TAMPA, Florida (WFLA) – A new Florida law creates criminal penalties for fraud committed by operators of substance abuse programs and establishes regulations on how recovery residences are classified.
Under SB 804, new penalties have been put in place for making false representations or omissions of fact when applying for license to be a service provider. The new law also requires the Florida Department of Children and Families to suspend provider licenses under certain circumstances.
It will be now a third-degree felony fake or withhold information about applications to be licensed as a substance abuse service provider. When service providers are operated directly by, or under contract with, a state agency, they must be licensed by DCF.
Providers licensed by DCF shall not be subject to penalties for false information or withholding material information when applying for licenses.
Going forward, the law also authorizes DCF to suspend licenses to a service provider if they do not pay administrative fines and interest for disciplinary action taken by the department within 60 days.
More than that, the law requires service providers to pay fines and interest in violating patients ’recommendation bans within 60 days of a date set by DCF, or they could also have their license suspended.
SB 804 also makes it for one or two dwelling families who return certified home for recovery by having a change of tenant due to being converted into a recovery facility. Homeowners who make their homes in recovery residences are still legal occupants, by law.
For the sake of enforcing the Florida Fire Prevention Code, residents of stay-back-recovery residences cannot be reclassified, and will retain their status as one or two families.