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Martin County Democrats envision
...equitable access to a safe environment
...an economy and educational system that work for all
...health care as a right
...diversity as a strength
...and democracy as worth defending
SB130 (Lori Berman) /HB 97 (Cassell) Greyson's Law
This bill is called "Greyson's Law." It requires the court to consider domestic violence factors when considering parental custody.
HB991 (Alex Andrade & Mike Beltran) Defamation, False Light, and Unauthorized Publication of Name or Likenesses
This bill would allow public figures (such as politicians) to bring suit against journalists for defamation, even if no malice was intended. Critics call it the "Death to Public Discourse Bill." Many fear this bill would limit free speech and the right to criticize government officials without fear of financial retribution. Anonymous sources and investigative journalists would be especially impacted. Also includes provision that if public figure sues journalist or media and wins, then the journalist also has to pay public figure's legal fees.
HB1 ( Kaylee Tuck & Susan Plasencia) School Choice
Allows for children to go to public schools, charter schools, private schools, home school regardless of physical or monetary needs...(even rich kids get the voucher) ... .Greatly expands voucher program, essentially making the voucher program universal. State funds for the vouchers would allow parents to pay for private school tuition, tutoring, virtual school, homeshool fees and more. Money that would have gone to public schools will now go to the voucher program. Many view this bill as detrimental to public education.
See House Speaker Renner's spin in interview about this bill here.
See Women's Club info for more facts about this bill and its effect on public education here.
HB411 (Kevin Steele) District School Board Elections
Says elected candidate for district school board must reside in district school board member residence area by date she or he assumes office instead of upon qualifying for office.
HB479 (Gallop Franklin) Required Instruction in history of Holocaust and History of African Americans
Revises provisions relating to required instruction in history of African Americans; requires department to annually verify that school districts, charter schools, & specified private schools implement certain instruction relating to history of Holocaust & history of African Americans; requires district school superintendents, charter school principals, & private school directors or similar administrators to annually provide specified evidence to department by certain date; provides penalties; & requires certain statewide, standardized assessments to include curricula content from history of Holocaust & history of African Americans.
HB999 (Alex Andrade) Public Postsecondary Educational Institutions
If passed, this bill would put hiring decisions and curriculum control at Florida public universities in the hands of politicians and their crony appointees. IT WOULD END ACADEMIC FREEDOM AND UNIVERSITY INDEPENDENCE. IT WOULD GIVE DESANTIS MORE POWER TO DICTATE WHO TEACHES AND WHAT IS TAUGHT. No doubt, DeSantis would put into place those who echo his ideology. This bill also bans gender studies courses. It would defund diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts at state institutions.
SB88 (Shev Jones) Task Force on Workforce Housing for Teachers and Expansion of Schools
Creates a task force to study affordable housing and classroom size challenges faced by teachers. The task force would study the feasibility of using surplus state-owned land and mixed-use developments for workforce housing, and the need for comprehensive planning to address workforce housing for teachers.
SB256 (Blaise Ingoglia) Employee Organizations Representing Public Employees
Bans automatic union paycheck deductions of Florida's public employees. Many say this and other provisions of the bill would be "union busting." This would NOT include male-dominated public employees in law enforcement, firefighters, correctional officers and probation officers. Many view this bill as an attack on women due to this disparity in professions affected. The female-dominated teachers' union and nurses' union would be included in this ban. For a good review of this anti-union bill and comparison to a similar law in Wisconsin, see this.
SB342 (Lori Berman)/HB 271 (Jervonte Edmonds) Save Our Teachers Act
Increases minimum base salary for full-time teachers from $47,500 to $65,000.
SB1248 (Blaise Ingoglia) Political Parties "The Ultimate Cancel Act - Cancelling the Democratic Party"
What in the world?!!!! This bill proposes the state Division of Elections cancel the "filings" of a political party, to include party registration and approved status in any and all elections, if that party's platform had previously advocated for slavery or involuntary servitude. Although not explicitly listed, the Democratic Party, which was popular in the nation's South during Reconstruction, would fit the description. Economics and civil rights fueled significant changes in both parties in the years since. The bill includes language that would require any voter currently registered as a member of a canceled party to be notified by that political party to update their voter registration to an approved and active political party.
Here is the FDP response: ""Presenting a bill that would disenfranchise 5 million voters is both unconstitutional and unserious. Under Ron DeSantis, Senator Ingoglia is using his office to push bills that are nothing more than publicity stunts instead of focusing on the issues that matter most to Floridians, such as reforming property insurance, addressing housing affordability, and combating climate change. The sooner DeSantis and his puppets in the legislature learn that Florida is a Democratic Republic and not a Banana Republic, the better it will be for all Floridians.”
