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Florida Legislative Session: Week 6

Here is week six wrap up from the State Capitol. 

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Constitution Revision Commission

As previously stated, 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.

Our local communications team members, and contractor Heather Grzelka, have worked closely with their counterparts from the American Cancer Society and the American Lung Association to implement a communications plan that includes earned and paid media strategies that will get our efforts to oppose Proposal 94 the maximum possible media coverage.

The Constitution Revision Commission is hosting several hearings, offering us the chance to speak out against Proposal 94. Your AHA grassroots team led by Julie Howell has been working on many fronts to secure volunteers to speak, get them registered, provide attendees with information regarding the hearing's format, etc. If you can make any of the hearings on the list below, please let Julie Howell know. She can be reached at Julie.M.Howell@heart.org.

  • 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
  • Monday, March 5th, from 1:00-7:00 p.m. EST – The Westin, 5951 Silver King Blvd., Cape Coral 33914


Tobacco 21

The Tobacco 21 legislation (SB 1288) was “workshopped” in the Senate Regulated Industries Committee on Wednesday. Basically, having it workshopped means we’ve taken another step in moving the issue forward. It gave us an opportunity to present testimony and a chance to better understand the lines of attack our opponents will take in fighting the legislation in the future. AHA and ACS staff and volunteers presented testimony, as did a representative of the vaping industry, which we suspect will be the focus of big tobacco’s efforts.

A workshop also paves the way for the sponsor of SB 1288, Sen. David Simmons, to request a study be conducted in the interim period between legislative sessions. Such studies are approved by the presiding officer and conducted by the legislature’s Office of Program Policy Analysis and Governmental Accountability (OPPAGA), Florida’s version of the Federal Congressional Research Service. We have already made inquiries toward having the Senate President approve the study.

Bill Path and Status:

  • 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. Workshopped in Regulated Industries Committee. 

STEMI Registry

Legislation to create a data registry for patients suffering an STEMI heart attack remains stalled in committee. We have worked diligently to find another bill, a “vehicle,” on which we can amend the STEMI language. We believe we have found that “vehicle” and should know in the next two weeks whether or not we will be successful.

Bill Path and Status:

  • 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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