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 End of 2021 Legislative Session - April 30, 2021
Personal Message from Bob
This legislative session has flown by!  A lot of work was accomplished, but there is always more to do.  Below is information about the 2021-2022 Budget, Appropriations allocated specifically to Collier Collier, the Top 6 Bills this session and my Top 3 Bills that passed this Session.

It takes a team to have a successful Legislative Session, especially under the COVID-19 restrictions imposed upon all of us. I want to thank my Legislative Aide, Kim Timm, for her hard work to get bills and amendments filed timely and for keeping me on schedule while I'm in Tallahassee. Thanks also to Priscilla Grannis, District 106 Sr. Secretary, for keeping the home fires burning during this Legislative Session. 

Finally, I want to thank all of my constituents for entrusting me with the privilege of serving you.  I look forward working for and with you again for the next Legislative Session.
Representative Bob Rommel
District 106
Florida's 2021-2022 Budget
Florida House Speaker Chris Sprowls heralded the balanced state budget unveiled today as one that makes record investments in flooding mitigation, education, and $6 billion in budget reserves. The 2021 General Appropriations Act (SB 2500), serves to prepare Florida today for a better tomorrow.  
          “Working together with our partners in the Senate, we were able to craft a budget that funds immediate needs and also long-term priorities for the future,” said Speaker Sprowls. “In the greenest budget in Florida’s history, we respond to the needs of our state in areas like flooding mitigation, state park maintenance and water quality. We provide unprecedented levels of budget reserves, make record investments in higher-education funding, fund an overhaul of our workforce system and extend postpartum Medicaid coverage from two months to a full year.” 
          “We worked hard to balance the short-term areas of concern and long-term needs of our state in our budget,” said House Appropriations Committee Chair Trumbull. “We make smart, good-government investments into programs that provide lasting benefits for generations. From unprecedented infrastructure funding to record investments into beach renourishment to bonuses for teachers and front-line workers, we make the right decisions for Florida’s future.”
The $101.5 billion budget includes $6.9 billion in federal funding from Medicaid increases and federal education stimulus funds. If those funds were not included, the budget would be $94.6 billion, slightly above the $92.3 billion budget approved last year.
An additional $10 billion in non-recurring federal pandemic relief funds is anticipated; the budget accounts for $6.7 billion of these dollars, contingent on the receipt of the funds. Remaining dollars are directed to the General Revenue Fund to further support reserves and prepare Florida for tomorrow.
This year’s budget was finalized just as the U.S. Census Bureau released results showing Florida had almost 15 percent population growth over the last 10 years. “Florida grew by over 700 people each day in the last 10 years. That has a significant impact on the expectation of how we deliver services across our entire population, from public safety to health care to education to infrastructure, that need to be supported,” said Speaker Sprowls.
The budget introduced today marked the start of the constitutionally mandated 72-hour cooling off period before a vote by both legislative chambers on Friday, April 30, the final day of the 2021 Regular Session of the Florida Legislature. Upon passage, the Legislature will deliver the budget to Governor DeSantis for his signature.
A summary of the conference report on SB 2500 is attached. For more information, please visit

REMEMBER: Both the Senate and the House have agreed to and passed a balanced budget, which will now be presented to the Governor for action. 
Collier County Legislative Budget Allocations
for 2021-2022
Quantum Leap Equine Therapy for Veterans - $120,778
Equine-Assisted Therapy Programs provided by Quantum Leap Farm will improve quality of life, and the physical, social and emotional well being of military service members, veterans and family members.

Specific programs will produce measurable improvements in self-confidence, healthy coping skills, stress management skills, and reductions in symptoms related to PTSD, depression and suicidal ideation.
DNA Comprehensive Therapy Care Model - $1,667,000
The intent of this allocation is to improve the lives of children with autism through services including Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Behavior Analysis, and Psychiatry.

In addition, the program provides 4 hours of respite to caregivers. For participants the program provides socialization and wellness to improve:

Physical Health:
*  Fine motor skills,
*  Gross motor skills,
*   Exercise, and
*   Activity
Resulting in decreased doctor visits, decreased ER visits, decreased visits to the CSU, Pediatric Symptom Checklist 

Mental Health:
*  Help children develop necessary skills to establish healthy, age appropriate peer relationships;
*  Learn to engage with other children.
David Lawrence Centers
Wraparound Collier  (WRAP) - $279,112
WRAP provides specialty mental health services to high-risk uninsured children/adolescents in Collier County who have severe to moderate problems in functioning across settings and for whom funding for an appropriate level of care does not otherwise exist.

