TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — House Bill 709 and Senate Bill 994 have each been heard and passed by Florida's full House and Senate.
- Bills to strengthen Guardianship Program pass House, Senate
- READ TEXT OF BILLS: SB 944 | HB 709
- RELATED STORIES:
The legislation now goes to Gov. Ron DeSantis' desk for his signature.
The bills, sponsored by State Rep. Colleen Burton of Polk County and State Senate Majority Leader Kathleen Passidomo of Lee County, would:
- Require courts to grant permission for guardians to sign “do not resuscitate orders”
- Make it mandatory that guardians report detailed information regarding payments
- Restricts guardians from being able to petition the court to be appointed to cases unless they are related to the person in care.
The legislation is in direct response to the criminal investigations focused on professional guardian Rebecca Fierle.
She was arrested February 10 and is facing a pair of felony charges in connection with the May 2019 death of Steven Stryker, a 74-year-old senior who Fierle was appointed by a judge to care for as a guardian.
State investigators say Fierle directly caused Stryker’s death by filing a “Do Not Resuscitate” order against his wishes and ordered his feeding tube capped against the advice of doctors. Stryker died several days after Fierle made the order.
A court has ordered Rebeca Fierle to appear in person for an arraignment hearing in Tampa on March 23.