Blog: Without some help, proposal to overhaul assisted living facilities could die

Feb 28, 2012


The following article was published in the Miami Herald on February 28, 2012:

Without some help, proposal to overhaul assisted living facilities could die

By Tia Mitchell

Efforts to reform how the state regulates assisted living facilities could be dead for this session if Senate leaders don’t do something about it.

A subcommittee adjourned Tuesday without taking up SB 2074, which increases state oversight of these facilities. A second Senate proposal is also stuck in committee, and no more meetings are scheduled after Tuesday.

That means unless procedural actions are taken on the Senate floor to revive either proposal, changes won’t happen this year. The efforts to reign in assisted living facilities result from a Herald investigative series called “Neglected to Death.”

Things could have turned out differently. Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah, had SB 2074 and another piece of legislation on the agenda for the Budget Subcommittee on Health and Human Services Appropriations meeting. Time was short, so Chairman Joe Negron, R-Stuart, told Garcia to choose between the two.

Garcia said both were important to him, but a proposal to streamline regulations for providers overseen by the Agency for Healthcare Administration, SB 1884, was paramount. So that is the one the committee took up.

Either SB 2074 or SB 2050 could be kept alive if Senate leaders agree to take it off its remaining committee agendas so it can be debated on the Senate floor.

A similar proposal in the House, HB 7133, is ready for a floor vote.