WRAP UP: 2011 Legislative Session for the Florida Sheriff’s Association

This is an interesting perspective on what the Florida Sheriff’s Association considered important legislation and what their initiatives were. The fact they retrain a legislative consultant came as a surprise to me but then I don’t know why.

This was an interesting cornocopia of initiatives:

“…FSA SUPPORT ISSUES…The FSA Impasse issue, HB 1031 by Rep. Frishe and SB 1098 by Sen. Hays failed this session for the same reason as the previous session…opposition by House leadership. In the Senate the bill was alive and well but to no avail due to the House.

HB 7095 by the House Health & Human Services Committee and SB 818 by Sen. Fasano, the Pill Mill bill, finally passed unanimously in the House after having difficulty and opposition in the early session. Supported by the Sheriffs, Police Chiefs, prosecutors and many other organizations, the Pill Mill bill was also supported by the Governor and the Attorney General.

HB 343 by Rep. Metz and SB 622 by Sen. Hays was a Sheriff’s issue that would have required the same material reporting for Secondary metal dealers as is now required for pawn shops and Secondhand Dealers. The bill died in the House Committee when its last meeting schedule was cancelled.

HB 59 by Rep. Julien and SB 328 by Sen. Margolis, the FSA legislation to update Service of Process procedures, passed and was signed by the Governor. The legislation provides for electronic signatures, access to gated communities and the ability to sign only the first sheet of information on a lengthy information package.

HB 257 by Rep. Hooper and SB 490 by Sen. Jones, an effort to cap medical costs of County Jail inmates similar to the process in the state prison system, died in Committee in the House, despite moving well in the Senate.

HB 217 by Rep. Plakon and SB 576 by Sen. Oelrich was the effort to clarify that Internet Café operations are illegal gambling businesses. The legislation passed its first Committee meeting but was not heard again. This issue involves big money and gambling interests, but there is a growing concern about such operations by members of the legislature.

MANY MORE ISSUES….As stated previously, the issues of significant concern were too many to detail in this report, but some of the more difficult and time-consuming issues are listed below:

HB 821 by Rep. Thurston and SB 1206 by Sen. Negron, the Innocence Commission legislation attempting to place eyewitness identification process rules in statute, died after strong opposition by Sheriffs, Police Chiefs and Prosecutors.

HB 1177 by Rep. Stafford and SB 144 by Sen. Smith was the legislation to establish prisoners 50 years of age as “elderly” and to allow them to be released from prison after serving only half their sentences. For the second year in a row we succeeded in killing this legislation.

HB 203 by Rep. Thurston and SB 460 by Sen. Hill would have eliminated “fleeing” as a component for charging someone with resisting arrest. The bill died in Committee with a little help from the Sheriffs.

HB 39 by Rep. Adkins and SB 204 by Sen. Wise added “spice” and other synthetic marijuana products to the statute for prohibited drugs. The legislation passed and was signed by the Governor.

HB 517 by Rep. Dorworth and SB 234 by Sen. Evers was the NRA proposal to allow concealed weapons permit holders to openly carry sidearms. The issue was strongly opposed by the Sheriffs and ultimately was amended to provide protections from arrest for concealed permit holders who accidentally or inadvertently expose their weapons in public. The Governor signed the bill.

WRAP UP: 2011 Legislative Session for the Florida Sheriff’s Association

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