Happy New Year and welcome to the 2021 Florida Legislative Session.
The Florida House and Senate have both started their committee meetings with public testimony protocols significantly limiting in-person interactions. We’ve continued to meet with the Miami-Dade Legislative Delegation virtually, as well as, met with targeted legislators sponsoring bills related to the United Ways of Florida 2021 Consensus Agenda.
Senator Ana-Maria Rodriguez was elected chair of the Miami-Dade Legislative Delegation with Rep. Dotie Joseph serving as vice-chair.
As always, our legislative agenda for the year supports the three United Way of Miami-Dade impact areas: education, financial stability and health with a special focus on veterans.
- Improve transparency, accountability and performance of the state’s early learning programs (School Readiness and Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten), thus benefiting those who fall within the ALICE population, with a focus on equitable outcomes for children
- Increase professional development opportunities and incentives for childcare workers
- Expand access to family support services that link families to local resources
- Increase access to affordable housing by appropriating all Sadowski Housing Trust Funds for their intended purpose; HB13 – Killebrew, SB510 – Hooper
- Support keeping Floridians in their homes and mitigating the long-term impact facing people who are evicted from their homes
- Permits landlord/tenant mediation without back rent in deposit at Registry of Court; SB412 – Rouson
- Capitalize on opportunities to enhance Florida workforce development activities and initiatives
- Improve access to affordable healthcare for Floridians, with a focus on vulnerable low-income populations
- Postpartum Extension – extends current Medicaid eligibility for pregnant women from 60 days postpartum to 12 months postpartum; SB238 – Book (Postpartum Extension)
- Medicaid Expansion – amends state constitution to provide Medicaid coverage to all people under age 65 with income at or below 138% FPL; SB276 – Taddeo (Medicaid Expansion)
- KidCare eligibility; HB 201 – Bartleman
- Increase targeted funding for prevention and treatment services for substance use disorders and mental health services
- Maximize home and community-based services for older adults to reduce nursing home costs and waitlists
- Support a MISSION UNITED initiative to enhance system navigation utilizing peer support to ensure every veteran and their family that needs assistance has an in-person contact that they can utilize to access services beyond the referral process to align with the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs; SB260 – Harrell
- Support recommendations of the 2019 Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs Forward March report to reinforce best practices, reduce redundancies and implement solutions to fill gaps