By Tim Pallesen
  
    A proposed state law to regulate sober homes failed to pass the Florida Legislature, frustrating coastal residents who sought the state’s help.
    “It’s deeply disappointing that certain legislators in Tallahassee did not take the widespread abuses associated with sober houses as seriously as many Floridians do,” Delray Beach Mayor Cary Glickstein said.
    The bill sponsored by Rep. Bill Hager, R-Boca Raton, and Sen. Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth, appeared to have widespread support.
It would have required all sober homes to register annually and be inspected by the Department of Children and Family Services.
    But the Senate bill died when it wasn’t called up by the Senate Appropriations Committee on April 22.
    Two days later, the House approved a weaker voluntary certification program that would have required treatment centers to only refer patients to certified sober homes. But Clemens wouldn’t sponsor that weaker House bill in the Senate and the legislation died.
    “I did everything I could on my side,” Hager told Delray city commissioners on May 20. “Sober homes will continue to be a great problem. I’m going back next year to go right smack at it.”
    Glickstein said the city will also continue to ask the Congress to provide states and cities “the authority and ability needed to weed out the unscrupulous operators from among those truly trying to help individuals with addictions.”

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