In Session: 2021 Committee Week 2

ADVOCACY PAGE

As the Florida Legislature entered Committee Week 2, many legislators, staff and advocates were in quarantine and both Chambers released testing protocols required before entering the Capitol Complex.

Some of our priority bills are scheduled to be heard in Committees next week and the Appropriations Committees in the Senate and House have presentations on the Governor’s Budget scheduled for February 2nd and 3rd. We’d expect to see the proposal released in advance of those meetings so, Monday, February 1st is likely.

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. We will be adding information related to our Local Agenda as legislation is filed.

Issue papers for the United Ways of Florida Agenda have been updated for 2021 on early education, health, housing and veterans.

BILL TRACKING*

Education:

  • 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
    • SB419 – Grall – Aligns Early Education and K-12 systems, creates Division of Early Learning in Department of Education
  • Increase professional development opportunities and incentives for childcare workers
  • Expand access to family support services that link families to local resources

Financial Stability:

  • Increase access to affordable housing by appropriating all Sadowski Housing Trust Funds for their intended purpose
  • Support keeping Floridians in their homes and mitigating the long-term impact facing people who are evicted from their homes
    • SB412 – Rouson – Refers all evictions filed to mediation between landlord/tenant; eliminates requirement of back rent in deposit at Registry of Court
    • HB6025 – Eskamani – Eliminates requirement of back rent in deposit at Registry of Court
    • SB576 – Jones – Prohibits landlords from refusing to rent to prospective tenant with eviction on record due to COVID-19
  • Capitalize on opportunities to enhance Florida workforce development activities and initiatives

Health:

  • Improve access to affordable healthcare for Floridians, with a focus on vulnerable low-income populations
    • HB 201 – BartlemanKidCare eligibility –  Increases income eligibility (from 200 FPL to 300 FPL) threshold for coverage under Florida Kidcare program
    • SB238 – BookPostpartum Extension – extends current Medicaid eligibility for pregnant women from 60 days postpartum to 12 months postpartum
    • SB604 – BrandesDental Services – Authorizing Medicaid to reimburse for dental services provided in a mobile dental unit
    • HB314 – DuranMedicaid Extension – Extends Medicaid eligibility to specified individuals
  • 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

Veterans:

  • 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
  • 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
    • SB586 – Wright – Provides coordination of federal SkillBridge program which matches civilian workforce opportunities to veteran’s training background
    • HB071 – Willhite – Urges Congress to recognize veteran suicide & fully fund suicide prevention efforts by United States Department of Veterans’ Affairs
*(United Way of Miami-Dade is tracking bills related to our issue areas – not necessarily taking a position)

Resources:

 

2021-01-27T09:54:26-04:00 January 27th, 2021|