Legislative Update

  • November 07, 2023 7:21 PM | Anonymous

    Last month our PFA meeting presentation was a refresher on the policy making process and a broad look at some of the priorities that we and  other organizations, agencies will be tracking and advocating during the upcoming 2024 legislative session. 

    The official start of the 60-day Florida Legislative Session is January 9th, 2024. By then there will be thousands of bills filed and in the hopper, much of the ground work laid to determine what will even make it out of the gate, let alone across the finish line.

    Legislator's have already begun their work in Tallahassee, traveling back and forth for committee weeks and when back in their districts, participating in local delegation meetings. Stakeholders, industry trade associations, their lobbyist, many housed in Tallahassee are active participant's in crafting bills, including the funding requests for programs administered through the Agencies on Aging. 

    Traditionally the PFA aligns advocacy efforts with the priorities of the Area Agencies on Aging / Florida Council on Aging. Many years back before incorporating as a non-profit, the PFA organized under the "umbrella" so to speak of the Area Agency on Aging of Palm Beach / Treasure Coast. Throughout the years our membership has been comprised of folks with diverse backgrounds and service lines, but the common thread is most serve the aging population and caregivers. Over the past decade, the PFA has grown to serve the community through awarding an average of eight to ten thousand dollars in grants each year and donating Palm Tran vouchers. 

    We are truly a grassroots organization impacting our local community and none of this would be possible without the support of our membership.

                                        THANK YOU PFA MEMBERS!

    As we move closer to the January 9th start of session, PFA will keep you informed on long term care issues and others that impact industry standards, housing, funding of programs etc.

    Kelly, Legislative Chair

  • January 05, 2022 3:01 PM | Anonymous

    Shared from a news article today, the10 big issues to watch. We will follow session closely and communicate with fellow advocacy organizations in tracking bills, policies and issues that may be of concern or pose risk to older adults in our community and/or statewide.

    During the 60-day session which convenes on Jan 11th, we may send out a “A Call to Action" request. Your voice, along with our other members and advocates, makes a difference!



    10 big Issues to watch in Florida’s 2022 legislative session

    With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing and fall elections looming, Florida lawmakers will start the annual 60-day legislative session Tuesday.

    Here are 10 big issues to watch during the session:

    — ABORTION: As the nation waits to see if the U.S. Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade, Florida Republican lawmakers could consider placing additional restrictions on abortions. Details of potential restrictions remain unclear, though GOP leaders have not signaled support for a proposal that would mirror a controversial Texas abortion law.

    — BUDGET: Gov. Ron DeSantis has proposed a $99.7 billion budget for the upcoming fiscal year that includes funneling money to education, the environment and pay for law-enforcement officers. Florida is flush with cash because of a huge influx of federal COVID-19 stimulus money and higher-than-expected state tax collections as the economy has recovered.

    — CRITICAL RACE THEORY: Appealing to his Republican base, DeSantis wants to cement in law a prohibition on teaching critical race theory in Florida classrooms. The State Board of Education approved such a rule in June, as the GOP nationally takes aim at critical race theory, which involves a premise that racism is embedded in American institutions.

    — EDUCATION: Lawmakers will consider a DeSantis proposal to revamp the school-accountability system, moving toward what is known as progress monitoring. The Republican-controlled Legislature also could continue years of efforts to expand school choice and will weigh a DeSantis proposal to give bonuses to public-school teachers and principals.

    — ELECTIONS: After lawmakers passed a controversial elections bill in April that included placing restrictions on voting by mail, DeSantis wants additional steps, such as creating a state office that would investigate election-related crimes. DeSantis also has called for increasing criminal penalties for a practice dubbed ballot “harvesting.”

    — HEALTH CARE AND COVID-19: The COVID-19 pandemic continues to dominate health care, and lawmakers will consider extending pandemic-related legal protections for hospitals, nursing homes and other providers. DeSantis also proposed increased Medicaid funding that supporters say could help with staffing problems at nursing homes.

    — IMMIGRATION: DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody have criticized the Biden administration for months about border policies, and DeSantis wants lawmakers to take up a series of immigration issues. DeSantis has called for expanding a law targeting so-called “sanctuary cities” and bolstering use of the E-Verify system to check workers’ immigration status.

    — INSURANCE: With private insurers dropping policies and customers flooding into the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp., lawmakers will again consider making changes to the property-insurance system. Lawmakers in recent years have tried to address issues such as curbing litigation over insurance claims, but problems persist in the industry.

    — SCHOOL BOARDS: Republican lawmakers could take aim at county school boards after upheaval about issues such as student mask requirements during the pandemic. Legislative proposals include shifting from nonpartisan to partisan school-board elections and setting requirements for school boards to take public comments during meetings.

    — TAXES: Buoyed by federal stimulus money, DeSantis has proposed suspending state gasoline taxes for five months, starting July 1. The governor would use $1 billion in stimulus money to make up for lost gas-tax revenues, which go toward funding transportation projects. Lawmakers also will consider a series of sales-tax “holidays.”

