Daily Legislative Brief from May 1, 2019
SB 796 – Relating to Public Utility Storm Protection Plans
On Wednesday, May 1, SB 796 by Senator Joe Gruters (R-Sarasota) was read a third time on the House floor and passed with a vote of 110 yeas and 3 nays.
This bill aims to harden Florida’s utilities grid against tropical storm and hurricane damage with proposed under-grounding of electric infrastructure. The bill would require public utility companies (Florida Power and Light, Duke Energy Florida, Gulf Power Company, Tampa Electric Company, and the Florida Public Utilities Corporation) to submit a transmission and distribution storm protection plan to the Public Services Commission, with updates required at least every three years. Data collected after Hurricane Irma showed that underground lines suffered minimal outages during storms.
SB 796 was amended by the House on second reading and is now in Senate returning messages.
AIF supports actively seeking ways to harden our state’s infrastructure and more effectively prepare for hurricanes and tropical storms to ensure that power is quickly restored.
HB 831- Relating to Electronic Prescribing
On Wednesday, May 1, HB 831 by Representative Amber Mariano (R-Port Richey) was read a third time on the Senate floor and passed with a vote of 39 yeas and 0 nays.
Electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) is a method by which an authorized health care practitioner electronically transmits a prescription to a pharmacy using a secure software system. Efforts have been made by states, as well as the federal government, to increase the use of e-prescribing software. Beginning January 1, 2020, HB 831 requires prescribers to generate and transmit all prescriptions electronically, unless in the instance of certain circumstances.
HB 831 was amended by the Senate on second reading and is now in House returning messages.
AIF supports legislation that provides for improved prescription accuracy, increased patient safety, reduced opportunities for fraud and abuse and reduced overall costs. Improving the overall functionality and cost will further enable Florida employers to provide health care coverage for our citizens.
HB 1113 – Relating to Health Insurance Savings Program
On Wednesday, May 1, HB 1113 by Representative Paul Renner (R-Palm Coast) was read a third time on the Senate floor and passed with a vote of 37 yeas and 0 nays.
This bill creates the Patient Savings Act, which allows health insurers to create a voluntary shared savings incentive program to encourage insured individuals to shop for high quality, lower cost health care services. The bill directs health insurers who choose to offer the program to develop a website outlining the range of shoppable health care services available to insureds. This website must provide insureds with an inventory of participating health care providers and an accounting of the shared savings incentives available for each shoppable service. When an insured obtains a shoppable health care service for less than the average price for the service, the bill requires the savings to be shared by the health insurer and the insured. An insured is entitled to a financial incentive that is no less than 25 percent of the savings that accrue to the insurer as a result of the insured’s participation.
HB 1113 was amended by the Senate on second reading and is now in House returning messages.
AIF supports legislation that provides high quality healthcare at a lower cost to Floridians and businesses that operate in our state.
SB 1000 – Relating to Communication Services
On Wednesday, May 1, SB 1000 by Senator Travis Hutson (R-Palm Coast) was read a third time on the House floor and passed with a vote of 96 yeas and 16 nays.
This bill changes the way the use of public rights-of-way by providers of communications services are governed. Specifically:
- Creating a civil cause of action for any person aggrieved by a violation of the right-of-way statute;
- Prohibiting a local government from instituting, “either expressly or de facto, a moratorium or other mechanism that would prohibit or delay” permits for collocation of small wireless facilities or related poles;
- Deleting the authority for a local government to require performance bonds and security funds. Instead, the bill allows them to require a construction bond;
- Allowing a provider of communications services to add a local government to any existing bond, insurance policy, or other financial instrument, and requiring the local government to accept such coverage;
- Prohibiting a local government from requiring a permit applicant to provide inventories, maps, or locations of communication facilities in the rights-of-way, unless it is necessary to avoid interference with existing facilities.
SB 1000 will now go to the Governor.
AIF supports legislation that will both reduce the communications services permitting process and have a positive financial impact on Florida’s consumers, many of whom are businesses that pay for cable or satellite service.
HB 311 – Relating to Autonomous Vehicles
On Wednesday, May 1, HB 311 by Representative Jason Fischer (R-Jacksonville) was read a third time on the Senate floor and passed with a vote of 37 yeas and 0 nays.
These bills authorize the use of vehicles in autonomous mode in the state. The autonomous technology would be considered the human operator of the motor vehicle and provides that various provisions of law regarding motor vehicles such as rendering aid in the event of a crash do not apply to vehicles in autonomous mode if the vehicle owner, or person on behalf of the owner, promptly contacts law enforcement. The bill also specifies that statutory provisions relating to unattended motor vehicles, wireless communication devices, and television receivers do not apply to autonomous vehicles (AVs) operating with the automated driving system engaged. The bills also remove the requirement for a person to possess a valid driver license to operate a fully autonomous vehicle.
HB 311 will now go to the Governor.
AIF supports modernizing state law to accommodate for self-driving technologies that open the door for safe, reliable modes of AVs in a competitive marketplace with clear, limited government regulations.