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Newsletter - Issue No.16 - March 2019
Personal Message from Rep. Bob Rommel
It's hard to believe that two weeks of the 10-week Legislative Session are behind us.  It has been a whirlwind of committee meetings and constituent meetings, not to mention the meetings with colleagues discussing issues and concerns.  As you will see below, progress is being made on important issues.

During the first week of the Legislative Session, we advanced legislation improving access to affordable, quality healthcare, as well as legislation affirming our commitment to transparency and accountability for decisions affecting the public.

Additionally, Governor Ron DeSantis delivered his first State of the State address in the House Chamber. He reviewed his environmental priorities, voiced his commitment to school choice and health care reform, and urged the Legislature to keep Florida a fiscally responsible state. I look forward to working with Governor DeSantis this year to continue moving Florida forward.

During the second week, the House advanced legislation that will give patients more choice, foster healthcare innovations, and provide Floridians greater access to government information. 

In addition, the legislature passed legislation that made changes to the state's medical marijuana industry.

I want to stress the importance of your input - whether positive or negative - on bills that are being considered.  Although a personal response to every email is not possible, your comments are noted and taken into consideration before I vote.  Keep your emails and phone calls coming!
Legislative Update
Medical Marijauna

Bill SB182 moved quickly through the Senate and made its way to the House where it passed with a 101-11 vote, lifting the ban on smokable marijuana.

In addition and as promised, Governor DeSantis filed a joint motion to dismiss People United for Medical Marijuana v. Department of Health and to vacate the lower court decision which had held the prior law to be unconstitutional.

Dispensaries will now be allowed to sell smokable marijuana and patients will be allowed to purchase smoking paraphernalia at retail outlets.

This bill, however, prohibits marijuana smoking in public places as well as the smoking of minors unless the patient is terminally ill and the physician gets a second opinion from a pediatrician.

Governor Ron DeSantis thanked the Florida Legislature for "taking action on medical marijuana and upholding the will of the voters."

A copy of the Transmittal Letter for Ch. 2019-1 SB 182 may be found HERE.
A copy of the bill signed by Governor DeSantis for Ch. 2019-1 SB 182 may be found HERE.
A copy of the Governor’s motion to dismiss the state’s appeal and to vacate the lower court decision may be found HERE.
HB 7065  Assignment of Benefits

HB 7065 provides requirements and limitations for property insurance and motor vehicle glass assignment agreements.  It also provides for burden of proof.  In addition, it provides that assignment agreement does not affect managed repair arrangements under property insurance policy and motor vehicle glass policy. It provides that acceptance by assignee of assignment agreement is a waiver by assignee and its subcontractors of claims against insured and specifies insured's payment obligations under assignment agreement.  Finally, it requires a notice of intent to initiate litigation.    

STATUS:  Currently in House Insurance and Banking Subcommittee.
HB 1035 - Patient Access to Records

HB 1035 requires health care providers to give patients their records when they want them - including access to the provider's electronic medical record through a patient portal, or submitting the records to the patient's own electronic Personal Health Record.

The bill also standardizes the timeframes for providers to produce records or allow inspection of records, and standardizes the patient cost for reproducing records.

The bill removes obstacles and empowers patients to be more engaged in their treatment by standardizing the way practitioners and facilities must provide records to patients.

STATUS:  This bill is in the Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee.
All of the appropriation requests I submitted have passed through their various subcommittees and committees.  These are now in the Full Appropriations Committee. 

There will be no further information as to the status of these appropriation requests until such time as the budget has been passed by the Legislature and then, approved and signed by the Governor.
Out 'n About Naples
Redfish Release to Assist in Red Tide Recovery

On Friday, March 15th, our office participated in the Redfish Release to Assist in Red Tide Recovery at the Capri Paddlecraft Park.  This event was hosted by Duke Energy and its Crystal River Fisheries, Coastal Conservation Association, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.  The special guest of honor was Florida's First Lady Casey DeSantis.  Approximately 25 mature Redfish were released by hand along with 2,000 juvenile Redfish via a huge hose! 
US Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart Honors District 106 Secretary Priscilla W. Grannis

In honor of Women's History Month, Congressman Mario Diaz- Balart (CD 25), recognized Priscilla W. Grannis, District 106 Secretary, from the floor of the US House of Representatives for her "inspiring life journey and determined work ethic [which] has had a major impact on those around her and the wider Southern Florida community."
Copyright © 2019 State Representative Bob Rommel, All rights reserved.

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