The Pharmacy Legislative Health Fare is held annually. It is held to allow the pharmacists to present relevant ideas that they would like held as bills and changes to existing bills. The ideas are considered personal; without liability to schools and other institutions. Students are also encouraged to visit these fares, to introduce and familiarize themselves with the process.
The fare is remarkably educative and inspiring at the same time. The prospect of meeting the legislatures before this fair was a dream but at the fair, one interacts with them freely. Meeting the legislatures, senators, and institution heads is a major boost in my career because it allowed me to create an impression. Though the students do not present ideas, the chance of witnessing them being presented was exhilarating and educative. The only negative experience from the experience was the high prices for attendance. The price discouraged the attendance of fellow pharmacists and students, thus, reducing the contributions and ideas.
Meeting with students from other schools and practicing pharmacists was an inspirational moment because it brought a sense of diversity. Issues from different schools and pharmacies were presented and all were geared at ensuring the freedom of pharmacists and the safety of patients. From fellow classmates, I learned that the fare brought out a sense of synergy in them. The presentations by the pharmacists and attendance by the legislators were a sign of the devotion with which we were required to act in our careers. The discussions between us and Chris Hudtwalcker, on behalf of Senator Jose Javier Rodriguez, and Representative Evan Jenne were an introduction to the future roles we would play in changing and introducing bills in the future.
How Ideas Become Bills
The ideas presented are by pharmacists and other citizens to legislators and representatives of either the Senate or House of Representatives. The Senator reads and decides whether or not to introduce the proposed bills to the Senate. Proposed bills accepted by the Senator are then edited or written down formally by the Bill Drafting Service. The Bill is then filed, numbered, and printed after which it is presented and published in a journal. The committees affected then vote on the suitability of the bill. If the committee recommends the bill, it is forwarded to the Senate where it is read and debated after which the representatives vote. If the Senate passes the Bill, the Senate Speaker assigns a special committee that deliberates on the feasibility of the bill and possible amendments. The bill is discussed in the representative’s house again and the members vote on the bill. If the Bill is passed without amendments it is passed to the Senate Enrolling as an Act but if there are amendments to the Bill, the House of Representatives and the Senate are involved. Committees to both House and Senate vote on whether to or not pass the Bill. If the Bill passes, it is then passed to the Senate Enrolling and then to the Governor after it is listed as an Act.
The Governor receives the Act and has three options;
- Sign the Act- the Act is forwarded to the Secretary of State and becomes effective as a lawyer immediately after the governor signs.
- No signature- the Act is forwarded to the Secretary of State after which it “becomes effective on 60th day after adjournment,” (FLSenate 1).
- Vetoes- the Bill is voted in the House of Representatives and the Senate. “Two-thirds vote in each house overrides the veto,” (FLSenate 1). The Bill is only effective after 60 days of its adjournment.
The experience in the 2018 Pharmacy Legislative Health Fare was quite educative and challenging. Though the number of students was small due to the high price of attendance, the experience was worth it. The experiences such as the presentation of ideas and their transformation to Bills impacted my career and that of my classmates.
FLSenate. How an Idea Becomes a Law. Flow Chart. Florida: The Florida Senate, 2017. Print. <http://www.leg.state.fl.us/data/civics/senate_idealaw.pdf>.