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

Capitol Report: January 26, 2018

Capitol Report: January 26, 2018

“Bringing Tallahassee to your Doorstep”

Filed by: Stephanie Owens

Election Law

On Tuesday the citizens’ initiative to restore voting rights to nonviolent felons made the ballot as Amendment 4. Special thanks to our 2nd VP Cecile Scoon who led the Leagues effort, and all of you Leaguers who helped collect over 1 million signatures from registered Florida voters who want voting rights restored for over 1.6 million Floridians. The League was pleased to join organizations from across the state at Friday’s press conference in the Capitol to launch the next phase of work to engage Floridians in voting on November 6th to pass the amendment. Remember, we need 60% of Yes on 4 to ensure all Floridians have a right to participate in democracy.

On Thursday, the House passed HJR 7001, which would place an amendment on the ballot to require a supermajority vote in both chambers of the Legislature to raise taxes or state fees. The Legislature has one mandated responsibility: to pass a budget, in good times and in bad times. This bill ties their hands, prevents flexibility, and relieves them on their major responsibility. The League has a clear position. No tax source of revenue should be specified, limited, exempted, or prohibited in the Constitution.

Health Care

Medicaid expansion has been an issue for years in Florida, but has failed to progress through the Legislature. One of the League’s legislative priorities is to “Support expansion of health care access and affordable coverage for low income, uninsured and under insured Floridians.” On Thursday, The League supported Sen. Annette Taddeo and Rep. Lori Berman at their press conference asking the Legislature to allow Medicaid expansion to be decided by the voters. Sen. Annette Taddeo’s SJR 1136  and Berman’s resolution — HJR 911 — would result in a proposed constitutional amendment requiring voter approval in November. Read more about the issue here.

Education

The big news in education this week was the new train bill that surfaced Thursday in the House Education Committee. Some bills were rolled into PCB EDC 18-01.  The bill is now filed as HB 7055 and includes topics such as 1. District Flexibility that includes district autonomous schools, expansion of the Pilot Principal Autonomy program, allowing designated principals to supervise more than one school  2. Charter School System Organization and Expansion 3. Creation of Reading Scholarships for third graders with low FSA reading scores. These elements are modeled on the Gardiner Personal Learning Accounts awarded to families of students with serious disabilities. The scholarships presently include payments for tutoring, and other services and parents can be put these funds in children’s college accounts. 4. FTC Accountability measures provide for criminal background checks and finger-printing of FTC private school staff. The Education Action team chaired by Sue Legg is analyzing the bill to establish the League’s position. Stay tuned!

Gun Safety

SB 1048 “Guns in Places of Worship” advance favorably from the Judiciary Committee after an amendment by Senator Baxley to exclude Churches that meet on the property of a school during school hours, or when curricular or extra-curricular “school-sponsored” activities take place. While relatively exemplary, the devil is in – or in this case, not in – the details. The bill as passed appears to still allow guns near schools on church property and guns near any non-schooled sponsored organization that rents on the same property as the church. For example, a club sports or recreation team – youth or adult, could rent the same property – because the club would be a “renter,” not a school-sponsored activity. Any non-school facility rental has no exclusion at any time. The next stop for the bill is the Rules Committee. We will work to amend the bill to exclude schools on church property and permissible gun congregations from co-mingling with the non-gun carrying public renting the same facility.

Natural Resources

No key updates this week. Read the weekly bill action report to see specific actions on the natural resource bills we are tracking.

Reproductive Rights

This week, another anti-choice bill is moving: HB 1429/SB 1890 totally bans the use of dilation and evacuation (or “D&E”) as an abortion method at any point in a pregnancy. This “Method Ban” is not medically justified: this type of procedure is very safe with a low risk of complications. The ban imposes felony penalties on any healthcare provider who participates in the procedure. HB 1429 passed out of the House HHS Health Quality Subcommittee on Wednesday. The League continues to work in opposition to these bills.

Lobby Corps

Meet the Tallahassee Lobby Corps, a group of 33 local League members that support our legislative advocacy for over 150 bills this session. They attend legislative committee meetings, provide testimony on our position, and provide critical insight on legislator debate and discussion. They often get crucial bits of information that help us create our advocacy strategies and talking points.

Some Lobby Corps volunteers are retired, and others are not. Some are lawyers, some have worked in state government, and for the Legislature, some are teachers. They come from a variety of backgrounds, and all have an interest in our legislative priorities in Elections, Gun Safety, Health and Natural Resources and based on the issue areas selected at our annual state conference.

Jan Rubino — the coordinator — is a volunteer herself! She is a crucial member of our weekly strategy discussion and secures Lobby Corps members to attend key meetings on the bills we track. Watch any committee meeting with one of our bills, and you’ll recognize the Lobby Corps member wearing a large League of Women Voters button. Lobby Corps members take notes on bills the League follows, and then files a report. These members are our boots on the ground for League members who live across the state.

This year, the Lobby Corps’ workload has doubled due to the Constitutional Revision Commission (CRC) holding its meetings in Tallahassee during legislative session. The CRC has 10 committees, on top of 34 House committees and 26 Senate committees, often meeting at the same time. Fortunately, the League does not cover every committee each week, but they do overlap and the schedule keeps us all hopping. Additionally, the Senate and the House have three and two-day notice periods, respectively. Many times the short notice makes it difficult to cover a committee meeting in person. With all thanks to the Florida Sunshine Law, all of the meetings are broadcast on The Florida Channel online. Volunteers watch and report on the proceedings from home.

Our advocacy would not be successful without the dedication of the Lobby Corp. For more information or to get involved email Jan Rubino at LWVFLobbycorps@gmail.com

Did you know: Legislation has a life after death?

To quote Yogi Berra, “It’s déjà vu all over again.” Gun safety and home rule advocates were pleased during the committee weeks with the early defeat of legislation that would broaden opportunities for concealed weapon permit holders to carry firearms and limit the ability of local leaders to govern their communities.

But wait; not so fast. The same language of defeated legislation keeps reappearing in amendments to bills that are sailing favorably through House and Senate Committees. Add to this the list of CRC proposals that replicate 2018 legislation, and you have a real-life Legislative Whack-A-Mole. No worries! Leaguers and our partners are very prepared to protect the interests of Floridians. Winter is Coming!

News You can Use

These are the 5 most-lobbied bills in the Florida House (Tampa Bay Times)

This new hurdle could make it harder for Florida lawmakers to raise taxes and fees (Miami Herald)

Gun Bill Involving Places Of Worship, Florida Schools Passes First Senate Committee (WFSU)

Legislative Week In Review

Education

HB 1 – The Hope Scholarship Program
Priority High/Oppose
Establishes Hope Scholarship Program; provides program purpose & requirements; authorizes certain persons to elect to direct certain state sales & use tax revenue to be transferred to nonprofit scholarship-funding organizations for Hope Scholarship Program; provides penalties; authorizes DOR to adopt emergency rules for specified purposes. Effective Date: upon becoming a law
Current Committee of Reference: PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee
1/26/2018 HOUSE On Committee agenda – PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee, 01/30/18, 8:00 am, 102 H

SB 194 – Limitation of Terms of Office for Members of a District School Board
Priority High/Oppose
Proposing an amendment to Section 4 of Article IX of the State Constitution to limit the terms of office for a member of a district school board, etc.
Current Committee of Reference: Ethics and Elections
1/25/2018 SENATE On Committee agenda – Ethics and Elections, 01/30/18, 2:00 pm, 412 K

SB 564 – John M. McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program
Providing that parents of certain students who are seeking an individual education plan reevaluation may request a specified meeting and evaluation from the school district; defining the term “hospitalized or homebound”; specifying that a school district may change a student’s matrix of services as a result of an individual education plan reevaluation, etc. Effective Date: 7/1/2018
Current Committee of Reference: Rules
1/22/2018 SENATE Now in Rules

HB 1031 – Limitation on Terms of Office for Members of a District School Board
Oppose
Limitation on Terms of Office for Members of a District School Board: Proposes amendment to Section 4 of Article IX & creation of new section in Article XII of State Constitution to limit terms of office for member of district school board; provides applicability. Effective Date: Not Specified
Current Committee of Reference: Education Committee
1/22/2018 HOUSE On Committee agenda – Public Integrity & Ethics Committee, 01/24/18, 11:30 am, 404 H
1/24/2018 HOUSE Favorable with CS by Public Integrity & Ethics Committee; 17 Yeas, 1 Nay
1/25/2018 HOUSE Committee Substitute Text (C2) Filed
1/26/2018 HOUSE Now in Education Committee

SB 1434 – K-12 Education Enhancements
Priority High/Neutral
Revising student eligibility criteria for the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program; prohibiting a district school board from limiting the number of public school students who may participate in a structured program; creating the hope supplemental services and the mental health assistance allocations; increasing the amount that a school district may expend from a specified millage levy for certain expenses; prohibiting a charter school from being eligible for capital outlay funds unless the chair of the governing board and the chief administrative officer of the charter school annually certify certain information, etc. Effective Date: 7/1/2018
Current Committee of Reference: Appropriations Subcommittee on Pre-K – 12 Education
1/22/2018 SENATE Favorable with CS by Education; 8 Yeas, 2 Nays
1/24/2018 SENATE Committee Substitute Text (C1) Filed
1/26/2018 SENATE Now in Appropriations Subcommittee on Pre-K – 12 Education

