HB 1, the “anti-protest” bill continues to progress in Tallahasee

By Laurie Ulrop,  DWC/DEC Legislative Liaison

Two bills in this season’s Florida legislative session present more problems for the Democrats than most of the other bills. One is SB 90, the “Anti-Voting” bill and the other is HB 1, the “Anti-Protest” bill.

Please call or send a short email ASAP! These two bills may become law sooner than we expect (or want). Many thanks for your continued assistance.

HB 1 — the “anti protest” bill — was moved to the Senate Appropriations committee where Kelli Stargel is Chair (Republican). If the House bill language is adopted, the companion bill SB 484, which has not yet been heard in a committee, is a moot point and the Senate can move ahead with HB 1 in a floor vote before sending it to the Governor for approval. HB 1 is not yet on the Senate Appropriations schedule, but I expect we will see it scheduled for next week.

Here are your talking points regarding HB 1:

  • This bill was initially conceptualized by Gov. DeSantis as a backlash to Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests during the summer, even though these protests remained mostly peaceful, especially in Florida.
  • Violent behavior during public protests is already illegal under Florida law, but HB 1 would go beyond and seek to:
    • Expand penalties against anyone affiliated with a protest that becomes “disorderly;”
    • Mandate that anyone arrested at a protest would be detained until their first court appearance;
    • Protect Confederate monuments;
    • Prevent local community decisions from modifying law enforcement activities; and
    • Provide protections for people who drive into a peaceful demonstration and “accidentally” run over a protester obstructing a public roadway.

According to the most recent Florida House Staff Analysis, this bill may have a negative fiscal impact on the Florida Department of Corrections and local governments due to:

  • The creation of new felony offenses relating to public disorder that will require more prison beds, and
  • The creation of new misdemeanor offenses that will require more jail beds for those arrested and held over until their first appearance hearings.

Please contact members of the Senate Appropriations Committee below ASAP and urge 1) Chair Stargel to refrain from hearing this bill; and 2) contact the other members to vote “NO” on this anti-democratic bill if it is scheduled.

Chair: Senator Kelli Stargel (R)s[email protected](850) 487-5022
Vice Chair: Senator Aaron Bean (R)[email protected](850) 487-5004
Senator Ben Albritton (R)[email protected](850) 487-5026
Senator Lauren Book (D)[email protected](850) 487-5032
Senator Randolph Bracy (D)[email protected](850) 487-5011
Senator Jeff Brandes (R)[email protected](850) 487-5024
Senator Doug Broxson (R)[email protected](850) 487-5001
Senator Manny Diaz, Jr. (R)[email protected](850) 487-5036
Senator Gary M. Farmer, Jr. (D)[email protected](850) 487-5034
Senator George B. Gainer (R)[email protected](850) 487-5002
Senator Audrey Gibson (D)[email protected](850) 487-5006
Senator Ed Hooper (R)[email protected](850) 487-5016
Senator Travis Hutson (R)[email protected](850) 487-5007
Senator Debbie Mayfield (R)[email protected](850) 487-5017
Senator Kathleen Passidomo (R)[email protected](850) 487-5028
Senator Keith Perry (R)[email protected](850) 487-5008
Senator Jason W. B. Pizzo (D)[email protected](850) 487-5038
Senator Bobby Powell (D)[email protected](850) 487-5030
Senator Darryl Ervin Rouson (D)[email protected](850) 487-5019
Senator Linda Stewart (D)[email protected](850) 487-5013