Florida Legislative Session Round Table Week Four

Jan 29, 2018

As Florida legislators kick off week four of this year’s state law-making session, our legislative round table series continues today. We’ll highlight bills that are making significant gains toward passage:  The Florida House voted last week in favor of a constitutional amendment proposal (HJR 7001) that would require supermajorities in both chambers to enact any future increases in taxes or fees.  

Critics of the proposal worry about how such a move could tie the hands of future lawmakers to enact prudent fiscal policy.  Meanwhile appropriations committees in both the House and Senate rolled out plans for higher education funding in the coming year.  However, the House plan calls for increasing funding for state colleges and universities by about $281 million, while the Senate plan calls for cutting funding by $383 million.

We’ll also explore a constitutional amendment proposal that voters will decide in this year’s fall election that would restore the voting rights some 1.5 million former felons.

A firearm bill (HB 1419) made gains last week in both chambers that aims to give churches or other religions institutions attached to a school, the right to allow guns in their properties.

A measure (HB 33) to make ‘texting while driving’ a primary offense in Florida is also advancing in the Legislature, but one proposal includes a provision that would require law enforcement to document the ethnicity of drivers they pull over.

Plus, we delve into a proposal (HB 839) that would require public schools to prominently display the state motto, “In God We Trust,” on their buildings.

FGCU Political Scientist Roger Green, Ph.D., joins us in studio for some in depth analysis of these legislative proposals and for a look ahead at what lawmakers are looking to tacking in the coming week.