Senate wants more money for clinics

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Building on a priority of President Mike Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, the Senate’s proposed budget will include $35 million for new and expanded primary-care clinics, Health and Human Services Appropriations Chairman Joe Negron, R-Stuart, said Thursday, reports the News Service of Florida. The money would come from the $1-billion-a-year Low Income Pool program, which primarily funnels money to hospitals to care for low-income and uninsured patients. Negron said $20 million would go toward start-up costs for primary-care clinics and $15 million would go toward expanded services at existing facilities. The discussion of the clinic money came a day after Negron’s subcommittee released its $30 billion budget proposal for the 2012-13 fiscal year. During a meeting of his subcommittee, Negron also addressed issues such as continuing to provide financial assistance to former foster children until age 23. Other proposals have called for reducing that age to 21. “It was a close call, but you won the day,” Negron said to a speaker on the issue.

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.