HJR405 (Chase Tramont) Prohibition on Open Primaries and Nonpartisan Elections
**This is a proposed amendment to Florida's state constitution, not a bill. But the gist of it would be to prohibit nonpartisan elections - to provide that candidates for office can disclose their party affiliation. For us, it would mean BOCC, City of Stuart, and School Board elections would be partisan.
HJR31 (5 REPUBLICAN SPONSORS SO FAR - SEE OFFICIAL SITE FOR NAMES) Partisan Elections for Members of District School Boards
Proposes amendments to State Constitution to require members of district school boards to be elected in partisan elections.
HJR129 (Rick Roth) Requiring Broader Public Support for Constitutional Amendments or Revisions
Proposes amendment to State Constitution to increase percentage of elector votes required to approve amendment to or revision of State Constitution from 60 percent to 66.67 percent, except repeal of amendment or revision need only be approved by same percentage of elector votes as was required at time of passage of such amendment or revision.
SB150 (Clay Collins) Guns (or, to use their term, "Public Safety")
Requires sheriffs to assist private schools in complying with a certain statute; authorizes a person to carry a concealed weapon or concealed firearm if he or she is licensed to do so or meets specified requirements; requires a person who is carrying a concealed weapon or concealed firearm without a license to carry valid identification and display such identification upon demand by a law enforcement officer; provides that a person who is authorized to carry a concealed weapon or concealed firearm without a license is subject to specified penalties for possessing such weapon or firearm at a school-sponsored event or on school property; requires the Office of Safe Schools to develop a behavioral threat management operational process by a specified date; authorizing a private school to partner with a law enforcement agency or security agency for specified purposes, etc.
SB462 (Lori Berman) Assault Weapons and Large-capacity Magazines
Prohibits the sale or transfer of an assault weapon or a large-capacity magazine; prohibits possession of an assault weapon or a large-capacity magazine; requires certificates of possession for assault weapons or large-capacity magazines lawfully possessed before a specified date; provides conditions for continued possession of such weapons or large-capacity magazines; provides enhanced criminal penalties for certain offenses when committed with an assault weapon or a large-capacity magazine, etc.
HB543 (14 SPONSORS!! ALL REPUBLICAN, OF COURSE!!!!) Concealed Carry of Weapons and Firearms Without a License (Permitless Carry)
Authorizes person to carry concealed weapon or concealed firearm if he or she is licensed to do so or meets specified requirements; requires person who is carrying concealed weapon or concealed firearm without license to carry identification & display upon demand by law enforcement; prohibits person who is carrying concealed weapon or concealed firearm without license from carrying such weapon or firearm in specified locations; authorizes nonresident to carry concealed weapon or concealed firearm in this state if he or she meets same requirements as resident; provides person authorized to carry concealed weapon or concealed firearm without license is subject to specified penalties for possessing such weapon or firearm at school-sponsored event or on school property.
HEALTH CARE /ABORTION
SB300 (Erin Grall) /HB7 (Jenna Persons-Mulicka) Pregnancy and Parenting Support ** 6 WEEK ABORTION BAN **
Prohibits abortions after 6 weeks. Allows for rape and incest exception. Prohibits mailing of pregnancy termination medication.
HB305 (Webster Barnaby & Dean Black) Protection of Medical Freedom
Prohibits DOH from requiring enrollment in state's immunization registry or otherwise requiring persons to submit to immunization tracking; prohibits business & governmental entities from requiring individuals to provide proof of vaccination to gain access to, entry upon, or service from such entities; prohibits employers from refusing employment to, or discharging, disciplining, demoting, or otherwise discriminating against, individual on basis of vaccination or immunity status; revises purposes of Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992 to include discrimination protection for vaccination or immunity status.
HB1029 (Randy Maggard) / SB1304 (Colleen Burton) Claims Against Long-term Care Facilities
This bill is meant to reduce the civil lawsuits that seniors and their relatives may bring against nursing homes. Some argue such tort reform is needed to reduce excessive litigation, while others argue it would ultimately hurt seniors by lowering healthcare standards since nursing homes would not fear litigation as much.
HOME RULE/LOCAL ORDINANCES
SB102 (See bill - many sponsors) / HB627 (Cabrrera and Lopez) Live Local Act - Rent Control and Affordable Housing
Prevents the authority of local governments to adopt or maintain laws, ordinances, rules, or other measures that would have the effect of imposing controls on rents; provides an exemption from ad valorem taxation for land that meets certain criteria; authorizes local governments to adopt ordinances to provide an ad valorem tax exemption for portions of property used to provide affordable housing meeting certain requirements; suspends, for a specified period, the General Revenue Fund service charge on documentary stamp tax collections; authorizes the Governor, under the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund, to approve state or local public infrastructure projects to facilitate the development or construction of affordable housing, etc.
