Election Day is Nov. 6th! There are 12 Amendments, find out about them here!

Capitol Report: January 19, 2018

Capitol Report: January 19, 2018

Capitol Report

“Bringing Tallahassee to your Doorstep”

January 19, 2018

Filed by: Stephanie Owens

What a session this is turning out to be! Here are some highlights of what happened during the second week:

On Wednesday, Senator Victor M. Torres, Jr. (Orlando) and Representative Joseph Geller (Aventura) held a joint press conference to discuss their legislation (HB 367 and SB 1374) requiring Florida to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC). States enacting the Compact can award their electors to the Presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote. To date, states accounting for 165 of the 270 electoral votes needed to activate the NPVIC have passed such legislation, with more considering it.

I spoke about how the League has supported “one person, one vote” for years and has made the passage of NPVIC a priority. “Despite the fact that Florida is the third largest state, Floridians’ voices are not equal to those of residents of other states.”

Dr. Kevin Wagner, Chair of the Department of Political Science at Florida Atlantic University summarized a survey of 1,000 registered voters which they conducted on behalf of LWVFL. The study found 68 percent of registered voters in Florida said it say the candidate who gets the most votes in all 50 states should be elected President, while less than a third said the current Electoral College system.

If you’d like to learn more about the NPVIC, click here!

Gun Safety

Two firearms bills were scheduled in Thursday’s Judiciary Committee meeting. SB 1242 adds two broad categories of persons to the statutory list of those who may carry a weapon or firearm without the need for further authorization, such as a concealed weapon or firearms license. One such category: persons “engaged in, traveling to, or returning, but not limited to” the many activities listed in the bill. These activities range widely, from sporting activities like cast netting, or falconry, to leisure activities such as bird watching, picnicking, or dog walking. Essentially, anybody can carry a gun without a permit. SB 1048 would allow properties that rent schools for their congregations to allow guns on the property during the rental period. This bill is meant to circumvent the current law and open the door to guns on campus.

The committee room was packed with concerned citizens and gun safety advocates who had traveled from across the state for the opportunity to share their voice to protect children. Well, that didn’t happen. The over-packed scheduled and lengthy legislator testimony pushed these items from the agenda. The people’s voice was not heard. The bills will return to the Judiciary Committee and the League will return to advocate for gun safety.

Health Care

SB 444 Pregnancy Support Services (Bean) passed its last committee, Appropriations, on Thursday. The bill — which is very close to becoming law — provides taxpayer dollars for “crisis pregnancy centers” (CPCs), which are often anti-abortion organizations posing as legitimate health care clinics. Under the guise of providing reproductive health services and pregnancy-related information, these clinics shame women and mislead them to prevent them from accessing the care they want and need. The companion bill, HB 41 (Toledo) passed the full House of Representatives (73-29) last week.

Natural Resources

SB 370 Land Acquisition Trust Fund – This a top priority for the League and one that we highly support. The bill requires a specified annual appropriation to the Florida Forever Trust Fund. The bill also prohibits money from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund from being used for specified costs. The appropriation of $100 million was approved in committee and placed on the Senate Calendar for Second reading.

Did you know:

What is a bill reading and how many are required for passage into law?

Florida has a short legislative session of 60 days and a single subject limitation. The First Reading starts the bill process and moves the bill through the designated committees needed for approval. If the bill passes favorably through all of its assigned committees, it is then placed in the calendar for Second Reading and available for discussion on the floor of the respective chambers. Note, bills that are not considered favorable die in committee. Bills on Second Reading offer a pool that the Speaker of the House or President of the Senate may draw to set on the calendar. After the bill is taken up for a Second Reading, it will then be rolled over to the Third Reading. When a bill is taken up for Third Reading, it is voted on for final passage. To learn more about the Florida Legislative process, visit FLSenate.gov or MyFloridaHouse.gov.

 

Legislative Week in Review

Education

SB 564 – John M. McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program
No position
John M. McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program; Providing that parents seeking an individual education plan reevaluation may request a specified meeting and evaluation from the school district; specifying that a school district may change a student’s matrix of services as a result of an individual education plan reevaluation
Current Committee of Reference: Appropriations
1/18/2018 SENATE voted Favorable with CS by Appropriations; 19 Yeas, 0 Nays
Similar: HB 399 – John M. McKay Scholarship for Students with Disabilities Program (Mariano)

SB 1756 – School Accountability
Priority High/Support
School Accountability; Revising the private schools to which the Department of Education is required to provide technical assistance and authorized staff; revising requirements for private schools that participate in the Gardiner Scholarship Program; revising the purpose of department site visits at private schools participating in the John M. McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program; requiring a private school to employ or contract with teachers who meet certain qualifications and provide information about such qualifications to the department, etc. Effective Date: 7/1/2018
Current Committee of Reference: Education
1/17/2018 SENATE On Committee agenda – Education, 01/22/18, 3:30 pm, 412 K

Election Law

HB 85 – Voter Registration List Maintenance
Priority High/Support
Voter Registration List Maintenance: Authorizes DOS to become member of nongovernmental entity to verify voter registration information; establishes requirements for such memberships; requires DHSMV to provide specified information to DOS; establishes reporting requirements. Effective Date: January 1, 2019
Current Committee of Reference: Public Integrity & Ethics Committee
1/18/2018 HOUSE Committee Substitute Text (C1) Filed
Identical: SB 276 – Voter Registration List Maintenance (Hutson)
Linked: HB 87 – Pub.Rec./Statewide Voter Registration System (Spano)

HB 87 – Pub.Rec./Statewide Voter Registration System
Priority High/Support
Pub.Rec./Statewide Voter Registration System: Creates public record exemption for certain information received by Department of State from another state that is confidential or exempt pursuant to laws of that state; provides for release of such information to specified persons; provides for future legislative review & repeal of exemption; provides statement of public necessity. Effective Date: on the same date that HB 85 or similar legislation takes effect
Current Committee of Reference: Public Integrity & Ethics Committee
1/18/2018 HOUSE Committee Substitute Text (C1) Filed
Linked: HB 85 – Voter Registration List Maintenance (Spano)

SB 272 – Local Tax Referenda
Priority High/Oppose
Local Tax Referenda; Revising the voter approval threshold required to pass a referendum to adopt or amend local government discretionary sales surtaxes when the referendum is held at any date other than a general election, etc. Effective Date: 7/1/2018
Current Committee of Reference: Appropriations
1/18/2018 SENATE Now in Appropriations
Identical: HB 317 – Local Tax Referenda

HB 317 – Local Tax Referenda
Priority High/Oppose
Local Tax Referenda: Requires local government discretionary sales surtax referenda to be held on specified dates & approved by specified percentage of voters. Effective Date: July 1, 2018
Current Committee of Reference: Government Accountability Committee
1/18/2018 HOUSE Favorable with CS by Government Accountability Committee; 17 Yeas, 3 Nays

HB 989 – Repeal of Public Campaign Financing Requirement
Priority High/Oppose
Repeal of Public Campaign Financing Requirement: Proposes repeal of s. 7, Art. VI of State Constitution to eliminate requirement for public financing of campaigns of candidates for elective statewide office who agree to campaign spending limits. Effective Date: Not Specified
Current Committee of Reference: Public Integrity & Ethics Committee
1/17/2018 HOUSE Now in Public Integrity & Ethics Committee
Linked to HB 991 – Campaign Finance (White)

HB 991 – Campaign Finance
Priority High/Oppose
Campaign Finance: Repeals provisions relating to Florida Election Campaign Financing Act. Effective Date: on the effective date of HJR 989.
Current Committee of Reference: Public Integrity & Ethics Committee
1/17/2018 HOUSE Now in Public Integrity & Ethics Committee
Linked: HB 989 – Repeal of Public Campaign Financing Requirement (White)

HB 6009 – Write-In Candidates
Priority High/Support
Write-In Candidates: Repeals provisions relating to write-in candidate residency requirement. Effective Date: upon becoming a law
Current Committee of Reference: Public Integrity & Ethics Committee
1/18/2018 HOUSE Favorable with CS by Public Integrity & Ethics Committee; 17 Yeas, 0 Nays
Identical:  SB 582 – Write-in Candidate Qualifying (Rader)

HB 7003 – Local Government Ethics Reform Public Integrity & Ethics Committee
Priority: Low/Support
Local Government Ethics Reform: Provides that contractual relationships held by business entities are deemed held by public officers or employees in certain situations; provides ethics training requirements; prohibits certain governing board members from voting in official capacity on specified matters; requires certain members of municipality governing body to file disclosure; provides for future repeal of provisions relating to local government authority to enact rule or ordinance requiring lobbyists to register with local government; provides for future repeal of provisions relating to registration & reporting for lobbying water management districts; requires Commission on Ethics to create Local Government Lobbyist Registration System; requires lobbyists to register with commission before lobbying specified governmental entities; provides responsibilities of Governor; provides civil penalties. Effective Date: July 1, 2018
1/12/2018 HOUSE Read Third Time; Passed (Vote: 100 Yeas / 2 Nays)
Linked: HB 7005 – Trust Funds/Creation/Local Government Lobbyist Registration System Trust Fund (Public Integrity & Ethics Committee)

Gun Safety

HB 55 – Sale of Firearms
Priority Low/Support
Sale of Firearms: Requires FDLE to allow payment or transmittal of processing fees for criminal history checks of potential firearms buyers by electronic means. Effective Date: July 1, 2018
Current Committee of Reference: No Current Committee
1/18/2018 HOUSE Placed on Calendar, on 2nd reading

SB 152 – Sale of Firearms
Priority Low/Support
Sale of Firearms; Requiring Department of Law Enforcement procedures to allow the payment or transmittal of processing fees for criminal history checks of potential firearms buyers by electronic means; providing that criminal history check requests by licensed importers, manufacturers, and dealers to the department may be made by electronic means, etc.Effective Date: 10/1/2018
Current Committee of Reference: Appropriations
1/18/2018 SENATE Favorable by Appropriations; 18 Yeas, 0 Nays
Identical: HB 55 – Sale of Firearms (White)

