There was quite a bit of action and lively debate this week at the capitol. Here is a snap shot of what went down:
The Democrat House Caucus leader, Representative Kionne McGhee (Miami), announced that the Democratic Caucus will not take a position on HB 265, the bill requiring Parental Consent before Abortion. Despite that though the vast majority of democrats will likely oppose the bill. We will find out when the final vote goes down on the floor of the house soon. Black American Democrat and friend of FFPC, Representative Kimberly Daniels (Jacksonville), a member of the Caucus, went public last week with her support of the bill.
Demonstrations in opposition to and support of the Parental Consent for Abortion bill (SB 404/HB 265) took place in the Fl Capitol this week. That Parental Consent bill was voted on favorably on the Senate floor Thursday, February 6.
Also, the House version of the Vulnerable Child Protection Act (prohibiting gender reassignment surgery for minors) was discussed and debated in a workshop this past week in the House Health Quality Committee. Representative Anthony Sabatini did a stellar job and was unflinching in arguing for the protection of minors from gender reassignment procedures and other medications that can cause sterility. He was under intense pressure from Democrats on the committee but was solid in his answers and convictions. The full Health Quality committee video can be accessed here: https://www.myfloridahouse.gov/VideoPlayer.aspx?eventID=2443575804_2020021008
FFPC Agenda Bills on the Move:
SUPPORT: The House version of the Florida Guide to a Healthy Marriage bill, HB 319, was voted on favorably in its first House committee, the Civil Justice Subcommittee. HB 319 must pass two more committees, Children, Families, and Seniors Subcommittee and Judiciary Committee, before going to the House floor. Senate companion bill, SB 682 has passed Children, Families, and Elder Affairs and must pass Judiciary and Rules committees before a floor vote. These bills would create a comprehensive guide to approaching marriage for couples applying for marriage licenses including communication skills, conflict resolution, parenting and finances.
SUPPORT: SB 1634, Parental Rights, the “Parents’ Bill of Rights,” passed through the Judiciary Committee on February 4. It will now be heard by the Education Committee and the Rules Committee before a vote on the Senate floor. HB 1059, the companion Parental Rights bill in the House was voted on favorably in the House Health and Human Services Committee on February 6. HB 1059 must pass through the Judiciary Committee before it will be brought to the House floor.
SUPPORT: HB 1365, the Vulnerable Child Protection Act, was discussed in a workshop during the House Health Quality Subcommittee hearing. HB 1365 must past Health Quality and two more committees before reaching the House floor. The Senate companion bill, SB 1864 has yet to be heard in committee. Health Policy will be the first out of three committees in which the Senate bill must be heard and passed. The Vulnerable Child Protection Act would prohibit the use of gender reassignment drugs or procedures on minors.
SUPPORT: SB 404, Requiring Parental Consent Before Abortion, was passed off the Senate floor on February 6. It will now go to the House floor for a vote. We anticipate that vote being held in the next week or two. Since the Senate was the main concern, now that its passed the full Senate it is likely to easily pass in the House and the Governor has committed to signing it.
SUPPORT: SB 864, Surrendered Newborn Infants, passed through Health Policy Committee. The real challenge will be getting the bill on the agenda in Children Families, and Elder Affairs. The bill needs to be heard in that committee and Rules before it comes to the Senate floor. The House companion bill, HB 1217, has passed through the House Health Market Reform Subcommittee. It has to pass through Health Care Appropriations and Health and Human Services before it reaches the flood for a vote. This bill would allow a mother to surrender an infant up to 30 days after birth into specialized “baby boxes” located at fire stations and hospitals.
SUPPORT: HB 305, Preemption of Conditions of Employment, has passed two committees in the House. The bill has one more committee before the House floor, Commerce Committee. The Senate Companion bill, SB 1126, still needs to pass through three committees prior to introduction on the Senate floor.
SUPPORT: HB 3, Preemption of Occupational Licensing, has passed through all its assigned committees. It is now ready for the House floor. Companion bill, SB 1336, has passed through one committee. It has two more Senate committees to pass before it can be heard on the Senate floor. Both Preemption of Conditions of Employment and Preemption of Occupational Licensing would make it impossible for local government to place restrictions or requirements on employers or businesses related to sexual orientation and gender identity “protections.”
OPPOSE: SB 698, Assisted Reproduction Facilities, will be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 11 at 2pm in 110 Senate. This bill requires reproduction facilities to contract with patients/clients specifying the disposition of embryos. If SB 698 passes Judiciary Committee, it must pass two more committees before reaching the Senate floor. The similar House bill, HB 1287, passed the Health Quality Subcommittee and has one more committee stop before the House floor.
SUPPORT: SB 1246, Dual Enrollment, would clarify the eligibility to dual enroll for home school students. SB 1246 has passed through the Education committee and needs to pass two more committees before being heard on the Senate floor. The House companion bill, HB 187 has passed through two committees and is awaiting passage through the Education committee before it is heard on the House floor.