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A legislative update provided by the United Way of Florida
 
ISSUE 2                                                                                              MARCH 13, 2015
old and new capitol 
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MoreGRMore GR, but Budget Mired in Unknowns

Heading into the 2015 Session, Legislators had a little more than $1 billion in new general revenue to spend next year. On Tuesday, legislative budget experts sweetened the pot, projecting that an additional $145.4 million will be available. Unfortunately, that only represents a 0.5 percent bump when talking about a $70 billion budget. Such a small increase won't cause any major changes in how the Senate and House approach the only constitutional duty they must fulfill during session: to craft the annual state budget.

The House and Senate are approaching their budget building responsibilities very differently.

Although the federal government has told Governor Scott it will not provide $1.3 billion to pay for indigent care in Florida if the Legislature does not expand Medicaid, the House is anticipating that the Feds will cave and is including the money in its budget, as did Governor Scott.

Following release of updated GR numbers, Senate President Andy Gardiner released a Press Release saying Senate subcommittees will release their draft budgets next week but that, unlike the House, it is not including the federal dollars because he "...will not ask Senators to vote on a budget that includes promises of substantial funding we may not be able to keep."

The loss of over $1 billion dollars impacts every item in the budget, so programs and services will be slashed when Senate subcommittees release their drafts next week. It won't be pretty. The only remedy will be if the feds indeed cave or the House relents and accepts the evolving Senate Medicaid expansion plan.
SenateMedicaidExpSenate Medicaid Expansion Plan Unveiled

On Tuesday, the Senate Health Policy Committee unanimously passed SB 7044. Requiring creation of the Florida Health Insurance Affordability Exchange (FHIX) program by January 1, 2016, the bill is intended to bring $50 billion of federal money to Florida over the next 10 years to provide health care coverage for about 800,000 people. The bill would allow personal health savings accounts and, among others, would require recipients to: 
  • participate in private health plans offered under FHIX (Recipients would receive vouchers to purchase the plans.);
  • be employed or looking for work;
  • pay monthly premiums of $3 to $25; and
  • co-pay for using emergency care services in non-emergency situations.
The bill offers a private sector alternative to traditional Medicaid expansion, but would require a federal waiver because it requires monthly premiums. Its requirement that recipients be employed or looking for work to get coverage also raises questions. Responses to past waiver requests from other states to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services - the agency responsible for reviewing, granting, or disapproving waivers - indicate Florida will not receive a waiver if these requirements are maintained.

Following the Committee vote, Health Policy Committee Chair Aaron Bean noted that the plan has a "snowball's chance" of passing the House, but added that it will provide "...a chance to open a dialogue and say what we have to do to go forward. I look forward to the conversation."

House Speaker Steve Crisafulli stated that, "They're going to have conversations that we probably won't be having over here."
AffordableHousingAffordable Housing: Tale of 2 Bills

 

Two bills of immense importance to affordable housing advocates were heard in committee this week. One would help and one would hurt low income homeowners, buyers, and renters. The two bills are among several that would implement Amendment 1, which requires 33 percent (about $750 million) of documentary stamp revenue (total of $2.4 billion) be used for land and water conservation.


HB 1291 was passed by the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee on Wednesday. Among others, the bill provides that 33 percent of total documentary stamp revenues go to the Land Acquisition Trust Fund (LATF) and be used for Amendment 1 purposes. It also maintains current documentary stamp tax distributions to the State Economic Enhancement and Development Trust Fund, the State Transportation Trust Fund, and state and local housing trust funds.

SB 584, passed by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government on Tuesday, substantially and permanently reduces funding for affordable housing. In FY 2015-16, it would reduce the amount in the housing trust funds from $266.87 million to approximately $154 million, a $112 million reduction. The result is that Florida seniors, veterans, homeless, and hard working families trying to become first time homebuyers will be hurt. This certainly was not the intent of Amendment 1 supporters. Read more.
ALICEALICE and Housing


Home is supposed to be a place of refuge, a place we can go every day to relax and live. Unfortunately, for 55 percent of Florida renters, home is a monthly budget buster or a place they have to share with another family. When housing costs more than 30 percent of a family's budget, it impacts the family's ability to afford other basic necessities and their economic stability, and negatively impacts the larger economy. Florida renters are the country's most cost burdened, and its homeowners have the 48th highest cost burden in the nation. The United Way ALICE Report highlights housing issues in every county and city across Florida and how they impact families and the economy.

