Dept. of Health revamp bill could be scaled back

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The House Appropriations Committee could consider an amendment Tuesday that would eliminate the most-controversial part of a bill (HB 1263) aimed at reorganizing the Florida Department of Health, reports the News Service of Florida. Sponsor Matt Hudson, R-Naples, filed an amendment Monday night that would eliminate a major shift of public-health responsibilities — and thousands of jobs — from the department to counties, according to documents on the House website. Critics have argued, in part, that a “decentralized” public-health system could be difficult for rural areas. The Senate version (SB 1824) of the bill does not include the shift. Even if the amendment is approved, the bill would continue to make wide-ranging changes at the department. Hudson, who is chairman of the House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee, has long argued that the agency needs to be more focused. The Appropriations Committee meets at 3 p.m.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.