HELP US KEEP REPORTING. DONATE TO ORLANDO WEEKLY PRESS CLUB.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Judge tosses senior-living facility emergency generator rules, calls requirement 'unrealistic'

Posted By on Fri, Oct 27, 2017 at 5:33 PM

click to enlarge PHOTO BY SARCIFILIPPO VIA PIXABAY
Emergency rules issued by Gov. Rick Scott's administration requiring nursing homes and assisted living facilities to have generators and enough power to cool buildings for 96 hours should be tossed, a state administrative judge said Friday.

In a 66-page order, Administrative Law Judge Gar Chisenhall ruled in favor of industry groups LeadingAge Florida, the Florida Assisted Living Association and Florida Argentum, which challenged the emergency rules issued last month after residents of a sweltering Broward County nursing home died following Hurricane Irma. The nursing homes and assisted-living facilities argued, in part, that the emergency rules were unrealistic because they required adding generators within 60 days.



Chisenhall ruled that the state Agency for Health Care Administration and the Department of Elder Affairs overstepped their authority with the emergency rules, describing the rules as “invalid exercises of delegated legislative authority.”

Steve Bahmer, president and CEO of LeadingAge Florida, said Friday that his group was “pleased with the favorable ruling.” The Scott administration issued the rules after eight residents of The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills died Sept. 13, three days after the Broward facility lost its air-conditioning system in Irma. Six more residents died later after being evacuated.

The emergency rules required nursing homes to have generators by Nov. 15 and to have enough power for 96 hours or face sanctions.

The governor's office said it will immediately file an appeal of Chisenhall's decision. Scott spokesman McKinley Lewis said in a statement it is “disappointing that DOAH (the Division of Administrative Hearings) issued a shortsighted ruling against protecting lives and elderly Floridians.” Moreover, Lewis said the state will implement the generator policy through the traditional rule-making process and will continue to work with the Legislature to make the rules permanent in law.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

November 25, 2020

View more issues

Calendar

© 2020 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation