State Capital Briefs : Wednesday, January 3, 2018
STATE CAPITAL BRIEFS (EVENING EDITION): WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 3, 2018
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

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`CERTIFICATE OF NEED' REPEAL PROPOSED IN SENATE
With the House ready to move quickly on the issue, a Senate Republican on Wednesday filed a proposal to repeal the long-controversial “certificate of need” regulatory process for hospitals. Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, filed the measure (SB 1492) as lawmakers prepare to start the 2018 session next Tuesday. Brandes' bill is identical to a House version (HB 27), filed by Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen, R-Fort Myers, that is ready to go to the full House for a vote. Under certificate-of-need laws, hospitals are required to get approval from the state Agency for Health Care Administration before they can build facilities or add new services. House Republican leaders and Gov. Rick Scott have long wanted to repeal the regulations but have been stymied in the Senate. The Brandes and Fitzenhagen bills would only address hospitals, keeping in place the certificate-of-need process for nursing homes and hospice facilities.

PROPOSAL WOULD REVAMP TRAUMA CENTER LAW
A House Republican wants to revamp a law that helps determine where trauma centers can open, including eliminating a cap of 44 trauma centers statewide. Rep. Jay Trumbull, R-Panama City, filed the bill Wednesday for the annual legislative session that starts next week. It comes after years of legal battles among hospitals and the Florida Department of Health about whether trauma centers should be allowed to open. Under current law, the state is divided into 19 regions, with at least one trauma center allowed in each region and a statewide cap of 44. Trumbull's bill (HB 1165) would keep the 19 regions but eliminate the statewide cap and use a population-based formula to set minimum numbers of trauma centers. For example, it would determine a need for at least two trauma centers in any region with a population greater than 1.25 million. Similarly, in any region with a population greater than 2.5 million, it would determine a need for a minimum of four trauma centers.

TOLEDO DRAWS CHALLENGE FOR TAMPA HOUSE SEAT
Freshman Rep. Jackie Toledo, R-Tampa, has drawn a Democratic challenger as she tries to win a second term in the Florida House. Democrat Debra Roberts Bellanti of Tampa opened a campaign account Wednesday to run this fall in House District 60, according to the state Division of Elections website. Toledo had raised $87,350 for her re-election bid as of Nov. 30, including $39,800 in November. She has received contributions from major players in Tallahassee such as the insurer Florida Blue, the HCA health-care chain and a Florida Retail Federation political committee.


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1/3/2018

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