  • October 26, 2021 6:45 PM | Anonymous

    Carole Hirsch, Becky Dieter and Kelly Wilson of the Partnership for Aging's Legislative Advocacy & Executive Committee are tracking bills and finalizing the language of our issue priorities ahead of Florida's Legislative Session which convenes on January 11, 2022.

    We plan to present to the Palm Beach County Delegation, sharing our concerns and perspective with our local legislators during the brief public comment period in December. Undoubtedly, the past 20 months have brought many challenges and shifted the focus of many state agencies and leaders. Quality of and access to care and services remain at the forefront of the Partnership for Aging's advocacy initiatives as does continued support for HCBS - home and community based programs and funding.

    Stay tuned and follow us on Facebook. 

    Wednesday, December 8, 2021
    Dolly Hand Cultural Arts Center
    1977 SW College Dr, Belle Glade, FL 33430
    10:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • March 11, 2021 9:05 PM | Anonymous

    We have made it to the start of the 2021 Florida legislative session. The sixty day session (March 2 - April 30) will undoubtedly be critical to how Florida recovers from the pandemic. As always, health care will be front and center.

    In a recent South Florida Hospital News article, Florida Hospital Association CEO, Mary Mayhew, explains that “Going into budget discussions this year, lawmakers must contend with a deficit of over $2 billion, including a projected $1.2 billion shortfall in general revenue for Medicaid.” However, the American Rescue Plan is changing the landscape and calculus for state legislators.

    For months, state legislators have pointed out that Florida faces a budget deficit of over $2 billion, including a projected $1.2 billion shortfall in general revenue for Medicaid. With the passage of the American Rescue Plan, Florida’s elected officials now have access to billions of dollars that would immediately ease budget pressures and increase access to care for low-income Floridians.

    The American Rescue Plan gives states that newly expand a 5-percentage point increase in their base federal medical assistance percentage (or FMAP) for two years. According to estimates from Kaiser Family Foundation and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Florida would receive between $3 billion and $3.5 billion additional dollars to fund health care. The money would cover Florida’s share of providing coverage and free up state dollars to avoid harmful cuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis.

  • April 20, 2020 9:36 PM | Shayne Silver (Administrator)

    New $600B Covid-19 Loan Program Could Aid Senior Living After PPP Shuts Down

    By Tim Regan 

    A surge of interest depleted the $350 billion payroll protection program (PPP) in just under two weeks — but senior living companies that missed out on those loans may not be out of options just yet.

    Senior living owners and operators facing cash flow issues due to the Covid-19 pandemic may find relief in the Federal Reserve’s new Main Street Lending Program. The program is meant to aid small and medium-sized businesses that were in good financial standing before the pandemic began. And with $600 billion available to borrowers, the program is larger than the PPP, meaning it should last longer — but there are some key differences between the two.

    Perhaps the biggest difference is that loans doled out under the Main Street Lending Program are not forgivable. Some loans under the PPP functioned more like grants, as long as borrowers met certain conditions regarding maintaining payroll throughout the pandemic. But loans under the Main Street program will function like a regular loan, albeit one with lower interest rates and a more favorable window for repayment than normal, according to Kimberly Wachen, a senior partner in the real estate group of law firm Arent Fox.

    “The PPP loan could be looked at as free money,” Wachen told Senior Housing News. “This is cheap money, but you have to pay it back.”

    The PPP launched on April 3 with the intention of infusing small businesses across the country with much-needed cash after the U.S. economy shut down due to the Covid-19 pandemic. But demand for the forgivable loans was high, and the program ran out of money just two weeks after it began.

    The Main Street Lending Program could fill the gap, even for providers that also applied to a loan under the PPP. Companies that have up to 10,000 employees or up to $2.5 billion in 2019 annual revenues are eligible for the loans. The program is split into two facilities: the Main Street New Loan Facility for borrowers applying for new loans; and the Main Street Expanded Loan Facility for borrowers working to increase the size of an existing loan.

    For the new loan facility, loans have a minimum size of $1 million and a maximum size that is the lesser of either $25 million or an amount that does not exceed four times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) when added to the borrower’s existing outstanding and committed but undrawn debt.

    The expanded loan facility, meanwhile, provides funding with an existing term loan that was originated on or before April 8. These loans have a minimum size of $1 million and a maximum size that is the lesser of: $150 million; 30% of a borrower’s existing outstanding undrawn debt; or an amount that does not exceed six times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) when added to the borrower’s existing outstanding and committed but undrawn debt.

    The loans are also expected to carry a four-year term to maturity and added interest rates of the secured overnight financing rate — which on Thursday was 1.2%, Wachen said — plus 2.5% to 4%. And, principal and interest rates are deferred for one year under the program, giving borrowers some breathing room to get back to normal operations before they have to start making payments.