Services provided include: mental health assessment, diagnosis, therapy, psychiatric services, and case management services for children with either a mental health diagnosis or co-occurring mental health/substance use diagnoses.

The majority of the services provided, including mental health assessment, diagnosis, individual and family therapy, psychiatric evaluation and medication management, case management services, crisis support and related supportive services for children, will be community-based and provided in the home and/or school settings (as appropriate).
Naples Senior Center
Dementia Respite Support Care - $75,000
The goals of the program are:
*  To offer opportunities for persons with Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia (ADRD) to engage in a program of meaningful social and recreational activities, in a secure and supportive setting, in order to maximize their cognitive and social abilities; and
*  To provide relief and support to family members and other primary caregivers of individuals with ADRD.

Activities are designed to help communication, improve mood and socialization skills. 
  * 80% of participants will be less agitated while in the group and shortly afterward.
  * 90% will be more engaged in their surroundings during the group and immediately following group.
  * 70% of participants will experience fewer symptoms of "sun downing" on days when they had music therapy in the group.
In addition, the program provides 4 hours of respite to caregivers. 95% of the caregivers report that the group has had a positive effect on their lives

Lighthouse for the Blind/Collier (LOC) - $90,000.00
The Lighthouse of Collier will serve thirty or more clients with blind or vision loss, who want to maintain independence in their homes. We utilize a Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist (CVRT) or Teacher of the Visually Impaired (TVI) or OT with Low Vision Rehabilitation certification to provide 1:1 instruction in Activities of Daily Living (ADL) to enable clients to function independently within their homes. 

LOC will provide educational services and training in clients' homes to help maintain their independence. Clients will be given anywhere from 3-15 lessons in compensatory skills depending on their vision loss.
Collier County Lakes Park Blvd Capital Improvements and Water Quality Flowway - $250,000
This is the first critical step to master plan a multi-million dollar series of infrastructure projects including the conversion of septic to sewer, rehabilitation of stormwater system to improve flood protection and water quality, roadway improvements, and other related site improvements to promote functionality, health and safety. In addition, this area serves a population that is highly challenged by the cost of housing and other essential costs of living.

Improve physical health
thru the conversion of residences to sanitary sewer from failing septic systems.

Enhance/preserve/improve environmental or fish and wildlife quality.  The flowway will provide water quality improvements to benefit an area much larger than the project boundaries. Combined with additional stormwater improvements and septic conversions, this project will provide substantial water quality benefits as well as protection to sensitive environmental lands.

Protect the general public from harm (environmental, criminal, etc.) Reduce potential of flooding of roads and properties during major storm events by increasing stormwater conveyance and allowing faster recovery times for areas that are impacted.
Improve transportation conditions by reducing potential of flooding of roads during major storm events by increasing stormwater conveyance and allowing faster recovery times for areas that are impacted.
Naples Botanical Gardens - Horticultural Campus - $750,000
Naples Botanical Garden is developing a 75,000-square-foot Horticulture Campus that will enable it to better meet Southwest Florida’s environmental challenges, while contributing to global conservation efforts and enhancing its 170-acre property, a major tourism draw for Collier County. This center will allow the Garden to develop nature-based solutions to issues such as intensifying storms, warming temperatures, shoreline erosion, polluted stormwater runoff and declining pollinator populations

  * Increased growing space will allow the Garden to expand its collection of subtropical plants from various regions of the world, exposing visitors to new cultures and landscapes.
  * The campus will allow horticulturalists to refine growing techniques; test plant varieties for longevity, resilience and overall health; and share knowledge with commercial growers, environmental groups, and local governments.
  * Greenhouses and labs are designed to accommodate visitors from the public and the industry for tours, workshops, demonstrations and related educational opportunities.
  * The Garden collaborates with area environmental groups and local governments on ways to use plants to mitigate environmental challenges such as poor water quality and beach erosion. The Horticulture Campus allows the Garden to grow plants that are well-suited for these environmental purposes. In many cases, they are not widely available in the commercial landscape trade.
  * The Garden believes in nature based solutions to environmental problems such as harmful algal blooms. The Horticulture Campus will offer the facilities needed to advance its work in showing the benefits of rain gardens, shoreline plantings and bio-swales, such as the one being developed with Collier County at Hamilton Ave.
  * Research conducted at this facility will enable the Garden to introduce new sustainable plant species to the Florida landscape trade. This will benefit commercial and retail nurseries, landscape architects, land developers, landscaping companies, and commercial and government landowners.
  * Naples Botanical Garden consistently is among the topranked attractions in Collier County, drawing approximately 250,000 people/year. The new growing facilities will facilitate the production of additional "showpiece" plants that drive visitation and inspire repeat visits.
  * The Horticulture Campus will give Naples Botanical Garden increased capacity to grow more plants for community environmental and water quality projects; offer additional community education; and create demonstration landscapes illustrating how to use plants to purify stormwater.
  * Strategic landscape design will prompt water to move more slowly, allowing plants to absorb pollutants before the water filters into the ground.
Marco Island San Marco Road Tide Leveling/Canal Flushing Improvement Project  - $370,000
Tide leveling and canal flushing is an integral part of the City of Marco Island's Master Plan for water pollution control. During the original development of the island, the tide leveling/flushing structures and piping were omitted from the development due to funding restrictions. This project will improve the water quality in two large basins separated by a major arterial roadway, San Marco Road. The project will install dual 48-inch pipe culverts as well as inlet structures

Enhance/Preserve/Improve Environmental or Fish and Wildlife Quality
Increased flushing action will increase the amount of oxygen in the canal waters therefore improving the habits for fish and wildlife.

Improve Stormwater Management
By completing one more project from our Master Planned Stormwater Management Program we are advancing toward overall stormwater containment. Street flooding will also be eliminated by the installation of swale inlets along the Tide Leveling pipe system.

Improve Surface Water Quality
With the completion of this project, water quality will be improved by the flushing action between two canal water basins twice a day at high and low tides.
Golden Gate Senior Center Expansion - $250,000
The hardened building with increased size would allow the Golden Gate Senior Center to better organize their programs for area seniors, and also allow the community to take better advantage of aid opportunities available immediately after emergencies and other natural disasters. Expanded space will also be used by the Golden Gate Library in partnership with the Senior Center.

The Golden Gate Senior Center (GGSC) hosts the senior lunch program administered by Collier County Community & Human Services (CHS) Senior Nutrition Program. CHS also administers the senior utility assistance program and the Emergency Home Energy Assistance for the Elderly program. Expansion and provision of needed resiliency efforts immediately after emergency situations.

The Golden Gate Senior Center is home to programs, activities, and services providing wellness, education, nutritional meals, financial assistance, utility assistance, civic/recreational events for community seniors. Additional program space will allow the adjacent Golden Gate Library to expand educational, informational, and recreational programming to the needs of all ages.
Everglades City Waste Water Treatment Facility
This is a complete replacement of the existing Wastewater Treatment Facility to reduce the risks associated with the existing facility and to guarantee compliance with FDEP Rules and Regulations.  It eliminates the combined domestic/commercial wastewater discharge to the environmentally sensitive Ten Thousand Islands Wildlife Refuge, Everglades National Park and the Big Cypress National Preserve.

A permanent, reinforced composite concrete plant will have 30+ years life cycle with resiliency in lieu of the current metal package plant that has far exceeded its life cycle.
Florida National Guard Armories - Immokalee - $25,000,000
In 2007, The Florida Army National Guard proposed the construction of a military Readiness Center on 26 acres of land at the Immokalee Regional Airport (IMM).  In 2009, the Board of County Commissioners (Collier) approved a 25-year lease agreement with the National Guard. However, due to the economic downturn and change of presidential administrations, the lease was voided as construction did not commence in accordance with the performance milestones outlined in the lease.  In 2018, after discussions with Airport Authority staff, the National Guard included the Readiness Center in its Long Range Construction Plan, subject to congressional appropriation. It is currently in the top 6 projects for the Guard with the potential to accelerated given the Guard's updated plan to station a special battalion at IMM.

In this year's budget, the nonrecurring sum of $50,000,000 is appropriated from the General Revenue Fund to the Department of Military Affairs in Fixed Capital Outlay to construct new readiness centers in Immokalee and Zephyrhills. Of the funds appropriated, $25,000,000 shall be used for construction of the 2/54th Security Forces Assistance Brigade Readiness Center in Immokalee, and $25,000,000 shall be used for construction of the Security Forces Assistance Brigade Readiness Center in Zephyrhills.

Please note:  Governor DeSantis has "line item" veto authority and can strike any of the above referenced allocations.
2021 Legislative Session
Top 6 Bills 
# 1 - Combating Public Disorder / Anti-Rioting Act
Signed into Law - April 19, 2021
April 19, 2021 - Gov. Ron DeSantis signed HB 1 
The Governor stated, “In Florida, we are taking an unapologetic stand for the rule of law and public safety.  We are holding those who incite violence in our communities accountable, supporting our law enforcement officers who risk their lives every day to keep us safe and protecting Floridians from the chaos of mob violence. We’re also putting an end to the bullying and intimidation tactics of the radical left by criminalizing doxing and requiring restitution for damaging memorials and monuments by rioters. I am proud to sign this bill into law and appreciate the diligence of our elected leaders in the state legislature, especially Senator Stargel, Senator Burgess, Representative Fernandez-Barquin, Representative Perez and Representative Byrd, for getting this proposal to my desk so swiftly.”
Why is HB1 important?
HB 1 protects our communities, our neighborhoods, and the police officers who risk their lives for us. Free speech and the right to peaceably assemble are the foundation of America - HB 1 protects these rights for all people, regardless of reason or viewpoint.
What does HB1 do?
Provides law enforcement officers and prosecutors more tools to prevent violence and property destruction caused by riots.
Who benefits?
• Property Owners
• Peaceful Protesters
• Law Enforcement
• All Floridians because HB 1 will make Florida safer.
Sponsor Amendments
Amendment # 175541:
• Creates a duty for a municipality to allow law enforcement to respond appropriately during a riot. If it doesn’t, the municipality is civilly liable for personal injury, wrongful death, or property damages caused by the breach.

Amendment # 580221:
• Defines "historic property" as any building, structure, site, or object officially designated historic through a designation program.
• Prohibits destroying, demolishing, damaging, or pulling down historic property and requires a person convicted to pay restitution.

Amendment # 491535:
• Revises rioting crime to clarify that a person has to willfully participate in a riot to be covered.
• Revises the crime of aggravated rioting to require a person to participate with 25 or more other persons, rather than nine or more other persons to be covered.

Amendment # 423835:
• Technical: conforms the offense severity ranking chart to amendments.
FICTION: It will disproportionately impact communities of color.
FACT: HB 1 protects free speech and the right to peaceably assemble for all people, regardless of who they are and their viewpoint. HB 1 will impact mob violence – not peaceful protest. It does not target communities of color and will protect peaceful protesters from bad actors who want to commit violence.

FICTION: It is not fair that local governments have to bear the costs associated with the budget appeal process for reductions to municipal police budgets.
FACT: The budget appeal process is vital to protecting law enforcement. It helps hold local governments accountable. If municipalities want to defund the police, they should have to defend that decision. HB 1 limits who can appeal the municipal police budget reduction to include only the State Attorney of the judicial circuit or a member of the governing body who objected to the funding reduction.

FICTION: HB 1 would criminalize the 1960s Civil Rights Movement.
FACT: Nothing in HB 1 prohibits a local government from issuing a special event permit for a peaceful protest. For people who block a road without a permit, HB 1 clarifies that law enforcement officers are allowed to enforce civil violations. Under HB 1, blocking a street is a civil violation, not a crime, so HB 1 would not have criminalized the 1960s Civil Rights Movement for protesting in the street.

FICTION: HB 1 values monuments over people.
FACT: HB 1 is about protecting Floridians' lives. Along with protecting people, the bill also includes protections for property. The bill protects all memorials dedicated to preserving U.S. and Florida history and makes no distinction based on the type or viewpoint of the memorial. For property, the focus is on destroying a monument without permission of the owner. If the owner chooses to remove or destroy the memorial, it may do so.

FICTION: HB 1 is dangerous.
FACT: No one has a right to riot. The bill is solely focused on preventing violence and rioting. All Americans have the right to protest, but no American has the right to destroy others’ property; no American has the right to physically endanger others. HB 1 does not target communities of color. This bill actually protects peaceful protesters from bad actors that want to perpetrate violence.

FICTION: HB 1 is unnecessary.
FACT: Thankfully, there wasn’t the kind of violence we saw around the country over the summer and in January in Florida. Government’s first priority is protecting the public. We need to send a message that we intend to keep Florida safe – HB 1 gives the justice system additional tools to keep peaceful protests safe from those trying to abuse a movement. 
#2 -  Civil Liability Protections for COVID-19 Related Claims
How is SB 72 different from the House COVID-19 Liability Protection Bills?
SB 72 COVID-19 liability protections for businesses are identical to those in HB 7, which the House passed on March 5th. SB 72 includes many of the same provisions in HB 7005, the House Health Care COVID-19 liability protection bill, and the differences are described below.
What does SB 72 do?
Creates COVID-19 liability protections for businesses (HB 7) and achieves the difficult balance of providing liability protections to health care provides while retaining necessary safeguards for patients and long-term care facility residents (HB 7005).
Who benefits?
• Businesses, nonprofits, schools, religious institutions, health care providers, and long-term care facilities
• All Floridians because SB 72 will help our economy recover
Provisions in SB 72
SB 72 provides liability protections for business claims and non-patient (business) claims against health care providers and long-term care facilities (HB 7 + HB 7005) by:
• Requiring COVID-19 claims to contain a physician's affidavit
• Providing civil immunity for defendants that make a good-faith effort to comply with applicable government guidance
• Raising the burden of proof to clear and convincing evidence and raising the liability standard to at least grossly negligent for cases that make it to trial

SB 72 provides heightened liability protections to health care entities for civil claims brought by patients or facility residents related to:
• Diagnosis or treatment of, or failure to diagnose or treat COVID-19 (HB 7005)
• Provision of a novel or experimental COVID-19 treatment (HB 7005)
• Treatment of a COVID-19 patient whose injuries were directly related to exacerbation of their pre-existing conditions (SB 72)
• Transmission of COVID-19 (HB 7005)
• Delay or cancellation of a surgery, procedure, test, or appointment (HB 7005)
• Acts or omissions related to an emergency medical condition which were the result of a lack of resources directly caused by the pandemic (HB 7005)

SB 72 provides the same protections for these claims as HB 7005:
• Raising the liability standard from negligence to gross negligence
• Creating affirmative defenses for health care providers that substantially complied with applicable government standards or if it was impossible to comply with those standards because of resource shortages or insufficient time to implement them

SB 72 protections apply retroactively, just like HB 7005.

SB 72 includes three different statutes of limitations:
• For actions relating to transmission, diagnosis, or treatment of COVID: later of one year after the date of death, hospitalization, or diagnosis (SB 72)
• For all other actions accruing after the effective date of the act: one year from the date the cause of action accrues (SB 72)
• For actions accruing before the effective date of the act: one year from the effective date of the act (HB 7005).

This bill has been passed by both the Senate and the House, and was submited to Governor DeSantis, who approved the bill on March 29, 2021.  
#3 - Emergency Management
Why is SB 2006 important?
SB 2006 addresses threats posed by pandemics and other public health emergencies while defending individual liberties and minimizing the negative effects of extended emergencies.
What does SB 2006 do?
• Requires the Surgeon General to develop a public health plan to prepare the state for every foreseeable public health emergency
• Prohibits a business, government entity, or educational institution from requiring individuals to provide vaccine passports
• Provides a presumption that schools and businesses should remain open during an extended public health emergency, if possible
• Requires DEM to maintain an inventory of PPE
• Increases emergency order transparency by requiring orders to include an expiration date and be posted online in searchable format
• Creates the Emergency Preparedness Response Fund (SB 1892/HB 1595) for the Governor to use during emergencies, which will be exclusive funds for emergencies
• Makes the Surgeon General responsible for reporting cases and deaths during public health emergencies
• Requires political subdivisions to justify any emergency order that deprives an individual of their constitutional rights
• Requires all executive emergency declarations and orders to be filed with DOAH within 5 days, be posted online within 3 days, and be and made available on DEM’s website
• Requires DEM to maintain information on options that provide for physical distancing during a public health emergency for sheltering persons with special needs.
Who benefits?
• Businesses
• Local Governments
• State Agencies
• All Floridians, because SB 2006:
     o Protects individual liberties
     o Prepares Florida for future emergencies
     o Increases transparency in case and death reporting
     o Increases transparency in responding to emergencies
Amendment 783711
• Allows the Governor to invalidate an emergency order issued by a political subdivision if the Governor deems it unnecessarily restricts individual liberties (does not apply to orders associated with a hurricane or other weather-related emergency)
• Provides an exception to the gift ban for public service announcements by the Governor, Lt. Governor, the Speaker of the House, the Senate President, the Director of DEM, or the Surgeon General related to a state of emergency
• Provides that an emergency order issued by a local government automatically expires after 7 days and allows governing body to extend it in 7 day increments by majority vote up to 42 days
• This limit does not apply to hurricanes or weather related events

