Home Rule

I am VERY worried about all the preemption laws in the current state legislature.

Miami Beach saw problems with earlier preemption laws when it tried to raise its minimum wage. Cities across the state are trying to close the gun show loophole to keep guns away from people unable to pass background checks but city council members and commissioners are fearing the consequence of another older preemption law.

Cities across the state are trying to find ways to pay for the maintenance of the public buildings (libraries, neighborhood schools, etc) so as to enhance the beauty of our communities. What impact will SB 144 have on the cities’ ability to fund projects to deal with ever growing populations?

How do we stop the preemption laws in the current legislative session? I urge people to see if their legislator is voting yes on these laws aiming to take away home rule. Know what your legislator is doing BEFORE you re-elect him/her.

Quote from an article I found at the Florida League of Cities website written by Karson Turner/ Florida Association of Counties (FAC) President and a Hendry County Commissioner:

“Proposed House Bills (HB) 3 and 5 are a reckless assault on towns and taxpayers. Tallahassee politicians don’t just want to take away a town’s right to set its own laws, they also want to reserve the right to erase laws a town has already written”.

Quote from ​article titled ​”​Legislature reaches too far down, again​” in the Daily Commercial by the The Ledger (Lakeland)​ Posted Mar 15, 2019​:

“Lawmakers this year are pursuing a number of “preemption” bills whereby state legislators are wanting to decide how Florida counties and cities will govern themselves.​ People in Polk County, for example, may disagree with bans on plastic straws or local mandates on hiring practices for certain minority groups. But that doesn’t mean Miami, Fort Myers or Orlando should be blocked from enacting such rules if they want them.”

Quote from the Florida league of cities .com /advocacy/legislative-bill-summaries:

CS/CS/HB 3 was amended but the definitions included in the bill are still quite broad.

Our state legislature needs to pass laws to protect our water and air. Some might consider those preemption laws. However if one city pollutes the water supply, then that will affect the other cities. The Florida League of Cities opposed SB 1716 (Bracy) and HB 157 but the 1000 Friends of Florida supports it.

Please advocate to allow cities to pass their own minimum wage laws, their own protections for their vulnerable citizens, their own decision to ban plastic straws, and laws requiring more restrictions (than what the state decides) aimed at reducing gun violence.

Links:
http://www.1000friendsofflorida.org/2019-florida-legislative-session/

https://www.floridaleagueofcities.com/advocacy/legislative-bill-summaries

 

Bills that I would support

Worker protections

* ​Develop prevention programs to eliminate bullying and human trafficking

* Establish a minimum wage so that a 40 hour work week will bring a person above the poverty level

* Require overtime pay for anyone working more than 40 hours per week

* Require that government shutdowns do NOT cause any non-elected government worker to miss a paycheck

* Develop the potential of  our working population.  Eliminate the guest worker visa that prevents workers from fully participating in the free market ability to change jobs.  More information at this LINK

Education

* Affirm that religious instruction belongs in the home and in the religious institutions not in public or private schools funded by state or federal government

* Make it a priority to meet the demands of ARTICLE IX SECTION 1 of Florida’s Constitution. Details can be found at this LINK

* ​Develop prevention programs to eliminate the school to prison pipeline

* ​Develop prevention programs to eliminate bullying

* The state will fully fund social workers, mental health counselors and tutors for every neighborhood school.  Make sure there is adequate social workers available for the student and the student’s family.   Students outside the neighborhood should not be more than 50% of the student population.  IF a magnet program has a waiting list sufficient to support a similar magnet program, then the second magnet program will be offered at another neighborhood school.

* Make the neighborhood school buildings and grounds beautiful so that the community will be proud to have them in their community.  Funding for the neighborhood schools will be provided by the state.  All will be maintained to similar high standards.

* Teachers at charter schools will be part of the state system.  Their compensation will be similar to the benefits and the pay of the teachers at the neighborhood and magnet schools.  The state will pay the teachers’ compensation package.   The buildings and other requirements of charter schools must be funded by philanthropists, i.e the state will ONLY pay the teachers’ compensation package.   Charter school enrollment must consist of  at least 25% student enrollment of students qualifying for free lunch.

 Make our state beautiful for tourists and citizens

* Beautify the buildings and grounds of all public buildings including neighborhood schools and libraries for the use by the citizens.

* Provide for parks.  Green spaces provide vital health services as well as environmental services; they are equigenic, reducing socioeconomic health inequalities, facilitating activity and promoting better mental health and well-being. The integration of biophilic design may provide a cost-effective public health intervention, which promotes the evident positive links between green spaces and mental health. More information at this LINK

* Ban fracking and offshore drilling

* Finance purchase of Florida Forever lands and enact protections from development

* Protect Florida’s springs, aquifers and the Everglades from over development and pollution

* Require infrastructure vulnerability assessments and fund flood mitigation projects

* Require post disaster rebuilding to take sea level rise estimates into account

* Public access to the beach must include 10 feet wide walking area, be clearly marked and available at least every mile.

Reduce the murder rate in our state

* Require universal background checks and waiting periods​ for the purchase of all guns​

* Ban ​the possession outside the home of  high capacity magazines and bump stocks. This ban will make the sale and transport of such items illegal in the state of Florida. The items will be confiscated and destroyed and a fine of at least $1,000 for the breaking of this law.

*In keeping with the “well regulated” part of the 2nd amendment, anyone with a concealed carry or hunting license must take a gun safety class and pass a quiz EVERY year.  Sales tax will be charged and collected for the class and the sales tax will be dedicated to fund state owned and operated mental health (including addiction treatment) outpatient clinics.

* Repeal “Stand Your Ground” to discourage people from killing people.  ​The 2017 ​bill that shift​ed the burden of proof from the defense to the prosecution​ is especially troubling​. ​ We need that 2017 bill repealed since under that law defendants who claim to have killed out of fear for their lives needn’t provide supporting evidence that their perceptions of threat were reasonable.  LINK for more information

Prison reform

* Facilitate re-entry programs with job training, job placement and assimilation help​ More information at this LINK

* ​End the money bail system that criminalizes poverty

* Legalize cannabis for 21 and older adults.  Require that any sale of cannabis include labeling information for toxicity.   Sales tax will be collected for the sale of cannabis and alcohol and the funds will be dedicated to fund state owned and operated mental health (including addiction treatment) outpatient clinics.

* Destigmatize mental health check ups.

Treat all citizens with respect and dignity

* Ban conversion therapy for children.  Respect that not all kids fall in the average range in the bell curve for extroversion, sexual orientation, sexual identity, etc.

* Support reproductive freedoms, the right to choose and prescription contraceptive coverage

* End taxpayer funding for anti-abortion fake clinics (repeal SB0444/HB0041)

* Ensure access to family planning clinics.

Encourage citizens to make informed voting choices

* Implement Automatic Voter Registration (AVR)

*Require all candidates to participate in at least one televised debate prior to the election in order to appear on that ballot.  Allow each candidate to fact check the claims made during the debate by the other candidates and make that information (as well as the candidate’s response) available on line at least two days  prior to the start of early voting.

*Early voting must always last a full 14 days and made available at all public libraries and state colleges.

*Eliminate closed primaries. IF only two people are running for a position then they will only run in the general election and not the primary.  The two candidates receiving the most votes in the primary will run in the general election.  All general elections must have two candidates.  To achieve that, fees are eliminated for the second candidate if no one has applied by a specified deadline.  The political party (of the two major parties) not already on the ballot for that position will get to choose that second candidate.