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Budget Negotiations Set to Tee-off
Saturday, 06 April 2019
Monday, April 8, 2019, Tallahassee – Lawmakers reached the halfway point of their 60-day annual legislative session on Wednesday of last week, a week otherwise dominated by debate and final passage of each chamber’s state budget spending proposals. Legislators are now in a posture to begin Senate-House negotiations to hammer out the differences between their two plans. About $400-million currently separates the two proposals – $89.9 billion in the House compared to a Senate bottom line of $90.3B – though both weigh in less than the Governor’s $91.3B record-setting suggestion. Significantly different spending priorities between the two plans will have to be worked through in the four remaining weeks to achieve an on-time adjournment. Conferees will likely be appointed by both the House speaker and the Senate president this week to begin their negotiations to develop a final compromise plan.
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PIP Repeal Advances, Change in DC Education Standards Stalls
Monday, 01 April 2019
Monday, April 1, 2019, Tallahassee – Late this afternoon the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee approved on a 5-3 vote a proposal (SB 1052) aimed at repealing Florida’s No-Fault/PIP auto insurance system replacing it with a requirement that drivers carry mandatory bodily injury coverage. Bill sponsor Sen. Tom Lee (R-Brandon) offered the bill which also currently includes that carriers make a mandatory offering of medical payments coverage (MedPay) of $5K to $10K. Representatives of the Florida Justice Association spoke in favor of the bill, while a trade industry group of insurance carriers said the measure should go further to address third-part bad faith reform.
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State Lawmakers Hit Their Halfway Point
Saturday, 30 March 2019
Monday, April 1, 2019, Tallahassee – State legislators will soon hit this year’s session’s halfway point on Wednesday, April 3rd, marching forward into the second thirty days of their annual 60-day lawmaking session. Last week saw both houses unveil the earliest of their budget proposals, funding schemes for our state government for 2020. At this point the two $89-billion-plus plans are only about $400-million apart – though both weigh in at less than the Governor’s $91.3-billion suggestion. 
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Budget Work Dominates Lawmakers’ Work Week
Sunday, 24 March 2019
Monday, March 25, 2019, Tallahassee – Much of this week’s activities in the Capitol will center around preliminary work on a budget for Florida government, the earliest version having been unveiled late last Friday. Agreeing on a balanced budget is the only task the House and Senate are mandated to complete each year during their 60-day annual session.
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Budget Work Nears, PIP Repeal Advances
Saturday, 16 March 2019
Monday, March 18, 2019, Tallahassee – State lawmakers are constitutionally bound to complete only one task during their annual session each year: Passage of a balanced budget to fund state government spending for the next fiscal year. This week both the House and Senate appropriations subcommittees will begin the process of developing their separate budget proposals.

Committee work last week, the second of legislators’ annual nine-week session, saw action on a wide variety of health care proposals including the first public hearing of a bill proposing to repeal and replace Florida’s No-fault/PIP insurance requirement. A Senate committee gave its nod of approval to a bill (SB 1052) introduced by Sen. Tom Lee (R-Brandon), one of five different proposals addressing PIP repeal or reform filed for possible consideration this session, all of which are opposed in their current form by FCA. Sen. Lee chairs the committee which passed his bill. FCA was the lone provider association testifying against it.  (See below for a more detailed strategy and analysis.)

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