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Florida Legislative Session: Week 5

We wrapped up Week 5 of session! Here is where our policies stand, as well as our work to protect funding for Tobacco Free Florida. 

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Constitution Revision Commission

The last round of public hearings begins February 6th at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale. If you can make that hearing, or any of the others on the list below, please let our Grassroots Director, Julie Howell, know. She can be reached at Julie.m.howell@heart.org

Proposal 94, by Commissioner Nunez, will redirect funding away from Tobacco Free Florida’s prevention efforts and over to cancer research. It will also permit the legislature to determine the proportion of funds that go to prevention advertising. Given the legislature is subject to pressure from the tobacco industry, this is an unacceptable option

  • Tuesday, February 6th, from 1:00-7:00 p.m. EST - Rick Case Arena at the Don Taft University Center. 3301 College Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314
  • Monday, February 19th, from 1:00-7:00 p.m. EST - Eastern Florida State College, Maxwell C. King Center, 3865 North Wickham Road, Melbourne, FL 32935
  • Tuesday, February 20th , from 1:00-7:00 p.m. EST - University of North Florida, Herbert University Center, 12000 Alumni Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32224
  • Tuesday, February 27th, from 1:00-7:00 p.m. CST - University of West Florida, Conference Center & Ballroom, 11000 University Parkway, Building 22, Pensacola, FL 32514
  • Tuesday, March 13th , from 1:00-7:00 p.m. EST - University of South Florida, University Student Center, 200 6th Ave South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Plus one date still to be determined in Southwest Florida.

Tobacco 21

Support for our Tobacco 21 legislation is growing. We have learned of organizations that don’t normally work within the “tobacco space” but who have an interest in health issues who are adding it to their issues list. Among those other groups are the Junior League of Florida and the Florida Dental Association.

We have learned a Workshop on the Tobacco 21 legislation will be likely held in the Senate’s Regulated Industries Committee during Week 6 of session. While a workshop means a vote will not be taken, this is a step in the right direction. Previous versions of the Tobacco 21 legislation were filed by Democratic members. They garnered no co-sponsors and were referred to multiple committees, then never heard. We have surpassed that by obtaining Republicans as our Senate sponsor and prime co-sponsor; on the House side, we have a Democratic sponsor, a Republican prime co-sponsor, along with one Democrat and eight Republican co-sponsors. Plus, we’ve been told the senate bill will be workshopped. The sponsor/cosponsor list helps prove the bipartisan bona fides of the legislation.

Also, last Tuesday, AHA volunteers, contractors and staff hosted a media roundtable on the Tobacco 21 issue. Several media members attended and stories on the issue were published and broadcast around the state in several media markets.

STEMI Registry

Legislation to create a data registry for patients suffering an STEMI heart attack has stalled in committee. However, efforts are underway to attach the language to Department of Health legislation. Almost all of the stars have been aligned and, if no unforeseen objects block the path ahead, it will be added to the Department’s bill in the next two weeks.

To recap, the bills’ paths going forward are as follows:

TOBACCO 21
HB 1029 – Reps. Lori Berman, Bill Hager (and others). Referred to Careers & Competition Subcommittee; Government Operations & Technology Appropriations Subcommittee; Commerce Committee. Not yet heard

SB 1288 – Sen. David Simmons (and others). Regulated Industries Committee; Commerce & Tourism Committee; Rules Committee. Possibly Workshopped in Senate Regulated Industries Committee during Week 6.

STEMI
HB 1313 – Rep. Lawrence McClure (and others). Referred to Health Innovations Subcommittee; Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee; and Health and Human Services Committee. Likely will be amended on to Department of Health legislation

SB 1032 – Sen Dennis Baxley. Referred to Health Policy Committee; Appropriations Committee on Health & Human Services; and Appropriations Committee. Also, likely to be amended on to Department of Health legislation.

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