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Articles about 2023 bills

Updated: Mar 31, 2023

This is happening across the nation and that's what this article is about. The bill that might make this happen in Florida is HB 1 / SB 202. Please see the alert and ask our legislators to vote no.

The assault on public education currently unfolding in state legislatures across the United States stands to annually transfer tens of billions of dollars from public treasuries to the bank accounts of upper-income families. Those dollars, which otherwise would have gone to public schools, will instead reimburse parents currently paying private school tuition. It’s a reverse Robin Hood scheme that Americans would hate if they fully understood what was going on.

Republican Sen. Clay Yarborough (District 4) wants to make it a felony for a doctor to order hormone treatment, surgery or reversible puberty blockers for transgender minors. His bill, SB 254, passed its first committee stop on March 13th, with Democratic Sen. Tracie Davis (District 5) one of three no votes after the panel heard opposition from transgender young people and their parents. The mom of a non-binary teen said, “Without gender-affirming health care, I'm quite certain I'd be visiting my child in a cemetery today rather than visiting you all here at the Capitol.” Several told the committee, trans “blood is on your hands.” “In my opinion, this bill would not only disregard those kids, it will reinforce that high suicide rate,” Sen. Davis said before voting. “It will keep our children hopeless, and it's simply cruel.” (Jacksonville Today; News Service of Florida)

Flatly prohibiting any form of care for gender dysphoria in minors contradicts the stance of major medical organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Endocrine Society and the American Psychological Association. ... The Senate bill, SB 254, says health care providers found to be in violation could face a third-degree felony. Yarborough’s initial bill, which he changed before the March 13th vote, said that anyone who participated in providing gender-affirming care could face a third-degree felony, which might cause the parents to be imprisoned. That language was removed. Simone Chriss, director of the Transgender Rights Initiative at Southern Legal Counsel, said the new legislation is still “horrific,” but not as bad as the the first draft.

This is part of the original version of SB 254 but this language was removed in the CS on March 13th:

   79         61.517 Temporary emergency jurisdiction.—
   80         (1) A court of this state has temporary emergency
   81  jurisdiction if the child is present in this state and the child
   82  has been abandoned or it is necessary in an emergency to protect
   83  the child because the child, or a sibling or parent of the
   84  child, is subjected to or threatened with mistreatment or abuse
   85  or is at risk of or is being subjected to the provision of sex
   86  reassignment prescriptions or procedures as defined in s.
   87  456.001.

SB 1316, if passed, would require a written record of whether a blogger is being paid to write an online post about the governor, another Florida Cabinet official, or a state legislator, as well as who pays them. Bloggers would be fined $25 a day, up to $2,500, if they fail to provide the information. Senator Jason Brodeur also sponsored SB 1220, which would automatically presume information from anonymous sources to be false and would prevent journalists from shielding the identity of sources if they are sued. The companion bill in the house, HB 991, filed by Rep. Alex Andrade, goes even further by expanding the definition of defamation and including language that someone can be defamed if they are accused of discriminating based on race, sex, sexual orientation or gender identity, even if it’s true.

Flanked by a panel dominated by defamation plaintiffs and lawyers, the Orbánesque governor attacked the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in New York Times v. Sullivan. Much of DeSantis’s February event consisted of the governor asking the panelists for proposals to make it easier to prevail in lawsuits against the press. Many of these proposals are incorporated into a bill, HB 991, introduced by Florida state Rep. Alex Andrade (R). DeSantis’s proposals should alarm anyone in media, and, indeed, anyone who believes that the government or other powerful public actors should not be allowed to target individuals who criticize them.

SB 170, if passed, allows for-profit corporations to sue local governments for passing local laws that serve the needs of their communities. This bill would permit any private business to sue local governments for damages if the courts deem a new or amended local ordinance to be “arbitrary or unreasonable.” It even allows for local ordinances to be automatically suspended upon initiation of a lawsuit. Basically, deep-pocketed corporations could use litigation to delay the effect of local ordinances by tying them up in court. Similar legislation failed last after intense outcry from the public.

Under these new restrictions on free speech, only a government agency, the Speaker of the House, or the Senate President may reserve these spaces.

Analysis of SB 202 on March 10th in advance of the Appropriation Committee vote:

The cost is indeterminate at this time.

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4 bad bills being heard on 4/25/2023

Please find out how your representative voted and either thank them or tell them you're disappointed. If they aren't voting YOUR values, please vote them out when they run for re-election. 1. HB 1259


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