Capitol Report– March 31
What a week!
The 2017 League Legislative Summit is in the books and I am glad to have met everyone that came to the Summit. I appreciate all the hard work from the office staff in making sure this week was executed perfectly. We’re nearly at the halfway point in session so make sure you don’t miss our action alerts coming up!
As a reminder, the League will always take one of three positions: 1. Support; 2. Oppose; or 3. No Position. No position means we are neutral on the issue and are closely monitoring the bill. A no position can change if a bill is amended and sways the League to either a Support or Oppose position. 
This week, the League Legislative Champions are our two Making Democracy Work award winners: Senator Anitere Flores and Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith.
EDUCATION
  •  The Senate Education committee convened on Monday and SB 926 had plenty of amendments to keep us all busy! Ultimately, the bill was temporarily postponed (TP’d) but we haven’t seen the end of it. The League supports this bill. Read more here: http://bit.ly/2oH2Fj0
  • SB 538, SB 696 and SB 796 were discussed by the Senate Education committee on Monday as well. No votes are taken when bills are workshopped by committees.
  • The League supports HB 293 which would require the Department of Education to conduct a comprehensive study of state with nationally recognized high-performing middle schools in reading and math.
  • HB 773 is the companion to SB 926 that would allow the state to accept certain college entrance exams in lieu of the FSA. It also moves all testing to the last three weeks of the school year. The League is in support of this bill. Follow it here: http://bit.ly/2mW54d9
ELECTIONS & ETHICS
  • The League is in strong opposition to HB 953 which is the companion to SB 352 that has already passed the Senate Floor. The amendments on HB 953 would prohibit any challenges to legislatives maps after the Florida Supreme Court reviews them. It also requires any lawsuits to be filed within 60 days. Read more about it here: http://pbpo.st/2nEhWBQ
  • The Florida House passed HJR 1, which places term limits on Judges. The bill was a few votes short of its needed three-fifths support. The League is in opposition of this bill. Read more about it here: http://bit.ly/2oi2M8d
  • HB 7001 extends the post-service lobbying ban to 6 years for any legislators and statewide elected officers. Follow it here: http://bit.ly/2ojQ7lz
  • The House Government Accountability Committee passed HB 521. The bill ensures vote by mail ballots can be submitted to early voting locations throughout the state. The League is in support of this bill.
  • The House passed HB 7021 and HB 7023 and they will now go to the Senate. These are linked bills that specifically speak to ethics reform for local governments. This would require lobbyist to register through a statewide system in each county or municipality they intend to lobby in. HB 7021 also expands ethics education for all elected officials and full financial disclosure to elected officials in municipalities with a revenue over $10 million. HB 7023 creates a statewide system to collect the registration fees. The League is in support of these bills
  • The Senate Rules passed SB 954, which is similar to HB 105. This permits the curing of mismatched signatures on vote by mail ballots. The League is in support of this bill.
  • The Senate passed SB 80 relating to Public Records Requests. Last week, the Foundation and Sen. Steube were able to find common ground. It now moves onto the Senate Floor. The League is in support of this bill.
  • ICYMI: The Constitutional Revision Commission meet for the first time on Wednesday at the University of Central Florida. Many of our members were in attendance and asked for added transparency to the once-every-20-year process. The League also held a press conference at the Historic Capitol demanding for an open process. Read more here: http://bit.ly/2nIku3u
GUN SAFETY
  • SB 1322 passed the Senate Criminal Justice committee on Monday. This is a memorial to be sent to Congress asking for September 2017 to be deemed Firearm Violence Awareness Month.
  • SB 646 was TP’d by the Senate Judiciary committee on Tuesday. The League is in opposition to this bill.
  • The League is in opposition to SB 1052 that references Stand Your Ground and removes “attack” from the statute. This means you would not need to be attacked where you reside for you to Stand Your Ground. The Senate Rules committee passed the bill. The House bill 677 was heard in the House Criminal Justice subcommittee on Tuesday and passed 6-3. It now moves onto the House Judiciary Committee.
  • The League is watching HB 6013 that passed the House Criminal Justice committee. This bill would eliminate provisions that provide criminal penalties for certain conduct constituting a breach of peace. We currently have no position.
HEALTHCARE
  • While there weren’t any related bills this last week, we continue to monitor all Health Care bills that are coming up.
NATURAL RESOURCES
  • HB 861 was heard in the House Oversight, Transparency & Administration subcommittee. This will require the governor to make appointments to the Environmental Regulation Commission within a specified time period. The League is in support of this bill.
  • The League is in opposition to HB 997 which will deter public participation in government by Floridians who unsuccessfully challenge development decisions to pay attorney fees and costs of real estate developers up to $50,000.
  • CALL TO ACTION: HB 451 would institute a ban on fracking in Florida. It has yet to get a committee hearing. CALL AND EMAIL Rep. Holly Raschein, Chair of the Natural Resources & Public Lands Subcommittee (850) 717-5120, and ask that the committee hear HB 451!
  • SB 10 has been a contentious bill with many intricacies, and we now have a position on it. We are in opposition to it and we will be seeing it this coming week.
Looking for a specific bill or issue that you think the League should take a position on? LWVF prides itself on being a grassroots organization and receives suggestions on which issues we should make a priority from local leagues each year. From this list we’re able to create a comprehensive list of priorities and lobby for or against these issues in the Capitol.
Questions, comments or concerns? Don’t hesitate to send me an email at LWVFAdvocacy@gmail.com.
Sincerely,
Kelly Quintero
Legislative Advocate
LWV of Florida

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