Florida Family Action, the legislative arm of the Florida Family Policy Council, is committed to protecting and defending life, marriage, family and religious liberty. One of the ways we influence culture in these areas is by engaging our elected officials in Tallahassee. Florida Family Action will engage the Legislature on both good bills and bad bills as it relates to our core values.
The 2021 Florida Legislative Session (60 days) is Tuesday, March 2nd to Friday, April 30.
Thank you for your continued support this session as we work in Tallahassee to advocate for pro-family values!
President and General Counsel
Florida Family Policy Council
2021 Session Week 6 of 9
Parental Bill of Rights, HB 241 by Grall and SB 582 by Rodrigues This bill emphasizes the fundamental right of parents to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their minor children. This fundamental right includes the right of parents to be notified of anything affecting the health, well-being, and education of their child while the child is in the custody of the school district. This bill would establish a mechanism by which schools must notify parents of information related to the health and well-being of their children.
HB 241 was voted favorably off the House floor and referred to the Senate Rules Committee. SB 582 was heard in Rules on April 6 and placed on the Senate floor calendar.
The Vulnerable Child Protection Act (Youth Gender and Sexual Identity), HB 935 by Sabatini: This bill would prohibit a practitioner from performing any procedure on a minor for the purpose of changing the minor’s sex or affirming the minor’s perception of the minor’s sex if that is inconsistent with the minor’s actual sex. The bill also prohibits anyone who is not of the female sex from participating in sports teams designated for girls only. “Sex” in the bill is defined as “the biological state of being female or male based on sex organs, chromosomes, and endogenous hormone profiles.”
HB 935 needs to be heard in Professions & Public Health, Secondary Education & Career Development, and Health & Human Services. It is not scheduled. It is unlikely this bill will be heard.
Baby Boxes (Surrendered Newborn Infants), SB 122 by Baxley and HB 133 by Beltran and Harding: The Legislature has made provisions related to the abandonment of newborn infants called “safe haven” laws, which allow parents to relinquish infants in designated safe places to prevent abandonment of infants in unsafe locations. This bill increases the age that an infant can be legally relinquished from seven days to thirty days. It also authorizes the placement of surrendered infants in safety devices located at hospitals, emergency medical services stations, or fire stations – if the facility is staffed 24 hours a day.
SB 122 needs to be heard in Appropriations. It is not yet scheduled. HB 133 passed off the floor of the House on March 18. It has been referred to the Rules Committee in the Senate. Either the House version will be heard in Rules and voted on by the Senate or the Senate version will be heard in Appropriations and voted on by the Senate on the floor.
Protection of a Pain-Capable Unborn Child from Abortion, HB 351 by Gregory and SB 744 by Rodriguez (AM): This bill would prohibit abortion at the point that a child can feel pain in the womb. The science is clear that by at least 20 weeks gestation an unborn child can feel pain. The state has an interest in preventing an unborn child from feeling the pain inflicted by abortion, and this bill prohibits abortions at or after 20 weeks gestation. Currently, Florida allows abortions to be performed up until viability, which is approximately 24 weeks post-fertilization.
HB 351 needs to be heard in Professions & Public Health, Appropriations, and Health & Human Services. It is not yet scheduled. SB 744 needs to be heard in Health Policy, Judiciary, and Appropriations. It is not yet scheduled.
Disability Abortion, HB 1221 by Grall and SB 1664 by Rodriguez (AM) This bill would prohibit a physician from performing an abortion on an unborn child if the reason for that abortion is that the child has been diagnosed with a physical or mental disability in utero.
HB 1221 was heard and passed through its final committee on April 6. It has been added to the House floor calendar. Once it is voted off the House floor, it will be referred to a Senate committee. If it passes the Senate committee it can then be heard on the Senate floor and passed. SB 1664 needs to be heard in Children, Families & Elder Affairs, Judiciary, and Rules. It is not yet scheduled.
Promoting Equality of Athletic Opportunity, SB 2012 by Stargel (Compare to Sex-Specific Student Athletic Teams or Sports, HB 1475 by Tuck) This bill would require that athletic teams sponsored by educational institutions be designated on the basis of a student’s biological sex. It would prohibit males from competing on female teams and females from competing on male teams. The bill specifies conditions under which a person who transitions from male to female is eligible to compete on the female team.
