|Kelly QuinteroLegislative Advocate|
This week, we only saw a few of the bills and issues we’re tracking, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t keeping an eye on all of our legislative priorities…and more! In fact, we’re keeping track of over 200 bills this session already. Legislators have until March 7th to file bills so there may be a few more bills that we add to each priority every week until then.
- This week, the House PreK-12 Quality Subcommittee was given a presentation on Civics Education in the state of Florida by the Lou Frey Institute at the University of Central Florida, the Florida Law Related Education Association and the Legislature’s Office of Program Policy Analysis & Government Accountability. In the 2015-16 School Year, there was an average of 1,000 teachers per year in face to face classes and approximately 6,400 online teacher sessions per month. Read up more on it here: http://bit.ly/FLCivicsEdu
ELECTIONS & ETHICS
- Proposed Committee Bill (PCB) PIE 17-03 – Local Government Ethics Reform was presented by Rep. Larry Metz and falls in line with Speaker Richard Corcoran’s emphasis on ethics reform. The proposed bill requires all municipal officials, special district officials (water management districts and any other special districts) to increase their financial disclosure, disclose potential conflicts of interest, expands who must receive an annual ethics training, and creates a local government lobbyist registration fund. At this point the League has no position on this bill, but is monitoring it closely. Read more here: http://bit.ly/PCBEthics
- Minority Leader Rep. Janet Cruz has proposed HB 105 that clarifies the process for mismatched signatures on vote-by-mail ballots. It provides each Supervisor of Election flexibility on how to notify voters that their signatures are mismatched (email, phone, or mail, etc). The House Oversight, Transparency Administration Subcommittee voted unanimously on it and now goes to the House Government Accountability Committee. This is a top priority for the League and we are in support of this bill. Thank you to the Lobby Corps for waiving in support of this bill. Find it here: http://bit.ly/VBMHouse
- This year’s legislature is riddled with gun bills. Last night, the following bills were referred to committees but have not been scheduled as of today. The League stands in opposition to all of these bills:
- SB 618 – Concealed Weapons in Airports
- SB 620 – Concealed Weapons in Government buildings and meetings
- SB 622 – Campus Carry
- SB 644 and SB 646 – Open Carry
- ICYMI: The Florida Supreme Court blocked the 24 hour waiting period in a 4-2 decision on Thursday, leaving the 10 month old block in place. The court cited there’s a strong possibility that a lower court will find the waiting period is unconstitutional. The League is in support of this decision. Read about it here: http://bit.ly/24Block
- While we are keeping an eye on all Natural Resources bills, there were none in front of committees this week.
Looking for a specific bill or issue that you think the League should take a position on? LWVF prides itself on being a grassroots organization and receives suggestions on which issues we should make a priority from local league each year. From this list we’re able to create a comprehensive list of priorities and lobby for or against these issues in the Capital.
Questions, comments or concerns? Don’t hesitate to send me an email at LWVFAdvocacy@gmail.com.
LWV of Florida