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Scott Signs Treatment, Military Bills

Apr 18, 2016
Originally published on April 18, 2016 8:25 am

Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed two bills that are expected to help people get mental-health or substance-abuse treatment and make it easier for military personnel from Florida to vote. Scott also vetoed a controversial overhaul of alimony laws (SB 668).

With those moves, Scott finished acting on all 272 bills --- including the state budget --- approved by the Legislature this year. He signed all but three.

The treatment measure (SB 12) includes what is known as a "no wrong door" policy, which would allow people who need mental-health or substance-abuse treatment to get it no matter how they enter the systems --- whether through criminal offenses or personal crises. To do that, the bill would create central receiving facilities to function as single points of access to emergency care and intervention services.

Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations Chairman Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah, sponsored the bill, with House Children, Families and Seniors Chairwoman Gayle Harrell, R-Stuart, and Rep. Kathleen Peters, R-Treasure Island, spearheading the issue in the House.

The military-related measure (SB 184) creates a task force to review the development of an online voting system for overseas military voters as a way to return completed absentee ballots. The new law, sponsored by Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, and Rep. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, also requires landlords to act within seven days on lease applications submitted by service members. The bill also makes clear that former members of the Florida National Guard are eligible for the Florida Veterans' Hall of Fame.