This bill was passed in both the House and the Senate and will be sent to the Governor for his action.
#4 -  Election Administration
Why is SB 90 important?
Florida has come a long way from the 2000 election cycle, most recently setting the example of a well-run election for the rest of the nation in 2020. This bill will help Florida be a national leader in election and ballot integrity, improving accessibility, and expanding transparency, all while paving the path to keep fraud at bay.

What does SB 90 do?
• Increases ballot security
• Improves accessibility
• Expands transparency
Who benefits?
• Voters
• Candidates
• All Floridians, because this bill strengthens integrity in our elections

This bill was passed in both the House and the Senate and will be sent to the Governor for his action.
#5 - Social Media Platforms (Big Tech)
Why is SB 7072 important?
We cannot allow Big Tech companies to operate in darkness while manipulating social media – a kind of 21st century public square.
What does SB 7072 do?
Requires big tech firms to:
• Publish standards used to ban posts, de-platform users, and shadow ban and apply them consistently 
• Inform users about changes to its terms of use
• Allow users to opt out of post-prioritization and shadow banning algorithms
• Ensure that candidates for office in Florida are not de-platformed or shadow banned
Who benefits?
• Social media users
• Candidates for office
• Voters
• All Floridians, because this bill brings big tech firms out of the darkness and into full view
Amendment D942955 adds these provisions: 
• Increases fine for de-platforming a candidate (to $250,000 per day from $100,000 per day for statewide candidates, and to $25,000 per day from $10,000 per day for all other candidates)
• Reduces the number of days that a user has to be banned by a social media platform for it to qualify as de-platforming, from 60 days to 14 days
• Reduces the time that a social media company has to notify a user after censoring, shadow banning, or de-platforming action from 30 to 7 days
Frequently Asked Questions
Is this bill necessary?
Our society is heavily technology-dependent and a vast majority of Americans feel that Big Tech is inappropriately censoring or failing to censor speech on their platforms. Big Tech companies make up rules as they go and fail to protect platform users from arbitrary action. This bill introduces much needed transparency, accountability, and consistency.

Does this bill introduce consequences for Big Tech companies that de-platform candidates for political office?
SB 7072 allows the Florida Elections Commission to fine a social media platform $250,000 per day for de-platforming statewide candidates and $25,000 per day for de-platforming other candidates for Florida office.

Are there consequences for violating other parts of the bill?
If a social media platform has been convicted of or has been held civilly liable for state or federal antitrust violations, it may be placed on the Antitrust Violator Vendor List by DMS and is then prohibited from contracting with public entities.

This bill was passed in both the House and the Senate and will be sent to the Governor for his action.
#6 - Fairness in Women's Sports Act
Promoting Equality of Athletic Opportunity
This bill supports women and girls by ensuring they have the same opportunities as men and boys to showcase their skill, strength, and other athletic abilities.
  *  To require certain athletic teams or sports sponsored by certain educational institutions be designated on the basis of students’ biological sex;
  *  Prohibiting athletic teams or sports designated for female students from being open to male students;
  *  Specifying conditions under which persons who transition from male to female are eligible to compete in the female category;
  *  Requiring a student that fails to comply with certain conditions to be suspended from female competition for 12 months;
  *  Requiring the Board of Governors of the State University System to adopt regulations and the State Board of Education to adopt rules regarding the resolution of disputes, etc.
  * Permits a student's gender to be verified by their birth certificate.
  *  Applies to middle and high school sports and college athletics including intramurals.

