Enough about Speaker Corcoran, President Negron, and their headline grabbing agendas, for now; with 120 House Members and 40 Senators, we’d be doing readers a disservice by not talking about some lesser-known legislation from other Representatives.
From increasing the penalties on criminals committing acts of targeted hate and instituting reforms, to keep pharmaceutical companies more honest, to establishing a foundation to promote senior and amateur athletics, there may be more going on in Florida politics than what you’ve heard.
SB1306 by Senator Montford is a fun one that illustrates the active lifestyle of many Floridians. It would establish the Florida Sport Foundation under the Department of Economic Opportunity. FSF would have a 20 member board composed of representatives from the MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, MLS, and other sports industries across the state.
The foundation’s primary tasks would be to promote amateur athletics across the state through amateur competitions, coaching workshops, team clinics, and the attraction of interstate and international competitions of all types. The games would be designed to encourage the participation of athletes representing a broad range of age groups, skill levels, and Florida communities. That also means the operation of the Florida Senior Games and Sunshine State Games which include different sports like archery, artistic roller skating, fencing, synchronized swimming, horseshoes, something called pickle ball, and you guessed it- shuffleboard. Welcome to Florida.
SB70 by Senator Garcia is of a more sober and serious nature. In recent months there has been a statewide and national spike of bigoted vandalism and reported incidents of violence evidencing prejudice. Across the board, Garcia’s proposal would increase the penalties of misdemeanor and felony crimes by one level increments when there is evidence that the crimes were committed with prejudice based on race, sex, creed, color, ancestry, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, homeless status, or age. Overall the bill is straight forward, short, and to the point. Only three pages in length, it would bode well for ordinary people and poorly for bigots. Facing little to no opposition, we should see this bill become law by the end of session. To get in the way of something like this wouldn’t be good for one’s political health.
Speaking of health, enter one of the Florida House’s two representatives with M.D.’s, Ralph Massullo.
HB95 by Representative Massullo is an example of why Floridians are extremely fortunate to have doctors in the legislature. New to the political process, but by no means a novice in the medical industry, this bill aims to keep pharmaceutical companies honest.
Oftentimes drug companies will offer a certain group of drugs to physicians, which are categorized into different tiers of cost. Then physicians recommend to patients which drugs to take based off cost efficiency and effectiveness. Consumers agree to take specific medicine for a year, only for the pharmaceutical company to intervene halfway through the year and say ‘On second thought, that drug that’s keeping you healthy belongs in a higher tier that you probably can’t afford. Here, take this poor man’s version of it.’ This bill would keep sophisticated drug manufacturers from using this bait and switch tactic to rob Florida’s citizens who depend on their medication. If the common citizen has to keep his word, why should drug companies be treated any differently? The bill would only apply to private commercial health plans, not Medicaid.