senators on-board.  Senator McConnell has asked the CBO to produce a score quickly.  We must act in the next 48 hours.

We need you to reach out to your Senators to support Floridians with Disabilities that use assistive technology.


Scott issues Emergency Rules for Nursing Homes - Industry has Concerns

Gov. Rick Scott announced Saturday he was directing two state agencies to implement emergency rules for all 685 nursing homes and 3,109 assisted living facilities in the state requiring them to obtain generators and fuel that could sustain operations for at least 96 hours after a power outage.

Florida’s nursing home industry expressed support for Scott’s emergency rule, but it has concerns about the practicality of implementing it -- especially in time for the end of this hurricane season, says Mary Ellen Klas of The Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau.

To address their concerns, the industry’s trade association has called a “Nursing Center Emergency Preparedness Summit” for Friday in Tallahassee.

The rules come after eight residents at the Rehabilitation Center of Hollywood Hillsin Hollywood died Wednesday when a portable air cooler malfunctioned.


Source: Lobby Tools


Florida Senate Republicans are scheduled to meet Oct. 24 in a caucus to designate Sen. Bill Galvano as the next Senate president, following the 2018 elections. Senate Majority Leader Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby, scheduled the caucus for 11 a.m. in the Senate chamber. Galvano, a Bradenton Republican and lawyer, will be designated by the 26-member caucus to succeed President Joe Negron and oversee the 40-member Senate during the 2019 and 2020 regular sessions. A former House Rules Committee chairman and the current chairman of the Senate Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee, Galvano has excelled “in critical leadership positions,” Negron, R-Stuart, said in a memo to senators on Monday. “I am confident he will lead the Senate with the steadfast commitment to excellence he has demonstrated throughout his legislative service.”



THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, September 19, 2017......... From creating a state gasoline reserve to protecting vulnerable seniors in nursing homes, a newly created House committee will look at ways of better preparing Florida to face major storms like Hurricane Irma.

“With any event of this magnitude, lessons can be learned,” House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes, said Tuesday in a memo to House members, announcing the 21-member Select Committee on Hurricane Response and Preparedness. “We must move quickly to assess our recent experience and pinpoint tangible, meaningful ways to improve Florida's hurricane readiness and response capabilities.”

Rep. Jeanette Nunez, a Miami Republican who will lead the committee, said the panel would look to provide “some significant recommendations in the short-term and the long-term, to make sure that we are keeping our citizenry safe.”

In a news conference with Nunez, Corcoran outlined an array of issues that the committee could explore, including creating a centralized state gasoline reserve to respond to the types of widespread fuel outages that occurred as Irma hit the state this month.

“Gas wasn't readily accessible,”...


With the deaths last week of eight residents of a Broward County nursing home after Hurricane Irma, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., want to create a national panel that would look at meeting the needs of seniors during disasters. With Rubio, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., as co-sponsors, Nelson filed a bill Tuesday that would create the National Advisory Committee on Seniors and Disasters, according to Nelson's office. As an example, the panel would provide input about the medical needs of seniors in preparation and response to disasters. The deaths of eight residents of The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills last week came after Hurricane Irma knocked out the facility's air-conditioning system. “What happened in Hollywood is inexcusable,” Nelson said in a prepared statement Tuesday. “This bill will require the head of HHS (the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) to appoint a panel of experts to provide our state and local leaders with the guidance they need to make sure such a tragedy never happens again.”