Senator Ileana Garcia Achieves Significant Legislative Successes During The 2022 Legislative Session

Senator Ileana Garcia (R-Miami) is proud to announce accomplishments that will positively impact Floridians and protect vulnerable populations.

Tallahassee — Senator Ileana Garcia is proud to announce legislative accomplishments that will positively impact Floridians and protect vulnerable populations. The Senate completed policy work today, and will return to vote on the 2022-23 budget on Monday, March 14, following the constitutionally required cooling off period.

Senator Garcia Passed Legislation that Protects Seniors and Children:

The No Patient Left Alone Act (SB 988) ensures patients, residents and clients have the support of their loved ones when they need it most. The legislation requires intermediate care facilities for the developmentally disabled, developmental disability centers, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospice facilities, and hospitals to allow visitation at all times. The bill also protects essential caregivers by requiring they be allowed to visit their loved ones for a minimum of two hours daily.

Care of Students with Epilepsy or Seizure Disorders (HB 173) provides for the creation of an individualized seizure action plan for a student with epilepsy or seizure disorders to receive health care at school. To ensure students are properly cared for in the event of a seizure, the bill also requires training for school employees that are in regular contact with students who have submitted an individualized seizure action plan to their school.

Child Welfare (SB 7034) expands the scope of potential students who are eligible for a tuition and fee exemption waiver at a workforce education program, a Florida College System institution or a state university, to help ensure that we give foster kids the best possible opportunity for a successful future. Additionally, the bill makes historic increases to the financial support provided to foster parents and the children in their care.

Homeless Youth (HB 1577) expands several programs for certified homeless youth, including the campus coach program to ensure success in postsecondary education, and the Keys to Independence program, which removes barriers to employment and puts youth on a path to independence. The bill removes barriers for accessing medical and other care, requires local school districts to provide certified homeless youth with a card that includes pertinent information related to the care for which they are entitled, and expands the fee waiver exemption for birth records to certified homeless youth and foster youth who have aged out of the child welfare system.

Human Trafficking (HB 615) provides human trafficking training for foster parents and staff within Florida’s Child Welfare System. The bill also provides fire safety inspectors with continuing education credits for courses that address human trafficking identification and reporting. Additionally, the bill requires the Statewide Council on Human Trafficking to assess how social media platforms are being used to facilitate human trafficking, establish a process to detect such use on a consistent basis, and make recommendations on how to eliminate or prevent social media platforms from being used for such purposes.

Senator Garcia Passed Legislation that Protects Boating Enthusiasts and the Environment:

The Boating Safety Act of 2022 (SB 606) focuses on illegal liveries, vessel safety and boating safety programs. This bill addresses dangerous boating and allows law enforcement to hold irresponsible livery operations and bad actors accountable for their actions.

Senator Garcia Passed Legislation that Protects Freedom and Condemns Those Who Fight Against It:

United States Department of State’s List of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (SR 1064) expresses the Florida Senate’s commitment to a stable and prosperous Colombia and opposition to the Biden Administration’s decision to remove the Revolutionary Forces of Colombia (FARC) from the U.S. State Department’s designated list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations. The resolution further provides that the Florida Senate will use all means possible, including divesture, to impede ties, commercial or otherwise, with FARC. Additionally, the resolution condemns any regime in any country, such as Cuba, Venezuela and Iran, which gives aid to terrorist groups in Colombia by providing training, weapons, or funding or by hosting those groups within its borders.

Atrocities and Genocide in Cuba (HM 43) recognizes that the Cuban government continues to repress all peaceful attempts by the Cuban people to bring democratic change to the island by denying universally recognized liberties and condemns the Cuban government’s attempt to silence the will of the people. The memorial recognizes that the Cuban government is supported by other authoritarian regimes, such as Venezuela, China, Russia and Nicaragua, and uses their support to continue to oppress the Cuban people.  The memorial also urges the President and the United States Congress to take action to address the atrocities and genocide in Cuba, and to enact Article 54 of the United Nations Charter to reconvene the Security Council for an emergency meeting on the issue.

Senator Garcia Passed Legislation that Protects Consumers:

Electronic Dissemination of Commercial Recordings and Audiovisual Works (SB 288) updates the Florida True Origin of Digital Goods Act. The bill expands the definition of “electronic dissemination” to include transmitting, making available, or otherwise offering a commercial recording or audiovisual work for distribution, display or performance. This bill will protect consumers and content-creators from unauthorized distribution and streaming of commercial music and videos online.

In addition to this legislation, Senator Garcia secured approximately $64 million in funding for projects that protect the environment, improve critical infrastructure, support mental health programs, enhance education outcomes, and assist seniors, foster children, homeless youth and the food insecure.

Senator Garcia appreciates the support of her constituents throughout this Legislative Session and looks forward to more positive outcomes for her constituents and district.