Florida Family Action is committed to strengthening marriage and family structures, protecting innocent human life and defending our religious liberties. One of the ways we influence culture in these areas is by engaging our elected officials in Tallahassee. The 2016 Florida Legislative session will convene for 60 days, beginning Tuesday, January 12, 2016 through Friday, March 11, 2016.
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PRO-LIFE / PRO-WOMAN’S HEALTH
VOTE FOR: HB 1/SB 602: Requiring Abortionist Doctors to Have Hospital Admitting Privileges aka “Physician Admitting Privileges”
[Sponsors: Sen Stargel (R)/ Rep Hill (R)] (HB 1 related, not identical to SB 602)
This bill would require a physician performing or inducing an abortion to maintain hospital admitting privileges at a local hospital within 30 miles of where the abortion is performed, as a continuum of care plan in case of medications complications threatening the mother’s health. Effective Date: July 1, 2016.
For the most recent developments on HB 1/SB 602, visit:
(House-HB 1) http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=54804
NEW “GAY” RIGHTS
VOTE AGAINST: HB 45/SB 120: Creating Special Rights for LGBT Citizens aka “Florida’s Competitive Workforce Act”
[Sponsors: Rep Raschein (R)/ Sen Abruzzo (D)] (SB 120 identical to HB 45)
Creates “Florida’s Competitive Workforce Act,” creating new rights by adding sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expressions as new protected classes to Florida’s Civil Rights Act of 1992 “impermissible grounds for discrimination”. This bill creates a new cause of action to sue employers, small businesses and property owners for discrimination by those in the “LGBT” community. Effective Date: July 1, 2016.
For the most recent developments on HB 45/SB 120, visit:
(Senate-SB 120) http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2016/0120
SUPPORT FOR ISRAEL
VOTE FOR: SB 86/HB 527: Relating to Scrutinized Companies
[Sponsors: Sen Negron (R); Rep Workman (R)] (SB 86 similar to HB 527)
Prohibits state and local government entities from investing in or awarding contracts to companies that boycott Israel. Exceptions provided.
Requires State Board of Administration (SBA) to create “Scrutinized Companies that Boycott Israel List” and update it quarterly. Companies listed would be notified and provided 90 days to clarify their position regarding Israel. Effective Date: Except as otherwise expressly provided in this act, this act shall take effect upon becoming a law.
For the most recent developments on HB 527/SB 86, visit:
(Senate-SB 86) http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2016/0086
VOTE FOR: HB 835/SB 1522: Relating to Education
[Sponsors: Rep. Eisenaugle (R)/Sen. Stargel (R)] (Senate Equivalent: SB 1522 (Similar))
Clarifies that homeschooling is not a school district program; requires testing to be available for homeschool students—not optional for district; expands access to special needs assistance for homeschool students; expands access for homeschool students to career/technical training course offerings of school district; school district to notify of dates/times/types of national/end year/certification/other assessments available to homeschool students; annual textbook reimbursement for homeschool students (small refund). In addition, the bill states a high school grade point average may not be required for home education students who meet the minimum score on a common placement test adopted by the State Board of Education which indicates that the student is ready for college-level coursework.
The bill prohibits a school district from further regulating, exercising control over, or requiring documentation from parents of home education program students beyond the requirements of this section unless the regulation, control, or documentation is necessary for participation in a school district program. Effective: July 1, 2016.
VOTE FOR: HB 401: Relating to Protection of Religious Freedom
[Sponsor: Rep Gonzalez (R)] (Currently no Senate companion bill)
This bill provides legal protections for health care facilities and providers; individuals; small businesses; religious institutions; businesses owned or operated by religious institutions; and private child-placing agencies; who, because of their sincerely-held religious beliefs, refuse to perform certain actions that would force them to violate these beliefs.
The actions protected by this bill are defined as actions that are contrary to religious or moral beliefs AND one of the following: administering, recommending, or delivering medical treatments or procedures; producing, creating, or delivering products or services; or performing, assisting, recommending, consenting to, or participating in placing children in homes. Effective Date: July 1, 2016.
For the most recent developments on HB 401, visit:
(House-HB 401) http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=55321
VOTE AGAINST: HB 859/SB 1056: Relating to Education in Public Schools Concerning Human Sexuality
[Sponsors: Rep. Fullwood (D)/Sen. Bullard (D)] (Senate Equivalent: SB 1056 (Identical))
Removes abstinence only education from public schools (FL Statute 1003.46) and requires a broader teaching of sex ed, to include applicable to all genders and sexual orientation. Included in the bill is the option for a parent to exempt their child from this instruction and an option to review the instructional materials upon request.
This bill would require school districts (not an option) to give wide array of sexual education–with the understanding that adolescents will be sexually active/normalizing it, rather than dissuading this activity. This would also give parents the right to petition if the school district or school did not comply with the requirements of this bill. Effective Date: July 1, 2016.
For the most recent developments on HB 859 or SB 1056, visit:
(House-HB 859) http://www.flhouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=55789
(Senate-SB 1056) http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2016/1056
VOTE AGAINST: “Florida Casino Gambling Expansion Act” aka Seminole Compact
The state’s renegotiated compact with the Seminole Tribe of Florida will lead to the largest gambling expansion in state history, creating casinos to rival Las Vegas and Atlantic City. The Seminole Tribe casinos would be authorized to have the most slot machines in the world—“limited” to 6,000 machines at any one facility with an average of 3,500 machines across their seven facilities. The so-called “limit” on table games also rivals the Las Vegas Strip. The Tribe can have an average of 150 table games per facility with as many as 300 at any one facility. The compact would allow expansion of blackjack into the eight existing pari-mutuels in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, and allows other pari-mutuels around the state to offer “historic racing machines”, a new gambling game that plays the last eight seconds of a horse race after wagers are made. This compact also allows two new gambling facilities, one in Palm Beach County and another in Miami-Dade County that will have 750 slots and 750 video racing terminals.
This new compact was signed in December 2015 by Governor Rick Scott and the Seminole Tribe of Florida. The compact will now come before the Legislature for approval. No bill is currently filed.