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Senate Embraces House Health Care Reforms
Saturday, 20 April 2019
Monday, April 22, 2019, Tallahassee – It’s no secret that new Florida House Speaker Jose Oliva (R-Miami) would set his sights set on health care reform, aimed principally at reigning-in the associated costs, during his first legislative session. After all, over half of his opening day remarks were devoted to that subject. Now, it appears the Senate was listening closely. Last week key Senate committees considered the Speaker’s top priorities, moving closer in aligning their positions with those of the House on at least three of his key issues.
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House Committee Set to Consider PIP/No-Fault Changes
Sunday, 14 April 2019
Monday, April 15, 2019, Tallahassee – After six weeks of inaction on proposed PIP/No-fault auto insurance systems changes introduced this session for consideration by the House, late Friday the House Health and Human Services Committee released their agenda for this Tuesday afternoon which includes the first public hearing for HB 1317, a proposal including a variety of proposed reforms to the PIP/No-fault insurance system. Unlike a Senate bill on the same topic previously approved by two Senate committees, the House proposal does not include a repeal of the No-fault system, rather a series of reforms to the current system. (A more complete discussion follows below.)

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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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