The fifth interim committee week for the 2020 Legislative session has concluded with few policy meetings and legislative movement. Even with meetings cancelled on Monday in observance of Veteran’s Day, approximately one-sixth of House members had no scheduled committee meetings this week. Another third had a single committee meeting.
1547 bills have been filed to date.
The CAG team is honored to represent the League of Women Voters of Florida. We are closely monitoring priority legislation and engaging legislators with coordinated volunteers.
Interim Committee Meeting Schedule
In preparation for the 2020 Legislative Session, the schedule for remaining fall interim committee meeting (s) are as follows:
• Monday, December 9 – Friday, December 13, 2019
The 2020 Legislative Session will convene on Tuesday, January 14, 2020.
LEAGUE IN ACTION
League President Patricia Brigham, 1st Vice President Cecile Scoon and Voter Services Co-Chair Michele Levy joined the CAG team for meetings with key legislators in highlighting policy issues championed by the LWVFL. Our legislative agenda included meetings with Representative Grant, Senator Brandes, Senator Pizzo, Commissioner Fried and President Galvano’s staff. We intend to meet with Secretary of State Laurel Lee during December’s committee week.
KEY LEGISLATIVE ISSUES
Carlos Guillermo Smith Tries Again with Assault Weapons Ban Assault Bill
Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, D-Orlando is re-energizing his post-Pulse/Parkland massacre efforts to seek to ban civilian purchase of military-style assault weapons and large capacity magazines.
The filing of HB 627 for the 2020 Legislative Session, marks the fourth session he has pursued banning the kinds of weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines that killed 49 people and wounded 53 others during the June 12, 2016, mass shooting in Orlando, followed by the Parkland massacre.
HB 627 lists scores of specific makes and models of handguns, rifles, and shotguns that would be banned from sale in Florida, and also includes language banning similar weapons. Senator Gary Farmer, D-Fort Lauderdale intends to file the companion bill.
Parental Consent Bill Gets Temporary Slow Down in Senate
This week, the Senate health-care panel stalled voting on a controversial bill requiring minors to obtain parental consent before having abortions. After 90 minutes of debate and testimony, 15 amendments proposed by Democrats were voted down along party-lines. Subsequently, the committee adjourned due to time constraints. League President Patricia Brigham, 1st Vice President Cecile Scoon and Voter Services Co-Chair Michelle Levy joined in on a press conference with the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates and Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando before the Senate Health Policy committee meeting condemning the bill’s harmful anti-abortion rhetoric.
House Looks to Abolish the CRC Again
The House Civil Justice Subcommittee on Thursday overwhelmingly voted up a pair of proposals (HJR 301 and HB 303) that would seek voter approval in 2020 to abolish the Constitution Revision Commission, which drew across-the-aisle scorn for the manner in which it successfully put seven amendments on the November 2018 ballot. House sponsor Rep. Brad Drake, R-Eucheeanna, has refiled legislation to abolish the Constitution Revision Commission, which during the 2019 session passed the Senate but died in the House.