I looked up my family tree and found out I was the sap.

-- Rodney Dangerfield

VPKVPK Pre- and Post-Assessments

 

Current law requires that VPK assessments "be valid, reliable, developmentally appropriate, and designed to measure student progress on early literacy, numeracy, and language."

In a positive move that advocates have pursued for years, the Senate Education Committee this week passed SB 518, requiring that the assessments be observation-based, developed using norm samples, appropriate for English language learners and students with disabilities, available in multiple languages, provide processes and supports for ensuring continued reliability and professional development.

The bill also:

  • expands the formula for calculating the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program readiness rate to include students' performance results on the pre- and post-assessments (in addition to students' performance results on the statewide kindergarten screening);
  • clarifies that pre- and post-assessments must be administered by prekindergarten instructors, rather than "individuals" as stated in current law. The term "prekindergarten instructor" is defined as a teacher or child care personnel who provides instruction to students in the VPK program;
  • requires that pre- and post-assessments be administered to children enrolled in the VPK program during the first and last two weeks of the school-year or summer prekindergarten program. Current law does not provide a specific timeframe for administering the assessments; and
  • requires that the Office of Early Learning (OEL) annually report the appropriate level of student learning growth based on data from the pre- and post-assessments for calculating the kindergarten readiness rate of each public school or private provider delivering the VPK program. Current law does not expressly require the OEL to report such data.
NoSafetyNetNo Safety Net: 500,000+ More Florida Children in Poverty


Last week, a new report - Measuring Access to Opportunity in the United States Report - was released. It notes that "poverty has a profoundly negative impact on children's educational achievement and puts them at a greater risk of experiencing chronic health conditions. Child poverty costs our society an estimated $500 billion a year in lost productivity and earnings, as well as health- and crime-related costs.


Published by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the study concludes that federal safety net programs such as SNAP and the EITC lift 579,000 Florida children out of poverty and that without them Florida's poverty rate would skyrocket from 21 percent to 35 percent. 

HouseELBillHouse Early Learning Bill Passes Committee

 

The Senate's health and safety early learning bill (CS/SB 7006) has passed two committees and awaits hearing in the Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services. The House companion, CS/HB 7017, passed the Education Appropriations Subcommittee on Thursday and is headed to the Floor. The bills are substantially similar. Among others, the House bill:

  • requires unlicensed private providers to substantially comply with specified health and safety standards and submit to inspections by the Department of Children and Families (DCF) or local licensing agency;
  • requires providers to notify parents if the provider is cited for a Class I violation and prominently post citations that result in disciplinary action and inspection reports on the premises;
  • makes providers sanctioned for Class I violations in the previous year ineligible to offer the School Readiness or VPK programs;
  • provides specific grounds when Early Learning Coalitions (ELCs) may immediately terminate a School Readiness or VPK provider's contract, i.e., the provider has been sanctioned for a Class I violation or DCF, a local licensing agency, or a circuit court has ordered the provider to cease operations;
  • enhances the qualifications of child care personnel working in School Readiness and VPK programs by:
    • phasing in requirements that these personnel must be at least 18 years of age (with exceptions); hold a high school diploma or equivalent credential (with exceptions); and be trained in first aid, CPR, and age-appropriate practices.
    • requiring School Readiness personnel to complete training on the school readiness performance standards.
    • requiring the Office of Early Learning (OEL) to develop online training on the School Readiness program performance standards and provider personnel to complete the training;
  • adds failure to report child abuse as a disqualifying offense for child care employment;
  • requires employment history checks;
  • prohibits licensed child care providers who have been disciplined for serious licensing violations from transferring ownership to relatives in order to avoid sanctions;
  • requires ELCs, OEL, and DCF to cooperate in reducing paperwork and duplicative regulations;
  • expands DCF's authority to conduct abbreviated inspections;
  • extends to large family child care homes certain protections regarding zoning, property insurance and utility rates currently available to family day care homes;
  • renames the Child Care Executive Partnership as the Child Care Partnership, revises the membership of the partnership's board to include legislative appointments, revises the purpose of the partnership to emphasize soliciting donations from private businesses, shifts responsibility for allocating partnership funds from the board to OEL, and sunsets the partnership in 2018;
  • requires providers cited for a Class I violation to notify parents about the violation by the close of the next business day;
  • authorizes ELCs to allow public schools and private providers to determine child eligibility for the VPK program. The PCB only authorized ELCs to determine eligibility;
  • grants rulemaking authority to OEL regarding VPK pre- and post-assessment and child performance standards;
  • authorizes counties with local licensing agencies to require nonpublic schools which are not licensed to comply with the minimum child care health and safety standards;
  • requires licensed or registered family child care homes to conspicuously display their licenses or registrations in the common areas of the homes;
  • requires pre- and post-assessment data be used in calculating a private prekindergarten provider's or public school's kindergarten readiness rate;
  • requires a coalition to immediately terminate the contract if the provider is sanctioned for a Class I violation or issued an emergency suspension order by the Department of Children and Families or local licensing agency or an injunction by the circuit court; and
  • provides that a provider may not continue to offer its services during pendency of an appeal of a termination that is not the result of an emergency suspension order, injunction, or sanction for a Class I violation.

The bill has a fiscal impact on DCF due to increased regulatory workload and provides an appropriation of $1,117,084 and 18 new positions to address the impact. Nonpublic schools and license-exempt faith-based providers of state-funded early learning programs may experience increased costs associated with increased health and safety regulation.

If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month.
-- Theodore Roosevelt
ChildSexualAbuseChild Sexual Abuse: $1B Cost

 

The Miami Herald reported this week on a new study compiled by Lauren's Kids, finding that child sexual abuse costs Florida about $1 billion a year. Among others, the report found that:

  • one in three girls and one in five boys will become a victim of child abuse in Florida before age 18; and
  • on average, each victim of child sexual abuse loses $250,000 in earnings throughout his or her lifetime because of the abuse.

Read the report

BillsHeardBILLS HEARD THIS WEEK
(Portions excerpted from Legislative staff analyses.)
PediatricDentalPediatric Dental Program

 

In 2011, Florida established the Statewide Medicaid Managed Care (SMMC) program. The SMMC program requires the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) to create an integrated managed care program for Medicaid enrollees to provide all the mandatory and optional Medicaid benefits for primary and acute care, including pediatric dental services, in a Managed Medical Assistance (MMA) program. 


HB 601 removes pediatric dental services from the SMMC program and creates a new statewide prepaid dental program. 
 
The bill directs AHCA to contract with at least two prepaid dental health plans (PDHP) on a statewide basis. A Medicaid prepaid dental health plan (PDHP) is a risk-bearing entity paid a prospective per-member, per-month payment by AHCA to provide dental services.

Last Action: 3/10/15 HOUSE Unfavorable by Health Innovation Subcommittee.
IndividualswithDisabilitiesIndividuals with Disabilities

 

CS/SB 1246 creates the Florida Unique Abilities Partner program to recognize business entities that employ individuals with disabilities, contribute to organizations that support the independence of individuals with disabilities, or establish a program that contributes to the independence of individuals with disabilities.


The bill requires the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) to maintain a website that provides the public with a list of businesses that have been designated as a Florida Unique Abilities Partner, and businesses with the designation must be identified on the EmployFlorida Marketplace system. The DEO must report to the Legislature on its progress in implementing the program by January 1, 2016.

Last Action: 3/10/15 SENATE Favorable with CS by Commerce and Tourism.
JuvenileJusticeJuvenile Justice

 

CS/SB 378 expands juvenile civil citation by allowing law enforcement to issue a civil citation to youth who have committed a second or subsequent misdemeanor. (Civil citation is presently only available to youth who admit to committing a first-time misdemeanor.) 


In addition, law enforcement will be authorized to issue a simple warning to the youth or inform the youth's parents of the misdemeanor, or the officer will be required to issue a civil citation or require participation in a similar diversion program under the bill. (These options are now discretionary with law enforcement.) Issuing a civil citation will no longer be discretionary for law enforcement under the bill.

Last Action: 03/10/15 SENATE Favorable with CS by Criminal Justice.
AmericanFlagAll-American Flag Act

 

HB 225 requires all United States and state flags purchased by the state, a county, or a municipality for public use, after January 1, 2016, to be made in the United States entirely from domestically grown, produced, and manufactured materials.


Current law requires the display of the United States and state flags in certain venues, but does not specify any requirements for the manufacturing or source of materials for United States or state flags purchased by the state or local governments.

Last Action: 3/10/15 HOUSE Favorable by Government Operations Appropriations Subcommittee.
SurvDroneSurveillance by a Drone

 

SB 766 prohibits a person, state agency or political subdivision from using a drone to record an image of privately owned or occupied real property or of the owner, tenant, or occupant of such property with the intent to conduct surveillance on the individual or property. The bill authorizes compensatory damages, injunctive relief, attorney's fees and punitive damages.


