Pill mills are spreading throughout Florida at a staggering rate. Just this week, the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office concluded a nine-month investigation into a pill mill that resulted in 53 arrests. As Attorney General, I will continue to aggressively tackle this issue, and we need to provide regulators and law enforcement with the tools necessary to take immediate action against pill mills.
On Tuesday, I testified before the Senate Health Regulation Committee regarding Senate Bill 818, sponsored by Senator Fasano, encouraging them to support the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program and to increase criminal penalties as well as to enhance administrative and civil enforcement against doctors and pill mills. The PDMP is one program among a multi-faceted approach that would help stop pill mills in Florida. The committee unanimously supported the bill. I look forward to continuing to work with our partners in the Legislature to protect Floridians.
This week, United States Attorney Pam Marsh, of the Northern District of Florida, and I discussed the pill mill crisis. It is crucial to have a comprehensive approach to combating this problem, and we could not do so without the help of our federal, state and local partners throughout Florida. I am encouraged by our meeting and commend U.S. Attorney Marsh for her dedication to the safety of Floridians and her willingness to assist in the eradication of Florida's pill mills.
In closing, we have all had the heartbreaking experience of following the news reports of the tragedy in Japan last week. My thoughts and prayers are with the people in Japan as they struggle to find refuge in the wake of this disaster. There are numerous organizations offering relief and aid to the citizens of Japan, and I encourage Floridians to contribute to these relief efforts by finding a legitimate charitable organization and making donations.
Upholding the Constitution
First Amendment Foundation Luncheon
On Tuesday, Attorney General Bondi attended the First Amendment Foundation luncheon and shared her commitment to ensuring that the Attorney General’s Office remains the preeminent authority on open government. She reiterated her commitment to supporting the public and government officials with Florida’s broad public record laws and the “sunshine laws” that enable Floridians to play an active role in government. Attorney General Bondi also discussed her support for House Bill 285 and Senate Bill 310, sponsored by Representative Eisnaugle and Senators Negron, Gaetz and Evers. This bill would establish a citizen’s right to speak at a public meeting.
Monday evening, Attorney General Bondi visited the Tallahassee Junior League meeting, expressing her appreciation for the group’s dedication to volunteerism and their community. Attorney General Bondi is the first member of Junior League to become Florida’s Attorney General.
Leadership St. Pete
As one of the oldest leadership programs in America, Leadership St. Pete promotes and enhances community leadership through an introduction to social, economic, business, and political issues in the St. Petersburg area. Attorney General Bondi visited with the members of Leadership St. Pete Thursday and heard about their latest discussions on stimulating the local economy.
This Wednesday, Attorney General Bondi and other state and local officials attended the Red Mass at St. Thomas More. Attorney General Bondi appreciates the contributions of churches and people of faith to our public discourse. Red Mass is celebrated annually in the Catholic Church for legal professionals and government officials.
Topics of Interest
The 2011 Legislative Session is in full swing as hundreds of bills make their way through the process. On Tuesday, the legislation regarding the numeric nutrient regulations from the federal Environmental Protection Agency was discussed, and Office of the Attorney General staff updated the Legislature on the status of Florida's lawsuit challenging EPA's onerous, job-killing numeric nutrient rules.
Next Tuesday, Senate Bill 1754, sponsored by Senator Rene Garcia, opposing any legal requirement forcing an individual to purchase health insurance, is on the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee’s agenda. This legislation provides a clear policy declaration from the Florida Legislature supporting individual liberty.