More nursing home legislation proposed in the wake of Hurricane Irma

FILE: The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills as patients are evacuated after a loss of air conditioning due to Hurricane Irma on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017. (Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

TALLAHASSEE Fla. (News Service of Florida) – A South Florida state senator has filed a bill that would require nursing homes and other facilities to have generators capable of providing backup power for up to four days. Sen. Daphne Campbell, D-Miami, filed the measure this week, in response to the deaths related to a Broward County nursing home that lost air conditioning following Hurricane Irma.

Residents died amid the sweltering heat after the storm knocked out a transformer that powered air conditioning at The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills.

Gov. Rick Scott has pushed ahead with emergency rules requiring nursing homes to add generators now, but Campbell’s proposal would give nursing homes and assisted living facilities until January 2019 to comply with the mandate.

MORE:12th death from nursing home that lost power, AC during Irma

Other legislators have filed similar bills. Sen. Lauren Book, D-Plantation, in September filed a bill that requires nursing homes to have working generators, while Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah, has filed legislation that requires generators and calls on utilities to prioritize power restoration to nursing homes. Rep. David Richardson, D-Miami Beach, has also filed a bill regarding generators.

MORE: Elderly deaths: Call for generators in Florida nursing homes