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Newsletter - Issue No.17 - April 2019
Personal Message from Rep. Bob Rommel
We have reached the half-way point in this year's Legislative Session. 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.
 

In Week 3, the House passed legislation that eliminates the Certificate of Need program as well as repeals the ban on Specialty Hospitals in the State of Florida.

 

Additionally, the House advanced legislation that eliminates waste, fraud and abuse in government, expands innovations within the healthcare community, and supports school choice initiatives.

In Week 4,
the House passed legislation that increases access to affordable and quality healthcare and protects Floridians from burdensome government regulations.
 
Additionally, the Appropriations Committee approved the House budget and advanced legislation that increases school safety and security in Florida schools. I look forward to continuing our work to advance legislation that moves Florida forward.

In Week 5, the House passed its recommended budget for FY 2019-2020. The budget continues the House's conservative approach of responsibly funding our state's critical needs, while spending slightly less  per capita than the previous fiscal year. The budget includes significant investments in hurricane response and preparedness, education, and the environment.
 
Additionally, the House advanced legislation that promotes taxation transparency, reduces burdensome regulations, and increases school choice to provide a quality education to all students. 


 I look forward to continuing our work to advance legislation that moves Florida forward.

Bob Rommel
State Representative - District 106
BREAKING NEWS!
Governor DeSantis was in Naples on Tuesday, April 9th, and announced his on-going support to provide relief to areas damaged by Hurricane Irma.

The Governor pledged a total of $40.9 million to relief efforts in Collier.  These monies will help reimburse Collier County for the cleanup of more than 3 million cubic yards of debris following the hurricane.  These monies are in addition to the FEMA reimbursement of $34.4 million for Collier County.
Legislative Update
Florida House Approved House Budget
 
The full House passed the House’s recommended budget for FY 2019-2020. The $89.9 billion budget plan amounts to $4,194.25 per capita – slightly less than the spending level in 2018-19. The budget continues the House’s conservative approach of responsibly funding our state’s critical needs, including significant investments in hurricane response and preparedness, education, and the environment. The House budget also provides tax relief by covering the cost of property value growth in the K-12 funding formula and preventing property tax increases. Finally, the budget responsibly plans for the future by placing over $3.3 billion in reserves to prepare for any unforeseen future economic uncertainty.
 
The House budget covers important elements that will positively affect all Floridians while also securing long-term budget surpluses for the future.

HB 7089: Voting Rights Restoration

HB 7089 implements Amendment 4, the Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative. The bill clarifies definitions and provides standards for authenticating voting eligibility.

The bill resolves the ambiguity in terms that must be applied by the Department of State (DOS) and supervisors of elections.

 Murder includes:

o First degree murder; and

o Second degree murder.

 Felony sexual offense includes, but is not limited to:

o Lewd or lascivious battery, molestation, conduct, or exhibition;

o Sexual battery;

o Unlawful sexual activity with a minor; and

o Human trafficking for commercial sexual activity or forced labor.

The bill also resolves other areas of concern by defining "completion" and "term of sentence":

 Term of sentence means:

o Incarceration, standard conditions of probation, community service, restitution, residential treatment, a work program, an educational program, batterer’s intervention program, any court ordered special condition of probation, court imposed fines and fees, and any cost of supervision or other monetary obligation.

 Completion means:

o For a term of incarceration, release from custody.

o For a financial obligation arising from a felony conviction, full payment of the financial obligation or waiver of the obligation with consent of the payee. This includes civil judgments.

The bill authorizes DOS to begin the rulemaking process to authenticate voting eligibility and is now headed to the State Affairs Committee.

HB 21 - Repeal the Certificate of Need

The Florida House passed HB 21, which repeals the Certificate of Need program and eliminates the specialty hospital ban. AHCA will still enforce licensure requirements for each facility and service that is no longer subject to the CON program. The bill removes regulatory barriers that hinder competition and block innovation. Free and competitive markets are the most effective means for reducing prices and improving quality.
HB 27 - Professional Deregulation Bill
 
The Business & Professions Subcommittee passed a bill dealing with professional deregulation. HB 27 reduces regulation that overly burdens Florida professionals, and deregulates some professions, allowing more people to compete in an open market, while continuing to protect the public health, safety, and welfare.
 
The bill allows certain professionals to practice their chosen profession without obtaining licensure from the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, reduces the hours of training required to obtain certain licenses, and eliminates the requirement that certain licensed professionals obtain a separate license and pay additional fees for their businesses.
 
The bill removes barriers to Florida licensing for out of state professionals by allowing certain professionals licensed in another state to obtain a Florida license without further education, experience, or testing.
 
For a full list of the professions that will benefit from this bill, please refer to www.myfloridahouse.gov.
Constituents in Tallahassee
Florida is blessed with some very talented and skilled young people.  I was able to view their skills on "Coding Day at the Capitol."  In March, computer science students from across the state to Tallahassee to demonstrate their computer coding skills to legislators.
Representatives from NABOR came to Tallahassee to meet with me and other legislators for Great American Realtor Days. 
I am a proponent of term limits so it was a pleasure for me to meet with Austin Sekel of US Term Limits.
It's always a pleasure to see and meet with the young ladies from PACE Center for Girls.  They get to experience first hand what happens in Tallahassee. 
Copyright © 2019 State Representative Bob Rommel, All rights reserved.


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