The Florida Legislature is comprised of 160 members, all with distinct interests and backgrounds, who as a majority must vote in support of legislation in order to make changes to state laws. Every piece of legislation is different and faces its own unique obstacles to achieving majority support. Resistance can come from a multitude of places, including House and Senate members, the Executive branch, or associated stakeholders. Coupled with the added pressures of a short 60-day Legislative Session and term-limits, passing legislation in a state as large and diverse as Florida is no easy feat.
Any opposition, no matter the source, can make it difficult to move legislation through the committee structures in the House and Senate, to the floor for passage in both chambers, and to the Governor for signature. We already know that opposition exists from other stakeholders in the chiropractic profession when it comes to “doctor’s choice,” giving us an uphill battle right from the start. In fact, the Florida Chiropractic Association (FCA) testified at the most recent Florida Board of Chiropractic Medicine meeting in opposition to “doctor’s choice” and allowing flexibility for online or classroom-style courses for the full 40 hours of required continuing education.
Through a targeted strategy and engagement with the right members of the Legislature, we can more successfully move good policy through the legislative process. Before the next Legislative Session begins in January 2020, we will be using the summer months and the Fall interim-committee meetings to educate members of House and Senate leadership, identify champions, secure bill sponsors and build support across both chambers. Engaging with key legislative members in these off months is the best way to build momentum and a greater likelihood of success going into the Legislative Session.
As an important component to our legislative strategy, we are pleased to announce the creation of the Florida Chiropractic Coalition political committee. Fundraising is a key component of the legislative process. With a state as large as Florida, it is expensive for candidates to run for election. We will be utilizing the political committee to support candidates who wish to promote the chiropractic profession in Florida and believe in less restriction for continuing education. Your participation in the Florida Chiropractic Coalition political committee is the next step in our journey to securing “doctor’s choice” and raising chiropractic continuing education to the same level as our other peers in the health care industry.