The state House and Senate both unanimously okayed the measure Monday and it now heads to the desk of Gov. Rick Scott, who is expected to sign it. The measure would require facilities to have a generator capable of keeping facilities at 81 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius) or lower for at least four days. It also requires them to keep 72 hours of fuel on site, according to The Washington Post.
The rule was originally issued by Scott and Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration, or AHCA, following the deaths at a South Florida nursing home after Irma last year.
The original rule stated that nursing homes and assisted living facilities had to be in compliance by Nov. 15 or face a fine of $1,000 per day. But a state administrative judge sided last October with nursing homes that had challenged the tight deadlines.
Justin Senior, secretary of the Agency for Health Care Administration, said last week that the rule would give seniors adequate protection in the event of a disaster.
All 577 nursing homes in Florida must be in compliance by July 1. As of Jan. 8, more than 100 were already in compliance. Authorities can grant an extension until Jan. 1, 2019, for nursing homes that would face delays in installing equipment.
The bill did not include mandating generators at assisted living facilities. Scott wants that included, and the Senate is working on a separate bill to get those facilities included.
Read the full story at The Washington Post.