THIS WEEK’S DISTRICT 51 LEGISLATIVE REPORT

By  //  March 16, 2013

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2013 Legislative Session

ABOVE: Rep. Steve Crisafulli was voted in as the Republicans’ choice for House speaker after the 2014 elections. (myfloridahouse.gov image)

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Issue: # 81 March 16, 2013

Legislative Session
This week’s Session was held on Tuesday and Wednesday. HB 15 – Funeral Protests was passed in the House by a unanimous vote. This bill will protect the sanctity of funerals and the privacy of grieving families by prohibiting protest activities within 500 feet of a funeral.HB 215 – Dependent Children, which makes it easier for children in foster care to participate in extracurricular activities and lead normal lives, also passed by a unanimous vote this week. 
Notable Legislation

This was a busy week in the Florida House. Here is a brief summary of some notable legislation heard by House committees.

HB 155 – Prohibition of Electronic Gaming Devices  

On Friday, the House Select Committee on Gaming passed legislation to outlaw Internet cafes in Florida. As you may have seen earlier this week, a federal investigation led to the arrest of 57 people and the closure of 49 Internet cafes across Florida. Charges include operating illegal slot machines, racketeering, and money laundering. Both the House and Senate are expected to move swiftly on this matter and take action against these establishments.

HB 7011 – Florida Retirement System

The State Affairs Committee, which I chair, met this week and discussed HB 7011 – Pension Reform, which relates to Florida’s retirement system. The House is trying to reform and modernize Florida’s retirement system by requiring new employees hired after January 1, 2014 to enroll in a 401(k)-style retirement plan. Let me be clear – this bill does not impact the benefits of those who are currently enrolled in the Florida Retirement System.

HB 7065 – Everglades Improvement and Management

After passing through the State Affairs Committee last week, the Appropriations Committee this week voted in favor to move HB 7065 forward, and it is now able to heard on the House floor. The Everglades Forever Act (EFA) is the primary Florida law pertaining to the management, protection, and restoration of the Everglades. This bill amends the Everglades Forever Act to help move the final phase of Everglades restoration forward.

HB 569 – Campaign Finance

One of the House’s main priorities this year is fixing our state’s campaign finance system. HB 569 was passed favorably this week in the State Affairs Committee. This legislation will increase transparency and accountability in our elections system by requiring more frequent campaign finance reporting and ensuring dollars raised by political committees are spent to directly influence elections.

HB 4011-Red Light Cameras 

HB 4011 received its first committee hearing this week. This bill would repeal the statutory authority for local governments to use red light cameras.

How to Follow A Bill
Want to know how a certain bill is moving through the legislative process or how it is being voted upon? Go to www.MyFloridaHouse.gov, and look at the left-hand side of the screen for the Bill tab. From there, you can type in the bill number or search for bills by keyword. Once you choose the bill, you will have access to the bill analysis (if available), committees of reference, any amendments to the bill that have been filed, and the bill’s vote history.You can also download the Florida House app on your smartphone and tablet devices. You can download the app for free from the iTunes store.
Also, for updates on House District 51, be sure to follow me on Facebook (Steve Crisafulli) and Twitter (@SteveCrisafulli). Links to follow me on social media can be found below.
 Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. My door is always open. Be sure to follow me on Facebook for regular updates on news affecting House District 51.Find me on Facebook
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