2019 Legislative Session | Week 2
With the conclusion of Week Two, the 2019 Session is in full swing and bills are on the move. We are seeing several bills related to the Child Welfare system progress through their committee stops. Last week’s edition of Capitol Connection featured a comprehensive list of proposed bills relating to children, youth & families in Florida. As we progress through Session, the Capitol Connection will only include bills from the initial list that have moved or received action.

The first column lists the bill number and sponsor and provides a hyperlink to the bill text and history. The second column represents the number of committees of reference for each bill and the final column gives a brief description of the bill. Here is a key to help guide you in your review of where a bill is in the process:
Child Welfare
 SB 124 - Sen. Bean
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HB 115 - Rep. Sirois
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These similar bills authorize the court to receive & consider information provided by the Guardian ad Litem Program & child's attorney ad litem if the child is under jurisdiction of dependency court, add requirements related to transferring dependent children from DJJ facilities & grant additional authorizations to the GAL Program.
 SB 832 - Sen. Rader
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HB 597 - Rep. Stark

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These identical bills require DOH to issue a noncertified copy of an original birth certificate to an adoptee of legal age or a descendant of a deceased adoptee with the full names and ages of birth parents, date of birth of the child and the full name of the child given at birth.
 SB 256 - Sen. Baxley
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HB 535 - Rep. Smith
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These similar bills refine definition of term "officer, employee, or agent," to include any member of a child protection team carrying out duties as a team member, as it applies to immunity from personal liability of any injury or damage suffered as a result of any act or omission of action within the scope of his or her employment or function.  
     HB 899 - Rep. Tomkow
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Related to child welfare case plans and communication requirements for all parties involved.
   SB 262 - Sen. Albritton
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HB 421 - Rep. Roach


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These similar bills aim to speed up the dependency process for abused children removed from their home to achieve permanency within 1 year. Permanency can be reunification with parents, placement with a permanent guardian, often a relative, or adoption. The bills make changes such as requiring updated parent contact information, making referrals to services for parents within 7 days, requiring parents to notify the court of any barriers to completing their case plan, and to clearly inform parents that if they do.
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K-12 Education
     SB 226 - Sen. Brandes
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HB 401 - Rep. DiCeglie


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These similar bills rename Competency-Based Education Pilot Program as the Mastery-Based Education Pilot Program and allow local school districts to participate in an Alternative Credit and Letter Grade Systems for middle and high schools.
       SB 1198 - Sen. Stargel


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This bill requires a school district that enters into collective bargaining with its employees to post to its website a list of all items that the parties seek to negotiate at least 10 days before the first meeting of the school district and bargaining agent. 
Juvenile Justice
       SB 7072 - Appropriations


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This is a proposed bill by the Senate Appropriations Committee making several revisions to Florida Statutes related to Criminal Justice. Specific revisions include increasing the threshold amount for third degree felony theft offenses from $300 to $700 and requires this threshold amount to be adjusted every two years based on the Consumer Price Index.
Children With Unique Abilities
            SB 62 - Sen. Book
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HB 349 - Rep. DuBose

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These identical bills, related to students with disabilities. define associated terms, requirements for use of physical restraint, exclusionary and nonexclusionary time, training procedures, monitoring and reporting requirements of staff.
Senator Lauren Book presents her bill, SB 62, to the Senate Education Committee.
Photo: The Florida Senate
For more information, please contact
Donovan Lee-Sin, Public Policy & Community Engagement Officer at
donovan@thechildrenstrust.org or 305.571.5700 ext. 316.