SPAC Week 6

Update from Tallahassee: Home Stretch in Sight for 2022 Regular Session

As Florida legislators enter the final weeks of the 2022 Regular Legislative Session, negotiations regarding Congressional redistricting maps as well as the FY2022 – 2023 budget for the State of Florida remain priority issues for the Legislature.
In the remaining weeks of Session, House and Senate leaders will work to resolve the major budget differences between the proposed House and Senate budgets. Meanwhile, state economists are continuing to review data regarding Florida’s economy and how it has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This is important as legislators are using the data to build a budget that will align with future state tax receipts officials anticipate will be from this summer until July of 2023.
Differences between proposed House and Senate congressional redistricting maps also remain and must be resolved before the end of Session. Gov. DeSantis’ proposed Congressional redistricting map also differs from both the proposed House and Senate maps. State leaders must continue negotiations between the legislative chambers and the branches of government as the governor will ultimately have veto power over the legislative bill containing the legislators’ proposed congressional redistricting map.
In the remaining weeks of Session, state representatives and state senators will be spending more time in debate on the floor of the House and Senate as legislators push to have their bills heard and passed with a final floor vote before moving to the governor’s desk for review.
Please find an update below of some of the legislative bills that SPAC is continuing to monitor this Session.


Bills to Watch

CS/SB 756: Public Records/Human Trafficking Victims by Sen. DiazHB 1439 - Prostitution, Lewdness, Human Trafficking, and Public Lodging & HB 1441 - Pub. Rec./Human Trafficking Victim Expunction by Rep. Toledo
The Senate version of the bill has passed the Florida Senate with a unanimous 39-0 vote, and HB1439 is awaiting its final vote on the House floor. The Senate bill expands the public records exemption authorizing human trafficking victims to expunge a criminal history record related to offenses listed under the habitual violent felony offender designation if the victim was not found guilty of, or did not pled guilty or nolo contender to, such an offense. The bill also creates a new exemption from public records disclosure under s. 119.07(1), F.S., and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution for any petition filed by a human trafficking victim to expunge a criminal history record and all pleadings and documents related to the petition. The bill makes findings that the expansion of the exemption and the new exemption from public records disclosure are each a public necessity as required by the State Constitution. Two-thirds vote of both the House and the Senate is required for final passage.

HB 1577 - Homeless Youth by Children, Families & Seniors Subcommittee and Rep. Woodson
This bill, which is ready for a final vote of the House floor, addresses the needs of homeless children and young adults. The Senate companion bill, SB 1708 - Child Welfare by Sen. Garcia, must still pass through the Appropriations Committee. Specifically, the bill: 

  • requires district school boards to issue a certified unaccompanied homeless youth a card that includes information on his or her rights and available benefits, and allows health care providers to accept the issued card as proof of the young adult’s status. 
  • expands the Keys-to-Independence program to unaccompanied homeless youth meeting certain requirements. 
  • waives fees for certified copies of a birth certificate for certified unaccompanied homeless youth, and young adults who aged out of foster care. 
  • requires certain postsecondary institutions to have liaisons to assist children and young adults experiencing homelessness, and directs the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability to evaluate the effectiveness of those liaisons. 
  • amends the definition of which students qualify for a tuition and fee exemption as homeless children and youth to align with federal law. ·
  • requires documentation that meets the standards of federal law to be adequate to prove a homeless child or youth qualifies for a tuition and fee exemption.

This bill has passed through one committee, and it has the Health & Human Services Committee remaining. The Senate companion bill, SB 1708 - Child Welfare by Sen. Garcia, also has one committee, Appropriations, remaining.
SB 7028: Food Policy Advisory Council by the Agriculture committee
SB7028 was heard in the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government at its meeting this afternoon, where it passed and was reported favorably by the committee. Its next stop is in Senate Appropriations before it can head to the full Senate. The bill creates the Food Policy Advisory Council. The purpose of the council is to serve as a forum for presenting, investigating, and evaluating barriers to food access for Floridians and for identifying solutions to such barriers. The bill specifies requirements for the membership, meetings, compensation, and duties of the council. It also directs the council to submit a report to the Governor, President of the Senate, and Speaker of the House of Representatives containing its findings and recommendations on how to best increase access to food in Florida.
SB 1770: Donor Human Milk Bank Services by Sen. Book / HB 1333 - Donor Human Milk Bank Services by McFarland
SB1770 has only one committee remaining and will be heard in Senate Appropriations on Feb. 24, and HB1333 was heard and successfully passed in the House Appropriations Committee this morning. This bill will authorize the state agency AHCA to pay for donor human milk bank services as optional Medicaid service when a licensed physician or nurse practitioner has issued an order for an infant who is medically or physically unable to receive maternal breast milk or breastfeed or whose mother is medically or physically unable to produce maternal breast milk or breastfeed.

CS/SB 760: Human Trafficking by Senator Berman 
SB760 has one committee remaining, and HB 521: Human Trafficking and Prostitution by Rep. Skidmore, has not yet been heard in committee. The bill, which has two other committees of reference, amends the human trafficking statute, s. 787.06, F.S., to expand the term “coercion.” Currently, s. 787.06, F.S., delineates the offenses of human trafficking between whether the victim is a child under 18 years old, an adult who is believed to be a child under 18 years old, or an adult. The human trafficking offenses against adult victims require the element of “coercion.” This bill amends s. 787.06, F.S., to expand the term “coercion,” in multiple ways.The House version of the bill, HB 521: Human Trafficking and Prostitution by Rep. Skidmore, has not yet been heard in committee.

SB 1518: Lactation Space by Sen. Berman / HB 1223 - Lactation Space in Courthouses by Rep. Morales
SB1518 has one committee remaining, and HB1223 has not been heard in committee yet. This legislation would require at least one lactation space to be provided in each county courthouse.
SB 246: Tax Exemption for Diapers and Incontinence Products by Sen. Book / HB 85 - Tax Exemption for Diapers and Incontinence Products by Rep. Eskamani These bills aim to repeal the state sales on various diapers in Florida, they have not advanced at this time.

SB 1054: Financial Literacy Instruction in Public Schools by Sen. Hutson
Also known as the “Dorothy L. Hukill Financial Literacy Act”, this bill revises high school credit requirements by requiring instruction in personal financial literacy and money management in order to receive a standard high school diploma. This bill is set to be heard on the floor of the Senate on 02/23/22. The House version of the bill, HB 1115 - High School Graduation Requirements in Personal Finance by Rep. Busatta, will be heard in its final stop this week with the House Education & Employment Committee on 02/23/22 at 1:00 PM. 

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