Florida Senate panel OKs bill promoting more nursing homes

3:24 PM, Apr 15, 2013   |    comments
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - A bill advancing in the Florida Legislature would relax state rules to allow nursing homes to be built in communities with large elderly populations.

The measure (SB 1482) would allow nursing home developers to bypass the state certificate of need review in those communities. The bill cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday.

Supporters say the relaxed system is needed to provide more nursing home beds in underserved area with fast-growing elderly populations. Opponents countered that the bill would create a patchwork system that appears to play favorites.

The Villages retirement community northwest of Orlando is among the most vocal supporters for the measure. The retirement haven's population has surpassed 100,000 residents.

Republican Sen. Alan Hays says his bill would apply to a handful of counties in the state.

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