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Judge Sets Hearing On Generator Rules

The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

An administrative law judge has scheduled a three-day hearing in challenges to proposed state rules that would require nursing homes and assisted-living facilities to have generators and fuel supplies to keep buildings cool during power outages.

Judge Gar Chisenhall issued an order this week scheduling the hearing on Jan. 17, Jan. 19 and Jan. 24 in Tallahassee. The Florida Senior Living Association and LeadingAge Florida, which represents nursing homes and assisted living facilities, filed challenges this month to the proposed permanent rules.

Chisenhall subsequently consolidated the cases. The proposed rules stem from the deaths in September of residents of The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, a Broward County nursing home whose air-conditioning system was knocked out by Hurricane Irma.

Gov. Rick Scott's administration issued emergency rules requiring generators, but Chisenhall in October invalidated the emergency rules. The state Agency for Health Care Administration and the Florida Department of Elder Affairs last month proposed the permanent rules.

But the industry groups on Dec. 15 challenged the proposals on several legal grounds.