Bad Bills
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This list refers to bills filed during the 2015 Florida legislative session.

Gender:

Creating New Protected Classes of Sexual Orientation, Gender Expression and Gender Identity and adding them to Florida’s Non Discrimination Ordinance(Formally and deceptively named the “Florida Competitive Workforce Act” Senate Judiciary Committee

SB 156 – by Minority Whip Sen. Abruzzo (D); similar HB 33 – Rep. Raschein (D)

Creating the “Florida Competitive Workforce Act”- adding sexual orientation and gender identity or expression as impermissible grounds for discrimination.   To include businesses such as public lodging, food service and entertainment establishments; including private clubs with over 400 members; and for applications for rental housing and real estate development.  “Sexual orientation” means an individual’s actual or perceived heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality.  These horrible laws are being used all over the country to punish Christians for exercising their religious beliefs in the workplace and businesses by refusing to participate in same sex wedding ceremonies.

SB 204 / HB 83, Banning Reparative Therapy a/k/a Sexual Orientation Change Efforts, SB Sen. Clemens (D), HB Rep. Richardson (D)

This encroaching bill on personal privacy seeks to prohibit persons licensed to provide professional counseling and various practitioners who perform counseling as part of their professional training from engaging in sexual orientation change efforts on behalf of a person who is a minor.  The bill is a gross violation of the counselor client privilege, a violation of an individual’s right to association and self-definition and violation of religious liberties of counselors who are also licensed therapists.

Drugs – Marijuana:

SB 528 / HB 683, Medical Use of Marijuana:  Sen. Brandes (R), Rep. Steube (R)

In response to the contentious Amendment 2 Amendment in the November 2014 elections which would’ve placed the commercialization of marijuana into our State Constitution by referendum (as avidly sponsored and promoted by attorney John Morgan), Sen. Brandes has proposed “The Florida Medical Marijuana Act” seeking to regulate by statute (keeping it out of the Constitutional environment) the purchase, possession and use of medical-grade marijuana by registered patients and caregivers for specified conditions.  It further regulates the cultivation, transport, and retail sale of marijuana under certain circumstances.  The recreational usage (smoking) of marijuana will be the chief point of conflict in moving this bill forward, highly opposed by the Florida Sheriff’s Association Florida Sheriffs Association Weighs in on Pot Vote.

Alcohol – Relating to Malt Beverages & Growlers:

SB 186 / HB 301, Malt Beverages:  Sen. Latvala (R), Rep. Sprowls (R)

Current law permits manufacturers to package malt beverages that are offered for sale by vendors in individual containers containing no more than 32 ounces. However, malt beverages may be packaged in bulk or in kegs or in barrels or in any individual container containing one gallon or more of malt beverages regardless of individual container type.  The bill permits certain vendors and manufacturers to package malt beverages at the point of sale in containers of 32, 64, or 128 ounces by volume. Furthermore, the bill requires that containers include information specifying the manufacturer and brand of the malt beverage it contains, and that it must have an unbroken seal or be incapable of being immediately consumed.

Gambling / Casinos:

 HB 1233, Florida Gaming Control Act of 2015:  Rep. Dana Young (R)

This expansive bill, dropped in on the very first morning of the Session, creates the Joint Legislative Gaming Control Nominating Committee, the Gaming Control Commission, and the Department of Gaming Control for administration and enforcement of pari-mutuel wagering and gaming provisions.  Additionally, it provides for this department to license destination resorts, which has heavily lobbied for years to open Florida to large casino operations to compete with the similar Gaming Compact between the Seminole Indian Tribe and the State.