A spokesman for Scott declined to discuss the veto with The Miami Herald Monday night, and a spokeswoman for AHCA could not be reached for comment.
Though neither the governor nor the Legislature have begun their initiatives, any changes to the states ALF law one of the oldest in the nation are expected to call for increased inspections of facilities and raising the qualifications of ALF administrators, now among the lowest in the U.S.
If such changes occur, the provisions would be among the first of their kind in years, said Storms, who tried unsuccessfully three years ago to increase the frequency of inspections and to ramp up penalties for troubled homes.
Storms said she plans to launch the interim project soon, with input from senators Nan Rich, a Weston Democrat, Chris Smith, an Oakland Park Democrat, and Rene Garcia, a Hialeah Republican.
Its back on the table, she said of her 2008 overhaul of the ALF law that was defeated in the House. Too much regulation isnt good, Storms said, but lackadaisical oversight is deadly.
While the formation of the governors task force was seen by advocates as a welcome step toward reforming the states ALF law, they were elated over his veto of House Bill 4045.
State Rep. Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda, a Tallahassee Democrat who was one of three minority members in the House who voted against the measure, wrote to Scott last month urging him to torpedo it, saying the bill would impact the quality of life for seniors living in Floridas assisted living facilities.
Rehwinkel Vasilinda voted against the bill because I am concerned that a combination of financial constraints and absence of state oversight will put [ALFs} in a difficult position to cut back further than they should at the expense of those whose life depend on their care our seniors.
The bill also drew the ire of Floridas First Amendment Foundation, an open government advocacy group that argued the measure would help to keep serious problems at ALFs less visible to other agencies, service providers and ombudsman councils and further erode oversight of facilities that care for the most vulnerable among us the elderly and the mentally ill.
As The Miami Herald has reported in a series of articles this month, residents of some of these state facilities already have been abused or ignored and have died as a result of poor oversight and lack of enforcement, the foundations president, Barbara A. Petersen, wrote in a May 11 letter to Scott. In light of these outrageous incidents as reported in The Miami Herald, it is obvious that this is not the time to eliminate these reporting requirements.
On Monday, Petersen expressed relief that Scott had vetoed the measure, one of two bills the foundation targeted for their potential to weaken the publics ability to obtain information. The measure, she said, would have jeopardized the well-being of people in our state who are least capable of taking care of themselves, of speaking for themselves.