I hope your 2021 is off to a great start and this email finds you well!
Lots going on to share for this month. Most notably our national Capital Conference is less than a week away. It will be different participating virtually this year, but the team has worked very hard to create a top notch agenda. There is a segment below you can read and click for more information. I encourage everyone to sign up and participate. If you are interested in participating, but the $199 registration is holding you back, please reach out to your chapter or firstname.lastname@example.org to see if assistance might be available.
The board has made the decision to extend the dates yet again for our annual FAHU Medicare Summit and Symposium events. The new official dates are August 23-24 for the Summit and August 24-25 for the Symposium. The venue will remain at the Tampa Bay Grand Hyatt. We are also working on a virtual component option for those members who may not be able to travel. Hoping we can all safely network in August (in person and virtually). Both committees are currently working on updated materials and agendas for these events and really excited for the direction both are going.
I also wanted to share a regional membership outreach campaign that is currently going on. Not that I am putting you all to work, but more asking for your support in supplementing the activity. This campaign was developed with the intention of reaching out to one another to check in. We have gone a long time being appropriately distanced and now is a great time to take a few minutes of the day to check on one another. If you can dedicate a few minutes to reach out to your fellow members and learn any suggestions we can do at the state or local levels, please share your feedback. At the least, checking in to say hello, goes a long way.
Regarding the FAHU virtual series, we are working on the final details for our next meeting, which will be a compliance presentation from Danielle Capilla, Vice President and the Director of Compliance for the Employee Benefits Division of Alera Group. In the queue of topics for the following months include Medicare, 5 Hour Law & Ethics CE, and health, so lots of great information on the horizon.
As always my door is open to all of you!
Stay well, take care of one another and Go Bucs!
by Carol Taylor, FAHU Legislative Chair
Governor’s Budget Released
Last week, Governor Ron DeSantis released his “Florida Leads” budget proposal for 2021-22. Despite the pandemic and an estimated deficit of more than $2.6 billion, the Governor is recommending a total budget of $96.6 billion—$4.3 billion higher than the current year’s budget. The Florida Legislature has begun hearings on these recommendations which will ultimately result in the passage of the July 1 fiscal year budget.
Highlights of the Florida Leads budget proposal include:
· $2.6 billion for pandemic response and relief
· $65 million in proposed tax cuts
· $625 million for Everglades restoration and the protection of water resources
· $50 million for Florida Forever land acquisition program
· $12.9 billion for K-12 education (would be the highest ever)
· $233 million for workforce and affordable housing programs
· $50 million for VISIT Florida marketing efforts
· $178 million to fight the opioid epidemic
· $9.47 billion for the State Transportation Work Program
Legislative session is just one month away and yet more than 1,000 member bills have already been filed. Bills will continue to roll in until the March 2 bill filing deadline. Significant legislation filed to date includes:
Online retailers (“Wayfair”): SB 50 by Senator Gruters passed its first committee unanimously and has two more committee stops. HB 15 by Rep. Clemons has only two committee references. Although the bill seems to have much broader support than previously, it is by no means a slam dunk. Read more on this issue here.
COVID-19 liability protection:SB 72 by Senator Brandes and HB 7 by Rep. McClure both passed their first committees on party lines. This is the number one priority of most businesses in the state of Florida, as well as many in the medical community who fear a flood of lawsuits related to the pandemic. The House bill is up again this week.
To-go alcohol:SB 134 by Senator Brandes and HB 329 by Rep. Tomkow have been filed. These bills would allow alcohol take out, as was temporarily legalized during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Marijuana legalization:SB 710 By Senator Brandes and HB 343 by Rep. Smith have been filed. Every year, the legislature revisits key portions of the MMTC laws in Florida related to the number of licenses, acceptable THC levels, and court case remediations.
Medicaid expansion: Multiple bills in each chamber have been filed to expand Florida’s Medicaid program. However, there is little interest within the leadership circles of the legislature to address this in 2021.
Still to Come
Finally, we still expect bills to be filed reforming data privacy laws. A major re-write of consumer privacy laws stands to jeopardize not only technology companies, but financial services, healthcare entities, and thousands of small and medium-sized businesses that rely on digital marketing and advertising to conduct business. Read more on this issue here.
As vice chair of NAHU’s Legislative Council, I am honored to be the host of this year’s Capitol Conference. The Legislative Council, NAHU Board of Trustees and staff have been working very hard to make this conference exceptional. The sessions and speakers we have lined up will help your business and give you ideas on how a new Congress and Administration could affect our industry.
Please watch the short video below and join me virtually at Cap Con in a few weeks. Thank you!
Mary Killian Kerry Van Iseghem Thomas Poulin Kristopher Cowles
William Green Janine Gajafsky Mirja Sequeira Christopher Hagerstrom
Charles Hurst Katherine Briguglio Pauline Simon
Congratulations to these members who are celebrating milestone membership anniversaries in February. Clayton Copple, Broward County Chapter – 20 Yrs
Kimberly Auclair, Central FL Chapter – 20 Yrs
Peggie Gainey, Capital Area Chapter – 20 Yrs
Antonio Tavares, Broward County Chapter – 5 Years
Colleen Marconi, Palm Beach Chapter – 5 Years
And these members are celebrating their first anniversary with FAHU!
Amy Brennan & Lawrence Share, Broward County Chapter
Tracey Roseman, Capital Area Chapter
Jody Augustine & Haylie Allegra, Jacksonville Chapter
Kelly Van Note, Palm Beach Chapter
Mike Tauber & Michael Sweetser, Tampa Bay Chapter
2/3/2021 Palm Beach AHU Virtual Meeting– 11am-12:15pm. “Getting the Most Out of Your NAHU Membership”. Click for more info.
2/9/2021 Gulf Coast AHU FL 5 Hr Law & Ethics offered virtually– 8:30am-2:30pm. Contact email@example.com for more information.
2/11/2021 Broward AHU FL 5 Hr Law & Ethics presented Virtually– 10am-4pm. Free for BAHU members, $20 for other AHU members, $50 for non-members. ContactBAHUinfo@aol.com for more information. For Corporate Sponsorship Information, click here.
2/11/2021 Jacksonville AHU -24 Hours of CE for $50– 10:30am. Click here to register.
2/11/2021 Tampa Bay AHU Virtual Meeting 11:30am-1pm.Guest speaker: Rep. Danny Burgess giving legislative update from Tallahassee. Click here to register.
2/16/2021 Central Florida AHU Member Meeting – 11:45am-1pm – “Demystifying NDT” with Jen LaTour, JD, CHRS of MZQ Consulting. Attend in person or virtually. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to attend in person. Click here to register to participate, virtually.
3/12/2021 Southwest FL AHU Virtual FL 5 Hr Law & Ethics– 9am. Contact Angela Cervio for more information.
3/16/2021 Central Florida AHU Member Meeting – 11:45am-1pm. Followed by 1 hour of virtual CE in the afternoon. Contact email@example.com for more information.
4/9/2021 CFAHU & NAIFA Central FL – Annual Charity Golf Tournament at Dubsdread Golf Course. Click here for details on sponsoring or golfing.
6/26-6/29/2021 NAHU Annual Convention at Hyatt Regency New Orleans
8/23-8/24/2021 Medicare Summit & Senior Products Expo at The Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay.
8/24-8/25/2021 FAHU Educational Symposium & Networking Event at The Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay.
As part of this year’s 2021 NAHU Capitol Conference, we would like to invite you to participate in our 2021 NAHU Virtual 5k Race – Benefiting HUPAC’s Administrative Fund. This virtual race can be done in the comfort of your own neighborhood and can be completed anytime during the virtual conference – from Friday, Feb 19th to Wednesday, Feb 24th. Competitive participants can provide their timing and results to feed into our race’s virtual leaderboard. Thank you so much for your support and participation with our annual 5k run and walk. Please stay healthy and safe!