SB170 (Jay Trumbull) Local Ordinances (Allows businesses to sue local governments over 'arbitrary or unreasonable' ordinances, etc.)
Authorizes courts to assess and award reasonable attorney fees and costs and damages in certain civil actions filed against local governments; requires a board of county commissioners to prepare or cause to be prepared a business impact estimate before the enactment of a proposed ordinance; requires a county to suspend enforcement of an ordinance that is the subject of a certain legal action if certain conditions are met, etc.
SB1240 (Danny Burgess) / HB1197 (Randy Maggard) Land and Water Management
Prohibits counties and municipalities from adopting laws, regulations, rules or policies related to water quality or quantity, pollution control. Leaves control with the state. If passed, this would mean Martin County could not protect its own waterways and wetlands.
HB359 (Wyman Duggan) Local Government Comprehensive Plans
Simply put, the bill stipulates that anyone who loses a legal challenge to a comprehensive plan or comprehensive plan amendment must pay the winner's attorney fees and costs. This would be a boon to developers because citizens would likely never challenge such amendments due to the high costs they could incur. An even more pervasive sprawl would likely result.
HB 437 (James Buchanan) Homeowners' Right to Display Flags
Authorizes homeowners to display no more than certain number of flags regardless of prohibitions in governing documents of homeowners' association; defines "first responder flag"; prohibits homeowners' association documents from precluding property owners from displaying certain number of specified flags. Note that Rainbow Flag is not listed here as being acceptable.
SB6 (Blaise Ingoglia) / HB5 (John Snyder) Unauthorized Alien Transport Program
Creates the Unauthorized Alien Transport Program within the Division of Emergency Management to facilitate the transport of inspected unauthorized aliens within the United States. This bill is meant to clean up the mess made when Desantis flew migrants from Texas to Martha's Vineyard. Snyder is our House rep from District 86.
SB254 (Clay Yarborough) /HB 1421 (Randy Fine & Ralph Massullo) Treatments for Sex Reassignment
Bans doctors from providing gender-affirming care to transgender youth, such as hormone therapy. House version requires that doctors lose their licenses if they provide such treatment to those under 18. Senate bill says this could lead to criminal charges against doctor. House bill also prevents health insurers and HMOs from providing coverage. The Senate bill gives the state temporary emergency jurisdiction over trans children if they are about to receive gender-affirming care.
SB328 (Lauren Book) Gay and Transgender Panic Legal Defenses Prohibition Act
Prohibits individuals from using a nonviolent sexual advance or specified perceptions or beliefs about another individual as a defense to a criminal offense, to excuse or justify the conduct of an individual who commits a criminal offense, or to mitigate the severity of a criminal offense, etc.
HB1223 (Adam Anderson) /HB1069 (Stan McClain) /SB 1320 (Clay Yarborough) "Don't Say Expansion" - These bills expand on last year's Don't Say Gay Bill
HB1223 bans school employees and students from addressing a person by their preferred pronoun - they have to use the pronoun given to person at birth. It also extends Parental Rights bill from 2022 so restrictions go through 8th grade.
HB1069 expands book banning within classrooms and allows for easier ways to challenge books in the classroom. All challenged books, even if only one parent objects, must be removed immediately.
SB1320 - similar to HB1223
HB1403 (Joel Rudman) / SB1580 (Jay Trumbull) Protections of Medical Conscience
Allows for "conscience-based objections without discrimination" -- in other words, it allows a doctor to decline to treat someone without fear of disciplinary action. Legalizes discrimination by the medical profession.
SB1438 (Clay Yarborough) /HB 1423 (Randy Fine) Protection of Children (aka Drag Show Prohibition)
Prohibits drag queen performances in a public building or public event. Owner of establishment that allows children to enter is subject to fines and suspension of license.
SB1674 (Erin Grall) Facility Requirements Based on Sex - called "Safety in Private Spaces Act"
Requires people to use bathroom or locker room that lines up with gender assigned at birth
Many consider this anti-trans legislation. It would charge trans people with a misdemeanor for using the bathroom consistent with their gender identity.
HM1319 (Tommy Gregory) / SM1382 (Jay Collins) United States Dept of Defense
Anti-woke memorial....Urges Congress to change regulations so Dept of Defense is not so "woke" - to not focus on diversity and equality and decency. Asks for a return to the warrior ethos of the past. Many see this as an attack on LGBTQ service members.
1001 Friends of Florida is a non-profit organization that focuses on growth and the environment, and they do a great job of monitoring the legislature. Go here to view their list of bills being considered and their recommendations.
Friends of the Everglades is another organization that watches environmental bills being considered. Go here to view their list of bills as well as a webinar held about the bills.