FOTA 2020 Hill Day Update

FOTA 2020 Hill DayFlorida Occupational Therapy Association 
2020 Hill Day Update



Every Legislative Session, representatives and students from the Florida Occupational Therapy Association travel to Tallahassee to advocate on behalf of the occupational therapy profession. Our firm strategically selects members of the Legislature for FOTA to meet with, based upon the organization’s legislative priorities at the time. In October, during interim committee weeks, FOTA conducted a mini-Hill day focused on increasing Medicaid reimbursement. There is significant work to be done on this issue but starting the conversation in advance helps to build champions for the future.

The 2020 Legislative Session is early this year due to the elections, with the 60-day Session commencing on January 14th and ending on March 13th. Due to scheduling, the regular FOTA Hill Day was conducted during the Legislative Session, providing an opportunity for FOTA members to discuss legislation already moving through legislative process.


With the intention of discussing the practice act for occupational therapy, members of the Senate Health Policy Committee and the House Health and Human Services committee were targeted for meetings. Even with numerous committee meetings being held throughout the day, our firm secured more than 10 meetings with key members of both committees, including also the chairs of the House Health Quality Subcommittee, House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee and the House Health and Human Services Committee.

Because the day was filled with committee meetings, FOTA attendees also had the opportunity to attend committees in person. This included both the Senate Health Policy Committee and the House Health Quality Subcommittee. We additionally secured a Senate Chamber tour for the FOTA students, who occupied the remainder of their time disseminating informational material to legislative offices throughout the Capitol and also touring the Old Capitol.

SB 792 and HB 467 – Physical Therapy

The same day as FOTA’s Hill Day, both SB 792 by Senator Albritton and HB 467 by Rep. Stevenson related to physical therapy, were slated to be heard in the first committees of reference. Problematic language is included in both bills which infringe upon the occupational therapy scope of practice. Prior to the House Health Quality Subcommittee, FOTA members had a key meeting with the Chair of the House subcommittee, Colleen Burton. Chair Burton was sympathetic to FOTA’s argument, and asked FOTA President Douglene Jackson to testify during the subcommittee meeting.

Additional meetings were held, not only with members of future committees of reference for the legislation, but also the chairs of the House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee and the House Health and Human Services Committee. Both Chair Magar and Chair Rodrigues agreed that the legislation needed to be fixed to address FOTA’s concerns. Our firm has since been in regular communication with both Chair Magar and Chair Rodrigues, keeping them updated on the progress of discussions with the Florida Physical Therapy Association. Through the help of both chairs, as well as strategic communication with the lobbyists’ for FPTA, we have drafted compromise language which will be amended into the bills at the next committee hearing.  

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