Health Dept. Overhaul Bill Passes House Panel

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A bill that would shift public-health responsibilities from the state to the counties and affect 12,000 state Department of Health employees has cleared a House panel.

The House health and human services quality subcommittee approved the bill (HB 1263) by a vote of 7-3.

Hanging in the balance are 12,000 jobs in the department. Bill sponsor Matt Hudson says many of those workers likely will be transferred to county health positions. The Naples Republican’s bill gives block grants to counties to do public-health work the state does now.

The panel’s vice chair joined Democrats in opposing the bill. Ronald “Doc” Renuart of Ponte Vedra Beach says he had concerns about how the measure might affect smaller counties.

Source: Associated Press