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More Nursing Home Legislation Proposed

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
Florida Senate
The Florida Channel
State Sen. Daphne Campbell

A South Florida state senator has filed a bill that would require nursing homes and other facilities to have generators capable of providing backup power for up to four days.

Sen. Daphne Campbell, D-Miami, filed the measure (SB 558) this week, in response to deaths related to a Broward County nursing home that lost air conditioning following Hurricane Irma.

Residents died amid the sweltering heat after the storm knocked out a transformer that powered air conditioning at The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills. Gov. Rick Scott has pushed ahead with emergency rules requiring nursing homes to quickly add generators for air-conditioning systems but has indicated he would support legislation to put the requirements in law.

Campbell's proposal would give nursing homes and assisted living facilities until January 2019 to comply with the mandate.

Other legislators have filed similar bills. Sen. Lauren Book, D-Plantation, in September filed a bill that requires nursing homes to have working generators, while Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah, has filed legislation that requires generators and calls on utilities to prioritize power restoration to nursing homes. Rep. David Richardson, D-Miami Beach, has also filed a bill regarding generators.