Legislative Battles

FL ALFA: Meaningful Assisted Living Reform

With aging baby boomers in the State of Florida preparing to enter assisted living communities, discussion of reforming the industry was front and center as state lawmakers looked to put in place comprehensive, meaningful measures that would better protect Florida seniors.

While several attempts were thwarted, the Florida Chapter of the Assisted Living Federation of America (FL ALFA) remained diligent in their efforts in protecting consumers and engaged Bascom Communications & Consulting, LLC (BCC) to help build a proactive public affairs campaign to educate lawmakers and the media on the need for reform within the assisted living industry.

Working closely with FL ALFA’s government relations team, BCC created a strategic communications plan to elevate the issue before key targets and position assisted living reform as a key consumer protection issue facing Florida.

To ensure the conversation on needed reform and consumer protection for seniors continued, BCC monitored media, inserting FL ALFA’s positive message about reform into stories and countering any arguments made by the opposition to keep the status quo; garnered earned media, including generating opinion editorials in publications throughout the state urging lawmakers to pass comprehensive, meaningful reform on behalf of Florida’s seniors; developed collateral material, including educational and advocacy pieces featuring the facts about ALF reform, to ensure the government relations team had the tools necessary to educate lawmakers on the benefits of the legislation.

Ultimately during the 2015 Legislative Session, House Bill 1001 championed by Senator Eleanor Sobel (D-Hollywood) and Representative Larry Ahern (R-Seminole) passed both chambers and was signed into law by Governor Rick Scott.

This important legislation made Florida a trailblazer in assisted living policy; and, with its implementation, Florida’s seniors who reside in assisted living communities will be better served.