The Florida Legislature consists of two houses, namely, the House of Representatives and the Senate. The legislature is situated in Tallahassee at the Florida State Capitol. Currently, the legislature consists of 160 legislators, 120 of them belong to the House of Representatives and 40 – to the Senate. The term of the state representatives equals two years, and they can be elected for four consecutive times, which equals eight years (“About the Legislature,” 2017). Regarding the state senators, their term is four years, and they can be elected for two consecutive times, which equals eight years. However, the number of terms for which they are elected is unlimited, and after a two-year pause, they can be elected once again. The sessions are called every year in March, where new initiatives are discussed, and legislative laws are introduced.
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In terms of leadership, the head of the House of Representatives is the Speaker, while the head of the Senate is the President. However, both of them have similar functions, namely, controlling the assignment of committees, developing their chambers’ agenda, and assigning leadership positions (“About the Legislature,” 2017). Along with the Governor of Florida, they are both in charge of the state’s business agenda.
Florida Legislature Session 2017
At its latest session in March 2017, Florida legislators introduced almost 2,000 bills. However, only 13% of the bills were approved by all the parties, namely, the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the Governor’s Office. Particularly, in terms of healthcare, the overwhelming majority of the introduced bills were not passed.
One of the most important bills introduced at the session was called “Primary Care”. It would allow patients or employers to contract with a doctor for primary care directly (“Florida Legislature 2017,” 2017). Another bill that was introduced at the session was called “Medical Marijuana”. It was focused on the increase in marijuana availability for people with certain diseases. One more bill called “Recovery Care Centers” was proposed at the session. It would allow surgical centers to keep patients twenty-four hours a day and build special recovery centers to provide care to them for four days after surgery. Also, the bill called “Trauma Centers” was introduced at the session. The main focus of this bill was the setting of new standards for trauma centers using increasing their number in more populated areas and decreasing that in less populated areas of the state (“Florida Legislature 2017,” 2017). Thus, all these bills and some others were not approved by all the parties.
A Letter to a Legislator
Below is the draft of the letter to Senator Lauren Book concerning Bill 138 called “Perinatal Mental Health”, in which she focuses on the importance of educating the public on perinatal mental healthcare (“SB 138: Perinatal Mental Health,” 2017).
Dear Mrs. Book,
I have read your bill concerning perinatal mental health that you are going to introduce at the state session in 2018. I fully agree with you regarding your concerns about the importance of creating public service announcements to increase people’s awareness of the problem of the anomalous processes in the human brain that occur at first stages of their development (“SB 138: Perinatal Mental Health,” 2017). Indeed, these processes can lead to mental problems in people, most of which are incurable and prevent them from living the full life (“Florida Legislature 2017,” 2017). Therefore, it is crucial to include the provision of help during the postpartum depression and mental health screening during pregnancy to make sure that the brain is developing without pathologies (“About the Legislature,” 2017). Thus, I offer you my full support and hope that your bill will be approved.
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About the Legislature. (2017). Web.
SB 138: Perinatal Mental Health. (2017). Web.