Florida Family Policy Council

Insider’s Report

Legislative Session
Week 2 of 9 – January 22, 2022

Dear Friend,

The second week of session has come to a close, with plenty of action and bill movement.

On Tuesday, the teaching of Critical Race Theory in public schools and in mandatory corporate training was up for debate, as Sen. Manny Diaz articulated his perspective that such ideologies had no place in public school classrooms or mandatory corporate training classes. Diaz’s bill, SB 148, passed the committee after intense back and forth with opponents. Florida Family Policy Council Legislative Affairs Director Aaron DiPietro spoke out in favor of the bill, noting the importance of separating the teaching of true history, good or bad, from political philosophies that have nothing to do with the teaching of history in the classroom. This was in contrast to the bill opponents, who sought to conflate teaching history and CRT political ideology as one and the same.

On Wednesday, the pro-life, late-term abortion 15 week ban passed its first House Committee after intense debate and cross examination of the legislations. Under tremendous fire from pro-abortion representatives, bill sponsors Reps. Erin Grall and Jenna Persons-Mulicka held their ground, calmly defending the legislation with poise. Over 90 speaker cards were submitted as supporters and opponents debated whether HB 5 should be made law. FFPC’s Aaron DiPietro testified in support of the bill, declaring in part, “Late term abortion is incompatible with the concept of human dignity and has no place in civilized society.”

Earlier that day, Aaron also testified in favor of HB 215, which requires that religious institutions be treated on an equal level in cases of public emergencies. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Nick DiCegile, passed shortly thereafter.

On Thursday, The Parents Rights in Education bill (HB 1557) passed its first committee. Facing questions on multiple fronts, bill sponsor Rep. Joe Harding skillfully made the case for the bill, asserting that parental rights was foundational to protecting children. Speakers for the bill included January Littlejohn, a local mother, who shared her family’s story of their daughter’s school encouraging her daughter into identifying as a boy, and all the while concealing all of the information from January and her husband and going behind their backs. FFPC’s Aaron DiPietro also stood in defense of parental rights, affirming that protecting children is best accomplished by empowering parents to be informed and engaged in their children’s lives.

Below is a list of some of the top good and bad bills FFPC is tracking in this session, along with a summary of each and links to each bill’s text. You can always keep track of all of the good and bad bills on our website, which will be updated as new priorities arise.

This year, we’re being represented by our new Legislative Affairs Director Aaron DiPietro who is our eyes and ears on the ground for us in Tallahassee. We’re excited to have him on our team.

We will provide updates weekly throughout session.


John Stemberger

John Stemberger and Aaron DiPietro

Aaron DiPietro testifying in support of HB 5/SB 146 Fetal and Infant Mortality Reduction Act

Now, for this week’s update on our core legislative agenda!

Abortion/Life Issues

SUPPORT 1. HB 5 / SB 146 Fetal and Infant Mortality Reduction Act (Rep. Grall/ Sen. Stargel)

Description: The act, based in part on the Mississippi law recently heard by the Supreme Court in the Dobbs case set to potentially undermine and/or reverse Roe v. Wade, prohibits abortions after 15 weeks; if enacted, it would be the strongest protection for the unborn post-Roe. In addition, the bill mandates stricter reporting requirements on abortion clinics, providing needed data on chemical abortions in the state.

Status: HB 5 passed it first House committee stop Professions and Public Health Subcommittee on Wednesday 12-6; it now heads to its second out of three stops, Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee. On the Senate side, SB 146 has two committees to pass.


SUPPORT 2. HB 167 Private Action Heartbeat Act (Rep. Barnaby) – No Senate Companion

Description: This bill seeks to restrict abortion after a human heartbeat is detected. However, unlike most pro-life proposals in which the state government enforces the law to protect the unborn, this proposal prohibits the state government from enforcing the law. Instead, the proposal allows private citizens the right to sue abortion clinics and doctors for damages on abortions done after a detectable heartbeat with the intent to financially weaken abortion clinics. The bill does not have a Senate companion though and is dead for this session.

Status: The bill appears to be dead for this session because the sponsor was unable to find a Senate Companion.


OPPOSE 3. HB 6023/SB 628 Abortion Clinic Regulations Act (Rep. Eskamani/Sen. Book)

Description: This pair of bills seeks to reverse many key and recently passed protections for unborn children and their mothers: repealing the 24-hour waiting period law, which requires mothers preparing for an abortion to wait one day from their initial visit to an abortion clinic before having an abortion to have time to reflect on the decision; allowing state tax payer dollars to directly to abortions (it is currently not allowed); and removing safety protocols currently in place regarding abortion clinics.

