The elected representatives of the state of Florida are composed of the ruling body in the upper chamber and the House of legislative body in the lower compartment. It has 160 State Legislators and whereby 40 are in the Senate while the rest in the house. Their primary purpose is to pass new laws and repeal or amend the existing ones. There are quite some current and actual legislative initiatives of Florida Legislature which include the Florida Bill HB 41on pregnancy support and wellness services.
The Florida Bill HB 41 urges support for pregnancy and wellness services to assist families faced with difficult decisions regarding pregnancy. The state legislators enacted the Bill sponsored by R-Tampa representative Jackie Toledo to codify the program for pregnancy support services in Florida and define its requirements which include staff and volunteer screening and certain informational materials. The pregnancy support measure might impact healthcare as it will encourage women to carry their pregnancies to term. The proposed policy requires the health department to contract with the pregnancy care network in Florida and ensures the management as well as delivery of pregnancy support and other wellness services to the eligible clients (CS/HB 41, 2018). The bill establishes that the services have to be provided in a style that is non-coercive and should not take account of any religious substance.
HB 41 has gone through lots of changes including its version of SB 444 and several other amendments before taking up the House version. One amendment by D-Orlando Sen. Linda Stewart deleted the health department contract with the pregnancy Care Network in Florida and required the state to engage in competitive bidding for the deal in every three years (Bill No. 401240 CS for HB 41, 2018). The amendment was withdrawn on second reading. Another change was by D-Fort Lauderdale Sen. Gary Farmer which required the provided services to be supported or certified by medical research (Bill No. 147560 CS for HB 41, 2018). This one was also withdrawn on second reading. The Bill was not passed last year due to lack of enough time to debate it.
To: R-Fernandina Beach Sen. Aaron Bean
Re: Support for Bill HB 41
Children are a blessing and supporting women to carry pregnancies to term through supportive initiatives can do a lot to the society. The Pregnancy Support Services Program in Florida was created in 2005 and has worked with a network of other pregnancy support centers to provide supportive services to families. The centers do offer not only free pregnancy tests but also counseling services and childbirth education as well as material support and referrals to pregnant mothers. According to 'HB 41/SB 444 - Diocese of Orlando, Florida' (2018), the program has given the Florida Health Department an annual appropriation of about $2 million for the operational expenses since it started operating which increased to $4 million between 2016 to 2017. Additionally, the program now includes the women wellness services that ensure women are given medically accurate information that would enable them to access the variety of available reproductive health care services.
It is evident that the pregnancy support programs have benefited women in Florida and are still helping them to attain the best possible reproductive health. I, therefore push for the HB 41 policy as it would ensure the health and wellness of women in Florida as they carry their pregnancies to term and give birth to healthy babies.
Florida Senate - 2018. Bill No. 147560 CS for HB 41 (2018). Florida. http://static-lobbytools.s3.amazonaws.com/bills/2018/pdf/0041C1147560.pdf
Florida House of Representatives. CS/HB 41 (2018). Florida. https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2018/41/BillText/er/PDF
Florida Senate - 2018. Bill No. 401240 CS for HB 41 (2018). Florida. http://static-lobbytools.s3.amazonaws.com/bills/2018/pdf/0041C1401240.pdf
Urge support for pregnancy support and wellness services HB 41/SB 444 - Diocese of Orlando, Florida. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.orlandodiocese.org/e-scroll/archive/urge-support-for-pregnancy-support-and-wellness-services-hb-41sb-444/
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