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Week in Review | Session Week 7 (February 24-28, 2020)

The Florida House of Representatives this week passed bills to improve health care for Floridians across the state. On Wednesday, lawmakers voted to end powerful monopolies caused by hospitals buying physicians’ offices; other patient-centered bills included one to expand e-prescribing and another to ensure that patients have easy access to medical records. "The market will drive down costs if we empower patients with the information they need to make informed and responsible medical decisions," House Speaker Jose Oliva said. "That means holding health care providers and insurance companies accountable for predatory billing practices and responsible for making medical records and pricing inf

The Florida House Passes Legislation to Ensure Patient Access to Medical Records

The House also approved bills that help stop harmful hospital monopolies, improve price transparency in heath care and more TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Feb. 26, 2020) – After taking a significant step toward ending surprise medical bills last week with HB 959, the Florida House of Representatives today passed additional patient-centered health care reforms through several pieces of legislation now headed to the Senate for consideration. Among these include changes to ensure that patients have access to their medical records and information about health care costs, and certainty that the government will shut down harmful hospital monopolies. "The market will drive down costs if we empower patients wit

Video Download: Subpoenaed Board Members of FCADV Testify Before Florida House Committee

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Feb. 24, 2020) -- On Monday afternoon, a panel of lawmakers from the Florida House of Representatives began public hearings with a handful of subpoenaed board members from the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence (FCADV) shortly after 1 p.m. in the House Office Building of the Florida Capitol. During the meeting, which ran until 7 p.m., the House Public Integrity & Ethics Committee, chaired by Rep. Tom Leek, interviewed: · Melody Keeth, FCADV chairman from Palm Bay · Laurel Lynch, FCADV director from Bradenton · Angela Diaz-Vidaillet, FCADV vice president from Miami Additionally: · Carol Wick, former executive director of a center that paid membership dues to FCADV,

Speaker Oliva Welcomes FDOT Action on the Palmetto Highway to Address Severe Congestion Issues

The Speaker Expects and Looks Forward to Seeing These Improvements Completed Quickly TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Today, Speaker Jose Oliva released the following statement after the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) announced scheduled improvements to the Palmetto Expressway specifically designed to address severe congestion in the area. The planned enhancements will include: Adding an additional general-purpose lane in the southbound direction, Reducing the managed lanes in the northbound direction from two to one, and Creating an access point into the managed lanes from NW 122nd Street. Upon learning of the announcement, Speaker Oliva said, “Congestion is one of the top quality of life

Week in Review | Session Week 6 (February 17-21, 2020)

During Thursday’s floor session, the Florida House of Representatives passed legislation to end surprise medical billing, require parental consent for a minor’s abortion, create new health care facilities for recovery, and preempt local barriers to employment – among many other bills. “Last year, we eliminated Certificate of Need, and this year we’re still working on expanding scope of practice to improve access. But today, we passed important legislation that will end predatory medical billing. Hospitals should not be allowed to report a patient to collections and damage their credit over an unexpected bill,” House Speaker Jose Oliva said. “Today’s victory marks another key step toward achi

The Florida House Passes Legislation to End Surprise Medical Billing

The House also approved bills that require parental consent for a minor’s abortion, create new health care facilities for recovery and preempt local barriers to employment TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida House of Representatives today passed legislation across partisan lines, 116-1, to end predatory medical billing practices. HB 959 requires medical bill estimates before services are provided, protects patients by requiring hospitals to establish a billing appeals process, and stops predatory debt collection for patients facing steep medical bills. HB 959 is now headed to the Senate for a vote. “Last year, we eliminated Certificate of Need, and this year we’re still working on expanding scop

Office Tours with Rep. Fitzenhagen

In this episode of "Office Tours," Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen, R-Fort Myers, takes us on a tour of her space in the Florida Capitol and answers questions about her district and work while sharing some fun facts -- like her obsession with nachos!

Office Tours with Rep. DiCeglie

In this episode of “Office Tours,” Representative Nick DiCeglie, R-Indian Rocks Beach, takes us on a tour of his office in the Florida Capitol, showing us a few of his favorite items and answering the age-old question: “Does pineapple belong on pizza?”

Week in Review | Session Week 5 (February 10-14, 2020)

At just beyond the halfway point of the 60-day legislative session, the Florida House of Representatives on Thursday debated and passed its statewide budget proposal for 2020-21, preparing for the start of House and Senate budget negotiations in the weeks ahead. The House budget passed across partisan lines with a unanimous vote. The plan reduces per-capita spending while holding $3.7 billion in reserves, funding teacher salary raises, and meeting the rest of Florida's needs. House members continued to hear bills in committees, investigate issues of foreign meddling into Florida's taxpayer-funded research institutions, and much more. The highlights from the week are detailed in the briefs be

The Florida House authorizes subpoenas to FCADV after alarming salary, governance abuses arise

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The Florida House today authorized subpoenas for board members of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence (FCADV) as part of an ongoing investigation into lavish salaries, paid leave abuses, and misspending of taxpayer dollars. On Wednesday, the coalition turned over spending documents to the House that revealed “exorbitant compensation payouts, failures of leadership, misuse of state dollars, and breach of public trust.” The governor has called for a swift review of the materials by Chief Inspector General Melinda Miguel and potential follow-up investigations by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Department of Legal Affairs. In response, House Spe

Florida House 2020 Proposed Budget Graphics

The Florida House of Representatives has proposed a $91.4 billion budget -- which comes in at the lowest cost to taxpayers and brings state government spending down to $4,158 per person ($47 less per-capita than the current fiscal year). View the full House budget proposal at budget.myfloridahouse.gov and the press release here. House Members: Download these graphics here. The graphics below offer the key highlights of the House's budget plan:

Bill Snapshots from Floor Session February 5, 2020

Photographic highlights captured by the Florida House Majority Office staff for member and media use. Download high-res images here. HB 7005, relating to OGSR/RICO Act Investigations. Sponsor Erin Grall, R-Vero Beach, introduced the bill, which would save from repeal a public-records exemption. Grall moved to read the bill a third time. House members voted 117-0 to approve the bill. HB 6027, relating to Citrus/Hernando Waterways Restoration Council, Citrus County. Sponsor Ralph Massullo, R-Lecanto, introduced the bill, which would repeal the council. He said the council has not been constituted or done business since 2015. Massullo moved to read the bill a third time. House members voted 118

Week in Review | Session Week 4 (February 3-7, 2020)

The House of Representatives this week approved a state budget proposal that limits spending, holds the line on taxes, and ensures that the state is saving for a rainy day. The House and Senate will meet in the following weeks to go over their separate proposals and come up with one budget to submit to the governor before the 60-day legislative session ends March 13. Lawmakers passed several bills on the House floor this week, including one that would stop homeowner and condo associations from preventing law enforcement vehicles from parking in residential and guest spots. The next floor session is set for Wednesday, Feb. 12. Watch it live at thefloridachannel.org. House members took part in

Tally Talks with Avik Roy

On February 6th, Chairman Chris Sprowls welcomed Avik Roy, health policy expert and author of Affordable Health Care for Every Generation: A Patient-Centered Plan for Universal Coverage and Permanent Fiscal Solvency and the book How Medicaid Fails the Poor to the Florida House. Roy shared his insights on patient-centered health care, transparency, and reforms. Avik Roy is founder of The Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity and editor of The Apothecary, the popular Forbes blog on health care policy and entitlement reform and a frequent guest on TV news programs including Fox News, Fox Business, MSNBC, CNBC, Bloomberg, PBS, and HBO. His work can be seen in The Atlantic, USA Today, Nati

House Budget Comes In at Lowest Cost to Taxpayers; Invests in Florida Teachers, State Workers

The proposal sets aside $650 million for veteran- and new-teacher raises TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida House of Representatives Appropriations Committee, chaired by Rep. Travis Cummings (R-Fleming Island), this week released the General Appropriations Act (PCB APC 20-01), a proposed state budget for the 2020-2021 fiscal year. Compared with the Governor’s and Senate’s proposals, the House’s $91.4 billion budget comes in at the lowest cost to taxpayers and brings state government spending down to $4,158 per person -- $47 less per-capita than the current fiscal year. In the coming weeks, the House will negotiate with the Senate to arrive at a final budget to propose to Gov. Ron DeSa

 
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