2021 Florida Legislative Session Bill Tracker

 

2021 Firearm Legislation

 

HB 6083 Removing Firearm Regulations. This bill repeals the Red Flag Law passed in 2018 and also repeals the 3-day waiting period and restores the age to purchase a firearm back to 18 years old.

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HB 1323 Amending Firearm Regulations.  This bill amends the Red Flag Law passed in 2018 to provide that legal counsel will be appointed for you if you can’t afford one. It also provides that the respondent may choose a jury trial for the grant or extension of of an order, other than a temporary ex parte order. If a jury trial is requested, the court shall impanel a jury of 12 persons to make the findings required for such a hearing.

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HB 123  Carrying of Firearms. This bill often referred to as “Constitutional Carry” removes the requirement that a license to carry a concealed firearm is required in order to carry such a firearm. This would also enable Florida citizens to carry a gun, open or concealed.

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HB 6001 Licenses to Carry Concealed Weapons and Firearms (Campus Carry). This bill would allow concealed carry licensees to carry a handgun or a concealed weapon or firearm into a college or university facility.

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HB 6005 Restrictions on Firearms and Ammunition During Emergencies. This bill repeals the Florida law that automatically puts a ban on the sale of firearms during a declared local emergency.

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HB 259/SB 498 Safety of Religious Institutions. These bills would allow concealed weapons or firearms licensees to carry a firearm on certain property of a church, a synagogue, or any other religious institution, etc.

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HB 259-More Information

SB 498-More Information

 

HB213 Regulation of Concealed Weapons and Firearms. This bill would require the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to follow state firearm laws and not make any administrative regulations concerning the regulation of firearms & ammunition.  This bill is in response to Agricultural and Consumer Services Commissioner Nikki Fired and her decision to suspend online applications for concealed weapons licenses amid the coronavirus outbreak last Spring.

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SB 186 Domestic Violence. This bill would mandate Law enforcement to confiscate guns upon arriving at the scene of a domestic violence complaint if a firearm is visible to a law enforcement officer or if permission is granted to search the home. This means an accused person could have to surrender their guns before a temporary order or a hearing. Domestic violence is a serious crime, but this is unnecessary and violates “Due Process”.

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Civil Justice Reform Legislation

HB 7/SB 72 Civil Liability for Damages Relating to Covid-19. These bills provide protections for all persons, including businesses, charities, educational institutions, and others against a COVID-19-related claim. Specifically, the bill requires a court to dismiss without prejudice any lawsuit bringing a COVID-19-related claim if the complaint is not pled with particularity, or if the person filing the lawsuit failed to provide an affidavit of a physician attesting that the defendant caused the plaintiff’s injuries or damages. If the court determines that the defendant made a good faith effort to substantially comply with government-issued health standards or guidance, the defendant is immune from liability. Claims must be brought within one year after a cause of action accrues. The bills apply retroactively and takes effect upon becoming a law.

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HB 7-More Information

SB 72-More Information

 

 

State Government Laws on Public Protests Reform Legislation

HB 1/SB 484 Combating Public Disorder. While these bills are intended to crack down on riots, along with violence and looting, there are already laws on the books prohibiting riots, violence, and looting with criminal charges for each. After a careful review of the entire bill language, we have decided there are several parts of this bill that could lead to unintended consequences and allow liberal prosecutors to go after conservative peaceful protest gatherings.

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HB 1-More Information

SB 484-More Information

 

State Government Laws on Emergency Orders Reform Legislation

HB 6003 Vaccinations During Public Health Emergencies. This bill removes the authority of the State Health Officer to order vaccinations upon declaration of a public health emergency.

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Tax and Budget Legislation

Because of the coronavirus shutdown of our economy in Florida last Spring, state economists have projected a dramatic drop in state revenue, the shortfall that is projected to be approximately $3 billion to $5 billion over the next two years. The Republican Liberty Caucus of Florida believes this is an opportunity for the Legislature to seriously look at spending reductions, not only for the next two years but long term as well.

The Florida Legislature needs to understand that when the economy is strong, and revenues are plentiful does not mean spend it all. As we experienced in 2008 and now in 2020, the economy can tank.

The Republican Liberty Caucus of Florida calls on the Governor and the Legislature to scrutinize the state budget in search of savings opportunities and ask three crucial questions of all government functions:

  1. Should the government be doing this at all? (If it is something that can be done effectively by the private sector, then the state government should not be wasting resources and energy doing it.)
  2. How can it be done better and cheaper?
  3. How can we apply technology to enhance services and cut costs?

