Aaron DiPietro, FFPC  Legislative Affairs Director, recaps Week #7 in Tallahassee.

Dear Friends,

Week 7 of the Florida Legislature is finished, and the end of the session is in sight with only two weeks left to go. Apart from a few scheduling meetings, committee meetings are done, and the remainder of the session will be centered on the floors of the House and Senate chambers. This week saw some of the most heated and volatile committee hearings, two of which involved priority bills of ours.

Aaron DiPietro, FFPC  Legislative Affairs Director, testifies in support of HB 651.

On Wednesday, HB 651, The Unborn Child Parent’s Survivor Act, a bill further humanizing the unborn in wrongful death civil lawsuits, 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. Opponents cried foul in claiming this bill would further harm women’s healthcare (i.e. abortion access) and would open the doorway to frivolous litigation against Florida abortion doctors. Thankfully, the bill moved forward and is nearing the finish line.

Aaron DiPietro, FFPC  Legislative Affairs Director, testifies in support of HB 1639.

On Thursday, the Defending Biological Sex in Healthcare Act by Rep. Doug Bankson (HB 1639) was heard in the Infrastructure Strategies Committee. The bill requires any healthcare insurance providers that cover 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. Gratefully, despite fierce opposition from the public and members, the committee passed the bill, 15-9, with GOP Rep. David Smith joining the Democrats to vote no.

Meanwhile, we achieved two other victories this week that are heading to the governor’s office! On Wednesday, the Offenses Involving Children Act (HB 305/SB 312) which closes a loophole in state law to ensure proper protections for minors from dangerous criminals and ensures that those criminals are properly charged and designated as sexual predators passed the full Senate floor, 38-0, and now (after already passing the House), the bill heads to the governor’s desk for his signature!

Also, the Surrendered Infants Protection Act (HB 775/SB 790), passed the Senate unanimously, 35-0, on Wednesday, and is officially heading to the governor’s desk! This bill expands the window that allows new mothers to give up their newborn babies and surrender parental rights to enable the child to be adopted. It also expands the list of individuals with whom babies may be left and the locations where they may be surrendered.

In this PDF, you can find the latest on the Florida Family Policy Council bills we are engaging on during 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 near the end of this compelling legislative session, stay tuned to the Insider’s Report as your guide to the victories here in the free state of Florida. 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 grateful to serve on the frontlines 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.

For life and the family,

Aaron DiPietro

Legislative Affairs Director, Florida Family Policy Council

Kevin Baird, FFPC Director of Pastoral Ministries gives an update on
the Florida Capitol Project.

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

During week #7 of the Florida Capitol Project, we hosted this session’s largest group of pastors and Christian leaders at the state capitol in Tallahassee. These leaders represented Leon, Volusia, and Duval counties in Florida. We were able to connect for prayer and some short discipling moments with a number of our Florida representatives by both appointment and providence. It was also thrilling to be able to access the House Chamber floor for prayer and updates with specific government officials. A special thank-you goes out to Representative Webster Barnaby and his office for facilitating this special moment for the largest pastor representation from Volusia County, Florida.

1. To pray with our government leaders.

Paul reminded Timothy (I Timothy 2:1-2), that he was to pray for his first-century civic leaders which would have included the despotic Caesar Nero. This reminds us that the Gospel is for all people no matter their politics or party affiliation. Jesus came to reach all people everywhere, including both sides of the partisan aisle.

2. To partner where possible with our government leaders.

In much the same way Nehemiah partnered with King Artaxerxes in the rebuilding of the Jerusalem Wall by requesting resources from the forest (Nehemiah 2), there are ways the Church and state can appropriately link arms for the benefit of the residents of Florida. Working together, the mutual goal of blessing and assisting the most vulnerable in our state can be accomplished.

3. To participate in public policy discussions.

Pastors have the unique calling and humble privilege of representing the Church, their congregations, and God’s principles from the Bible. Their voice is an important addition to every policy discussion the civic government seeks to have as it considers how best to order the state and its communities. The Florida Capitol Project strongly believes that God’s people and ministers have a place in this space of civic discussion.

If you are a Florida pastor or Christian Ministry leader, there is still time to be a part of this genuinely impactful ministry, which is helping to change the culture of both Florida and the state capitol.

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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