Ten Things to Watch in Tallahassee, Week of January 14th
This week the Florida legislature arrives in Tallahassee for their first week of committee meetings in 2013. A lot of important AFP issues are on the table this year including implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), pension reform, property insurance reform, government transparency issues, license and regulatory reform, and an overhaul of how Florida currently hands out taxpayer-funded business incentives.
Here’s our Top Ten List of things to watch the week of January 14th:
1. Starting out the week with a bang: the House of Representatives holds its first meeting of the Select Committee on the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (PPACA) on Monday at 1pm. There will be another meeting of this committee on Wednesday. Both can be viewed online on the Florida Channel.
The legislature will have to make a number of decisions about the implementation of the ObamaCare, including whether to expand Florida’s failing Medicaid system and create a state-based insurance exchange. AFP-FL is apposed to both Medicaid Expansion and the State-Based Exchanges and will be monitoring this committee very closely.
2. The Senate Select Committee on the PPACA will also meet Monday from 4-6pm. They held their first meeting in December, at which a number of citizens attended and voiced their strong opposition to the PPACA and asked the members of the committee to refuse to implement the law. It will be interesting to see what happens this week. This meeting can be viewed online on the Florida Channel.
3. Tuesday at 9am, the House Insurance & Banking Subcommittee will meet. They will have presentations and discussions on windstorm mitigation and property insurance assessments. Property insurance reform and depopulation of the taxpayer-funded Citizens Property Insurance Corp. has been an AFP-FL priority for the last two years and we will be actively engaged in this important issue again this year.
4. At 10 am on Tuesday the Revenue Estimating Conference will meet to discuss the interest due to the federal government on unemployment Assistance loans made to Florida. This interest is paid by businesses and could cost businesses even more if their required payments are increased this year.
5. At 2pm on Tuesday the House Choice & Innovation Subcommittee will meet to discuss innovative practices in public education.
6. Healthcare will again be a focus when the House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee meets Tuesday afternoon at 2pm to discuss Florida’s efforts to reform Medicaid.
7. Wednesday morning the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism & Economic Development will workshop a proposed bill on economic development incentives evaluation. AFP strongly opposes the use of taxpayer dollars as handouts to businesses, and believes that government should not interfere in the market, picking winners and losers based on their personal preferences. We will be watching this issue closely.
8. Wednesday at 3pm the Senate Banking & Insurance Committee will workshop potential changes to Citizens Property Insurance Corporation.
9. Pension reform will be a topic of discussion this week: the House Government Operations Subcommittee will start discussions on state and local pensions Wednesday at 3:30pm.
10. The Senate Governmental Oversight & Accountability Committee will also be talking local government pension reforms, as well as transparency, on Thursday morning at 10:30am.