As allegations of abuse and neglect against residents of Florida’s assisted-living facilities have increased over the past five years, a dozen state lawmakers stepped forward to create 36 pieces of legislation to remove regulations against them, reports the Miami Herald. The paper says the legislators were influenced by Florida’s largest ALF industry group. The lawmakers rejected sweeping plans to toughen Florida's ALF law while stripping away enforcement powers that left hundreds of residents to fend for themselves in dangerous conditions.
Among other things, the lawmakers stripped away parts of the Residents' Bill of Rights that guarantees safety and protection to vulnerable adults, and they rejected a bill that would have put the burden on ALF owners to safeguard people in their homes when accepting residents with criminal histories. State regulators no longer have to report abuses and deaths to the Legislature, instead allowing them to keep the cases secret. Lawmakers rejected a plan to crack down on rogue operators and blocked efforts to heighten checks on bad homes.