Florida League of Cities

Licensed Counseling for First Responders (Oppose) – Failed 

HB 169 (Lopez) and CS/SB 314 (Rodriguez) require employers of first responders to pay for up to 12 hours of licensed counseling following a work-related traumatic event. This benefit would be in addition to any potential workers' compensation claim or counseling services covered by health insurance. Covered first responders include firefighters, paramedics, emergency medical technicians and law enforcement officers, including those working on a volunteer basis. The bills also hold the employing agency responsible for paying for up to an additional 24 hours of treatment if a mental health specialist finds that the first responder requires more hours of counseling. CS/SB 314 was amended to cap the cost of employer-paid counseling at $500 per hour. The bill was also further expanded to include correctional officers. (Cruz)