The Florida Joint Public Policy Task Force
A combined effort of the Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys & the Florida Bar’s Elder Law Section.
To mail in a form, please click here to download the 2021 Task Force Contribution Form.
The Florida Joint Public Policy Task Force for the Elderly and Disabled works daily on behalf of Florida’s most vulnerable citizens and their families, as well as for the practice of Elder Law, through advocacy and outreach. We are a combined effort of the Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys and the Elder Law Section of The Florida Bar.
WHO WE ARE:
Our name is lengthy: “The Florida Joint Public Policy Task Force for the Elderly and Disabled,” but our mission is succinct: We advocate for Florida’s senior citizens and individuals with special needs.
Years ago, leaders of the Elder Law Section of The Florida Bar and the Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys (AFELA), a chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, envisioned a cohesive organization that combined the strengths of both organizations to advocate for the aging and disabled. With careful planning and dedicated volunteers, the Task Force became the “bridge” between these two organizations and since its inception, has been comprised of members of both groups.
For a full listing of Task Force leadership, please click here.
LEGISLATE. COMMUNICATE. ADVOCATE.
We legislate and communicate rather than litigate. We propose legislation for the benefit of seniors and individuals with special needs and we communicate with agency leaders to affect regulatory change. However, we will take legal action if legislation and communication fail.
The success of AFELA and the Elder Law Section is directly related to the successful work of the Task Force. Task Force members communicate directly with leaders in government, the judiciary, and leaders of state agencies like the Florida Department of Children & Families and the Agency for Health Care Administration. Our advocacy results in positive change for the clients of all elder law attorneys in Florida and for all of our practices.
A SAMPLE OF OUR SUCCESS:
2006: Pressure on AHCA to update FL nursing home private pay rate is successful and penalty divisor raised for the first time in years. The Task Force now monitors AHCA so figures adjusted each summer.
2007: Task Force works with DCF counsel to delay implementation of the DRA until Nov.1, 2007.
2008: Members participate in Rule Making Workshops to prevent DCF from eliminating life estate exemption and autos greater than 7 years exemption from FAC 65A-1.1712 (2).
2010: Work with DCF results in DRA compliant promissory notes being excluded assets,resulting in income only treatment. Promissory notes had been counted as assets since DCF transmittal in 2003-2004.
2011: Ensures FL elder law attorneys around the state attend public hearings to testify in opposition to mandatory enrollment of seniors in Statewide Medicaid Managed Care.
2013: Implements campaign to work with legislators to educate on the negative effects (and unforeseen consequences) of implementing legislation affecting personal services contracts and spousal refusal.
2014: Helps craft and lobby for the nation’s strictest presumption of guilt for the crime of elder exploitation.
2015: Reaches hard-won compromise on media-frenzied guardianship legislation.
2016: Monitors bills and rules on non-profits serving as agents under Power of Attorney, Long-Term Care Waitlist, and more Guardianship legislation.
2017: Develops exploitation injunction legislation.
2018: Gets seat at the table regarding the language of electronic legal documents – E-wills and E-notarization.
2019: Legislative work re: ACCESS software issues and improper NOCA denials; Amicus Curiae role in J.N. vs. DCF; working with legislators regarding proposed bill requiring court approval for DNRO and other guardianship issues related to negative news media regarding professional guardians.
2020: The good work continues.
To see a sampling of the Task Force Top Five sent to all Task Force Contributors monthly, please click here.