March 23, 2020
Though Session just ended, there is already talk amongst legislators that a dip in tax revenues may result in a special session to consider budget cuts. Another option to address potential revenue shortfalls: a special session to approve a gaming deal with the Seminole Tribe, which could provide additional revenue for the state budget. The governor has also indicated that he may consider using his veto pen more frequently for line items in the budget given the strain the coronavirus may prove to the state economy.
Read on to find out more about legislation that passed, including which bills have already been signed into law by the governor, as well as the other effects of the coronavirus spread on legislation.
Budget and Coronavirus Developments
As Session was wrapping up, lawmakers scrambled to ensure money was set aside to address the fast-moving coronavirus developments. When the budget finally passed, an additional $300 million in reserves had been added, the result of a scaled back tax-cut package.
The E-Verify bill that passed the day before Session ended requires all public employers and their contractors to use E-Verify. Private employers will be immune from civil and criminal penalties if the employer uses E-Verify or an I-9 form to confirm an employee is authorized to work in the U.S. The bill is now on the governor’s desk.
Visit Florida was spared yet again this Session and extended for another 3 years, with a budget of $50 million next year. Not only did it avoid closure, its budget almost doubled from the $26 million it received last fiscal year.
Scope of Practice
ANRP’s — Within hours of its passage, Governor Desantis signed into law a bill allowing registered nurse practitioners to independently operate primary practices without the supervision of a physician. The bill was a priority of House Speaker Jose Oliva.
Pharmacists — Also within hours of passage, Gov. Desantis signed into law another priority of Speaker Oliva’s, which allows pharmacists under the supervision of a doctor to treat chronic conditions such as asthma, arthritis, and obesity, as well as to “test and treat” certain ailments such as flu, strep, and lice.
Sea-level Projection Study Required for Public-Financed Construction Projects
Legislation passed both chambers which requires a sea-level projection study to be done on any public construction project a coastal zone. For construction to continue, the study would need to show that the project would be safe from flooding based on projected sea-level rise. It is awaiting the governor’s signature.
These materials have been prepared for informational purposes only and are not legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Internet subscribers and online readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.