Last Action: 03/10/15 SENATE Favorable by Community Affairs.
EmployIndivDisabilitiesEmployment of Individuals with Disabilities

 

CS/SB 848 creates the Employment First Act. It requires development and implementation of an interagency cooperative agreement among 10 state agencies and organizations. The agreement must, among others: 

  • establish commitment by state leadership to maximize resources and coordination to improve employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities;
  • develop strategic goals and benchmarks to assist state agencies and organizations in implementing the agreement;
  • identify financing and contracting methods to help prioritize employment for individuals with disabilities by state agencies and organizations;
  • establish training methods to better integrate persons with disabilities into the workforce;
  • ensure collaborative efforts between agencies;
  • promote service innovations to better assist individuals with disabilities in the workplace; and
  • identify accountability measures to ensure sustainability of the agreement. 

Last Action: 03/10/15 SENATE Favorable with CS by Governmental Oversight and Accountability.

StateSymbolsState Symbols

 

Chapter 15, F.S., designates official state emblems. To date, there are designations for a state tree, fruit, beverage, citrus archive, anthem, song, shell, stone, gem, wildflower, play, animal, freshwater fish, saltwater fish, marine mammal, saltwater mammal, butterfly, reptile, saltwater reptile, tortoise, air fair, rodeo, festival, moving image center and archive, litter control symbol, pageant, opera, renaissance festival, railroad museums, transportation museum, flagship, soil, fiddle contest, band, sports hall of fame, pie, maritime museum, and horse. 


SB 556 designates Tupelo honey as the official state honey.

Last Action: 3/10/15 SENATE Favorable by Governmental Oversight and Accountability.
AdoptionandFosterCareAdoption and Foster Care

 

CS/HB 7013 makes three additions to statutes to improve the adoption of children from foster care: 


The bill creates a program to advance the permanency, stability, and well-being of children in the child welfare system by awarding incentive payments to community-based care lead agencies (CBCs) for achieving specified adoption performance standards. CBCs provide adoption-related services in the state pursuant to contracts with the Department of Children and Families (DCF).

The bill also re-creates a program to provide an additional adoption benefit of either $5,000 or $10,000, depending on whether the adopted child has special needs described in statute, for qualifying employees of state agencies who adopt a child from the child welfare system. The program was originally created in 2000 and provided employee adoption benefits until it was repealed in 2010.

The bill also requires DCF to prioritize educational stability for foster children and include home-schooling as one of several educational options.

Last Action: 03/11/15 HOUSE - PASSED.
GuardiansGuardians

 

CS/CS/SB 496 addresses a gap that can exist between the time that children with developmental disabilities, or who lack capacity, age out of the foster care system at 18 years old and are appointed a guardian. Among others, the bill addresses the gap by:

  • creating a process for DCF to identify through updated case plans and multidisciplinary reports the need for guardians and guardian advocates for children with developmental disabilities or incapacity in advance of the child's 18th birthday;
  • authorizing probate court to initiate proceedings for the minor; 
  • granting the same due process rights in guardian proceedings to children who are developmentally disabled as that conferred to developmentally disabled adults; and 
  • allowing the child's parents to be considered natural guardians unless the dependency or probate court determines it is not in the child's best interest or the parents' rights have been terminated.
Last Action: 3/10/15 SENATE Favorable with CS by Judiciary.
PublicRecordsHumanTraffPublic Records/Human Trafficking Victims

 

HB 467 expands the types of criminal intelligence and criminal investigative information that is confidential and exempt from public records to include: 

  • information that reveals the identity of a person under the age of 18 who is the victim of human trafficking;
  • information that may reveal the identity of a person who is the victim of human trafficking for commercial sexual activity; and 
  • a photograph, videotape, or image of any part of the body of a victim of human trafficking involving commercial sexual activity. 
Last Action: 3/11/15 HOUSE Favorable by Government Operations Subcommittee.
PublicRecordsResidentialFacilPublic Records/Residential Facilities Serving Victims of Sexual Exploitation

 

HB 469 creates public record exemptions for information about the location of safe houses, safe foster homes, other residential facilities serving child victims of sexual exploitation, and residential facilities serving adult victims of human trafficking involving commercial sexual activity. The bill provides that the information regarding the location of these facilities that is held by an agency is confidential and exempt from public record requirements. However, the bill allows this information to be provided to any agency in order to maintain health and safety standards and to address emergency situations. 


