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Advocacy Alerts - Contact your State Legislators!

April 25, 2017

Contact your State Legislators about opposing these bills:

HB 7117 initially imposed both work requirements and premiums on Medicaid recipients. Thanks to an amendment by Representative Nicholas Duran, the onerous work requirements, which also included a terribly punitive lock-out period of one year for nonpayment, were just removed. Please thank Representative Duran for his leadership.

Unfortunately, the bill still contains work requirements for most adults, even though the majority either already work or have a good reason for not working. Pregnant women and low income parents who cannot work or whose income is less than the limit for parent eligibility, would be at risk of losing coverage. This would hurt Florida’s children and families.  There is a growing body of evidence that when low-income parents, especially pregnant women, do not have coverage, the health of the child is impacted.

HB 11 and SB 1292 would decertify labor unions with memberships below 50% of all eligible employees and require annual registration renewal of bargaining units, including financial information about it members. Workers in Florida currently have the option of joining unions but this bill would take away that option for those who fall in the minority.
HB 373 and SB 856 would prohibit school districts and local unions from providing annual contracts guarantees based on teachers' performance evaluation, regardless of how well they perform.

SB 120 and HB 83 would enhance the criminal penalties for offenses committed by undocumented immigrants only because of their immigration status. This bill could violate the federal and state constitutional rights of immigrants as it would unlawfully discriminate on the basis of national origin or citizenship.

Bills that would help our communities:

SB 184 and HB 1061 would allow usage of a taxpayer identification number (ITIN) and alternative forms of identification to apply for a FL drivers license or ID card. This would allow immigrants and other community members not otherwise eligible for drivers licenses or state IDs to obtain a lawful form of ID and perform basic activities like driving so that they can support their families.

SB 1064 and HB 411 requires school districts to revise their zero tolerance policies when it comes to arrests and referrals to the criminal and juvenile justice systems and to create an alternative policy to address student misconduct. This bill, that would implement restorative justice practices that offer constructive alternatives to address conflict and could increase the number of students who stay in school.

SB 442 and HB 451 would prohibit advanced well stimulation treatment, banning fracking in Florida and protecting our environment from this harmful process. Fracking poses serious risks to our drinking water and the overall health and wellbeing of our communities and the environment.

SB 392 would support "financial literacy" as a requirement of K-12 programs across the state by revising the requirements for a standard high school diploma to include instruction in personal financial literacy and money. This would give students a strong foundation of financial knowledge.

SB 90 and HB 1351 would implement Amendment 4, a pro-solar tax abatement approved by Florida voters in 2016.

SB 196 would require law enforcement officers to issue civil citations or require juvenile's participation in a diversion program for certain first-time misdemeanor offenses. This would decrease juvenile arrests, avoid criminalizing youth for minor mistakes, and save taxpayers' dollars.

Ask your State Legislators to urge our US House of Representatives delegation to protect your health care and reject a new version of the American Health Care Act!

The U.S. House leadership may soon be pushing for vote on an amended version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which may be even worse than the original version.  The fundamental features of the original bill will reportedly remain the same, which means 24 million Americans could lose health care coverage by 2026,  $839 billion in Medicaid funding could be cut over the next 10 years, and seniors would see a significant hike in premiums and out-of-pocket costs. Additionally, the new version would eliminate the protections under the ACA for those with pre-existing conditions, making it possible for insurance companies to charge significantly higher premiums. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, an estimated 3.1 Floridians under the age of 65 had a pre-existing condition in 2015. The reported amendment would also eliminate essential health benefits and no longer be required to provide services considered essential under the ACA market health plans such as mental health treatment, maternal care, and prescription drugs.  states to request waivers to these essential health benefits, which would incentivize insurers to drop coverage for people in need of expensive services such as mental health or cancer treatments, discouraging enrollment, particularly among sicker and high-cost individuals who need care the most. 



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