Version 21, Issue 3
March 25, 2021
Legislative Committee Budgets may be out this week!
The word on the street is that the Legislative committee budgets will be released this week. Restrictions on businesses, activities and individuals during the Pandemic have led to a $2.7 billion dollar deficit which is likely to create initial deep cuts but with the economic forecast improving by the end of the legislative session.
The Senate will present its proposed budget in a budget subcommittee meetings Wednesday, and the House should release a spending plan by Thursday.
The expectation among those of us who watch the process is that this week will be filled with cuts that do not take the $10 billion-dollar federal aid into consideration. The situation will likely get better before lawmakers pass the final state budget bill.
There are a few reasons to expect better news by the end of session, the first is the $10 billion in federal stimulus dollars that the state is expected to receive before the end of the fiscal year. Neither the House nor the Senate is expected to include any of that money in their initial budgets, which means they will have a huge amount of money to use to fill budget gaps. The second is the April revenue report.
State economists meet next month to give a new general revenue forecast, and most expect this will reveal more money that the legislature will have to work with when creating next year’s budget.
This week, the news regarding the budget will likely not be good but most have some understanding that there is a huge amount of help from the federal government and renewed general revenue forecasts. The Council’s challenge will be to advocate against cuts and to use one-time funds to advocate for significant additional needs for individuals on the iBudget waiver. The Council will be working with healthcare appropriations members of the House and the Senate.
Senate President Wilton Simpson (R-Trilby) has warned lawmakers do not use the one- time, one-year federal dollars on recurring expenses.
March 24, 2021 Volume 21, Issue 3
- This bill revises provisions of law relating to guardianship and alternatives to guardianship. The bill creates a process for supported decisionmaking (SDM), including providing requirements for court, guardian petition, supported decisionmaking agreement, decisionmaker and supporter, and educational agencies. Parents of children with disabilities are often told they need to seek guardianship as soon as their child turns 18. Florida law states that you cannot put someone under guardianship if there is a “less restrictive” alternative, but the law does not offer a meaningful alternative. This proposed legislation would list alternatives to guardianship in Florida Statute, including SDM and ensure judges have the information they need to protect people with disabilities.
The bill would require anyone trying to put another person under guardianship or guardian advocacy to show why an alternative, including SDM, will not work. Effective Date: July 1, 2021. The Council is supporting this proposed legislation.
02/02/21 HOUSE Filed.
02/18/21 HOUSE Referred to Children, Families & Seniors Subcommittee; Civil Justice & Property Rights Subcommittee; Health & Human Services Committee
HOUSE Now in Children, Families & Seniors Subcommittee
02/10/21 SENATE Referred to Children, Families, and Elder Affairs; Appropriations; Rules _______________________________________________________________________________________________
This bill requires the Department of Law Enforcement, in cooperation with the Department of Transportation, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, the Department of the Lottery, and local law enforcement agencies, to establish and implement the Purple Alert; requiring the local law enforcement agency having jurisdiction to notify media and alert subscribers if a Purple Alert is determined to be necessary and appropriate. The bill provides that the Department of Law Enforcement, as the Purple Alert coordinator, and certain agencies, employees, individuals, and entities are immune from civil liability for damages when performing certain actions in good faith. This bill is another avenue to prevent drowning and other accidents that can happen when someone with verified cognitive challenges and history wanders from their home. Effective Date: Except as otherwise expressly provided in this act and except for this section, which shall take effect July 1, 2021, this act shall take effect July 1, 2022.
The Council is supporting this proposed legislation.
12/04/20 SENATE Filed.
12/15/20 SENATE Referred to Transportation; Children, Families, and Elder Affairs;
02/02/21 SENATE Favorable with CS by Transportation; 7 Yeas, 0 Nays
02/03/21 SENATE Committee Substitute Text (C1) Filed
02/16/21 SENATE Favorable by Children, Families, and Elder Affairs; 8 Yeas, 0 Nays
SENATE Now in Appropriations
03/22/21 HOUSE On Committee agenda Judiciary Committee, 03/24/21 12:00 pm, 404 H
This bill revises the timeline for development and implementation of a student’s individual education plan (IEP) for transition services for student with disabilities to postsecondary education and career opportunities. The bill proposes an earlier timeline to assure that a path has been started before high school. Another part of the bill provides for clarity regarding a component that the Council thinks it is critical to help parents of children with disabilities understand what graduating at age 18 with a standard diploma means. Students often lose access to three years of services they would otherwise be entitled to receive if they do not defer graduation. Also, there are programs that are available only to students who do graduate at age 18. Parents and their children need to understand the differences. Effective Date: July 1, 2021.The Council is supporting this bill.
