2021 Legislative Report #8 DATE: March 19, 2021
RE: 2021 Legislative Report
DATE: March 19, 2021
THIS WEEK IN REVIEW:
With week three over, the 2021 Legislative session is almost at the halfway point. The House and Senate are in full swing with committees meeting every day and both chambers passing bills on the floor as well. In addition, House appropriations subcommittees have been meeting and passing local projects on the consent agendas to get them in-play for the upcoming initial budgets.
It was announced this week that Florida would be receiving approximately $4 billion as part of the opioid settlement from Purdue Pharma. Attorney General Ashley Moody served on the committee that was leading negotiations on the settlement case. Though the negotiations are still ongoing, this is a big first step in helping to combat that opioid crisis that has hit the country. Purdue Pharma filed for bankruptcy and is still in court over how the company will proceed.
On Tuesday, the House Pandemics and Public Emergencies Committee approved a plan to stockpile PPE in the state. Under the proposal, the state of Florida would hold PPE products that it would then sell at cost to health-care practitioners. The main concerns from the opposition was that it might disincentivize companies from having their own stockpile in preparation, and rely solely on the state’s allotment. The bill is headed to its next committee stop next week.
This week the Senate passed SB 72, Civil Liability for Damages Related to COVID-19, by a 24-15 vote. This bill would provide some protections to businesses against civil actions for COIVD 19 related incidents. The House passed its version, HB 7, this week as well, though it is narrower in scope. It is rumored that the House will accept the broader Senate version, and the bill could be headed to the Governor soon for signing.
The fourth week of Session will begin Monday, March 22, 2021 and the 2021 Legislative Session will end on April 30, 2021