LEGISLATIVE WEEK #2 IN TALLAHASSEE
STAY INFORMED THROUGH OUR INSIDER’S REPORT & AMBASSADORS’ UPDATE BELOW.
Aaron DiPietro Florida Session Recap – Week #2
Tallahassee faced bitter cold, with temperatures dropping into the 20s and 30s for much of Week 2 of the 2024 Legislative Session. Despite the weather, the legislative session kicked off with notable vigor, marked by significant policy advancements aligning with our dedication to family values and the well-being of Florida residents.
On Wednesday, HB 3, The Age Verification for Porn Sites Act, spearheaded by Reps. Chase Tramont and Toby Overdorf, designed to protect minors from dangerous and graphic pornographic content online, passed its final House stop, the Judiciary Committee unanimously. A sobering reminder of the real battle for the hearts and souls of our children, though, was seen in the committee, as a small group of radical LGBT activists opposed the bill, claiming it went too far. The bill is set for a final vote on the House floor next week.
On Thursday, HB 651, The Unborn Child Parent’s Survivor Act, a bill further humanizing the unborn in civil wrongful death suit law, passed its first committee stop, the Civil Justice Subcommittee, 12-5, and heads to its final House stop, thanks to the work of sponsor Rep. Jenna Persons-Mulicka.
On Friday, HB 1135, The Lewd or Lascivious Grooming Act, lead by Rep. Taylor Yarkosky, passed it first of three committees, the Criminal Justice Subcommittee,15-2. This proposal states that a person who engages in the process of preparing or encouraging a child to engage in unlawful sexual activity through overtly sexually themed communication with the child or in conduct with or observed by the child commits lewd or lascivious grooming and will subject to criminal charges. It has two more House committee stops.
Meanwhile, breaking late Thursday, a key priority of ours, HB 1639, by Rep. Doug Bankson was slated for its first House hearing on Monday. Among other key provisions, this legislation defends the rights of detransitioners by requiring that any healthcare insurance providers that cover gender-reassignment chemical and surgical procedures must also cover procedures to detransition back to one’s biological sex. The first hearing in the House Select Committee on Health Innovation is on Monday, January 22nd at 3:00 pm in Room 17 in the House Office Building.
Even if you are not able to attend, you can show your support by signing the committee appearance form at the link below. (An appearance form indicates your support, even if you cannot attend.)
Simply provide your name and address (email and number are optional). IT IS CRUCIALLY IMPORTANT to make sure to select HB 1639 Gender and Biological Sex in the drop box on selecting the bill you are showing support for.
For more detailed information on the bills tracked by the Florida Family Policy Council this session, including those mentioned above, you can download a PDF here.
I am extremely excited for the upcoming Pro-Family Days event next week, where we will fellowship with like-minded citizens from across the state of Florida passionate about defending life and the family. I will be joined by other team members with FFPC to deliver worldview and legislative training on the key issues facing our state this session, and together we’ll also receive updates and encouragement from key allies in the legislature and governor’s office, including Keynote Speaker Jeanette Nunez. On Tuesday, we’ll be on the ground lobbying for a number of our priority bills and have an opportunity to visit both the House Chambers and the Florida State Supreme Court. Stay tuned to next week’s Insider’s Report for the full recap.
As we navigate the complexities of the Florida legislative session, the Insider’s Report serves as your comprehensive guide to the victories shaping our state’s policies. Expect in-depth analyses, interviews, and exclusive insights into legislative advancements reflecting our unwavering commitment to family, faith, and freedom.
The Florida Family Policy Council remains at the forefront of advocacy, tirelessly working to ensure our cherished values are reflected in the laws governing our great state.
I am humbled and grateful to be on the frontlines with FFPC full-time during the session, engaging with legislators, testifying in committees, and working to advance our priority bills.
Thank you for your prayers and support, without which we would not be able to engage in this critical fight.
Legislative Affairs Director, Florida Family Policy Council
LISTED BELOW ARE THE BILLS THAT WE ARE ADVOCATING FOR OR AGAINST.
CLICK HERE FOR THE PDF VERSION WITH COMPLETE DESCRIPTION AND STATUS.
AMBASSADORS UPDATE #2 (WEEK OF JAN. 15-19)
Director, Kevin Baird, D.Min.
Deputy Director, Tracie Baird
During the second week of the Florida Capitol Project, we had the privilege of hosting a group of Florida pastors who engaged with their elected legislators for prayer, potential partnerships, and discussions on public policy. Our approach involves scheduling in-office meetings with state representatives and senators, recognizing the fluid nature of their legislative duties that may require us to adapt our plans at a moment’s notice. In these instances, we trust in God’s providence and guidance to open doors for ministry, allowing us to encourage, exhort, and educate officials about God’s plan for their civic calling and service.
This often means that hallways, elevators, and courtyards become sacred spaces where we minister and interact with civic leaders. Week 2 was no exception, as our group actively engaged in ministry within offices and elevators. Witnessing God at work in various ways is incredibly exciting, and attending pastors were inspired to see how their presence had a tangible, spiritual impact on their legislators.
This week’s prayer stop at the Florida Supreme Court held a special significance as we reflected on the imminent decisions that will shape our state’s stance on the most vulnerable residents—the preborn. Standing together in the solemnity of the empty Court Chamber, the weight of these pending decisions, with the potential to impact generations of Floridians, was palpable. On-site pastors fervently interceded for God’s guidance to influence the Justices in their crucial rulings.
Excitingly, there is a growing cohort of Tallahassee and regional pastors who sense a divine call to engage more actively in the civic mission field. The Florida Capitol Project remains steadfast in its commitment to the vision of having Florida pastors present in the Capitol every day the legislature is in session. Progress is well underway to turn this vision into reality.
For more information about this significant initiative, please visit www.floridacapitolproject.org. The website contains all the necessary details, including registration information. If you have any inquiries, feel free to reach out to Dr. Kevin Baird using the provided cell number or email address. If you’re a church member and believe your pastor might be interested in this incredible ministry opportunity, kindly forward the website and information, and I would be happy to address any questions they may have.