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Articles about 2023 bills



FATE OF EQUAL GROUND PRIORITY BILLS

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The 2023 Florida Legislative Session was one of the most authoritarian legislative sessions in state history, defined by government overreach and abuse of power and placing Floridians’ freedoms at risk. At the direction of Gov. DeSantis, the state legislature passed bill after bill taking away civil liberties for women, LGBTQ+ youth and families, students, faculty, people arrested and incarcerated in this state, immigrants, and protesters exercising their First Amendment rights.


Equal Ground and the Florida State Network of African American Clergy Alliance Presidents in partnership with leading Florida African American Denominational and Religious Conferences/Organizations will host on May 22nd at 7pmEST a 2023 Legislative Virtual Debrief to share important updates around Florida's 2023 Legislative Session. Keynote Presenter will be Florida State Representative, Dianne Hart, District 63 and Chair of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus. Register TODAY at www.FloridaClergyNetwork.com


Next two links were as of 5/8/2023; the end of the legislative session

Summary of budget before DeSantis line item veto:


All the bills that passed:

We don't know yet if DeSantis will veto any of them.




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. His other media-related bill, SB 1220, 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.


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.


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.





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