The Melo Minute


News and updates you don’t want to miss.
The Melo Minute
January, 14th 2022
Happy New year!
Issue No. 46
Welcome Back to Tallahassee!
Regular Session began on Tuesday and Team Melo is very excited to get back to Tallahassee to do the people’s work! Of course, with a new year comes new legislation. Listed below are all of the bills I have filed so far and I am pleased to present them this year in the Florida House:


HB 411 Safe Harbor

This bill ensures that materials, such as PPE, training, and potentially even private loans, provided by a business owner to subcontractors during a declared emergency would not alter their employment status. The bill creates a “safe harbor” for business owners from legal claims arising from their good faith actions. Indeed, good deeds should go unpunished!


HB 461 Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program

Student Service Requirements

Allows students to apply their work hours as well as their volunteer hours toward the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program. This bill levels the playing field for young adults who have to work and provides them the opportunity to obtain scholarship funds for their secondary education.


HB 579 Aquatic Plant Management

Directs the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, in partnership with the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida and the Water School at Florida Gulf Coast University, to study the strategic use of innovative biomass nutrient removal technologies and mechanical aquatic plant management techniques where ecologically and technically feasible within the Lake Okeechobee watershed.


HB 893 Residential Treatment Programs

Authorizes the Department of Children and Families, under certain circumstances, to place children in therapeutic group homes without prior court approval and requires DCF to appoint a qualified evaluator for assessments. In addition, the goal of this bill is to align Florida law with the requirements of the Federal Family First Prevention Services Act of 2018. Finally, the bill would maximize available federal funding and reduce systemic barriers that prevent immediate treatment for children needing intensive services.


HB 915 Motor Carriers

This bill modernizes practices within the trucking industry and increases the safety standards of motor carriers across the state. Part one, will encourage increasing the use of safety equipment and training for independent contractors. Part two, will allow the physical license “plates” to be changed every three years instead of every year.


HB 1239 Nursing Home Facility Requirements

This legislation modernizes Florida Statute 400.23 to put residents at the center of care. Nursing center staffing should recognize all professionals that provide direct care by incorporating existing definitions into staffing standards: “Direct care staff includes those individuals who, through interpersonal contact with residents or resident care management, provide care and services to allow residents to attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being. Direct care staff does not include individuals whose primary duty is maintaining the physical environment of the facility, such as food preparation, laundry, or housekeeping.” This definition references 42 CFR s. 483.70(q) and will:


1) Include a mix of highly skilled direct care staff to incentivize quality and meet the complex needs of today’s nursing center residents. This includes staff providing therapeutic and mental health services, social workers, and activities staff.

2) Only measure actual direct care and not administrative or other functions.

3) Maintain the current required number of hours of direct care to be provided to each resident.

4) Keep licensed nurses and CNAs providing care with the same required staffing ratios.


HB 1321 Advanced Life Support Non-transport Services

& Medical Countermeasures

This is another big bill that I am running this Session. The purpose of HB 1321 is to save lives and increase the level of emergency medical services provided to our citizens and visitors by allowing licensed firefighters/paramedics to provide advanced life support services at the scene of a call while waiting for an ambulance to arrive.


HB 1495 Immokalee Water and Sewer District

This is a local bill that I am happy to sponsor for the the Immokalee Water and Sewer District. A local bill is a piece of legislation that only affects a particular entity or region in the state. HB 1495 codifies the four special acts of the Immokalee Water and Sewer District into a single act.

Mind on the Military
As a Blue Star Mother whose son served in the United States Army, it is an honor to serve as the Representative to so many active and veteran service members. Re-adjusting to life as a citizen can be overwhelming for some of our veterans when they return home from war. That is why I am proud to co-sponsor HM 63, Recognizing Veteran Suicide, this “Urges Congress to recognize the epidemic of suicide among veterans and fully fund suicide prevention efforts by U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.” If you, your family, or friends are in need of any help obtaining information in Veteran services, please contact my office and we will direct you to the valuable resources or follow the links below:


Florida Department of Veterans Affairs


For 24-hour counsel, call the National Veteran Crisis Hotline at 

1-800-273-8255. You are NOT alone!


Veterans in Florida, call the Florida Veterans Support Line at 

1-844-MyFLVet (693-5838) or 2-1-1

What We’re Reading
Go Big or Go Home: FHCA Releases Ambitious Legislative Wish List





Christine Jordan Sexton

Florida Politics

Necropsy on Eko, Tiger Killed at Naples Zoo, Shows Big Cat Died Quickly From Blood Loss




Michael Braun

Naples Daily News

Legislation Calls for More Mechanical Harvesting of Plants on Lake Okeechobee





Katrina Elsken

Lake Okeechobee News

This Week’s Words of Wisdom
The Song Of The Week


This week’s Song of the Week is

Feeling Good” by Michael Buble


It is a new year and Team Melo is “Feeling Good” heading into the 2022 Regular Session. We can’t wait for you all to visit us in the Capitol and to get back to work!


“It’s a new dawn, It’s a new day, It’s a new life… and I’m feeling good”

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Have Any Suggestions?


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If you have a question you would like us to address within The Melo Minute, send us an email:

Representative Lauren Melo

Florida House District 80

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Florida House District 80 | 3299 Tamiami Trail East, Naples, FL 34112


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