Bill Text: FL S0366 | 2023 | Regular Session | Comm Sub

Bill Title: Dental Services for Indigent Veterans

Spectrum: Slight Partisan Bill (Republican 3-1)

Status: (Introduced - Dead) 2023-05-02 - Laid on Table, companion bill(s) passed, see CS/HB 635 (Ch. 2023-164) [S0366 Detail]

Download: Florida-2023-S0366-Comm_Sub.html
       Florida Senate - 2023                              CS for SB 366
       By the Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs, Space, and
       Domestic Security; and Senators Burgess, Perry, and Gruters
       583-03299-23                                           2023366c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to dental services for indigent
    3         veterans; creating s. 295.157, F.S.; providing
    4         legislative findings and intent; defining terms;
    5         establishing the Veterans Dental Care Grant Program
    6         within the Department of Veterans’ Affairs; specifying
    7         the purpose of the program; requiring the department
    8         to contract with a direct-support organization to
    9         administer the program; requiring the department to
   10         use a specified standard for determining indigency;
   11         requiring the department to adopt rules; providing
   12         that program funding is subject to legislative
   13         appropriation; providing an effective date.
   15  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   17         Section 1. Section 295.157, Florida Statutes, is created to
   18  read:
   19         295.157 Veterans Dental Care Grant Program.—
   20         (1)The Legislature finds that veterans are not afforded
   21  dental care after serving in the United States Armed Forces
   22  unless they are totally and permanently disabled or have a
   23  direct service-connected injury impacting their oral health. The
   24  Legislature further finds that this has left many veterans
   25  without access to routine dental care for many years and has
   26  resulted in severe dental conditions that worsen due to a lack
   27  of access to proper dental treatment. It is the intent of the
   28  Legislature to create the Veterans Dental Care Grant Program to
   29  provide indigent veterans in underserved and critical need areas
   30  the opportunity to access routine dental care after they
   31  conclude their service protecting this country’s freedom.
   32         (2)As used in this section, the term:
   33         (a)“Department” means the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
   34         (b)“Veteran” has the same meaning as in s. 1.01(14). The
   35  term includes all members of the Florida National Guard and
   36  United States Reserve Forces who were discharged or released
   37  under honorable conditions only, or who later received an
   38  upgraded discharge under honorable conditions.
   39         (3)The Veterans Dental Care Grant Program is established
   40  within the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. The purpose of the
   41  program is to provide oral health care to indigent veterans who
   42  reside in underserved and critical need areas of this state.
   43         (4)(a)The department shall contract with a statewide
   44  direct-support organization to administer the Veterans Dental
   45  Care Grant Program. The statewide direct-support organization
   46  must have proven experience developing and implementing veteran
   47  relevant programs, including dental service programs. The
   48  organization is responsible for distributing grants to eligible
   49  nonprofits that have experience in providing dental care to
   50  veterans.
   51         (b)The department shall use the standard for determining
   52  indigency provided by the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines
   53  produced by the United States Department of Health and Human
   54  Services.
   55         (5)The department shall define by rule the terms “indigent
   56  veteran” and “underserved and critical need area” and shall
   57  adopt rules to administer the program.
   58         (6)Funding for the program is subject to appropriation by
   59  the Legislature.
   60         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2023.