SB 1756 – School Accountability
Priority Low/Support
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 and parents, etc. Effective Date: 7/1/2018
Current Committee of Reference: Appropriations Subcommittee on Pre-K – 12 Education
1/22/2018 SENATE Favorable with CS by Education; 10 Yeas, 0 Nays
1/24/2018 SENATE Committee Substitute Text (C1) Filed
1/26/2018 SENATE Now in Appropriations Subcommittee on Pre-K – 12 Education

Elections

HB 79 – Public Meetings
Priority Medium/Oppose
Specifies conditions under which members of board or commission of state agency or authority or of agency or authority of county, municipal corporation, or political subdivision may participate in fact-finding exercises or excursions. Effective Date: upon becoming a law
Current Committee of Reference: Local, Federal & Veterans Affairs Subcommittee
1/23/2018 HOUSE Favorable by Oversight, Transparency & Administration Subcommittee; 9 Yeas, 1 Nay
1/23/2018 HOUSE Now in Local, Federal & Veterans Affairs Subcommittee
1/25/2018 HOUSE On Committee agenda – Local, Federal & Veterans Affairs Subcommittee, 01/29/18, 3:00 pm, 12 H

HB 85 – Voter Registration List Maintenance
Priority High/Support
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: No Current Committee
1/25/2018 HOUSE Placed on Special Order Calendar, 01/31/18
Identical: SB 276 – Voter Registration List Maintenance (Hutson)
01/25/2018 SENATE Placed on Calendar, on 2nd reading
Linked to: HB 87 – Pub.Rec./Statewide Voter Registration System (Spano)
01/25/2018 HOUSE Placed on Special Order Calendar, 01/31/18

HB 87 – Pub.Rec./Statewide Voter Registration System
Priority High/Support
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: No Current Committee
1/25/2018 HOUSE Placed on Special Order Calendar, 01/31/18
Identical: SB 278 – Public Records/Department of State (Hutson)
12/13/2017 SENATE Now in Rules
Linked to: HB 85 – Voter Registration List Maintenance (Spano)
01/25/2018 HOUSE Placed on Special Order Calendar, 01/31/18

SB 192 – Public Meetings
Priority Medium/Oppose
Specifying conditions under which members of any board or commission of any state agency or authority or of any agency or authority of any county, municipal corporation, or political subdivision may participate in fact-finding exercises or excursions, etc. Effective Date: Upon becoming a law
Current Committee of Reference: No Current Committee
1/22/2018 SENATE Placed on Special Order Calendar, 01/24/18
1/24/2018 SENATE Read Second Time; Placed on Third Reading, 01/31/18

SB 276 – Voter Registration List Maintenance
Priority High/Support
Authorizing the Department of State to enter into certain interstate agreements or to become a member of a nongovernmental entity to verify voter registration information; requiring the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to provide specified information to the Department of State, etc. Effective Date: 1/1/2019
Current Committee of Reference: No Current Committee
1/22/2018 SENATE On Committee agenda – Rules, 01/25/18, 1:30 pm, 110 S
1/25/2018 SENATE Favorable by Rules; 12 Yeas, 0 Nays
1/25/2018 SENATE Placed on Calendar, on 2nd reading
Linked to: SB 278 – Public Records/Department of State (Hutson)
12/13/2017 SENATE Now in Rules

HB 317 – Local Tax Referenda
Priority High/Oppose
Provides that a referendum to adopt or amend a local discretionary sales surtax must be held at a general election. Effective Date: upon becoming a law
Current Committee of Reference: No Current Committee
1/23/2018 HOUSE Placed on Calendar, on 2nd reading
1/25/2018 HOUSE Placed on Special Order Calendar, 01/31/18

HB 477 – Judicial Nominating Commissions
No Position
Revises composition of judicial nominating commissions; establishes additional restrictions regarding commission members; terminating terms of commission members as of specified date; provides for initial appointments & staggered terms for reconstituted commissions; prohibits commission member from serving more than two full terms; provides an exception; requires appointing authorities to consider certain attributes in making appointments to ensure diversity on commissions; requires appointing authorities to collect & release certain demographic data regarding commission members & applicants to commissions; specifies circumstances under which commission member may not vote on matter & must disclose conflict; requires commission member to complete an educational course after his or her appointment; prescribing minimum requirements for course. Effective Date: July 1, 2018
Current Committee of Reference: Civil Justice & Claims Subcommittee
1/25/2018 Bill to be Discussed During the Office of EDR’s Criminal Justice Impact Conference, 01/29/18, 3:00 pm, 117 K (No Votes Will Be Taken)

