Advertisement
  1. Florida Politics

House, Senate leaders agree to meet in June for special session

Senate president, Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, center, wants to expand Medicaid and draw down federal Affordable Care Act money to compensate for the loss of LIP money in the future.
Senate president, Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, center, wants to expand Medicaid and draw down federal Affordable Care Act money to compensate for the loss of LIP money in the future.
Published May 7, 2015

TALLAHASSEE — It's a start.

After dissolving the annual legislative session last week over a budget and health care impasse, House and Senate leaders on Wednesday agreed on one thing: the dates of the special session to finish their work.

In a joint news release, House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island, and Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, announced that they will convene a "tentatively scheduled" special session on June 1 and conclude it on June 20.

Lawmakers must return to the state capital to finish the budget by June 30, and integral to that decision is addressing the question of how much money from the federal government the state can expect to get to provide hospitals compensation for charity care under the Low Income Pool program, or LIP.

Disagreement over how to handle that money, which the federal government is phasing out, led to the stalemate. The Senate leaders want to expand Medicaid and draw down federal Affordable Care Act money to compensate for the loss of LIP money in the future. The House leadership refuses to expand Medicaid and prefers to rely on the LIP money for another year.

Still unresolved is the scope of the session and whether it will include any other issues outside of the budget. "A proclamation will be issued in the near future,'' the joint statement said.

The agreement on the session dates also avoids having Gov. Rick Scott call the session, and dictate the terms. Gardiner originally proposed the session schedule last week, and on Wednesday Crisafulli called the House's decision to agree with the Senate an accomplishment.

"While significant discussions lay before us, (Wednesday) marks a very good day for Florida as we have reached agreement on dates for a budget special session,'' Crisafulli said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Scott came up empty-handed Wednesday when he met with Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell to remind her of the state's budgetary deadline and get her to approve the state's proposal for a waiver to continue receiving LIP funding.

"We want the HHS Secretary to approve our LIP waiver,'' Scott said in a statement after the meeting. "That is what we asked her to do today. … We need that approval immediately so we can start a special session and pass a budget."

Burwell's office responded that she asked the governor to consider expanding Medicaid but noted that the state's proposal for a waiver was inadequate. The statement also hinted that the state's Medicaid reimbursement rates are too low and indicated the state may be expecting more LIP money than its going to get.

Contact Mary Ellen Klas at meklas@miamiherald.com. Follow @MaryEllenKlas.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. An Air Force carry team moves a transfer case containing the remains of Navy Seaman Mohammed Sameh Haitham, of St. Petersburg, Fla., Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. A Saudi gunman killed three people including Haitham in a shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen) [CLIFF OWEN  |  AP]
    Foreign citizens can’t buy guns unless they first get a hunting license
  2. Marie Oneal sets up voting booths ahead of Election Day at the First United Methodist Church in Seffner on Aug. 27. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times] [JONES, OCTAVIO  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    Delays in implementing key changes are facing insurmountable hurdles before the Nov. 3 general election.
  3. Ladarine Williams, an inmate at Avon Park Correctional Institution. The tire facility teaches inmates a vocational skill and helps instill work ethic and responsibility in the inmates. (Times file photo) [Highlands Today]
    Company employees have been locked out since Saturday and some inmates can’t attend work programs.
  4. Former television journalist Alan Cohn (left) and State Rep. Adam Hattersley are Democratic candidates in Florida's 15th Congressional District. (Photos courtesy of Alan Cohn and Adam Hattersley.)
    Republican Ross Spano is vulnerable, but dueling endorsements Wednesday show there will be a tough primary before anyone takes him on.
  5. Tampa strip club owner Joe Redner is challenging the state on its rules governing medical pot. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
    The Florida Department of Health is challenging a ruling that found a state law requiring medical marijuana operators to grow, process and sell cannabis and derivative products runs afoul of a...
  6. Sen. Tom Lee, R-Thonotosassa. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon) [STEVE CANNON  |  AP]
    “I think it’s really important to note that we are behind the curve on this,” said Rep. Janet Cruz, D-Tampa.
  7. A Honeybell orange hangs from a tree affected by citrus greening in Cee Bee's Citrus' orchard in Odessa, in 2018. [GABRIELLA ANGOTTI-JONES   |   Times]
    “I don’t know how many plagues were going to fight, but we’re getting very close to biblical proportions,” a top Florida citrus official told state senators.
  8. Copy of the Articles of Impeachment, Tuesday in Washington. House Democrats announced they are pushing ahead with two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump - abuse of power and obstruction of Congress - charging he corrupted the U.S. election process and endangered national security in his dealings with Ukraine. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) [PABLO MARTINEZ MONSIVAIS  |  AP]
    The new articles of impeachment carry historical echoes in some ways.
  9. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis raises his hands after being asked about his relationship with two Ukrainian businessmen during an announcement at a Palm Harbor Walmart Monday, Nov. 4, 2019. DeSantis refused to answer questions about the two men. [CHRIS URSO  |  Times]
    During a news conference in Naples, DeSantis launched into a long-winded discussion of American history, which he said young people need to know better.
  10. Commissioner Pat Kemp so far is unopposed for re-election to her countywide seat in 2020. Commissioner Sandra Murman, term-limited in her district seat, is considering running against her. [Courtesy of Pat Kemp]
    The move appears to be in part a reaction to what some view as anti-growth leanings by the new Democratic majority on the Hillsborough County Commission.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement