Dear Friends,

Week 4 of the Florida Legislature is complete, with many significant victories along the way. However, Weeks 4 (and 5) are significant for another reason as well. Many of the subcommittees finish their workload during this time, which for practical reasons, means that if a bill hasn’t been heard at least in one committee by this time, it is most likely dead for this session. Although this does mean that sadly, time has run out for some of our priorities for this session, on the flip side, other dangerous and harmful bills we were opposing that have not had hearings up to now are also dead. Additionally, the winnowing of the field of legislation allows our team at FFPC to narrow in on the remaining priorities, to ensure they cross the finish line this session.

Among multiple victories, which you can track below in the detailed legislative update report, I wanted to highlight two in particular. The first is the Anti-Human Trafficking Minimum Age for Adult Entertainment Act. This provision seeks to curb the sexual exploitation of young women by restricting adult entertainment strip clubs (entities that are often used to groom young women into sex trafficking) from hiring any employees under 21. It passed its first committee stops in both the House and Senate due to the valiant efforts of two key allies, Rep. Carolina Amesty in the House (HB 1379), and Sen. Clay Yarborough in the Senate (SB 1690). Amidst opposition and grilling from leftist members, both allies stood firm. They outlined the dangerous strip club to human trafficking pipeline that is clearly proven by the data and argued that the state of Florida has a compelling interest in protecting vulnerable young women, many from lower-income situations and abusive homes, from these dangerous predators. Rep. Amesty, in response to objections that her bill would keep some women from earning a living via strip clubs, affirmed that Florida should cast a higher vision for the state’s young women, encouraging them to pursue an education and a successful, hopeful future, instead of relegating Florida’s next generation of young women to an industry that is a hub for horrific human trafficking. Both bills are now headed to the second of three committees in their respective chambers.

Aaron DiPietro , FFPC  Legislative Affairs Director, testifies on House Bill 1639,
the Biological Sex in Healthcare Act

Second, on Thursday, the Defending Biological Sex in Healthcare Act by Rep. Doug Bankson (HB 1639) passed another key milestone committee on the House side. The bill requires any healthcare insurance provider that covers chemical and surgical gender-reassignment procedures to also cover procedures for detransitioning back to one’s biological sex. It also mandates that insurance providers must offer insurance plans that do not cover chemical and surgical transgender procedures and are forbidden from denying counseling and mental healthcare services meant to help individuals struggling with gender identity to reaffirm and embrace their biological sex.  Rep. Doug Bankson, along with prime cosponsor Rep. Dean Black, skillfully and gracefully defended this needed legislation, highlighting the need to both ground state policy in biological reality for the safety and wellbeing of Floridians and to ensure that detransitioners receive compassion and choice in their pursuit of wholeness. Gratefully, I was also able to provide testimony on why legislation is so critical in providing justice to those harmed by these dangerous treatments. You can watch the video below. The House bill has one stop remaining before heading to the full House floor.

Many more committee victories occurred this week, all of which you can read about in this PDF. We have included the latest on over two dozen bills that the Florida Family Policy Council is tracking this session, including those referenced above. Links to bill language, committee votes, and staff reviews are also provided by each bill.

For real-time updates follow us on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and Youtube, or sign up for email and text alerts here.

As we continue through this exciting legislative session, stay tuned to the Insider’s Report as your comprehensive guide to the victories we are seeing in the Capitol. Follow us for in-depth analyses, interviews, and exclusive insights into the legislative advancements that reflect our unwavering commitment to family, faith, and freedom. The Florida Family Policy Council remains at the forefront of advocacy, working tirelessly to ensure that the values we hold dear are reflected in the laws that govern our great state.

I am so thrilled to have a front-row seat to the action in Tallahassee as I represent FFPC full-time during the session, engaging with legislators, testifying in committee, and working to advance our priority bills through the process. Thank you again for your prayers and support, without which we would not be able to engage in this critical fight.

In Christ,

Aaron DiPietro
Legislative Affairs Director, Florida Family Policy Council

Director, Kevin Baird, D.Min.
Deputy Director, Tracie Baird

Week #4 of the Florida Capitol Project brought in a great group of pastors from five different evangelical denominations and fellowships representing the cities of Vero Beach, St. Augustine, Ocala, Quincy, and Tallahassee, Florida. It was an exciting day of ministry on numerous levels as we were able to access a number of our elected officials from both chambers of the State House, as well as the Executive branch.

The scope of evangelical pastors coming to the State House through The Florida Capitol Project over the past five years has been amazing. The list below illustrates the breadth of our reach and representation. We have welcomed pastors from each of the following denominations:

Assembly of God
Christian Church (Restoration Movement)
Christian Missionary Alliance
Disciples of Christ
Evangelical Free
Global Methodist
Independent Fundamental Baptist
Lutheran (Missouri Synod)
Nondenominational (of various theological stripes)
Presbyterian Church of America
Southern Baptist
United Methodist

It is encouraging to see shepherds and leaders in the greater Body of Christ unite to minister to our elected representatives and to participate in the important work of helping the residents of Florida. Watching these connections take place by scheduled appointments as well as by divine providence is exciting and life-changing for both pastors and civic leaders.

The Florida legislative session is fast-paced at 9-weeks long, and we are days from being halfway completed for 2024. There is still time for a pastor to contact us and get registered for a ministry tour in Tallahassee.

To find out more about this important work, please visit our website: www.floridacapitolproject.org

Everything you need to know to register is found on the website. If you have questions about anything, do not hesitate to contact Dr. Kevin Baird at the cell number or email address provided. If you are a church member who believes your pastor might be interested in an incredible ministry opportunity, please forward the website and our information. I would love to answer any questions they might have.

Florida Family Policy Council
P.O. Box 530103
Orlando, Florida 32853-0103
[email protected]
Phone:  407-251-5130

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