Hospitals ordered to provide salary and lobbying data to House
After demanding financial data from state university foundations, county tourism boards and economic development councils, the Florida House is now turning its attention to hospitals throughout the state, just as negotiations on a new state budget move into high gear.
The House has advanced an $81.2 billion budget that would reduce payments to hospitals by more than $600 million next year. In what may be an attempt to bolster its political case for those cuts, the House is seeking information on hospital executives' salaries and lobbying contracts. The deadline for hospitals to respond is by the close of business Friday, April 7.
The request comes from House Speaker Richard Corcoran's chief budget-writer, Rep. Carlos Trujillo, R-Miami. In emails sent out late last week by Trujillo's staff director, JoAnne Leznoff, hospitals, including all members of the statewide Florida Hospital Association, are asked to provide extensive financial data, including:
"Compensation received for all executive and administrative staff earning in excess of $200,000. Please provide the salary for each individual and associated job title.
"Privately raised funds. This would include funds through foundations and direct fund raising efforts.
"Funds expended for private lobbying contracts. Please segregate by specific lobbyist or lobbying firm.
"Funds expended on statewide association dues. Please list the cost for each association individually.
"Additionally, please provide the hospital or hospital system's current market capitalization, if applicable."
Lindy Kennedy, executive vice president of the Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida, said: "Most of our hospitals are public hospitals so most of it's public anyway. It's not something we're concerned about. ... We're going to reply and comply, but it's not ta big deal to us."
-- With reporting by Michael Auslen