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Columbia County Observer

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Florida News

US Senator Bill NelsonU.S. Senator Bill Nelson - Update
May 1, 2013

Senator Nelson joins Florida Congressional Delegation in urging U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to prioritize restoration of the Everglades

On Tuesday, April 22nd, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Civil Works Review Board refused to sign off on the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP). The CEPP would reduce the large freshwater releases sent from Lake Okeechobee by redirecting approximately 210,000 acre feet of additional water annually to the historical southern flow path while maintaining needed dry season flows.

In response, on April 25th, Senator Nelson and other members of the Florida delegation sent a letter to the Army Corps Civil Works Review Board to express their extreme disappointment and to urge the Corps to reconvene as quickly as possible in order to finalize the CEPP Chief’s Report so that it may be considered in the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). The need to include CEPP in this year’s WRDA authorization is critical to ensure funding for Everglades restoration, as the WRDA bill is infrequently renewed, and was last reauthorized by Congress in 2007.

For more information
Lynn Bannister: Director of Outreach
111 North Adams St
Tallahassee, FL  32301
850-942-8415 / 850-942-8450 (fax)

Senator Nelson brings Senate hearing to South Florida to discuss rising sea levels

On April 22, 2014, Senator Nelson chaired a U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation’s Subcommittee on Science and Space hearing at the Miami Beach City Hall titled, “Leading the Way: Adapting to South Florida’s Changing Coastline”.

The hearing examined climate science analyses conducted by federal agencies, and by Florida Atlantic University, that informs state and local government adaptation plans. Witnesses discussed economic impacts of climate change to Florida’s tourism and insurance industries, as well as efforts to reduce the carbon emissions that drive climate change. Sen. Nelson led the discussion on the steps already underway and the potential new solutions to rising seas and salt-water intrusion in South Florida.

Senator Nelson’s Aging Committee exposes dangers of sweepstakes solicitations

On April 15, the Senate Special Committee on Aging released its report on Publishers Clearing House (PCH) sweepstakes solicitations, titled “Pushing the Envelope: Publishers Clearing House in the New Era of Direct Marketing.”

The comprehensive report detailed a number of PCH solicitations that were identified as potentially misleading to consumers, particularly seniors. The Committee received several reports of senior citizens who made frequent purchases from PCH believing that purchasing would increase their chances of winning. In some cases, seniors spent large sums of their savings with the belief that they were about to win the sweepstakes.

The Committee also found that legislation passed in 1999 regarding deceptive mailing practices has been successful in protecting consumers, however, updated legislation may be needed to address the shift in recent years to electronic and online solicitations as identified in the report.

Senator Nelson urges support for affordable prescriptions

On April 14, Senator Nelson, Chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging joined with Committee colleagues in sending a letter to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) in support of the Drug Discount Program.

The letter urges HRSA to ensure that any proposed revisions to the eligible patient definition upholds the original core tenet of program – to help safety net providers reach more patients and provide more comprehensive services – and does not unintentionally restrict access to the program.

Many HIV/AIDS advocates and others, like Community Health Centers voiced concerns that proposals to alter the definition of “patient” would cut off patients from affordable drug coverage and other preventive services.

Senator Nelson supports Medicare’s participation in Emergency Preparedness

On April 25, Senator Nelson, Chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging contacted the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in support of Medicare’s participation in emergency preparedness. Senator Nelson requested that CMS apply requirements for supplies and planning to providers fairly and uniformly, regularly update the rules and requirements on emergency preparedness, and continue to work with providers to develop strategies for ensuring that supplies are available to them during times of disaster.

Senator Nelson sends letter to Senate President Gaetz regarding Medicaid expansion

On April 18, Senator Nelson sent a letter to Florida State Senator Don Gaetz regarding the much needed expansion of Medicaid in Florida. The letter continues the discussion about Medicaid expansion and offers to work with Senator Gaetz and members of the Legislature to expand Medicaid in a way that is best for Florida. While it is unlikely that final action on expansion will occur before the session ends this week, the conversation has been restarted in Tallahassee.

This work by the Columbia County Observer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

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