FDA's Priority Legislation Approved by the Legislature

Feb 9, 2024
The Florida Legislature approved the FDA’s priority legislation that reinstates the dental student loan repayment program and expands the Donated Dental Services (DDS) program in CS/HB 843 by Rep. Ana Maria Rodriguez (R-Doral).
Legislation passed in CS/HB 843 will encourage dentists to work in rural and underserved areas as full-time Medicaid providers in settings such as county health departments and community health centers. In return, dentists will be eligible to receive $50,000 a year to
repay student loan debt for a maximum of five years. Additionally, the legislation would codify the DDS program in statute and allow for the program to be expanded to provide more access to dental care for individuals who are elderly, disabled or medically compromised, and unable to afford dental care. CS/HB 843 now heads to the governor for consideration. Should the bill be signed into law, it would be effective July 1, 2019.

Despite passing the substantive legislation to reinstate the dental student loan repayment program and expand the DDS program, the final budget did not allocate funding to implement these provisions. Should CS/HB 843 become law, the statutory authority would be on the books to support these programs and the focus for the 2020 Legislative Session would be to secure funding to implement these programs.

Capital Report, Vol. 26, No. 20 – Sine Die – May 16, 2019