This week, the Governor signed SB 294 – Controlled Substances, which adds 22 new synthetic drug formulas to the list of illegal schedule I drugs.  This new law will help law enforcement and our communities gain an upper-hand on the use of these dangerous designer drugs that have become so popular among our teenagers and young adults.

FAC was successful in amending SB 1192 which contained very broad preemption language related to the regulation of pharmacies and pharmacists.  With the amendment, the only matters preempted to the State are those related to the practice of pharmacy, such as licensure, standards of practice and discipline.

Read more on Public Safety bills…

Controlled Substances “Synthetic Drugs”
SB 294 (S. Bradley)/HB 619 (R. Ingram)

  • Summary:  Expands Schedule I of the controlled substances register to include 22 new formulas of synthetic drugs; all 22 formulas were included in the Attorney General’s December 2012 Emergency Order outlawing them.
  • Status:  SB 294 was substituted for HB 619 and was passed unanimously. The Governor signed the bill in week eight.  

Concealed Weapons and Firearms
SB 374 (S. Braynon)/HB 97 (R. Powell)

  • Summary: Seek to permit local governments to regulate carry of concealed weapons in public buildings or government-sponsored outdoor public venues.
  • Status:  No bill has been heard in committee. Senate bill has been referred to four committees; House has been referred to three committees. 

Pain Management Clinics
SB 1192 (S. Grimsley)/ HB 831 (R. Fasano)

  • Summary:
    • Requires physicians to consult PDMP (Prescription Drug Monitoring Program database) prior to prescribing drugs to new patients
    • Removes restriction on state funding for PDMP
    • Places a moratorium on new county ordinances
    • The House bill directs a workgroup to create a model county ordinance to go into effect in 2014 limited to zoning matters; no county ordinance can be stricter or go beyond model ordinance
    • The Senate bill preempts the regulation of pain clinics and its practitioners, as well as, pharmacies, pharmacists, and health care facilities to the State.
  • Status: Both bills have been referred to three committees.
  • SB 1192 unanimously passed out of Health Policy on 3/20 despite strong opposition from counties over the preemption language. This week, SB 1192 was removed from HHS Appropriations and referred to Community Affairs and can be heard as early as 4/2. 
  • A strike-all on SB 1192 passed Community Affairs in week six. Significantly, the strike-all greatly narrows the preemption language to include only those clinics that are currently exempt from registration under state law where the practitioners hold certain specified certifications or fellowships and who perform interventional pain procedures of the type routinely billed using surgical codes. FAC believed this was a reasonable compromise that would help ensure passage of legislation that mandates physician use of the PDMP when prescribing schedule II and III controlled substances and provides for continued funding of the PDMP while preserving local government authority to regulate pill mills.
  • SB 1192 was heard in Appropriations in week eight where FAC ran an amendment to greatly restrict the preemption language related to Pharmacies and Pharmacists.  As it now stands, the bill only restricts local regulation of the practice of pharmacy including licensure, standards of practice and discipline. Local governments can still assess fees and charges and enforce ordinances related to the business community. The bill is headed to the floor. 
  • HB 831 passed out of Health Quality Committee 3/19 with an amendment that removed all preemption language, which FAC supported. HB 831 was temporarily passed by the bill sponsor in Health & Human Services committee in week five after an amendment was adopted that relaxed standards relating to physician consultation of the PDMP database; in asking that his own bill be temporarily passed, Rep. Fasano said he could not in good conscience pass a bill with that language on it.
  • In an effort to get the bill out of committee, a strike-all to HB 831 was offered in HHS committee in week six that shortens the period of time a pharmacist has to report dispensing controlled substances from 7 to 2 days and provides for additional funding sources for the PDMP. The bill is now headed to the House floor.
    • Outlook:  It is expected that HB 831 will be amended to add back in language regarding physician usage of the PDMP prior to prescribing controlled substances, which is supported by FAC and law enforcement.

Texting While Driving
SB 52 (S. Detert)/HB 13 (R. Holder)

  • Summary:
    • Creates “Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law”
    • Makes texting, emailing or instant messaging while driving a secondary offense
    • Does not ban such activities when a vehicle is stationary
    • A first violation is a nonmoving violation and subsequent offenses within a 5  year period is a moving violation with fines and points assessed
  • Status:  SB 52 unanimously passed the Senate this week and is in messages. HB 13 is still on second reading in the House.  

Public Works Projects
SB 602 (S. Hukill)/HB 687 (R. McBurney)

  • Summary:
    • Eliminates the exception in law that allows counties to carry out public works projects using their own employees when the cost of work exceeds $300,000.
    • Eliminates the compromise language worked out between the contracting industry and FAC/FLC.
  • Status:
    • Senate bill was temporarily postponed in the Community Affairs Committee in week two.  HB 687 passed out of Government Operations in week four.

Public-Private Partnerships (P3)
SB 84 (S. Diaz de la Portilla)/HB 85 (R. Steube)

  • Summary:
    • Creates a standardized process for counties and cities to follow in doing P3 arrangements
    • Section 2 of the bill is specific to transportation and provides a more detailed process for doing P3 transportation initiatives
  • Status:
    • SB 84 is ready for the Senate floor.
    • HB 85 rolled to third reading.  
    • County transportation language has been amended to the Senate transportation bill (SB 1132).