Last Action: 03/11/15 HOUSE Favorable by Government Operations Subcommittee.
FSECCFlorida State Employees' Charitable Campaign

 

HB 719 allows state officers and employees to contribute undesignated funds to the FSECC as part of a campaign event. It directs the fiscal agent to direct undesignated contributions to participating charitable organizations in proportion to all designated FSECC contributions received by that organization. 


The bill eliminates the requirement that local steering committees be established in each fiscal agent area. It also eliminates the additional eligibility requirements for an independent unaffiliated agency, national agency, and international service agency.

Last Action: 3/11/15 HOUSE Favorable by Government Operations Subcommittee.
PersonswithDDPersons with Developmental Disabilities

 

SB 380 and its House companion bill HB 177 require the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) to allow the dependent of an active duty military member to receive Medicaid home and community-based services upon the military member's transfer to Florida if the dependent has a developmental disability, was receiving such services in another state prior to the transfer, and meets Florida's eligibility requirements. The bill also requires the APD to allow a dependent of a Florida National Guard member or U.S. military reservist who is based in Florida to receive home and community-based services upon meeting Florida's eligibility requirements.


Last Action SB 380: 3/11/15 SENATE Favorable with CS by Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services.

Last Action HB 177: 3/11/15 HOUSE Favorable with CS by Children, Families & Seniors Subcommittee.
SchoolBusStopSafetySchool Bus Stop Safety

SB 346 reclassifies the offense for passing a stopped school bus on the side that children enter and exit while displaying a stop signal from a noncriminal traffic infraction to the criminal offense of reckless driving. 


Under the bill, a person who commits such an offense is subject to an increased civil penalty in the amount of $250 and, for subsequent violations, suspension of his or her driver license for a minimum of six months and a maximum of one year.

Last Action: 3/11/15 SENATE Favorable by Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development.
InvolExamsInvoluntary Examinations of Minors

 

HB 291 and its Senate companion bill SB 954 require a public school's principal, or his or her designee, to notify a student's parent or guardian if the student is removed from the school, school transportation, or a school-sponsored activity for an involuntary examination. The bill also provides notification requirements for receiving facilities that hold minor patients for involuntary examination. 


The bill allows the school principal, or his or her designee, and the receiving facility each to delay notification by up to 24 hours if there is suspected abuse, abandonment, or neglect and delay has been deemed to be in the student's or minor patient's best interest. Delay in notification may occur only after a report of suspected abuse, abandonment, or neglect is submitted to the Department of Children and Families' central abuse hotline.

Last Action HB 291: 3/11/15 HOUSE Favorable by Children, Families & Seniors Subcommittee.

Last Action SB 954: 3/11/15 SENATE Favorable by Education Pre-K - 12.
SchoolSafetyWeaponsSchool Safety - Weapons

 

HB 19 allows school superintendents, upon approval of the district school board, to create a school safety designee program through which the school superintendent may designate one or more individuals to carry a concealed weapon or firearm on school property.  Weapons or firearms may only be carried in a concealed manner and must be on the individual's person at all times while performing official school duties.  The bill requires school safety designees to possess a concealed weapon license.

 

Last Action: 3/11/15 HOUSE  Favorable by K-12 Subcommittee.

LiteracyJumpStartLiteracy Jump Start Pilot Project

 

SB 1116 requires the Office of Early Learning (OEL) to establish a five-year Literacy Jump Start Pilot Project in St. Lucie County to provide emergent literacy instruction to low-income, at-risk children. OEL must select an organization to administer the pilot project and one or more municipalities to participate in the project. Both the organization and the municipalities must be located in St. Lucie County.


The local organization selected by the OEL must be a not-for-profit corporation qualified as charitable that provides training to parents to assist their children with success in school. The bill identifies the Parent Academy of St. Lucie County as an example of a qualifying organization to implement the project.

Emergent literacy instruction must be delivered in a subsidized housing unit located within an eligible municipality to facilitate parent and child access to services. The organization may coordinate with the St. Lucie County Health Department to provide basic health screening and immunization in conjunction with emergent literacy instruction.

Last Action: 3/11/15 SENATE Favorable by Education Pre-K - 12.
UseofTobaccoUse of Tobacco Products in Motor Vehicles

 

Seven states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico have prohibited smoking in privately owned vehicles while children are present. The ages range from under 8 (Vermont) to under 18 (California and Oregon).


