Irma caused a lot of damage this year. It also resulted in a large controversy
when eight residents of The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills nursing
home died three days after the storm knocked out the A/C system. This incident
led to Governor Rick Scott’s desire to require nursing homes and assisted
living facilities to be equipped with generators and enough fuel to be able to
run air conditioning for at least 96 hours.
Florida’s Nursing Home Generator
the incident and despite Governor Scott’s declaration, legislative leaders have
yet to publicly support such a mandate. In fact, Senate President Joe Negron
wouldn’t directly answer a question concerning the mandate and whether the
Senate would sign off on it when he appeared at the annual
Associated Press event in the Capitol.
he supported the passing of something that “reaffirms the responsibility
of a nursing home,” adding that they would make sure that residents would
be taken care of during any storm-related event that is 100 percent predictable
and foreseeable in the state.
Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues took a similar stance in sidestepping the
question of whether the House would support the mandate, saying only that the
matter would be discussed. When asked whether the state should help to offset
the costs of the generators should the mandate be supported, he answered that
it would be something that members would have to figure out.
mentioned that a major concern amongst members regarding the matter was
whether taxpayer money would be given to private companies to improve their
bottom line and at the expense of their competitors as well as the public. The
House has been attempting to decrease state business incentives over the past
year, which is where the concern stems from.
Scott not only wants the mandate to be supported and to go into effect but for
the generator requirement to become permanent by having it put into state law.
Following the deaths in the Broward County nursing home, Governor Scott had
issued two emergency rules calling for the addition of generators to all
nursing homes and assisted living facilities, rules that industry groups said
were unrealistic given the 60-day timeframe.
of now, it’s unclear as to whether Governor Scott has the support needed to
enforce the mandate, not to mention have it put into Florida state law.