From Miami-Dade County Council PTA/PTSA
In an effort to keep you informed of proposed legislation coming out of Tallahassee, your Advocacy and Legislation team has compiled this brief overview of bills recently filed.
The final Interim Committee Meeting will end on
Friday, February 24th
with the first day of the Regular Legislative Session beginning on Tuesday, March 2nd . Some of the many bills proposed for this upcoming session will have great impact on our students and schools.
House Bill 1 (HB1) now has a similar bill, Senate Bill 202 (SB202), filed this past
week. HB 1 is the massive voucher expansion bill, which would be offered to any
student in the state, regardless of a family’s income, by means of a education savings
account (ESA) valued at approximately $8,000. The voucher can be used for paying
for private schools, homeschooling or other educational expenses. This voucher expansion could cost Florida’s public schools nearly $4 Billion over the next several years.
Private schools that receive state vouchers do not have to meet the same testing requirements…teacher certification…and accountability standards as public schools.
This can be very detrimental to our student’s education. The House bill passed its first committee stop down party lines and now moves into the PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee. The Senate bill has its first stop on 2/21/23 in the Senate K-12 Education Committee.
A Joint Resolution (HJR 31) would put a proposal on the ballot asking voters to change the Constitution to require partisan school board elections. Another bill (HB 477) would require school board members to serve a maximum 8-year term versus the current established 12-year term.
CYBER BULLYING – SEX TRAFFICKING
House Bill 591 and identical Senate Bill 792 aims to protect juveniles from falling victim to cyber bullying and sex trafficking. According to PEW Research, 95% of teens use YouTube; 67% are on Tik Tok and 32% are on FaceBook. Exposure to these mediums created more opportunities for minors to post videos showing students being bullied and even attacked. The bills would require all schools operating in the state that accepts state funding be prohibited from requiring students to register, enroll, or participate in social media platforms regardless of age. Bills have yet to be heard in any committee of reference.
CONCEALED CARRY OF WEAPONS AND FIREARMS WITHOUT A LICENSE
House Bill (HB 543) authorizes a person to carry a concealed weapon or concealed
firearm without the need of a permit or gun safety training. Person must carry
identification and display it upon demand. As currently in place, a person
purchasing a firearm will not be required to wait the 50-90 days to receive their
permit. A similar Senate Bill (SB 150) would eliminate the requirement for a person
authorized to carry a concealed weapon or concealed firearm to pay the fee to
obtain a license.
NOTE: SB 150 Passed its first committee today 2/20/2023 down party line.
HIGH SCHOOLS AND HIGHER EDUCATION
There is an uncertain future for high school students in Florida. In 2022, two
hundred thousand students in Florida took the college entrance exam, called the
SAT, and tens of thousands of high school students participated in Advance
Placement (AP) courses that could lead to earning college credits ahead of schedule.
At a recent press conference, Governor DeSantis spoke out against the College Board and related programs, which began after public outcry and a political spat with the College Board over not allowing an African American AP course to be added to the already established list of class offerings.
GENDER AFFIRMING CARE
A new rule bans physicians from prescribing puberty-blocking medications, providing hormone therapy and performing gender reassignment surgery on people under the age of 18.
The Boards of Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine voted to combine their proposed rules, ultimately eliminating an exception that would have allowed doctors to treat patients with puberty blockers and hormones if they agreed to participate in trials at Florida Medical Schools.
The new rules go against the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association.
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2023 LEGISLATIVE SESSION
Interim Committee Meetings
Week #1 December 12-16, 2022
Week #2 January 3-6, 2023
Week #3 January 17-20, 2023
Week #4 January 23-27, 2023
Week #5 February 6-10, 2023
Week #6 February 13-17, 2023
Week #7 February 20-24, 2023
Regular Legislative Session
March 7 - May 5, 2023
Your Advocacy and Legislation Committees will continue to follow bills filed during the 2022-2023 Legislative Session and will look to keep you updated.
Maria Norton - President
Fatima Chaiken - VP of Advocacy Legislation
Mindy Gould - Legislation
Eileen Segal - Advocacy
Diane Quick - Municipalities
Nancy Lawther - School Board Liaison
Jennifer Salomon - LGBTQ + Chair
Jennifer Lopez - DEI Chair
Carrie Feit - Resolution Chair