2019 Legislative Session | Week 6
We are now in the backstretch of the 2019 Legislative Session. As the legislative session winds down, the window for committee meetings in both chambers is drawing to a close. Bills that have not been heard in any of their committees of reference have likely lost their chance of passage this session. Many bills, including several related to children, youth and families, are still on the move and making their way to consideration by the full chambers. It is likely that the two chambers will begin the budget conferencing process the week after next, putting extra pressure on bringing policy bills in for a landing.
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We want to highlight the passage of one bill in particular, HB 1027- Office of Early Learning by our friend, and long-time child advocate, State Representative Vance Aloupis. Rep. Aloupis has dedicated his professional career to advocating for children and their families, particularly focusing on increasing access to high-quality childcare for all children. HB 1027 will professionalize the childcare field by providing structured professional development for providers. Fittingly, this is the first bill passed by Rep. Aloupis in his time in the legislature. In a heartfelt and emotional close, Rep. Aloupis shared his passion for this crucial issue and pledged that this bill will be the first step in what will be a long-term commitment to strengthening the early learning space.
 
From our team at the Florida Children’s Council, congratulations Rep. Aloupis, and thank you for your commitment to Florida’s children.
Representative Vance Aloupis (Miami) presents HB 1027 on the House Floor.
Child Welfare
 SB 124 - Sen. Bean
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HB 115 - Rep. Sirois
Passed Both Chambers

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 1726 - Sen. Gruters
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HB 1171 - Rep. Grall

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These similar   bills establish the Parents Bill of Rights to provide a consistent mechanism for notifying parents of information related to the health, well-being, and education of the child. The bills additionally prohibit health care practitioners from performing surgical procedures, physical or mental health evaluations or prescribing medication to a minor child without written parental consent except in the case of life-threatening emergencies. 
 SB 832 - Sen. Rader
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HB 597 - Rep. Stark

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Passed Full House
These identical bills allow the name of a birth parent, adoptive parent or an adoptee to be disclosed from adoption records without a court order if the individual has given written consent. The bills also allow the name of the persons references above to be disclosed from adoption records upon court order if the court finds good cause, even if the person has not authorized the disclosure.
   SB 1650 - Sen. Albritton
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HB 7099 - Children, Families & Seniors

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These similar bills come from recommendations of DCF staff as part of the Paths Forward Initiative to mitigate the loss of the IV-E waiver and to prepare for the implementation of the Families First Act. It includes new requirements for DCF placing a child in shelter care, changes to the Guardian Assistance Program and requirements for young adults in foster care.
   HB 1209 - Rep. Buchanon
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This proposed legislation creates a bill of rights for foster parents and requires the Department of Children and Families to provide for mediation with foster parents and adopt rules to implement the bill of rights. 
Early Learning
      SB 1456 - Sen. Perry
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HB 1027 - Rep. Aloupis


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Passed Full House
These  identical   bills require the Office of Early Learning to establish both formal and informal pathways for early learning teachers in the school readiness program to ensure access to specialized professional development.
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 982 - Sen. Thurston
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HB 259 - Rep. Williams


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These bills are no longer identical as HB 259 has been amended to remove the provisions related to the Human Trafficking Activity Hotline and human trafficking awareness campaigns. SB 982 has not been amended and both bills still require health education in public schools to include information on the warning signs of human trafficking and authorize a student opt-out option.
Juvenile Justice
            SB 476 - Sen. Perry
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HB 567 - Rep. Slosberg

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These  identical   bills increase the age of children who must be secured in a crash-tested, federally approved child-restraint device from 5 to 6 years old and increases the age of children for whom a separate carrier, integrated child seat or booster seat may be used.
            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.
Health & Safety
            SB 354 - Sen. Montford
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HB 213 - Rep. Massullo

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These  similar  bills revise provisions relating to the Immunization Registry by allowing a college or university student age 19-24 the right to refuse to be included in the immunization registry and requires health care practitioners to report vaccination data to the immunization registry for children birth to 18 unless a guardian refused to have the child included in the registry by meeting certain requirements. 
            SB 7030 - Education Committee
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HB 7093 - Education Committee

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Build upon the school safety and security foundation established in SB 7026 (2018) by addressing the school safety and security recommendations of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, and strengthening accountability and compliance oversight authority.
Children With Unique Abilities
            SB 62 - Sen. Book
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HB 349 - Rep. DuBose

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Passed Full House
These  similar   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.
For more information, please contact:
Donovan Lee-Sin, Public Policy & Community Engagement Officer at
donovan@thechildrenstrust.org or 305.571.5700 ext. 316.