SB 560 – Public Meetings and Records/Imminent Litigation
Priority Medium/Oppose
Expanding an exemption from public meetings requirements to allow specified entities to meet in private with an attorney to discuss imminent litigation if certain conditions are met; requiring the transcript of a private meeting concerning imminent litigation to be made public upon the occurrence of a certain circumstance; providing for future legislative review and repeal of the exemption; providing a statement of public necessity, etc. Effective Date: 07/01/2018
Current Committee of Reference: Rules
1/22/2018 SENATE On Committee agenda – Rules, 01/25/18, 1:30 pm, 110 S
1/25/2018 SENATE Favorable with CS by Rules; 10 Yeas, 2 Nays

HB 989 – Repeal of Public Campaign Financing Requirement
Priority High/Oppose
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: No Current Committee
1/22/2018 HOUSE On Committee agenda – Public Integrity & Ethics Committee, 01/24/18, 11:30 am, 404 H
1/24/2018 HOUSE Favorable by Public Integrity & Ethics Committee; 13 Yeas, 5 Nays
1/25/2018 HOUSE Placed on Calendar, on 2nd reading
Linked to: HB 991 – Campaign Finance (White)
01/25/2018 HOUSE Placed on Calendar, on 2nd reading

HB 991 – Campaign Finance
Priority High/Oppose
Repeals provisions relating to Florida Election Campaign Financing Act. Effective Date: on the effective date of HJR 989.
Current Committee of Reference: No Current Committee
1/22/2018 HOUSE On Committee agenda – Public Integrity & Ethics Committee, 01/24/18, 11:30 am, 404 H
1/24/2018 HOUSE Favorable by Public Integrity & Ethics Committee; 13 Yeas, 5 Nays
1/25/2018 HOUSE Placed on Calendar, on 2nd reading
Linked to: HB 989 – Repeal of Public Campaign Financing Requirement
01/25/2018 HOUSE Placed on Calendar, on 2nd reading

HB 1319 – Voter Registration Maintenance
Priority Low/Support
Requires supervisors of elections to enter into agreements with clerks of circuit courts to receive specified information; requires DHSMV to furnish monthly to DOS list of persons who identified themselves as aliens; requires DOS to compare such list with statewide voter registration system & provide names of registered voters who are aliens to supervisor of elections of county in which voter is registered. Effective Date: July 1, 2018
Current Committee of Reference: Transportation & Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee
1/23/2018 HOUSE Favorable by Oversight, Transparency & Administration Subcommittee; 13 Yeas, 0 Nays
1/24/2018 HOUSE Now in Transportation & Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee

SB 1742 – Supermajority Vote Required to Increase State Tax Revenues by Increasing Taxes
Priority High/Oppose
Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to require a law that imposes a new tax, increases the rate or amount of a tax, or expands a tax base, and that results in a net increase in state revenues, to be approved by three-fifths of the membership of each house of the Legislature, etc.
Current Committee of Reference: Appropriations Subcommittee on Finance and Tax
1/24/2018 SENATE On Committee agenda – Appropriations Subcommittee on Finance and Tax, 01/29/18, 1:30 pm, 401 S

HB 6009 – Write-In Candidates
Priority High/Support
Repeals provisions relating to write-in candidate residency requirement. Effective Date: upon becoming a law
Current Committee of Reference: No Current Committee
1/22/2018 HOUSE Placed on Calendar, on 2nd reading
1/25/2018 HOUSE Placed on Special Order Calendar, 01/31/18
Identical to: SB 582 – Write-in Candidate Qualifying (Rader)
11/02/2017 SENATE Referred to Ethics and Elections; Community Affairs; Rules

HB 7001 – Supermajority Vote for State Taxes or Fees Ways & Means Committee
Priority High/Oppose
Proposes amendment to State Constitution to prohibit a state tax or fee from being imposed or raised except through legislation approved by two-thirds of each house of legislature; requires a state tax or fee imposed or raised to be contained in separate bill that contains no other subject. Effective Date: Not Specified
Current Committee of Reference: No Current Committee
1/24/2018 HOUSE Read Second Time; Placed on Third Reading, 01/25/18
1/25/2018 HOUSE Read Third Time; Passed (Vote: 80 Yeas / 29 Nays)

HB 7003 – Local Government Ethics Reform
No Position
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
Current Committee of Reference: No Current Committee
1/24/2018 SENATE In Messages
Linked to: HB 7005 – Trust Funds/Creation/Local Government Lobbyist Registration System Trust Fund (Public Integrity & Ethics Committee)
01/24/2018 SENATE In Messages

HB 7005 – Trust Funds/Creation/Local Government Lobbyist Registration System Trust Fund
No Position
Creates Local Government Lobbyist Registration Trust Fund within Commission on Ethics; provides for purpose of trust fund & sources of funds; provides for future legislative review & termination or re-creation of trust fund. Effective Date: on the same date that HB 7003 or similar legislation takes effect
Linked to: HB 7003 – Local Government Ethics Reform (Public Integrity & Ethics Committee)
01/24/2018 SENATE In Messages

Gun Safety

HB 39 – Weapons and Firearms
Priority High/Oppose
Removes statement of applicability relating to certain violations of carrying concealed weapon or firearm; reduces penalties applicable to person licensed to carry concealed weapon or firearm for first or second violation of specified provisions relating to openly carrying weapons; provides that person licensed to carry concealed weapon or firearm does not violate certain provisions if firearm is temporarily & openly displayed. Effective Date: July 1, 2018
Current Committee of Reference: Criminal Justice Subcommittee
1/25/2018 HOUSE On Committee agenda – Criminal Justice Subcommittee, 01/29/18, 3:00 pm, 404 H

HB 55 – Sale of Firearms
Priority Low/Support
Requires FDLE to allow payment or transmittal of processing fees for criminal history checks of potential firearms buyers by electronic means.
Current Committee of Reference: No Current Committee
1/25/2018 HOUSE Placed on Special Order Calendar, 01/31/18
Identical: SB 152 – Sale of Firearms (Steube)
01/19/2018 HOUSE Placed on Calendar, on 2nd reading

SB 270 – Involuntary Examination and Involuntary Admission of Minors
Priority Low/Neutral
Authorizing a designated law enforcement agency to decline to transport a minor 14 years of age or younger to a receiving facility for mental health or substance abuse evaluation if the parent or guardian of the minor agrees to transport the minor to the receiving facility; requiring the examination of a minor 14 years of age or younger to be initiated within 8 hours after the patient’s arrival at the receiving facility, etc. Effective Date: 7/1/2018
Current Committee of Reference: No Current Committee
1/24/2018 SENATE On Committee agenda – Criminal Justice, 01/29/18, 4:00 pm, 37 S

HB 553 – Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Neutral
Revises, creates, & repeals various provisions relating to structures used in citrus production; oyster harvesting licenses; pesticide registration fees; Class “K” & concealed firearm licenses; charitable & sponsor sales promotions & solicitations; water vending machines; telephone solicitations; antifreeze & brake fluid brands; liquefied petroleum business licenses; commercial weights & measures; agricultural commodity marketing; seed labeling, sale, & solicitation; Florida Forest Service; & government impostor & deceptive advertisements. Effective Date: July 1, 2018
Current Committee of Reference: Commerce Committee
1/22/2018 HOUSE On Committee agenda – Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee, 01/24/18, 9:00 am, 17 H
1/24/2018 HOUSE Favorable by Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee; 13 Yeas, 0 Nays
1/24/2018 HOUSE Now in Commerce Committee

HB 621 – School Safety
Priority High/Oppose
Provides exception to prohibition on possessing firearms & specified devices on school property for authorized concealed weapon & firearm licensees who are designated by school principals & district school superintendents; provides requirements for designees; requires district school boards to formulate & prescribe policies & procedures for active shooter & hostage situations; requires that active shooter training for each school be conducted by law enforcement agency designated as first responders to school’s campus; requires district school boards & private school principals & governing boards allow campus tours by such agency; permits district school boards to commission one or more school safety officers on each school’s campus; requires district school superintendents to provide recommendations on school safety & security to law enforcement agencies. Effective Date: July 1, 2018
Current Committee of Reference: PreK-12 Quality Subcommittee
1/22/2018 HOUSE On Committee agenda – Criminal Justice Subcommittee, 01/24/18, 8:00 am, 404 H
1/24/2018 HOUSE Favorable by Criminal Justice Subcommittee; 7 Yeas, 3 Nays
1/25/2018 HOUSE Now in PreK-12 Quality Subcommittee
Identical: SB 1236 – School Safety (Baxley)
01/11/2018 SENATE Referred to Judiciary; Education; Rules

SB 740 – Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Priority High/Oppose
Transferring authority to issue licenses for oyster harvesting in Apalachicola Bay from the department to the City of Apalachicola; revising permitting requirements and operating standards for water vending machines; revising the circumstances under which liquefied petroleum gas bulk delivery vehicles must be registered with the department; repealing provisions relating to packet vegetable and flower seed; creating the “Government Impostor and Deceptive Advertisements Act”, etc. Effective Date: 7/1/2018
Current Committee of Reference: Appropriations
1/24/2018 SENATE Favorable by Appropriations Subcommittee on the Environment and Natural Resources; 7 Yeas, 0 Nays
1/25/2018 SENATE Now in Appropriations

SB 1048 – Firearms
Priority High/Oppose
Authorizing a church, a synagogue, or other religious institution to allow a concealed weapons or concealed firearms licensee to carry a firearm on the property of the church, synagogue, or religious institution for certain purposes, etc. Effective Date: Upon becoming a law
Current Committee of Reference: Judiciary
1/22/2018 SENATE On Committee agenda – Judiciary, 01/25/18, 10:00 am, 110 S
1/25/2018 SENATE Favorable with CS by Judiciary; 6 Yeas, 4 Nays

HB 1419 – Firearms
Priority High/Oppose
Authorizes religious institution to allow concealed weapons or concealed firearms licensee to carry firearm on property of institution for certain purposes. Effective Date: July 1, 2018
Current Committee of Reference: Judiciary Committee
1/22/2018 HOUSE On Committee agenda – Criminal Justice Subcommittee, 01/24/18, 8:00 am, 404 H
1/24/2018 HOUSE Favorable by Criminal Justice Subcommittee; 7 Yeas, 3 Nays
1/25/2018 HOUSE Now in Judiciary Committee

HB 3551 – Peace Hubs: Inner City Gun Violence Prevention Initiative
Priority Low/Support
Provides an appropriation for the Peace Hubs: Inner City Gun Violence Prevention Initiative. APPROPRIATION: $2,000,000.00 Effective Date: July 1, 2018
Current Committee of Reference: Judiciary Committee
1/22/2018 HOUSE On Committee agenda – Justice Appropriations Subcommittee, 01/23/18, 1:00 pm, 17 H
1/23/2018 HOUSE Favorable by Justice Appropriations Subcommittee;12 Yeas, 0 Nays

HB 6013 – Return of Property
Priority High/Oppose
Removes provision requiring court to order return of pistol or firearm when pistol or firearm is taken by officer with search warrant or without search warrant upon viewing breach of peace. Effective Date: upon becoming a law
Current Committee of Reference: No Current Committee
1/25/2018 HOUSE Placed on Special Order Calendar, 01/31/18
Assigned Folder(s) Guns

Home Rule and Preemption

SB 194 – Limitation of Terms of Office for Members of a District School Board
Oppose
Proposing an amendment to Section 4 of Article IX of the State Constitution to limit the terms of office for a member of a district school board, etc.
Current Committee of Reference: Ethics and Elections
1/25/2018 SENATE On Committee agenda – Ethics and Elections, 01/30/18, 2:00 pm, 412 K

HB 317 – Local Tax Referenda
Priority High/Oppose
Provides that a referendum to adopt or amend a local discretionary sales surtax must be held at a general election. Effective Date: upon becoming a law
Current Committee of Reference: No Current Committee
1/23/2018 HOUSE Placed on Calendar, on 2nd reading
1/25/2018 HOUSE Placed on Special Order Calendar, 01/31/18

HB 1031 – Limitation on Terms of Office for Members of a District School Board
Oppose
Proposes amendment to Section 4 of Article IX & creation of new section in Article XII of State Constitution to limit terms of office for member of district school board; provides applicability. Effective Date: Not Specified
Current Committee of Reference: Education Committee
1/22/2018 HOUSE On Committee agenda – Public Integrity & Ethics Committee, 01/24/18, 11:30 am, 404 H
1/24/2018 HOUSE Favorable with CS by Public Integrity & Ethics Committee; 17 Yeas, 1 Nay
1/25/2018 HOUSE Committee Substitute Text (C2) Filed
1/26/2018 HOUSE Now in Education Committee

HB 7037 – Election Dates for Municipal Office Government Accountability Committee
No Position
Requires governing body of municipality to determine dates on which initial & runoff elections for municipal office are held & providing options therefor; preempts to state authority to establish election dates for municipal elections; requires municipal recall elections to be held concurrently with municipal elections under certain conditions; repeals provision relating to change of dates for cause in municipal elections; extends terms of incumbent elected municipal officers until next municipal election. Effective Date: July 1, 2020
Current Committee of Reference: No Current Committee
1/22/2018 HOUSE On Committee agenda – Public Integrity & Ethics Committee, 01/24/18, 11:30 am, 404 H
1/24/2018 HOUSE Favorable by Public Integrity & Ethics Committee; 12 Yeas, 6 Nays
1/25/2018 HOUSE Placed on Calendar, 2nd reading

Immigration

HB 9 – Federal Immigration Enforcement
Designates act “Rule of Law Adherence Act”; prohibits sanctuary policies; requires state & local governmental agencies to comply with & support enforcement of federal immigration law; provides requirements concerning immigration detainers & certain arrested persons; prohibits restrictions on transfer of certain information related to enforcement of immigration law; authorizes law enforcement agency to transport unauthorized alien; authorizes ordinances for recovery immigration detainer costs; provides whistle-blower protections for certain officials; requires AG to prescribe format for complaints; provides injunctive relief & civil penalties; prohibits expenditure of public funds for specified purposes; provides cause of action for personal injury or wrongful death attributed to sanctuary policy; prohibits discrimination on specified grounds; requires repeal of existing sanctuary policies. Effective Date: July 1, 2018
Current Committee of Reference: No Current Committee
1/24/2018 SENATE In Messages
Similar: SB 308 – Federal Immigration Enforcement (Bean)

SB 308 – Federal Immigration Enforcement
 Citing this act as the “Rule of Law Adherence Act”; creating provisions relating to federal immigration enforcement; prohibiting sanctuary policies; requiring state entities, local governmental entities, and law enforcement agencies to comply with and support the enforcement of federal immigration law; authorizing a board of county commissioners to adopt an ordinance to recover costs for complying with an immigration detainer; authorizing local governmental entities and law enforcement agencies to petition the Federal Government for reimbursement of certain costs, etc. Effective Date: Except for sections 908.302 and 908.303, Florida Statutes, as created by this act, which shall take effect October 1, 2018, this act shall take effect July 1, 2018
Current Committee of Reference: Judiciary
1/25/2018 SENATE On Committee agenda – Judiciary, 01/30/18, 2:00 pm, 110 S

Natural Resources

HB 53 – Coral Reefs
Priority Medium/Support
Establishes Southeast Florida Coral Reef Ecosystem Conservation Area. Effective Date: July 1, 2018
Current Committee of Reference: No Current Committee
1/24/2018 HOUSE Read Second Time; Placed on Third Reading, 01/25/18
1/25/2018 HOUSE Read Third Time; Passed (Vote: 107 Yeas / 0 Nays)
Identical to: SB 232 – Coral Reefs (Book)
01/19/2018 SENATE Placed on Calendar, on 2nd reading

SB 174 – Coastal Management
Priority Medium/Support
Revising the criteria to be considered by the Department of Environmental Protection in determining and assigning annual funding priorities for beach management and erosion control projects; requiring that certain projects be considered separate and apart from other specified projects; revising requirements for the comprehensive long-term management plan; requiring certain funds from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund to be used for projects that preserve and repair state beaches, etc. Effective Date: Except as otherwise provided in this act, this act shall take effect July 1, 2018
Current Committee of Reference: Appropriations
1/26/2018 SENATE On Committee agenda – Appropriations, 01/31/18, 1:00 pm, 412 K
Identical to: HB 131 – Coastal Management (Peters)
09/14/2017 HOUSE Now in Natural Resources & Public Lands Subcommittee

HB 319 – Gulf of Mexico Range Complex
Priority Low/Support
Supports extension of current moratorium on drilling in Gulf of Mexico east of Military Mission Line.

Current Committee of Reference: No Current Committee
1/22/2018 HOUSE On Committee agenda – Government Accountability Committee, 01/24/18, 11:30 am, 17 H
1/24/2018 HOUSE Favorable by Government Accountability Committee; 21 Yeas, 0 Nays
1/24/2018 HOUSE Placed on Calendar, on 2nd reading
1/25/2018 HOUSE Placed on Special Order Calendar, 01/31/18
Identical to: SB 550 – Gulf of Mexico Range Complex (Broxson)
01/26/2018 SENATE Now in Rules

SB 370 – Land Acquisition Trust Fund
Priority High/Support
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
1/22/2018 SENATE Placed on Special Order Calendar, 01/24/18
1/24/2018 SENATE Read Second Time; Placed on Third Reading, 01/31/18

SB 550 – Gulf of Mexico Range Complex
Priority Low/Support
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: Rules
1/22/2018 SENATE On Committee agenda – Military and Veterans Affairs, Space, and Domestic Security, 01/25/18, 1:30 pm, 37 S
1/25/2018 SENATE Favorable by Military and Veterans Affairs, Space, and Domestic Security; 8 Yeas, 0 Nays
1/26/2018 SENATE Now in Rules

GAC2 – Natural Resources (Government Accountability Committee)
Priority High/Neutral
Current Committee of Reference: Government Accountability Committee
1/22/2018 HOUSE Filed
1/22/2018 HOUSE On Committee agenda – Government Accountability Committee, 01/24/18, 11:30 am, 17 H
1/24/2018 HOUSE Submitted as Committee Bill by Government Accountability Committee. 20 Yeas, 0 Nays

Reproductive Health

HB 41 – Pregnancy Support and Wellness Services
Priority High/Oppose
Requires DOH to contract with not-for-profit statewide alliance of organizations to provide pregnancy support & wellness services through subcontractors; provides duties of department; provides contract requirements; requires services to be provided in noncoercive manner & forbides inclusion of religious content. Effective Date: July 1, 2018
Current Committee of Reference: No Current Committee
1/24/2018 SENATE In Messages

HB 1429 – Dismemberment Abortion
Priority High/Oppose
Prohibits dismemberment abortion; provides exception; provides penalties. Effective Date: July 1, 2018.
Current Committee of Reference: Judiciary Committee
1/22/2018 HOUSE On Committee agenda – Health Quality Subcommittee, 01/24/18, 8:00 am, 306 H
1/24/2018 HOUSE Favorable by Health Quality Subcommittee; 9 Yeas, 6 Nays
1/24/2018 HOUSE Now in Judiciary Committee
1/25/2018 Bill to be Discussed During the Office of EDR’s Criminal Justice Impact Conference, 01/29/18, 3:00 pm, 117 K (No Votes Will Be Taken)

SB 1890 – Dismemberment Abortion
Priority High/Oppose
Prohibiting a physician from knowingly performing a dismemberment abortion; providing an exception; prohibiting a woman upon whom a dismemberment abortion is performed from being prosecuted for a conspiracy to violate specified provisions, etc. Effective Date: 7/1/2018.
Current Committee of Reference: Health Policy
1/25/2018 Bill to be Discussed During the Office of EDR’s Criminal Justice Impact Conference, 01/29/18, 3:00 pm, 117 K (No Votes Will Be Taken)

 

Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) Update

Twenty years ago when the CRC last convened, they stood down during legislative session in deference to the business of the legislature. Unfortunately for all advocates, they are meeting concurrently with the legislature this cycle. Double duty for all lobbyists and organizations!

LWV Florida is part of a very large coalition of organizations that has been meeting weekly to review proposals, watchdog rules and procedures and testify to committees. League testimony has been based on existing positions we have on various issues at the national or state level. The majority of the proposals we have been supporting or opposing have been in the areas of Elections, Education, Healthcare and Reproductive Rights, Natural Resources, and Home Rule.

Every proposal must go through a series of committees before it gets to a vote of the entire commission. The public tour, beginning February 6 and ending March 13, will take the proposals before the public for comment that are still alive following committee passage. The entire commission will then likely begin debating and winnowing down proposals to those that will be on the ballot in November as proposed constitutional amendments. Sponsors of proposals may withdraw a proposal from consideration at any time in the process. Additionally, amendments may be made to proposals, much like legislative bills.

The deadline for their work to be finalized is May 9, 2018.

This week began with 79 proposals remaining alive. 37 of those were on agenda in various committees. LWV Florida did not have a position on all proposals. However, the proposals that LWV took a position on this last week, our position of Support or Oppose, and the resulting action follows:

Prop 18 Right To Earn An Honest Living. Opposed. Prop FAILED
Prop 22 Right of Privacy. Opposed. Prop PASSED
Prop 69 Taxing Power of Special Districts. Opposed. Prop FAILED
Prop 62 Open Primaries. Supported. Prop PASSED
Prop 56 Prohibits Public Financing of Campaigns. Opposed. Prop FAILED
Prop 66 Lt. Governor also serves as other Secretaries as determined by Governor. Opposed. Prop PASSED
Prop 97 Increases threshold for amendment passage. Opposed. Prop PASSED
Prop 46 Land Acquisition Trust Fund. Opposed. Prop Withdrawn from further consideration
Prop 95 Limits Powers of Local Governments. Opposed. Prop temporarily postponed
Prop 45 State Funding for Private Schools. Opposed. PASSED
Prop 71 Alternatives to local authority for charter schools. Opposed. PASSED
Prop 4 No Aid. Opposed. PASSED
Prop 93 Charter Districts Created By School Board or Vote. Opposed. PASSED
Prop 59 Student Bill of Rights/Public Money to Private Schools. Opposed. Prop temporarily postponed

Committees continue next week meeting Wednesday through Friday. You may check agendas on flcrc.gov and watch hearings on The Florida Channel which are live streamed.

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