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Daily Legislative Brief from January 31, 2018

Constitution Revision Commission (CRC)

Proposal 91-Relating to Natural Resources and Scenic Beauty

On Wednesday, January 31st, Proposal 91 by Commissioner Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch was presented to the CRC Declaration of Rights Committee and was reported favorably. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, stood in opposition to this proposal.

Proposal 91 prohibits oil and gas drilling for exploration or extraction in and beneath all state waters which have not been alienated and that lie between the mean high-water line and the outermost boundaries of the state’s territorial seas.

AIF does not believe this issue belongs in the state constitution as it is already within state law. AIF opposes this proposal due to the impacts it could have on the use of Florida’s natural resources that citizens rely on every day.


Proposal 99-Relating to Patients’ Right to Know

On Wednesday, January 31st, Proposal 99 by Commissioner Timothy Cerio was presented to the CRC Declaration of Rights Committee and was reported unfavorably. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, stood in support of this proposal.

The proposal amends Article X, Section 25 to specifying that a patients’ right to know about adverse medical incidents does not revoke attorney-client privilege or work-product doctrine available under law. The proposal also provides that a health care facility or health care provider that violates the requirements of Article X, Section 25 may be subject to administrative discipline as provided by law.

AIF supports this proposal that would strike a crucial balance between interests and preserve the original intent of a patients right to know.

Information Technology

5201-Relating to Information Technology

On Wednesday, January 31st, HB 5201 sponsored by the House Government Operations and Technology Appropriations Subcommittee and Representative Blaise Ingoglia (R-Spring Hill) was heard before the House Appropriations Committee and passed. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, stood in support of this legislation.

This bill implements a “cloud first” policy for the state, requiring each state agency to first consider cloud computing solutions when sourcing their technology. The bill also moves part of the financial management responsibility of the Agency for State Technology to the Department of Management Services and designates the Department of Environmental Protection as the state coordinating agency for Geographic Information Systems.  Further, the bill increases the minimum qualification requirements for the State Chief Information Officer position which would be effective in 2019.

HB 5201 will go on to the House floor for consideration.

AIF supports the adoption and implementation of a formal cloud-first strategy, resulting in more efficient and effective IT solutions for Florida.

Health Care

SB 98-Relating to Health Insurer Authorization

On Wednesday, January 31st, SB 98, by Senator Greg Steube (R-Sarasota) was read for a third time on the Senate floor and passed by a vote of 37 yeas to 0 nays.

This legislation creates a standard process for the approval or denial of (1) prior authorizations and (2) step therapy (“fail-first”) protocol exceptions. Currently, the many health insurance carriers in Florida employ robust policy product offerings containing medically-proven prior-authorization and step-therapy programs designed to reflect the protocols and standards of care, advanced and adopted by a vast array of specialty physicians based on their latest evidence-based research. These procedures and protocols allow for the use of the safest, most appropriate and most cost-effective drug, and permit progressing to other, more costly drugs with more sophisticated interactions and side-effects, in accordance with FDA approvals.

SB 98 will move on to the House floor for consideration.

AIF opposes this legislation as it would force insurers and consumers to purchase the most expensive drugs and treatments even when equally effective therapies are available at much lower costs.