Florida Association of Counties

Mayor Andrew Gillum
Nick Evans

Local control advocates said the Florida legislature has taken preempting home rule to a new level this session. The legislature wants to extend property tax breaks, regulate vacation rentals and community redevelopment agencies.

flgov.com

How did children-related issues fare during this past legislative session? While some Florida agency heads say it was a good one, others call it a mixed bag.

MGN Online

A bill reforming mental health within Florida’s criminal justice system is continuing to move in the House and Senate.

Florida House of Representatives

The same Republican leaders who are pushing to rewrite state water policy apparently aren’t satisfied. Now House leaders are taking their scissors to the massive rule book that governs all the new growth in Florida.

DJJ

An ongoing fight between Florida’s counties and the state Department of Juvenile Justice is expected to continue during a hearing next week, considering a new formula with which both sides will divvy up the cost of Florida’s juvenile detention centers.

Today, 38 counties are supposed to be responsible for paying about 32 percent of juvenile detention costs. That’s according to Florida Association of Counties Spokeswoman Craigin Mosteller.

Department of Juvenile Justice

Florida’s counties say the state owes them money. They claim they’ve been overcharged for helping pay the cost of juveniles in detention centers. The two sides appear close to reaching a deal on how to split the costs going forward—but a conflict is brewing over whether the state should have to reimburse the counties for past expenses.

Voters in Florida rejected most of the proposed constitutional amendments on their ballots Election Day. Critics have even partly blamed the historically long ballot for the long lines at polling places. Out of 11, only three gained 60-percent of the votes needed to pass.

Jessica Palombo / WFSU-FM

It’s been more than a month since the passage of the federal RESTORE Act, which will direct penalty money from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the worst in history, to Florida and other affected states.

In anticipation of those funds, several Florida counties affected by the spill are trying to form a coalition with the hope that they’ll leverage more power over how to divide the money once it gets to the state.

A fight between Florida Counties and the state over who should pay outstanding medical bills for low-income people continues. Lee County is asking an administrative law judge to settle a dispute between it and the Agency for Healthcare Administration over how much it owes.

Lee County’s claims against the state centers on an April bill for more than $338,000.  The county says it should have gotten a 15 percent discount that wasn’t applied.

Last week, the U.S. Justice Department ordered the state to stop its effort to purge its voter rolls of potentially ineligible voters. The department cited the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and questioned the close time frame to the coming election. But Florida Governor Rick Scott defended the effort, saying he wants to make sure the state’s elections are fair.

The Florida Association of Counties has announced a lawsuit against the state of Florida over $300 million in disputed Medicaid bills. Lynn Hatter reports the counties decided to sue after the state passed a new law requiring them to pay the money.

During the 2012 legislative session, lawmakers crafted a plan that requires counties to pay 85-percent of the disputed claims, or 100-percent of the claims with the option to sue. But Florida Association of Counties spokeswoman Craigin Mosteller says that’s unconstitutional.

The Florida Association of Counties is urging Governor Rick Scott to veto a bill requiring them to pay more than $300 million in Medicaid bills. Lynn Hatter reports the counties argue they don’t owe that money due to problems with the state’s billing system.

In 2008 the state Agency for Healthcare Administration switched from a paper-based to an electronic billing system. Florida Association of Counties Spokeswoman Craigin Mosteller says the state’s system is filled with errors and in many cases the counties are being wrongfully charged for Medicaid care.