Sign Up for Our Mailing List

    If you are interested in receiving emails from the Florida Council on Aging and NOT a current member, please click here to complete the form.

     

    Follow Us

    Advocacy

    2019 Legislative Session Comes to a Close - 5-1-19

    2019 Legislative Session Recap: 

    A very long and difficult 2019 Legislative budget process has finally come to an end with some hard-fought victories – namely ensuring the continuation of base funding for Florida’s Aging Network Flagship Programs, including Community Care for the Elderly (CCE), Home Care for the Elderly (HCE), Alzheimer’s Respite Care (ADI) and Local Service Programs (LSP).  With a major focus on funding hurricane recovery expenses in the Florida Panhandle due to last year’s Hurricane Michael taking top priority for appropriations, the FCOA Advocacy Initiative still managed to see Increases, albeit modest increases to the Community Care for the Elderly Program and the Alzheimer’s Respite Care Program.  In addition, several new local funding projects supporting Florida’s seniors were approved.   

    A few observations:

    • Local Service Program Services that are listed and funded as RECURRING remain unchanged – no reductions and will continue in the base budget. 
    • Many local projects funded by non-recurring General Revenue have been funded year-over-year with non-recurring funds and are not new projects.  Some of these projects are funded at a lower level than in prior years. 
    • Finally, there are five fixed capitol outlay projects (construction) funded on line item 404B.  Many of these new local projects that are new in the budget were supported by House Speaker Oliva whose district includes the City of Hialeah in Miami Dade County as well as others in Legislative Leadership. 

     

    For our Statewide Program Funding Priorities, the final numbers include:

    1. Community Care for the Elderly Program:             $2,158,333 Recurring General Revenue Increase
    2. Alzheimer’s Respite Care Program:                          $1,769,733 Recurring General Revenue Increase

    Total:    $3,928,066 Recurring General Revenue Increase

    The Senate, throughout the budget process, had maintained a $5 million recurring increase for CCE, but in the end, the House would not agree, and the Senate conceded but insisted on Recurring funding for the CCE Increase. 

    Florida’s Aging and Disability Resource Centers received no funding increase, despite recommendations by DOEA and the Governor for additional funding to address the growing ADRC Medicaid workload under Florida’s Medicaid Managed Long Term Care Program.  Without additional funding, frail seniors who require intake and screening and need assistance with their Medicaid eligibility application process and their enrollment into Florida’s Medicaid Managed Long Term Care Program will see longer wait times for assistance. 

    There were a few additional bright spots in the budget for programs serving Florida’s frailest seniors;  Nursing Homes eventually received $15.5 million to partially restore the $130 million Medicaid nursing home rate decrease in the final budget bump and Florida’s Public Guardianship Program that serves the frailest, most-indigent elderly and disabled adults received a $2.4 million increase to serve those on the waiting list.   (SEE Elder Affairs Appropriations - Budget Conference Report for full list of funded projects.)

    An expression of thanks and appreciation to every Aging Advocate – to every member of FCOA – who took the time to advocate with their legislators about the needs of Florida’s seniors, the waiting lists, and the need for increased funding!  Thank You!  The 2020 Legislative Session will begin in January with interim committee meetings and budget deliberations beginning in October 2019, just 5 short months away. 

    Between now and then, I sincerely encourage FCOA Advocates, including service providers, to persistently invite their Representative or Senator to their Lead Agency, Senior Center, Day Care/Respite Care Center, or Meal Site, and EDUCATE, EDUCATE, EDUCATE, your legislators about the unmet need, about the waiting lists, and about the importance of Statewide Programs such as Community Care for the Elderly, Home Care for the Elderly, Alzheimer’s Respite Care, and Local Service Programs.  We must continue to advocate and educate legislators on the importance of these statewide programs FIRST.  Of course, local projects – unmet needs such as building construction and maintenance, a new kitchen, or a roof, vehicles, etc., are very important and you should press your legislators for help with these critical needs. BUT, please don’t end your conversation there.  Round two, the next step, the completion of your ‘ask,’ must include Your Advocacy for CCE, HCE, Alzheimer’s Respite Care and preservation of the recurring Local Service Program base budget.  It.is.critical.  These Statewide Programs form the backbone of the Aging Network including our Care Management services.  As my dear grandfather, my mentor, always reminded me, “Robert, do the entire job.  Nobody ever says ‘great job’ to someone who leaves half of the job undone!”  To everyone, Thank You for your invaluable advocacy efforts on the homefront and for helping get the job done!

