Starting at 7:30 a.m., I joined other health care lobbyists to talk about the issues of the day. While there we met Dr. Alice Sterling, a candidate for the Florida House (Rep. Adams seat) and learned how she plans to win her competitive race-she states she has an opponent with support in Tallahassee, but she has local support and is very positive regarding her success. Following a serious discussion regarding SB 752, Medicaid fraud, it was agreed that most health care lobbyists still have concerns about some of the legislation passed last session that no one seems interested in fixing this year. That, unfortunately, has led to some health care professionals losing their professional licenses and their livelihood.
FHCA's de-regulation bill was on the agenda for Health Care Regulation at 9 a.m., so with minutes to spare I arrived at the Capitol and got my committee packet. Of course, the bill was last on the agenda, so at 11:30 a.m., I finally had a chance to check for amendments for the bills I had on the calendar in the afternoon. After a quick lunch that included reviewing my bill for a 2:00 committee meeting, I made it to the Clearinghouse meeting at Noon-an advocacy group for children, people with disabilities and seniors-a great chance to network with others with similar interests.
Just in time, I made it to the Senate documents room to see if there were amendments for my 3:30 bill. What - I exclaimed as the staff told me there were 13 amendments!! All filed within the last two hours. I grabbed the pile of papers and headed to my 2:00 over in the House. The Policy council passed HB 7069 on background screenings and Rep. Snyder agreed to work with us on how to handle current employees who might be affected by the new law.
I headed back to the Senate just in time to review SB 1520 by Senator Storms, the companion to HB 7069, and the 13 amendments. I felt better as I saw that the Senate bill was being conformed to the House bill, but there were three new amendments that now make the two bills different which must be resolved somewhere down the road.
At 6:00 p.m. I headed to the University Club for our Lobby Wednesday briefing with a large group from FHCA's Districts 4 and 5. They were so much fun - eger for information and excited to go to the Capitol...I'm going to be looking for them amidst all the hustle and bustle up there, as it is Ambassadors for Aging Day. I LOVE MY JOB!!
- Peggy Rigsby, FHCA Director of Government Relations