In the wake of Irma, storms are a major priority on the Florida Legislature’s agenda this year following the storm’s rampage across most of the state. Lawmakers will consider proposals ranging from making evacuations more efficient to helping the devastated citrus industry.
The 60-day session opened last Tuesday with the House of Representatives and Senate taking different approaches. The House is concentrating on storm preparations and recovery efforts while the Senate is focusing on economic damage.
Both chambers also have bills that would make backup generators mandatory at nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. The bills were filed after 14 residents died at a nursing home just outside Ft. Lauderdale when power was out at the facility in the aftermath of Irma.
Republican Rep. Danny Burgess from Zephyrhills has suggested forming a statewide registry of special needs shelters and another listing the state’s more vulnerable residents during a storm.