SB 328 –  Veteran Identification
Priority Low/Neutral
Veteran Identification; Requiring the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to create a veteran identification card for certain purposes; authorizing use of the card as proof of veteran status for expedited processing of an application for a license to carry a concealed weapon or firearm, etc. Effective Date: 1/1/2019
Current Committee of Reference: Appropriations
1/17/2018 SENATE Now in Appropriations

SB 1242 – Carrying of Weapons and Firearms
Priority High/Oppose
Carrying of Weapons and Firearms; Providing that specified provisions relating to the carrying of weapons and firearms do not apply to persons engaged in, traveling to, or returning from certain outdoor activities or traveling to or returning from certain motor vehicles, residences, shelters, and other places, etc. Effective Date: 7/1/2018
Current Committee of Reference: Judiciary
1/18/2018 SENATE Not Considered by Judiciary
Identical: HB 739 – Carrying of Weapons and Firearms (Fant)

Natural Resources

SB 232 – Coral Reefs
Priority Medium/Support
Coral Reefs; Establishing the Southeast Florida Coral Reef Ecosystem Conservation Area, etc. Effective Date: 7/1/2018
Current Committee of Reference: Appropriations
1/18/2018 SENATE Favorable by Appropriations; 19 Yeas, 0 Nays

SB 370 – Land Acquisition Trust Fund
Priority High/Support
Land Acquisition Trust Fund; Requiring a specified annual appropriation to the Florida Forever Trust Fund; prohibiting moneys from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund from being used for specified costs, etc. APPROPRIATION: $100,000,000.00 Effective Date: 7/1/2018
Current Committee of Reference: No Current Committee
1/16/2018 SENATE Placed on Calendar, on 2nd reading
Similar: HB 1353 Land Acquisition Trust Fund (Beshears)

SR 550 – Gulf of Mexico Range Complex
Priority Low/Support
Gulf of Mexico Range Complex; Supporting an extension of the current moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico east of the Military Mission Line, etc.
Current Committee of Reference: Military and Veterans Affairs, Space, and Domestic Security
1/16/2018 SENATE Now in Military and Veterans Affairs, Space, and Domestic Security
Identical: HR 319 – Gulf of Mexico Range Complex (Ponder)

Health Care

SB 444 – Pregnancy Support Services
Priority High/Oppose
Pregnancy Support Services; Requiring the Department of Health to contract with a not-for-profit statewide alliance of organizations to provide pregnancy support and wellness services through subcontractors; requiring the contractor to spend a specified percentage of funds on direct client services; specifying the entities eligible for a subcontract, etc. Effective Date: 7/1/2018
Current Committee of Reference: Appropriations
1/18/2018 SENATE Favorable by Appropriations; 12 Yeas, 6 Nays
Similar: HB 41 – Pregnancy Support and Wellness Services (Toledo)

SB 108 – Florida Kidcare Program
Priority High/Neutral
Florida Kidcare Program; Establishing the Kidcare Operational Efficiency and Health Care Improvement Workgroup as a task force administratively housed in the Department of Health to maximize the return on investment and enhance the operational efficiencies of the Florida Kidcare program, etc. Effective Date: 7/1/2018
Current Committee of Reference: Governmental Oversight and Accountability
1/17/2018 SENATE Committee Substitute Text (C1) Filed
Similar: HB 293 – Florida Kidcare Program (Duran)

HB 293 – Florida Kidcare Program
Priority High/Neutral
Florida Kidcare Program: Establishes Kidcare Operational Efficiency & Health Care Improvement Workgroup as task force administratively housed in DOH to maximize return on investment & enhance operational efficiencies of program.
Current Committee of Reference: Health & Human Services Committee
1/16/2018 HOUSE Now in Health & Human Services Committee

 

News You can Use

1.1 million Floridians remaining unrepresented

No special elections in Latvala, Hahnfeldt districts (Tampa Bay Online)

(NSF) Gov. Rick Scott said Thursday he will not set special elections to replace former Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, and the late Rep. Don Hahnfeldt, R-The Villages, leaving the seats open until November. Scott said he agreed not to hold special elections after talking with supervisors of elections in the districts of Latvala, who resigned effective Jan. 5 after an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment, and Hahnfeldt, who died of cancer Dec. 24.

Analysis: The 2018 Legislative Session

Commentary: Uncharted territory — intrigue roils Florida Legislature (Orlando Sentinel)

With the second week of the 2018 Florida Legislature drawing to a close, what are the politics likely to drive any achievements during the 60-day session in Tallahassee? To find out, the Orlando Sentinel Editorial Board sought out Aubrey Jewett of the University of Central Florida. The associate professor is an expert in Florida politics, American government and local politics. Q: Can you remember another legislative session that included this level of political intrigue and turmoil?

Blog Categories

Stay Connected!

Sign up to get news and alerts by email on the issues you're most interested in

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
P.O. Box 1911 Orlando, FL 32802-1911

Orlando Web Design by CREATE180 Design