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Bills that Didn’t Make the Cut in 2020

March 23rd, 2020 by Jake Stofan

Many bills that previously dominated conversation at the Capitol prior to the rapid spread of coronavirus silently died as focus shifted to the virus, including a proposal to make schools safer.

The bill would have increased penalties on districts that fail to comply with school safety mandates.

It would also have banned the arrest of young children except under extreme circumstances.

“In my district we arrested 53 eight-year-olds. This is standard operating procedure,” said Rep. Wendy Newton.

Mandatory moments of silence to start off the school day also failed.

Democrats and even some Republicans in the House opposed the measure, arguing it would have equated to an additional school holiday.

“I don’t think it’s a critical need, quite frankly I think it’s going to be a waste of time,” said Rep. Spencer Roach.

Criminal Justice reform efforts also failed, mostly due to opposition from law enforcement.

“The way that we’re going to push back is the data and the research and showing best practices,” said Senator Jeff Brandes.

A proposal that would have put the regulation of short term vacation rentals like AirBNB under state control fizzled out after the Governor expressed concerns.

“Probably that should be determined locally,” said Governor Ron DeSantis.

A proposed public records exemption for university presidential applicants fell short after nearly a week of protests.

“If this process is hid from the public, than political appointees will control the process,” said Rich Templin with the Florida AFL-CIO.

And while all of these bills failed to pass, the Legislature approved many of the Governor’s top priorities, including E-verify, parental consent for abortions and teacher pay raises.

The Governor has told reporters to expect to see a heavy hand of line item budget vetos that would have otherwise been approved except for the coronavirus.

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