Rep. Steve Crisafulli District 51 Legislative Update
By Steve Crisafulli // March 16, 2014
House Passes Priority Legislation on Sexual Predators
Last week was another busy one in the Florida House as the members met in session on Tuesday and Wednesday to pass several pieces of priority legislation.
It is a top priority for the House to make Florida the most unfriendly state in the nation for sexual predators. The House unanimously passed a group of bills (HB 7019, HB 7021, HB 7025, and HB 7027) that strengthen laws to help protect children from sexually violent predators.
These reforms stiffen sentences for sex offenders, provide more information to our communities, and improve communication between government and law enforcement when sex offenders are released.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Florida is the only state in the country without a Chief Information Officer. We are currently spending over $733 million annually on information technology (IT) with no central point of coordination or oversight.
HB 7073 – Information Technology Governance corrects this problem by establishing an IT governance structure for the state. This bill will increase coordination between state agencies and establish IT standards to improve our state’s IT infrastructure, bringing our government into the 21st Century and creating important efficiencies that will save taxpayer dollars.
Here is an update on some important legislation moving through the committee process this week:
$400 MILLION MOTOR VEHICLE FEE REDUCTION
The House Finance & Tax Subcommittee passed HB 7123 this week. This bill would significantly cut the fees and surcharges for motor vehicle licenses.
The House proposal would reduce fees Floridians pay when registering a motor vehicle. This reduction is part of the proposed $500 million tax and fee cut that is designed to put money directly back into the pockets of hard-working Floridians.
AIDING VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING
The Healthy Families Subcommittee passed Proposed Committee Bill HFS 14-02 on Wednesday to create a focus on the victims of human trafficking. As part of the Legislature’s Work Plan 2014 “Protecting Florida’s Vulnerable” initiative, this legislation provides support for the survivors of human trafficking and instead of punishing these abused children like criminals, it ensures that they are treated as the victims.
The bill will establish secure safe houses where sexually exploited dependent children can live and receive the proper treatment and therapy they need to be rehabilitated back into normal life.
On Tuesday, the Florida State Capitol celebrated Military Day to honor the men and women who sacrificed their lives for our country. As I mentioned last week, the House unanimously passed House Bill (HB) 7015. The Florida G.I. Bill promotes the education and career development of our military personnel and honors and provides for our veterans.
It is a huge step in making Florida the “welcome home” state for our veterans by assisting them in adjusting to civilian life after service. Additionally, I sponsored House Resolution HR 9023, which honored retired Sergeant First Class Melvin Morris of Cocoa, who will receive the Medal of Honor on March 18, 2014. It was a true honor and privilege to honor this American hero and member of our community.
Wednesday was an exciting day at the Capitol, as it was Space Day. Once again, the space industry showed a strong presence in the Capitol by meeting with legislators and presenting exhibits. I was honored to be given the opportunity to promote the space industry in front of my legislative colleagues, Kennedy Space Center administrators, and the public.
Our highly skilled workforce and heritage as the Space Coast makes Florida the perfect place for the commercial space industry to flourish. We must keep working to expand and diversify the space industry in our state and create good jobs here in Brevard County.
For regular updates on House District 51, be sure to follow me on Facebook and Twitter (@SteveCrisafulli). Please do not hesitate to contact me at 321-449-5111 if you have any questions or concerns. My door is always open.