This bill was passed in both the House and the Senate and will be sent to the Governor for his action.
Top 3 Bills Sponsored by Rep. Rommel
#1 - Property Insurance
Floridians have been complaining about the ever rising costs for their property insurance.  The intent of this bill is to reduce abusive lawsuits which increase premiums for property owners.

Florida accounts for 77% of all lawsuits in the US relating Property & Casualty policies.

Since 2013, Florida insurance companies have paid $15 Billion in claims, of which $10.4 Billion went to attorneys, leaving less than $5 Billion for actual claimants and their damages.

This bill stops contractors from offering homeowners incentives to file lawsuits.

This bill passed both the Senate and the House, and will now be presented to the Governor for his action. 
#2 - Health Care Expenses
Why is HB1067 important
• Stops surprise bills by requiring hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers (health care facilities) to automatically provide binding estimates for nonemergency scheduled services
• Encourages consumerism and increases transparency in the health care market by requiring health care facilities to post standard charges, including the discounted cash price, for a wide range of services on their website to help consumers shop for health care
• Protects consumers by providing a health care billing grievance process, preventing collections during that process, and increasing consumer asset protections from medical debt
Who benefits?
• Patients
• All Floridians, because they will have fewer surprise bills and more control over their own health care
Frequently Asked Questions
Do patients already have this information?
No. Currently, patients can request a personalized pre-treatment estimate on cost of care. HB 1067 requires the estimate regardless of whether the patient requests it and makes the estimate binding.

Does HB 1067 establish a bill dispute resolution process?
The bill requires hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers to establish an internal grievance process, allowing patients to dispute any charges that appear on an itemized statement or bill. Under the bill, the facility must respond to a grievance within seven business days.

Does this bill make the costs of services available to patients prior to seeking treatment?
HB 1067 makes medical treatment shoppable for patients by requiring hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers to post a consumer-friendly list of standard charges for at least 300 health care services on their website. If the facility offers fewer than 300 services, it must post standard charges for each service it does provide.

This bill was passed on the House floor on April 21, 2021 and sent to the Senate, where it died.  
#3 - Practice of Physicians Assistants
CS/CS/SB894/HB431 expands the scope of practice of physician assistants by allowing them to:

* Prescribe psychiatric mental health controlled substances to minors under certain circumstances;
* Procure certain medical equipment and devices;
* Supervise medical assistants; and
* Sign and certify documents that currently require a physician’s signatures such as Baker Act commitments, do-not-resuscitate orders, school physicals, and death certificates.

The bill also authorizes physician assistants to directly bill for and receive payments from public and private insurance companies for the services they deliver.

Current law limits the number of physician assistants a physician can supervise to four. The bill expands the number of PAs that a physician can supervise to 10.

This bill was passed in both the House and the Senate and will be sent to the Governor for his action.
All adults in US now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine. All adults in the United States are now eligible to register for a coronavirus vaccination, an accomplishment public health experts say represents a major step toward defeating the ongoing pandemic. 

In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provided its first public data about breakthrough Covid-19 cases to CNN last week and it shows that vaccines have been highly effective at reducing infections, hospitalizations and death.

The data below is from April 28,2021.
14,131,569 Total Vaccine Doses Administered
5,447,545 People Fully Vaccinated

FL Case Count
35,772 DEATHS
as reported by Johns Hopkins
234,639,414 Total Vaccine Doses Administered
98,044,421 People Fully Vaccinated

US Case Count
574,018 DEATHS
as reported by Johns Hopkins
1,060,000,000 Total Vaccine Doses Administered

Global Case Count
3,140,982 DEATHS
as reported by Johns Hopkins
With the passing of the 2021-2022 Budget in both the Senate and the House and its submission to Governor DeSantis for signature, the Florida Legislature has fulfilled its constitutional duty and may now adjourn.  This is called "sine die."

However, the Legislative Leadership has already announced that there will be a Special Legislative Session beginning the week of May 17th.
Florida has no income tax and a balanced budget. 
Let’s keep it that way!
Copyright © 2021 State Representative Bob Rommel, All rights reserved.

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