SB 664 - E-Verify Bill
After banning sanctuary cities this year, Sen. Joe Gruters, who doubles as chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, promised to continue to promote the rule of law in the 2020 Legislative Session. Under the guidance of Sen. Tom Lee, Gruters and Republicans in Florida will look to continue to hold those who break the law accountable.
Under the proposed legislation employers would be required to turn over records proving their employees are citizens or are otherwise authorized to work in the United States.
Failure to do so would lead to penalties or even a suspension of one's business license.
While Gruters did not introduce the legislation as intended, attaching his name to the bill is important for his political stock -- something that has taken a hit as of late. Aside from postponing his immigration tour, Gruters has been the focal point by many detractors on the right.
Recent turmoil and rumors of infighting within the Florida GOP have intensified this political tug-of-warm for Florida's future, with many speculating whether or not Gruters is the right person to lead Florida into 2020.
Gruters, however, doesn't agree with the sentiments, dismissing the claims and stating, “It’s much ado about nothing." He also made it clear that everyone within the party is on the same page, promising that the Florida GOP is "united."
Regardless of what people think, Gruters is continuing his fight for border security and reestablishing the rule of law in Florida. If this E-Verify bill does pass, Gruters may silence his biggest critics.
HB 271 - Fetal Heartbeat
Rep. Mike Hill's “fetal heartbeat” bill is a no-brainer for conservatives wanting to stop people from murdering innocent lives.
The proposal would ban abortions if a fetal heartbeat is detected, effectively banning abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. Filed for the legislative session that begins in January, this session's version would lead to third-degree felony charges for any “person who knowingly or purposefully performs or induces an abortion on a pregnant woman with the specific intent of causing or abetting the termination of the life of the preborn human being whose preborn intrauterine heartbeat has been detected.”
A similar bill was filed last Legislative Session by Hill and Sen. Dennis Baxley. Both measures, however, were not taken up in House and Senate committees.
Similar proposals have sparked legal and political battles in other states, but have been successful. Such bills have passed in other states, including Georgia, Missouri, and Ohio.
Florida, however, continues to neglect the right to life -- something that must change in 2020.
HB 611 - Local Government Accountability
While Rep. Anthony Sabatini has numerous filings aimed at cutting red tape, promoting individual liberty and limiting government oversight -- Concealed Carry (HB 273) and Beverage Law (HB 583) -- one bill seeks to add transparency to the term "lobbyist."
The recently filed legislation would do a number of things to add transparency to the common political process, including removing provisions relating to lobbying before water management districts, requiring the Commission on Ethics to create a statewide registry of local government lobbyists, and requiring all local governments to post notice of their meetings and the subject of the meetings seven days in advance online.
Under the bill, lobbyists would be required to register with the commission, giving citizens full transparency when it comes to when and how government will try to affect them.
"The local government accountability act creates more transparency and public notice where it's currently absent. I look forward to adding more transparency and limited-government measures to the Bill as it moves through committee," Sabatini told The Florida Report.
HB 403 - High School Graduation Requirements
With college degrees becoming less of a commodity, Rep. Jason Shoaf will look to promote trade and technical careers as an alternative.
Shoaf's legislation would revise credit requirements to earn standard high school diploma to include career & technical education.
The Republican who represents House District 7 has been vocal in his support of high-paying skilled trades. Shoaf believes these careers could prevent college students from drowning in debt in pursuit of a degree that doesn't pay as well.
HJR 477 - Supermajority Vote Required to Impose, Authorize, or Raise Local Taxes or Fees
Last month, Rep. Bob Rommel filed a House Joint Resolution 477, a proposed amendment to the Florida Constitution that would prohibit local governments from raising taxes or fees without a vote approved by two-thirds of the membership of the jurisdiction or taxing district.
According to the legislation, "No new local tax or fee may be imposed or authorized and no local tax or fee may be raised by any municipality, county, school board, or special district except through a vote approved by two-thirds of the membership of the jurisdiction or special district."
If passed by the Florida Legislature, the resolution would be put before the voters of Florida for ballot approval. The change would apply to municipalities, counties, school boards, and special districts.
"My bill is pure common sense," said Rommel. "We have runaway government spending because we've made it too easy for politicians to pass new taxes. Right now, it's as easy to pass a new tax as it is to name a new bridge. This bill is a move in the right direction."
In addition, the Constitutional change would require any such proposed tax or fee to be contained in a separate resolution or ordinance—the so-called single-subject provision, which fiscal conservatives believe is an important change to prevent governments from passing distasteful tax increases by bundling them with other important legislation.