  • October 22, 2019 2:54 PM | Shayne Silver (Administrator)

    The Florida Legislature held several interim legislative committee meetings this week, developing issues for the 2020 Legislative Session that will commence on January 14, 2020.

    The most notable issue we have to report this week concerns the Florida House of Representatives initiative to review every agency’s Base Budget. The House is cautiously calling this initiative, a ‘Reprioritization Exercise’, not a ‘cut’ exercise. In Chair Magar’s comments, she stated it was the committee’s intent to review all current base budget spending and prior legislative decisions and priorities and to examine ways to reprioritize spending to address current priorities.

    A similar ‘Reprioritization Exercise’ was conducted by the House Appropriations Committees several years ago, with then Health Care Appropriations Committee member, Representative Erin Grall, assigned to review the DOEA budget. Many of you will remember that our collective advocacy efforts led Representative Grall to recommend NO cuts and NO Redirection/Reprioritization of DOEA-funded programs including Community Care for the Elderly, Home Care for the Elderly, Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative and Local Service Programs. DOEA was the ONLY department for which no changes were recommended.

    Fast forward to today – several years later, a near complete turnover of Appropriations Committee membership, a DOEA budget that’s grown by over $35 million in additional General Revenue, and the need to Educate and Advocate about the importance of the Aging Programs and Services administered by Florida’s Aging Network!

    This year’s ‘Reprioritization Exercise’ includes ‘Target Amounts’ of funding that the committee members must identify for ‘reprioritization’. For the Health Care Appropriations Committee, their ‘reprioritization target’ amount totals $654.4 million.

    Linked below are the instructions to House Appropriations members for how the budget ‘Reprioritization’ process is to be carried out. To be clear, the ‘reprioritization exercise’ is not being phrased as a ‘cut’ exercise, HOWEVER, if committee members determine that funding for other programs including Community Care for the Elderly, Home Care for the Elderly, Alzheimer’s Respite Care and Local Service Programs is no longer “the highest and best use of state resources” funding for these critical home and community care programs could be ‘Reprioritized’ for other use. House Budget Reprioritization Exercise Instructions

    I’m sure you’re asking, “How can I help? What can I do?” Well, for the next 13 weeks, we can work together to educate the Appropriations Committee members of the value and importance of programs administered by you and the Aging Network. Legislators will have what is considered a minimal budget surplus entering the 2020 legislative session totaling just $259 million. The good news is we still have a ‘surplus’; the bad news is the surplus is minimal. Please reach out to your local legislators and invite them to visit your provider agency, to meet the seniors you serve and to help them understand the value of the services you provide in your local community. Share with them your provider agency’s success stories, tell them about the people you serve, their age, their frailty, their needs. Help them understand who you are serving and why. Education and advocacy begin at home before your legislator and their staff step one foot into the state capitol. A letter to your legislator, an email, a phone call, or a discussion with legislative staff by you or your board members, regardless of the method of communication, is critical.

    Many of you remember former FCOA President Bill Aycrigg, retired CEO for CARES, the CCE Lead Agency for Pasco County. I remember Bill’s approach to advocacy and the tool he used was a simple 2-ring, laminated flip chart that introduced five of their existing clients. Each page had the client’s photograph and brief history of who they were, why they were a CCE client, the services provided, and a brief description of their needs. Bill presented his advocacy message to House Speaker Will Weatherford in perhaps the most effective way I’ve ever encountered in my years of advocacy.

    The 2020 Legislative Session could be a defining moment for Florida’s flagship home and community care programs as legislators examine the value and purpose of every single program funded by Florida’s $92 billion dollar budget. Programs such as Community Care for the Elderly help frail, lower income seniors remain at home safely and with dignity by providing critical help and care at home. The dedication our service providers and their staff demonstrate every day to helping those seniors entrusted to their care is unparalleled. We need to get this message out particularly during this House Health Care Appropriations Committee budget reprioritization initiative.

    Do what I do and Be Like Bill – share your agency’s client success stories with your legislators and tell them how critical increased funding is for the Community Care for the Elderly, Home Care for the Elderly, Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative, and Local Service Programs.

    Robert S. Beck

    PinPoint Results, LLC

  • October 16, 2019 12:15 PM | Shayne Silver (Administrator)

    The PFA is  gearing up for the 2020 Legislative Session to begin. There are many issues effecting Seniors both locally and nationally. 

    One issue we are passionate about supporting is Florida Medicaid's SIX-T Provision outlined below.
    Stayed tuned as we bring you more about the important issues and how to get involved in our Advocacy Outreach group.

The PFA is  gearing up for the 2020 Legislative Session to begin. There are many issues effecting Seniors both locally and nationally. 

One issue we are passionate about supporting is Florida Medicaid's SIX-T Provision outlined below.
Stayed tuned as we bring you more about the important issues and how to get involved in our Advocacy Outreach group.


The Palm Beach County Partnership for Aging

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Mailing Address: Partnership for Aging, P.O. Box 542575, Greenacres, FL 33454-2575

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