Status: No movement.

Freedom of Religion, Speech, and Conscience

SUPPORT 1. HB 0215/SB 254 Religious Institutions Protection Act (Rep. DiCeglie/Sen. Brodeur)

Description: The Religious Institutions Bill attempts to stop discriminatory government mandates against religious organizations in times of emergency. This issue came to the forefront during the COVID pandemic when governors from across the nation placed churches and houses of worship under unique restrictions than harsher than those of businesses and other organizations. (For example, in several states, governors allowed most businesses to operate at 50% occupancy, while only allowing 10 or 50 people in a church service, regardless of the size of the church, creating a double standard that discriminated against religious organizations.) Thankfully, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has not pushed such policies, but future administrations could reverse course. This bill proactively protects religious institutions by requiring equal treatment under the law under during state emergencies.

Status: The House version (215) passed its first committee Wednesday 14-3; it now has 2 committees to remaining; the Senate version has passed the first committee 6-0 and passed the second and final committee 14-2. It is headed to the full Senate floor for a vote that has yet to be scheduled. Florida Family Policy Council was instrumental in suggesting additional language to further strengthen equal protections under the law for religious institutions.

SUPPORT 2. HB 0687/SB 1184 Free Speech of Health Care Practitioners Act (Rep. Drake/Sen. Broxson)

Description: This proposal provides protections to health care professionals from being penalized, reprimanded, or deprived of their licenses for exercising their freedom of speech on social media. In light of recent pro-life and pro-family censorship, against pro-life and pro-family, it requires anyone who attempts to accuse a health care worker of saying something incorrect on social media to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. If anyone falsely accuses a health care worker for saying something incorrect on social media, that person will face serious penalties.

ACTION ALERT: SB 1184, the Free Speech of Health Care Practitioners Act, has been put on the agenda for its first Senate committee, the Health Policy Committee, on Wednesday the 26th at 10am.

SUPPORT 3. HB 0747/SB 1820 Medical Conscience Protection Act (Rep. Snyder/ Sen. Baxley)

Description: The bill would protect the rights of medical doctors, nurses, or other providers, as well as religious medical facilities, to practice their conscience convictions in their healthcare practices. Specifically, no medical professional or entity could be forced to recommend, participate in, and provide non emergency medical procedures and actions that would violate their sincerely held convictions and beliefs. For example, no doctor would be forced to perform an abortion, and no nurse would be demanded to participate in a “sex-reassignment” surgery, among other actions that could violate their rights of conscience.

ACTION ALERT: HB 747, the Medical Conscience Protection Act, has been put on the agenda for its first House committee, the Professions and Public Health Committee, on Tuesday the 25th at 9am.

Sexuality/Gender Issues

OPPOSE 1. HB 0205/SB 0374 Gay and Transgender Panic Legal Defenses Act (Rep. Smith (C)/Sen. Book)

Description: This act would seek to add sexual orientation and gender identity as recognized categories in criminal defense law. Although there are some direct concerns about specific applications in real life, the main issue is this bill attempts to slide the subjective, undefinable, and legally fluid categories of sexual orientation and gender identity into state law. This, despite the fact that the Florida legislature has repeatedly rejected adding these categories in other areas of law.

Status: No movement.

SUPPORT 2. HB 211 Youth and Sexual Identity (Rep. Sabatini) – No Senate companion

Description: The bill seeks to ban anyone from subjecting minors to “sex change” hormone treatments or so-called gender reassignment surgeries. The bill does not have a Senate companion though and is dead for this session.

Status: The bill appears to be dead for the session because of the lack of a Senate Sponsor.

OPPOSE 3. HB 0249/SB 0456 Driver License and Identification Card Gender Designation (Rep. Arrington/Sen. Torres, Jr.)

Description: The proposal seeks to add the category of “non-binary” on ID and Driver’s License State-issued cards. This action would begin the dismantling of government recognition of the biological realities of male and female and set precedent for further undermining sex-specific areas of public law.

Status: No movement.

OPPOSE 4. HB 0813/SB 1074 Sexually Transmissible Diseases Act (Rep. Robinson (F)/Sen. Pizzo)

Description: Currently, under state law, to knowingly donate blood, organs, or other bodily items that are contaminated by an STD (sexually transmitted disease) or to knowingly participated in intercourse while infected with an STD without informing the partner, is a felony. This proposal would seek to lower that criminal action to a mere misdemeanor.

Status: No movement.