01/06/21 HOUSE Filed.
01/20/21 HOUSE Referred to Secondary Education & Career Development Subcommittee; PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee; Education & Employment Committee
03/12/21 HOUSE Favorable with CS by Secondary Education & Career Development
Subcommittee; 17 Yeas, 0 Nays
HOUSE Committee Substitute Text (C1) Filed
03/16/21 HOUSE Reference to PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee removed
Remaining reference: Education & Employment Committee
03/22/21 HOUSE on Committee agenda - Education & Employment Committee,
03/24/21, 12:00 pm, 17 H
03/17/21 SENATE Subcommittee on Education; 8 Yeas, 0 Nays
03/18/21 SENATE Now in Appropriations
This bill requires school districts to prohibit the use of seclusion on students with disabilities in public schools and requires school districts to adopt positive behavior interventions and supports. The bill creates the Video Cameras in Public School Classrooms Pilot Program and requires continuing education and in-service training for instructional personnel teaching students with emotional or behavioral disabilities. Effective Date: 7/1/2021. The Council will only support this bill if it prohibits the use of mechanical restraints that are not prescribed by a doctor. Currently the bill endorses the use of handcuffs, straight jackets, zip ties and tie downs as long as they do not restrict blood circulation and breathing.
12/07/20 SENATE Filed.
12/15/20 SENATE Referred to Education, Appropriations Subcommittee on Education.
3/23/21 SENATE Favorable with CS by Education; 9 Yeas, 0 Nays
03/17/21 HOUSE Placed on Calendar, on 2nd reading.
This bill requires the Agency for Persons with Disabilities to provide specified written information to persons applying for iBudget waiver services, whether they are accepted, rejected or on the waitlist. Information includes state and local resources that will help individuals with disabilities and their families find out what is available to them especially around training and employment services. The resources do not guarantee admission into these programs. Effective Date: 7/1/2021. The Council is neutral on this bill.
01/21/21 SENATE Filed.
01/28/21 SENATE Referred to Children, Families, and Elder Affairs; Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services; Appropriations.
03/09/21 SENATE Favorable with CS by Children, Families, and Elder Affairs; 8 Yeas, 0 Nays
03/10/21 SENATE Committee Substitute Text (C1) Filed
SENATE References to Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services, Appropriations removed; Reference to Rules added; Remaining reference: Rules.
SENATE Now in Rules
03/22/21 HOUSE Placed on Calendar, on 2nd reading.
This bill revises definition of term "developmental disability."
This bill may be cited as “Diana’s Law”. It replaces the current statutory definition of
“developmental disability” with the definition of the term currently used in federal law.
Specifically, the bill defines a developmental disability as a severe, chronic disability of an
- Is attributable to a mental or physical impairment or combination of mental and physical
- Is manifested before the individual attains age 22.
- Is likely to continue indefinitely.
- Results in substantial functional limitations in 3 or more of the following areas of major life
o Receptive and expressive language.
o Capacity for independent living.
o Economic self-sufficiency; and
- Reflects the individual's need for a combination and sequence of special, interdisciplinary, or generic services, individualized supports, or other forms of assistance that are of lifelong or extended duration and are individually planned and coordinated.
The bill also provides that an individual from birth to age 9 who has a substantial developmental
delay or specific congenital or acquired condition, may be considered to have a developmental
disability without meeting three or more of the above criteria if the individual, without services
and supports, has a high probability of meeting such criteria later in life.
Effective Date: July 1, 2021. The Council is supporting this bill.
01/14/21 HOUSE Filed.
02/03/21 HOUSE Referred to Children, Families & Seniors Subcommittee; Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee; PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee; Health & Human Services Committee
HOUSE Now in Children, Families & Seniors Subcommittee
03/16/21 SENATE Favorable by Children, Families, and Elder Affairs; 8 Yeas, 0 Nays
03/17/21 SENATE Now in Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services