News

SENATE REPUBLICANS SET TO DESIGNATE NEW PRESIDENT

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.”

 

HOUSE SELECT COMMITTEE TO LOOK AT HURRICANE READINESS


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,”...

NELSON, RUBIO WANT PANEL ON SENIORS AND DISASTERS

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.”

 

HCBS and Medicaid Waivers

 

A few States are asking CMS to favor new Medicaid Waivers as well as revising existing Medicaid Waivers that conceivably undercut;

  1. the Supreme Court's Olmstead choice
  2. the government direction's  “most integrated setting” order
  3. the DOJ's Statement of the Department of Justice on Enforcement of the Integration Mandate of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Olmstead v. L.C.

 

Please help disability advocates fight Medicaid Home and Community Based changes that States might seek, via a Medicaid Waiver, that will harm people with disabilities.

 

First, the Medicaid federal regulations, 42 C.F.R. § 304(f), requires notice of waiver changes:

 

“(f)

The [State] agency must establish and use a public input process, for any changes in the services or operations of the waiver.

 

(1) This process must be described fully in the State's waiver application and be sufficient in light of the scope of the changes proposed, to ensure meaningful opportunities for input for individuals served, or eligible to be served, in the waiver. [Italics added.}

 

(2) This process must be completed at a...

Book files legislation to require generators at nursing homes

Sen. Lauren Book, D-Plantation, filed a bill Friday in response to deaths at a nursing home after Hurricane Irma knocked out air conditioning.

SB 284 would require nursing homes and assisted living facilities to have working generators.

“There is no excuse for failing to protect those most vulnerable among us,” Book said.

She also cosigned a letter to Gov. Rick Scott requesting the Florida Department of Law Enforcement open a formal investigation, her office said.

The legislation would add electricity and emergency power sources to unannounced inspections of nursing homes and assisted living facilities, as well as require equipment sufficient to provide adequate day-to-day electricity, a fully operational emergency power source, and a supply of fuel sufficient to sustain the emergency power source for at least five days during a power outage.

Rep. Evan Jenne, D-Dania Beach, who grew up half a mile from the nursing facility, said there is a groundswell of support in the House to make changes to improve safety for seniors following a hurricane or other natural disaster, according to Matt Dixon of Politico.

Senate President pro tempore Anitere Flores, R-Miami, told reporters in...