Bill would revamp Florida’s PPE preparedness
Legislation aims to ensure Florida's access to PPE.

Medical worker in New York
Legislation allows preliminary PPE agreements for emergencies.

Legislation filed Thursday by Republicans in both chambers aims to ensure the state’s access to Personal Protective Equipment in a declared emergency.

The bills would require the Division of Emergency Management to take inventory of PPE, and to ensure the availability of the Personal Protective Equipment during declared infectious disease emergencies. The bill grants the division the ability to create preliminary agreements with vendors for PPE equipment, which are only used in a declared emergency.

Rep. Clay Yarborough, a Jacksonville Republican, sponsored the House version (HB 1535) . Yarborough compared the idea of securing PPE agreements in advance to the way the state preps for hurricane cleanup.

“Just like after a hurricane when you have trees out there blocking roads, and residents can’t get out. We need to have vendors in place that can quickly be able to chop those trees up, and haul them away, and fix the roads. That’s the same thinking that’s driving this bill,” Yarborough said.

Yarborough said the idea came about because the DEM was vying with other states —at times other countries— over available PPE. “If we hadn’t had the experience where the DEM director was told ‘We’ll get to you when we get to you’, then we probably wouldn’t have thought to try something like this. But we just want to make sure that Floridians are protected, and preliminary agreements can be in place so that we can get the necessary equipment to our state’s residents as quick as we possibly can,” said Yarborough.

Sen. Ben Albritton, a Bartow Republican, sponsored the Senate’s version of the PPE legislation, (SB 1760).

The availability of PPE has been an issue since the coronavirus pandemic hit the United States, surfacing in Florida in March. Early on, Governors from around the country reportedly spent billions competing with one another to properly handle the equipment challenges in the pandemic.

Haley Brown

Haley Brown covers state government for Previously, Haley covered the West Virginia Legislature and anchored weekend newscasts for WVVA in Bluefield, W.Va. Haley is a Florida native and a graduate of the University of Florida. You can reach her at [email protected].


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn