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Cancer Treatment Fairness Act passes committees

March 20, 2013
Lehigh Acres Citizen

This week the Cancer Treatment Fairness Act continued to gain support in the Florida Legislature. In the Senate, the bill recently passed the Banking and Insurance Committee with a unanimous vote.

I am thankful to my colleagues who voted to stand up for cancer patients across the state who critically need access to life saving oral chemotherapy drugs. The bill now moves to the Appropriations Committee, which is its final committee of reference in the Senate.

In the House of Representatives, the companion bill - HB 301 - received its first hearing in the Health Innovation Committee and was unanimously supported by the members. HB 301 now moves to the Insurance and Banking Committee.

Each day 324 new cases of cancer are diagnosed in Florida, and I believe that we need to make sure our constituents who are dealing with life-saving decisions are able to receive the best standard of care available.

Transparency in State Contracting passes committee

Another bill I am working on this year, with the help of Sen. Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) and CFO Jeff Atwater is SB 1150, which seeks to make state contracts more transparent and accountable.

More than $50 billion, or approximately 72 percent, of the state budget is spent annually on contracts and agreements. The goal of SB 1150 is to protect taxpayer monies by promoting value, integrity, transparency, accountability and public confidence in the state's contracting processes, which are currently lacking.

The bill adds new requirements for the accountability of grant funds and incorporates standards for grant agreements that are already required in law for contracts. It also provides the CFO with pre-audit authority for contracts and grant agreements and establishes grant managers similar to contract managers.

The bill now moves to the Banking and Insurance Committee.

Contact Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto at 1926 Victoria Ave., Second Floor, Fort Myers, FL 33901, or (239) 338-2570



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