    Sincerely,

    Robert S. Beck, Aging Advocate

    PinPoint Results, LLC

     

    FCOA has been advocating on behalf of Home and Community Based Programs since 2007.  Take a look at our progress!

    2019 FCOA Advocacy Brochure

    2019 Legislative Guide - Appropriations

    2019 Legislators With Planning and Service Area and Voter Info

    CALL FOR NOMINATIONS

    Nominations must be received by June 11, 2019

    The Florida Council on Aging is pleased to announce the return of the FCOA Advocacy Award.  The FCOA Advocacy Committee and Board of Trustees have updated the criteria to recognize a Legislator who is serving in their first term.

    FCOA ADVOCACY AWARD CRITERIA/PROCESS

    • Nominations for State Legislators serving in their first term will be accepted through June 11, 2019.
    • The Nominee will have demonstrated outstanding advocacy on behalf of older persons statewide during the 2019 Florida Legislative session.
    • No Legislator may receive the award two years in a row.
    • The award will be presented at the Florida Conference on Aging, in the Legislator’s district or in Tallahassee.
    • The nomination and selection process will come under the direction of the FCOA Advocacy Committee, which will submit its recommendation to the FCOA Board of Trustees for final approval.

     

    HOW TO SUBMIT A NOMINATION

    Written nominations from FCOA members may be submitted by mail, fax or email. Please provide a formal cover letter from the nominator addressed to: FCOA Advocacy Committee, 1018 Thomasville Road, Suite 110, Tallahassee, FL 32303; Fax: (850) 222-2575; Email: [email protected]

    In the body of the letter or in an attachment, please provide a detailed description of the nominee’s specific actions during the 2018 Legislative Session that demonstrate a commitment to aging and that are deserving of statewide recognition. 

    For more information, please contact FCOA at (850) 222-8877, email us at [email protected], or visit our website at www.FCOA.org.

     

         Department of Elder Affairs - Waitlist Reports for Services

    December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018
    April 2018 May 2018 June 2018 July 2018
    August 2018 September 2018 October 2018 November 2018
    December 2018 January 2019 February 2019 March 2019
    April 2019      

     

    Substantive Legislation FCOA is Tracking

    President Trump's Proposed Budget (3/11/19)

    2019 FCOA Priorities

    FCOA supports the LIHEAP/EHEAP Programs and the use of the lawful Federal allocation formula (can increase funding to Florida by 54%).  Florida's Emergency Home Energy Assistance for the Elderly Program (EHEAP) helps low-income households, with at least one person age 60 and older, when the households are experiencing a home energy emergency and are unable to pay their bill. Households can receive this type financial assistance a maximum of twice a year – once during the heating season (October - March) and again during the cooling season (April - September). Eligibility for this program is determined by a local community agency designated by the Florida Department of Elder Affairs.

    FCOA supports a continuation of the current year $1.3 million for Aging & Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) to continue their eligibility and enrollment assistance provided to seniors and adults with disabilities seeking assistance under the Statewide Medicaid Managed Long Term Care Program.

    FCOA supports the Reauthorization of the Older Americans Act (Federal).  The Older Americans Act (OAA), originally enacted in 1965, supports a range of home and community-based services, such as meals-on-wheels and other nutrition programs, in-home services, transportation, legal services, elder abuse prevention and caregivers support.  The Act was reauthorized in 2016 for 3 years and will be up again for reauthorization in 2019.