 

HB 15/SB 50 Sales and Use Tax (Internet Sales Tax).  These bills are also known as the Internet Sales Tax and would require retailers with no physical presence in Florida to collect Florida sales tax on sales of taxable items delivered to purchasers in Florida. Even if the internet sales tax brings in the projected $700 million, that means Floridians collectively would have $700 million less to spend on local businesses that provide products and services that people do not find on the internet and the government has $700 million to spend. $700 million less for Floridians=$700 million more for big-spending politicians.

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HB 15-More Information

SB 50-More Information

 

HB 757/SB 704 Entertainment Industry. These bills would create the Film, Television, and Digital Media Targeted Rebate Program and would offer film, TV, and digital media productions a rebate for the lesser of 20% or $2 million of production costs if they get pre-approved as a “certified project.”

In 2010, the Florida Legislature created a $296 million film-incentive fund. the Florida Legislature has not renewed the film subsidy program after the money dried up and a 2015 study by the Legislature’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research found Florida only received 43 cents back for every dollar awarded in tax incentives to entertainment productions.
SB 704  is another attempt at this failed corporate welfare program by requiring certain benchmarks are met before tax rebates are awarded. The problem is this is still a form of corporate welfare, with the government picking winners and losers, in this case picking certain industries for favored treatment and taxpayer-funded handouts.

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SB 704-More Information

HB 757-More Information

 

 

Education Legislation

SB 48 Educational Scholarship Programs. This bill would expand eligibility for school-voucher programs, consolidate existing school-choice programs and allow parents to use taxpayer-backed education savings accounts for private schools and other costs. Also, expands eligibility to provide more options to more low-income families and families with a child with unique abilities.

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Regulatory Reform Legislation

HB 6009 Traffic Infraction Detectors. This bill repeals the use of Red-Light Cameras in Florida.

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Property Rights Legislation

HB 59/SB 496 Growth Management  All counties and municipalities in Florida must adopt local government comprehensive plans that guide future growth and development.  Comprehensive plans contain chapters or “elements” that address topics to be coordinated. Absent from the list of mandated elements is an element protecting property rights. HB 59/SB 496 would require all counties and municipalities to adopt a property rights element in their Comprehensive Plan.

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HB 59-More Information

SB 496-More Information

 

 

Due Process/Privacy Rights Legislation

SB 144 Searches of Cellular Phones and Other Electronic Devices. This bill would require that collection by law enforcement of an individual’s location, a cell phone, or a home enabled device, without the consent of the person or owner of the devices, should be allowed only when authorized by a warrant, which carries a higher standard of having probable cause than a court order. Advancing technology has presented law enforcement with new means of investigation and surveillance, and the courts with new questions about the Fourth Amendment implications of this technology. These technologies such as “Stingray” also known as “cell-site simulators” or “IMSI catchers,” are invasive cell phone surveillance devices that mimic cell phone towers. Current law only requires a court order and not a warrant for law enforcement to use these types of surveillance.

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HB 44 Drones. Currently, law enforcement is prohibited, with certain exceptions, from using drones to gather evidence or other information. This bill would expand current restrictions on law enforcement’s use of Drones by allowing unmanned aircraft from law enforcement would be able to get aerial perspectives of crowds topping 50 people. The proposal also would let law enforcement use drones to assist in managing traffic and to collect evidence at crime scenes and traffic crashes while allowing state agencies to use the devices for assessing damage from floods, wildfires, and other natural disasters. The proposal would prohibit drones from being used to issue traffic tickets.

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Term Limits Legislation

HJR 11 Limitation on Terms of Office for Members of a District School Board. This bill would place a proposed amendment to the Florida Constitution on the 2020 general election ballot. If passed by at least 60% of voters, this amendment would limit school board members to two 4-year terms.

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Amending the Florida Constitution Legislation

SJR 204 Abolishing the Constitution Revision Committee (CRC). This bill would place a proposed amendment to the Florida Constitution on the 2020 general election ballot. If passed by at least 60% of voters, this amendment would abolish the Constitution Revision Commission.

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HJR 61/SJR 1238 Percentage of Elector Votes Required to Approve Constitutional Amendment or Revision. These bills propose an amendment to State Constitution to increase the percentage of elector votes required to approve an amendment to or revision of State Constitution from 60 percent to 66 & 2/3 percent, except that repeal of amendment or revision, need only be approved by the same percentage of elector votes as was required at time of passage of such amendment or revision.

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HJR 61-More Information

SJR 1238-More Information