SB 2012 will be heard in Rules on April 14 at 9am (412 Knott). HB 1475 has been placed on the House floor calendar and will be heard on April 13.
Sex Education Opt-In Bill (Materials Harmful to Minors), SB 410 by Rodriguez (AM) and HB 545 by Chaney Among other provisions, this bill would require that schools notify parents and receive written permission from parents before being permitted to teach lessons/classes involving sex education. A school would be prohibited from exposing a student to sex education without the written permission from parents.
SB 410 needs to be heard in Rules. Once it has passed through Rules, it will go to the Senate floor. It is scheduled to be heard in Rules on April 14 at 9 am (412 Knott). HB 545 passed its final committee and is scheduled to be heard on the House floor on April 13.
Moment of Silence in Public Schools, HB 529 by Fine and SB 282 by Baxley The bill directs the principal of each school to require first-period classroom teachers in all grades to set aside 1 to 2 minutes for a moment of silence. The bill prohibits a teacher from making suggestions about the nature of a student’s reflection during the moment of silence. Instead, teachers must encourage parents to discuss the moment of silence with their children and to make suggestions to their children about how they should use this time.
HB 529 was heard in the Senate Rules Committee on April 6 at 9:30 am. It is now up for reconsideration in the Rules Committee on April 14 at 9 am (412 Knott). Once it has passed out of Rules, it can go to the Senate floor. SB 282 will be heard next in Rules. It is not yet scheduled.
SB 1986, Medical Rights of Conscience (Medical Ethics and Diversity Act) by Baxley This bill establishes a right for health care practitioners, institutions, and insurance to refuse to perform or pay for any health care service which they decide is objectionable to their conscience. Thus, if a physician or hospital refuses to perform abortions, for example, based on the fact that abortion violates the principles dictated by their conscience, they cannot be penalized or forced to perform the procedure. This bill has no House companion bill.
SB 1986 must be heard in Health Policy, Judiciary, and Rules
Crimes Evidencing Prejudice, SB 194 by Berman and HB 43 by Geller This bill would expand the grounds for reclassification of crimes to include prejudice based on gender or gender identity.
SB 194 needs to be heard in Judiciary and Rules. It is not yet on the schedule. HB 43 needs to be heard in Criminal Justice & Public Safety, Justice Appropriations, and Judiciary. It is not yet on the schedule.
Prohibition on Conversion Therapy (Prohibited Counseling Services), HB 301 by Grieco and SB 690 by Polsky This bill would prohibit counselors from counseling minors who are struggling with sexual identity issues using any type of counseling or language that could be considered “conversion therapy”- or therapy meant to encourage adherence to the minor’s biological sex. This would infringe on the rights of parents to direct the upbringing of their children and the rights of counselors to practice according to their conscience.
HB 301 needs to be heard in Professions & Public Health, Criminal Justice & Public Safety, Appropriations, and Health & Human Services. It is not yet on the schedule. SB 690 needs to be heard in Health Policy, Children, Families & Elder Affairs, and Rules. It is not yet on the schedule.
Marriages between Persons of the Same Sex, SB 558 by Polsky and HB 6017 by Rayner This bill would codify the removal of language in statute that marriage is between one man and one woman by interjecting language that marriage is also between persons of the same sex. Although, in practice, Florida must issue marriage licenses to persons of the same sex, this bill removes that prohibition from statutory language.
SB 558 needs to be heard in Judiciary, Community Affairs, and Rules. HB 6017 needs to be heard in Civil Justice & Property Rights, Children, Families & Seniors, and Judiciary. It is not yet scheduled.
Hormonal Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptive (LARC) Program SB 1154 by Bean/HB 925 by Williams: This bill would establish a program for administering Long-acting reversible contraception to women through the health department. However, “LARC’s” can function as abortifacients.
SB 1154 needs to be heard in Health Policy, Appropriations Subcommittee on Health & Human Services. It was Temporarily Postponed in Health Policy. HB 925 needs to be heard in Professions & Public Health, Health Care Appropriations, and Health & Human Services. It is not yet on the schedule.