By Charlotte County Democratic Party Vice Chair Teresa Jenkins
We are in the final days of the 2019 Legislative Session. Final approvals of the bills listed below are expected early next week. All have passed their committee hearings and are working their way up their respective chamber calendars for final votes. The next and last stop for these bills is to the governor’s desk. He can either sign a bill and it will become law. Or he can veto by not signing the bill and it dies.
These recommendations on bills to support or oppose come from the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida. Now is the time to tell Governor DeSantis our opinion of these bills.
Contact information for Governor DeSantis:
Executive Office of Governor Ron DeSantis
400 S Monroe St
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Ask Gov. DeSantis to sign these bills:
Vote YES HB997/SB322/SB418 Health Plans. Prohibits insurers or health maintenance organizations from excluding or delaying coverage due to preexisting medical conditions. Affordable health care sustains families and improves quality of life.
Note: SB322 passed the Senate and was sent to the House in Messages.
Vote YES HB49/SB332 Incarcerated Women Provides a more dignified and humane environment for incarcerated women, respectful treatment from male guards and free sanitary products.
Note: HB49 passed the House and was sent to the Senate in Messages.
Vote YES HB107/SB76 Texting While Driving Prohibits use of a wireless communications device while driving. Distracted driving is a recognized cause of traffic accidents especially with inexperienced teen drivers.
Note: HB107 passed both House and Senate.
Vote YES HB259/SB982 Comprehensive Health Education Revises the required health education in public schools to include information regarding the dangers and signs of human trafficking and requires the Department of Legal Affairs to develop human trafficking awareness campaigns.
Note: HB259 passed the House and was sent to the Senate in Messages
Vote YES HJR249/SJR362 Abolishing the Constitution Revision Commission The CRC was partisan and lacked diversity.
Vote YES HB689/SB268 Voting Methods Requires a voter-verified paper trail and meets the voter accessibility requirements for individuals with disabilities. Insures integrity of voting process.
Note: HB689 passed the House and was sent to the Senate in Messages
Vote YES HB19/SB1528 Prescription Drug Importation Programs Creates programs for purpose of safely importing cost-effective prescription drugs into state from Canada & other foreign nations under specified conditions
Note: HB19 passed the House and was sent to the Senate in Messages.
Vote YES HB7125/SB642 Public Safety Reduces Florida’s gain time laws, raises the felony theft threshold, makes past reforms retroactive, allowing people who were sentenced under harsher old drug trafficking and aggravated assault laws the opportunity to be re-sentenced and potentially released. The net result is to free an estimated 7,800 prisoners over five years, eventually saving taxpayers about $419 million a year.
Ask Gov. DeSantis to VETO and NOT sign these bill:
Vote NO HB7093/SB7030 School Safety An overwhelming body of evidence indicates that arming teachers puts children and the school community at a greater risk of gun violence in our schools and would impede the response of law enforcement to an active shooter incident. Instead, our leaders should be passing measures proven effective at reducing gun violence, like closing the background check loophole by requiring a background check on all gun sales in Florida.
Note: SB7030 passed the Senate and was sent to the House in Messages.
Vote NO HB7075/HB7095/SB7070 School Choice Funneling general revenue dollars to private and religious schools reduces general revenue for public schools and is clearly unconstitutional based on the 2006 Supreme Court Case.
Note: SB7070 passed the Senate and was sent to the House in Messages.
Vote NO HB527/SB168 Federal Immigration Enforcement This bill prohibits Sanctuary Cities. It threatens, profiles, harasses and detains immigrant families. It wastes valuable local resources hurting families and local budgets. It corrodes community trust in law enforcement, drains valuable law enforcement resources, and makes Floridians less safe.
Note: HB527 passed the House and was sent to the Senate in Messages.
Note: SB168 passed the Senate and was sent to the House in Messages.
Vote NO HB7089/SB7086 Voting Rights Restoration This bill is an unconstitutional overreach that restricts the rights of returning citizens to vote after 64% of the electorate voted for passage of Amendment 4. It expands the definition of “completion of sentence,” and allows non-judicial private and government entities to create additional barriers to voting and de facto imposition of poll taxes.
Note: HB7089 passed the House and was sent to the Senate in Messages.
Vote NO HB131/SB230 Voter Registration Maintenance Requires that county supervisors of elections receive, on a monthly basis, lists of potential jurors and drivers license applicants who have identified themselves as non-citizens. Previous lists have been inaccurate, out of date and unreliable. Voter registration fraud is not a problem in Florida.
Note: HB131 passed the House and was sent to the Senate in Messages.
Vote NO HB7111/SB7096 Constitutional Amendments Requires volunteers collecting petitions to register with the state. Unfairly regulates compensation. If a petition collector is ruled ineligible the signatures of the voters who signed the petitions will be ruled invalid without their knowledge. It allows the government to place unfair and biased language on the ballot for initiatives it doesn’t support and hinders citizen participation in making public policy.
Note: HB7111 passed the House and was sent to the Senate in Messages.
Vote NO HB7113/SB7068 Transportation This Highway bill funds three toll roads through rural Florida that will accelerate urban sprawl in the last of Florida’s undeveloped areas and fragment landscape and wildlife habitat. These projects could cost over $3 billion taking away from General Revenue which funds state parks, education, health care, and hurricane emergency relief.
Note: SB7068 passed the Senate and was sent to the House in Messages.
Vote NO HB403/SB1238 Safety of Religious Institutions Allowing weapons in schools puts children and the school community at a greater risk of gun violence and would impede the response of law enforcement to an active shooter incident.
Note: HB403 passed the House and was sent to the Senate in Messages.
Vote NO HB1299/SB588 Governmental Powers – Preemption of Local Regulations Preempts to state: regulation of single-use plastic straws, over-the-counter proprietary drugs & cosmetics, establishment of requirements for alternate generated power sources. Preemption by the state precludes residents from addressing issues of concern in their communities.
Vote NO HB469/SB874 Consumer Finance Loans Creates a new statewide consumer-loan program that could charge interest rates as high as 36 percent. Besides the specter of lenders preying on vulnerable Floridians with high interest loans, it will cost the state more than $1 million to hire more financial regulators to oversee the new program and to set up a website to provide details on the loans.
Note: SB874 passed the Senate and was sent to the House in Messages.
Vote NO HB1335/SB1774 Abortion Creates the “Parental Consent for Abortion Act”. Laws requiring a young woman to further involve parents put her health and safety at risk and fail to increase family communication.
Note: HB1335 passed the House and was sent to the Senate in Messages.