OPPOSE 5. HB 6015/SB 0168 Marriages Between Persons of the Same Sex Act (Rep. Rayner/Sen. Polsky)

Description: This provision aims to eliminate the language in state statute recognizing marriage as between one man and one woman.

Status: No movement.


Education/Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

SUPPORT 1. HB 7/SB 148 CRT Ban in Public Schools and Corporations Act (Rep. Avila/Sen. Diaz)

Description: This proposal would ban the teaching of Critical Race Theory in Florida public schools and provide standards for enforcement and guidelines for education policy. It also would prohibit corporations doing business in Florida from mandating CRT training for their employees.

Status: SB 148 passed the Education Committee Tuesday (6-3); it now heads to the Rules committee as the final Senate stop. The House version (HB 7) still has 3 committees to go through.

SUPPORT 2. HB 0057/SB 0242 Racial and Sexual Discrimination Ban Act (Rep. Fine/Sen. Gruters)

Description: This bill would prohibit state and municipalities from requiring Critical Race Theory (CRT) employee training. Specifically, “race- or sex scapegoating-” based training would be banned; this “means assigning fault, blame, or bias to a race or sex, or to a member of a race or sex because of his or her race or sex. The term includes any claim that, consciously or subconsciously, and by virtue of his or her race or sex, a member of any race is inherently racist or is inherently inclined to oppress others, or that a member of a sex is inherently sexist or is inherently inclined to oppress others.”

Status: No movement.

OPPOSE 3. HB 6065/SB 0212 Unfairness in Women’s Sports Act (Rep. Arrington/Sen. Farmer, Jr.)

Description: This ordinance would reverse current state law protecting women’s sports and would force females to play women’s sports with biological males who subjectively identify as female.

Status: No movement.

OPPOSE 4. HB 6077/SB 0810 Postsecondary Intellectual Freedom and Viewpoint Diversity Act (Rep. Hinson/Sen. Polsky)

Description: The proposal would remove free speech protections for college students as well as the ability of students to film lectures or presentations in class. It also eliminates state-mandated reviews of free speech to ensure state colleges and universities are promoting the free exchange of ideas.

Status: No movement.

Education and Parental Rights

SUPPORT 1. HB 1305/SB 1842 Sex Ed Materials Harmful to Minors Act (Rep. Borrero/Sen. Baxley)

Description: This bill aims to crack down on graphic and sexually explicit Comprehensive Sex Education (CSE) material in Florida public schools. It requires schools to receive written parental consent before a child is allowed to participate in any reproductive health classes; allows parents and citizens procedures to review such materials and call for their removal; and overall, increase transparency and public oversight over sex education.

Status: No movement.

SUPPORT 2. HB 1557/SB 1834 Parental Rights in Education Act (Rep. Harding/Sen. Baxley)

Description: This proposal seeks to further build on the education provisions of the state’s Parent’s Bill of Rights by allowing greater parental access to school information on their minor children; forbidding school districts from withholding information on children from their parents; prohibiting school districts from encouraging discussions of sexuality and gender identity for younger students; and laying out ground rules for how school districts are to respect parental rights.

Status:  HB 1557 has passed its first committee,15-5 and now heads to its final House stop Judiciary. No movement has occurred on the Senate side yet.

Other Related Issues

OPPOSE 1. HB 0549/SB 1884 Legalization of Recreational Marijuana Act (Rep. Omphroy/Sen. Powell)

Description: This proposed statute would legalize recreational marijuana in the state of Florida. 

Status: No movement.

OPPOSE 2. HB 6003/SB 1854 Legal Rights of the Natural Environment Act (Rep. Eskamani/Sen. Farmer)

Description: The proposal would grant human rights status to the natural environment. 

Status: No movement.

SUPPORT 3. HB 0405/SB 0936 Compulsive and Addictive Gambling Prevention Act (Rep. Plakon/Sen. Baxley)

Description: The ordinance intends to establish a Gambling Prevention Commission to study gaming addictions and proving solutions on how to counteract the problem. 

Status: No movement.

SUPPORT 4. HB 75/SB 594 Discrimination on the Basis of COVID-19 Vaccination or Postinfection Recovery Status (Rep. Sabatini/Sen. Perry)

Description: The ordinance intends to establish a Gambling Prevention Commission to study gaming addictions and proving solutions on how to counteract the problem.

ACTION ALERT: HJR 663, the Recall of County Officers and Commisioners, has been put on the agenda for its first House committee, the Local Administration and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee, on Tuesday the 25th at 9am.

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