SB 548 prohibits smoking in a motor vehicle in which a child under 13 years of age is present. This prohibition applies to all adults in the vehicle, not just the driver.

A violation would result in a non-moving traffic citation. The total amount of the fine, court costs, and other fees for a non-moving violation varies by jurisdiction. For example, in Leon County, a non-moving violation is a $116 citation; in the City of Tallahassee, a non-moving violation is $123 citation; and in Miami-Dade County a non-moving violation is a $129 citation.

Last Action: 3/11/15 SENATE Favorable by Regulated Industries.
ChildrenandYouthCabinetChildren and Youth Cabinet

 

The Florida Children and Youth Cabinet (cabinet) was created in 2007 for the purpose of developing and implementing a shared vision among the branches of government in order to improve child and family outcomes statewide.


Current cabinet membership includes the Governor and 14 members. These members include the Secretary of Children and Families, the Secretary of Juvenile Justice, the Director of the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, the Director of the Office of Early Learning, the State Surgeon General, the Secretary of Health Care Administration, the Commissioner of Education, the Director of the Statewide Guardian Ad Litem Office, the Director of the Office of Child Abuse Prevention, and five members representing children and youth advocacy organizations, who are not service providers and who are appointed by the Governor.

SB 878 adds a superintendent of schools to the membership of the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet. The superintendent is to be appointed by the Governor.

Last Action: 3/12/15 SENATE Favorable with CS by Children, Families, and Elder Affairs.
ConcealedWeaponsDisasterConcealed Weapon - Disasters

 

CS/CS/SB 290 creates an exception to s. 790.01, F.S., which prohibits carrying a concealed weapon or firearm unless a person is licensed to do so or if the weapon is a self-defense chemical spray or non-lethal stun gun or similar device designed for defensive purposes. 


The exception provided in the bill allows a person to carry a concealed weapon or firearm while in the act of complying with a mandatory evacuation order issued during a state of emergency declared by the Governor or by a local authority regardless of the person's licensure status, so long as he or she may otherwise lawfully possess a firearm.

The bill defines the term "in the act of evacuating" as the immediate and urgent movement of a person away from the evacuation zone within 48 hours after a mandatory evacuation is ordered. It provides that the 48-hour period may be extended by order of the Governor.

Last Action: 3/12/15 SENATE Favorable with CS by Rules.
DiplomaticRelationsCuba
Diplomatic Relations with Cuba

 

On December 17, 2014, President Obama announced diplomatic and economic changes to the relationship between the U.S. and Cuba. Changes include, but are not limited to:

  • allowing travel to Cuba for authorized purposes;
  • authorizing U.S. travelers to Cuba to import up to $400 worth of goods for personal use;
  • allowing U.S. financial institutions to open correspondent accounts at Cuban financial institutions to facilitate the processing of authorized transactions;
  • allowing activities related to telecommunications, financial services, trade and shipping; and
  • re-establishment of an embassy in Havana in the coming months. 

SM 866 expresses profound disagreement with the decision of the President to restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba, opposes the opening of a consulate or any diplomatic office in this state, and urges the continuation of the embargo imposed by the U.S. in 1960.


Last Action: 3/12/15 SENATE Favorable by Rules.
HumanTraffickingHuman Trafficking

 

SB 534 seeks to heighten public awareness regarding human trafficking in Florida. The bill requires the Attorney General, in consultation with anti-trafficking organizations and human trafficking survivors, to develop specifications for the form and content of required human trafficking public notice signs.

The Florida Department of Transportation (DOT) is directed to display such a sign in every rest area and welcome center in the state. The following establishments, among others, are also required to post the signs near the public entrance of the establishment or in another conspicuous location clearly visible to both the public and employees of the establishment:
  • A strip club or other adult entertainment establishment. 
  • An establishment found to be a nuisance for prostitution. 
  • A primary airport. 
  • A passenger or light rail station. 
  • A bus station. 
  • A truck stop.
  • An emergency room within a general acute care hospital. 
  • An urgent care center.
  • The premises of a farm labor contractor where farm laborers are regularly present. 
  • A privately operated job recruitment center. 
  • A business or establishment that offers massage or bodywork services for compensation. 
  • A public K-12 school. 
  • A public library.  
Last Action: 3/12/15 SENATE Favorable by Transportation.
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