Crist Signs Bills
Gov. Charlie Crist on Wednesday signed a bill changing the membership of the Low Income Pool Council, adding seven members to the panel and banning outside lobbyists from serving on it.
The council meets through the summer and fall to make recommendations on how $1 billion in state and low income pool dollars should be spent. Not surprisingly, those with a stake in where that money goes have had a keen interest in who gets to serve on the panel, and the measure was the subject of a high profile – though insider – fight over the makeup of the council.
The bill (HB 285) initially set out to abolish the council, but by the end of the session the measure increased the membership of the council to 24, and prescribed more of the makeup.
The bill, which was pushed by HCA Healthcare Corp., passed the Legislature unanimously earlier this year. It was signed with no comment and no fanfare.
Governor Crist also signed the following bills Wednesday:
-SB 316, which would authorize Florida high schools to give diplomas to Vietnam Vets who didn't finish school because of the war, as they do with World War II Vets.
-SB 456, which requires law enforcement to develop a memorandum of understanding with all mental health facilities in the area about protocol for patients/prisoners.
-SB 1552, which permits property to be sold exempt from claims asserted in an action when the lis pendens has expired or been withdrawn or discharged.
-SB 1616, which renames the Division of Workforce Education within the DOE as the "Division of Career and Adult Education," and revises the membership of the State Apprenticeship Advisory Council.
-HB 185, which expands the board of Florida Healthy Kids to include a dental representative.
-HB 381, requiring the Department of Children and Families to analyze certain unaccepted reports to the state's abuse hotline, and expanding the number of people who have access to confidential reports of child abuse in an effort to better catch abuse.
-HB 767, which authorizes the Agency for Health Care Administration to license facilities that provide services as integrated adult mental health crisis stabilization units and addictions receiving facilities.-HB 873, allowing certain rural hospitals that have had inactive licenses to have their licenses renewed for an additional year
-HB 935, which directs the agency to contract with area agencies on aging to fulfill programmatic and funding requirements.
-HB 7077, providing an additional source of funds for the Grants and Donations Trust Fund within the Agency for Health Care Administration.