Florida governor wants nursing home rules in constitution

Staff members at Westwood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., and firefighters from Fort Walton Beach Fire Department load Hurricane Irma evacuees, who had stayed at Westwood since last Saturday, onto a bus on Wednesday Sept. 13, 2017 to head back to the their facility in Mayo, Fla. (Nick Tomecek/Northwest Florida Daily News via AP)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Florida Gov. Rick Scott wants a commission that is revising the state constitution to include provisions to protect residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

In a statement issued Thursday, Scott told the Constitution Revision Commission to consider adding “permanent measures to put patient safety first.”

Spokeswoman Kerri Wyland said the governor “looks forward to seeing what proposals” the commission recommends.

Scott cited the 12 deaths after Hurricane Irma at the Rehabilitation Center of Hollywood Hills.

The patients died after the storm damaged the electric transformer that powered the facility’s air conditioning.

After the Hollywood deaths, Scott issued an executive order requiring nursing homes and assisted living facilities to install generators and purchase fuel that could power their air conditioning for up to four days.

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