    The FCOA Advocacy Committee is watching and researching many issues that may impact Florida's older adult population.  If you have an issue or legislation you would like FCOA to support, you can email it to FCOA using the form below.


    Who is My State Legislator? 

    To ascertain your legislators, look at your voter registration card, which shows the numbers of your House and Senate voting districts. Alternatively, you may find this information through the web site of your County Supervisor of Elections, which can be accessed through the following link: http://election.dos.state.fl.us/contact-us/contact-elected-officials.shtml

    How to Track the Progress of a Bill 
    To track the progress of a bill, go to Online Sunshine at: http://www.leg.state.fl.us.  Click on the link to the Senate. At the top of the page, enter the bill number and click on “Go”. This will bring up a summary of the bill and the current actions taken on it. From this page you can also access the full version of the bill.

    How to Contact Your Elected Officials

    Learn how to get in touch with your federal, state, and local elected leaders.  HERE

     

    FCOA Advocacy Award Winners

    1995 -  Rep. Lars Hafner
    1996 -  Rep. Mary Brennan
    1997 - Sen. Bill Bankhead & Rep.Carl Littlefield
    1998 -  No award given
    1999 - Sen. Ron Silver
    2000 - Sen. Jack Latvala, Rep. Durell Peaden, & Rep. Nancy Argenziano
    2001 - Sen. John McKay
    2002 - Speaker Johnnie B. Byrd
    2003 - Rep. Carole Green
    2004 - Sen. Ken Pruitt & Rep. Sandra Murman
    2005 - Speaker Allan Bense
    2006 - Representative Eleanor Sobel & Senator Burt Saunders
    2007 - Senator Jeffrey Atwater, Senator Durell Peaden and Senator Nan Rich
    2008 - Representative Elaine Schwartz and Juan Zapata
    2009 - Speaker Larry Cretul, Senator Nan Rich & Representative Tom Anderson
    2010 - Senator Durell Peadon, Representative Denise Grimsley and Senator Don Gaetz
    2011 - Senator Mike Fasano and Representative Matt Hudson
    2012 - Senator Nan Rich, Senator Ronda Storms and Representative Doug Holder
    2013 -  Speaker Will Weatherford, Senator Aaron Bean, Senator Joe Negron and Representative Hudson
    2014 -  President Don Gaetz, Senator Denise Grimsley and Representative Kathleen Passidomo
    2015 & 2016 - No award given
    2017 - Representative Erin Grall

    2018 – Representative Byron Donalds

     

    2018 Legislative Session Report

    Governor Rick Scott has signed the Securing Florida’s Future budget for Fiscal Year 2018-2019. Click HERE and HERE for the transmittal letter and details on the budget. To view the veto list, click HERE.

    The Securing Florida's Future budget includes more than $2 million in new funding to serve frail individuals on the Alzheimer's Disease Initiative waiting list and those at greatest risk for nursing home placement on the Community Care for the Elderly and Home Care for the Elderly waiting lists.  This funding will enroll approximately 340 individuals. 

    The Securing Florida's Future budget also includes an additional $3.3 million to serve hot meals to Florida's most vulnerable seniors in congregate and homes settings.

    Here are some highlights:

    Community Care for the Elderly (CCE) - $500,000 increase (recurring)

    Home Care for the Elderly (HCE) - $800,000 increase (recurring) 

    Alzheimer's Projects (ADI) - $750,000 increase (recurring) 

    Replacement of the CIRTS System - $1,294,373

    PACE Expansion - $14,326,990

     

    Past FCOA Advocacy Brochures

    FCOA Advocacy Brochure - 2018 

    FCOA Advocacy Brochure - 2017

    FCOA Advocacy Brochure - 2016

    FCOA Advocacy Brochure - 2015

    FCOA Advocacy Brochure - 2014

    FCOA Advocacy Brochure - 2013

    FCOA Advocacy Brochure - 2012

    FCOA Advocacy Brochure - 2011

    FCOA Advocacy Brochure - 2010

    FCOA Advocacy Brochure - 2009