Senator Dennis Baxley (R-Ocala) today released the following statement clarifying comments made during a recent meeting of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services, during which the committee discussed the tragic deaths that occurred in a Hollywood, Florida, nursing home following Hurricane Irma.
“I apologize if my comments yesterday did not properly convey the deep respect I have for elder members of our communities and the concern I share regarding the preventable tragedy that occurred in Hollywood. As a funeral director and ordained elder of my church, I have spent my entire adult life working with families who are grieving the loss of a loved one. In addition to my faith, working in this field has shown me day in and day out that the life of each and every member of our society is special and worthy of respect. Many of the funeral services we coordinate involve elder members of our community, and I take great pride in the opportunity to ensure their lives are honored and celebrated. No family member should have to fear that their loved one is suffering in a nursing home, particularly during a natural disaster. I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure the Legislature takes the appropriate steps to safeguard our seniors from the horrific and inexcusable situation that occurred in Hollywood.”