Daily Legislative Brief from April 18, 2017
SB 532-Relating to Public Notification of Pollution
On Tuesday, April 18th, SB 532, by Senator Bill Galvano (R-Bradenton), was read for a third time on the Senate floor and passed unanimously by a vote of 38 yeas to 0 nays.
This bill will require companies to notify the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) about the release of any dangerous substance within 24 hours of discovery, and DEP must then publish a public notice within 24 hours.
SB 532 will now go to the Senate floor to be heard.
AIF SUPPORTS the FDEP's role as the recipient of notifications regarding incidents from the regulated business community do to their experience, expertise, and ability to determine potential impacts from any reported incidents.
Legal & Judicial
SB 1398-Relating to Accessibility of Places of Public Accommodation
On Tuesday, April 18th, SB 1398, by Senator Linda Stewart (R-Orlando), was heard before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government and passed unanimously by a vote of 6 yeas to 0 nays. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, stood in support of this bill.
Congress enacted the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990 prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, state and local government, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunications. One of the goals of the ADA is to guarantee that individuals with disabilities are offered full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations offered by a place of public accommodation.
However, individuals with disabilities may sue places of public accommodation including private businesses for alleged violations of the ADA, a problem that is currently rampant throughout the state.
The bill would:
- Create a license type for ADA experts;
- Require the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) to establish licensing requirements and regulation for ADA experts;
- Allow ADA experts to determine if the businesses are compliant with the ADA;
- Allow businesses to hire ADA experts and file ADA expert reports with DBPR;
- Allow businesses to file remediation plans with DBPR if they are not in compliance with the ADA;
- Require DBPR to establish a public website with a registry of remediation plans and certifications of conformity; and
- Require courts to consider remediation plans to determine if a plaintiff filed a claim in good faith and whether the plaintiff is entitled to attorney’s fees in lawsuits involving alleged violations of the ADA.
SB 1398 will go on to the Senate Committee on Appropriations for its next hearing.
AIF SUPPORTS legislation that makes filing frivolous lawsuits against Florida’s businesses more difficult to accomplish.
SB 888-Relating to Prescription Drug Price Transparency
On Tuesday, April 18th, SB 888, by Senator Aaron Bean (R-Jacksonville) was heard in the Senate Appropriation Subcommittee on Health and Human Services and unanimously passed. AIF stood in support of this bill.
Currently, law requires MyFloridaRX.com to provide the top 150 most prescribed drugs including their customary prices by pharmacies. This bill would double that number to 300 and codifies monthly reporting to the Agency for Health Care Administration (“AHCA”). The goal of HB 589 is to create more transparency in drug pricing, which in turn will give employers and consumers the ability to make more informed decisions regarding their health care spending. Prescription drug costs continue to rise, and become a larger percentage of the overall health care spend in Florida.
SB 888 will now go to the Senate Committee on Appropriations to be heard.
AIF SUPPORTS transparency in drug pricing as a tool for reducing the cost of health care coverage on Florida’s employers and employees.