Government Affairs Report - January 2020
Tuesday, February 4, 2020
Government Affairs' Report
To: ASLA Florida Members
From: Diana Ferguson, Lobbyist
Date: January 14, 2020
The Legislature convened the 2020 Legislative Session on Tuesday, with the Senate President, Speaker, and Governor each offering remarks. President Galvano offered brief remarks that including thanking staff and Senators for their hard work and urging civility and decorum to be an example for Washington, DC.
Speaker Oliva offered detailed, lengthier remarks focused primarily on health care and education, saying that he considers the Health Care Industrial Complex the “Great Robber Barons” of our time, and lamenting that Florida has a “backwards” approach to scope of practice for health care professionals that prevents them from practicing what they are trained and educated to do. He also stated that proliferation and spending is threatening the sustainability of Florida’s higher education system, saying “spending is not caring, solving is caring”. The Speaker indicated that he will make child welfare a priority, including pay raises for child protective investigators. He also indicated that he knows the Governors has made the environment a priority and the House will continue to support him in those efforts.
Governor DeSantis highlighted Florida’s economy and noted his strong support for natural resources, water quality, and the Everglades, saying “I believe that stewardship of our natural resources is key to our economic well-being. Our water is the foundation of our tourism industry, makes Florida the top fishing and boating destination in the world and enhances our property values.” The Governor mentioned deregulation only briefly in the context of repealing antiquated regulations related to health care – likely, a reference to the repeal of Certification of Necessity regulations for hospitals, a bill which passed in 2019. Committees will now get under way, and as they continue to meet we will be monitoring dozens of bills, including the “deregulation” and professional regulation “sunset” bills, and will advocate to protect and preserve professional regulations for landscape architects.