A few months ago we wrote about the halfway house regulation bill that would most likely end the majority of sober living homes in South Florida. We are here with an update. It died. In the senate. In other words, it didn’t pass. Which means for every halfway house in the state of Florida, you have nothing to worry about.
Just a recap:
The bill would have made all sober living homes undergo a registration annually. The bill would have prohibited a sober house transitional living home from operating in the state of Florida without a valid certificate of registration from the Department of Children and Families. It would have required the operator or manager of the sober house to apply for a certificate of registration with the department. It also would have required a background screening of any and all persons who are running the sober living home. This would also have required the state to suspend and reinstate certain certificates under certain circumstances.
And this wasn’t the entire extent of the bill. The bill also went on to state specifically what kind of things a sober living environment should provide. As well as stating that the sober living home had to abide by the normal eviction procedures that someone would go through if they were living in an apartment or rented property. The bill explained how a sober living home can advertise stating that it had to have its registration number appear on ads, it had to provide name and physical address, the number of individuals who can stay there, and also sober living homes must not have had a registration fee that exceeds 200 dollars.
So why did it die?
Essentially, the senator backing it, Sen. Jeff Clemens D-Lake Worth, says that the Senate Appropriations Committee let it die because he refused to accept two amendments, one that had nothing to do with sober houses and another that would have gutted the regulations he was proposing and instead create a task force to look into the issue.
So as of right now there are no regulations on halfway houses. What do you think? Should the bill have been passed? Do we need a bill like this? Do we need some kind of task force to look into the “halfway house” issue? What do you think is the best way to regulate or not regulate sober living?