SB 1580 (Trumbull) was approved by the Senate Rules Committee on Wednesday by a 14-5 vote and is now available to be taken up by the full Senate. FCCB's Mike Barrett was present at the committee meeting and indicated FCCB's support for the bill. "We must remember that we live in a diverse society, and protecting diverse viewpoints even in the medical process protects access to care for patients," said bill sponsor Senator Trumbull.
Christie Arnold, associate for social concerns and respect life, testified in opposition to HB 1267 (Fernandez-Barquin) before the House Commerce Committee. HB 1267 and SB 580 (Gruters) would create an increase of interest rates between 6% and 18% on what are already high-cost installment loans for consumers who are often in acute financial distress.
Death Penalty Eligibility for Sexual Battery of a Minor Under 12: On Tuesday, HB 1297 received final passage in the Senate by a 34-5 vote. The FCCB opposes legislation that makes it easier to impose a death sentence, a process that should be as transparent and secure as possible.
Today, the Florida legislature passed a bill to replace current law that requires juries in capital cases to be unanimous when recommending a death sentence. Michael Sheedy, executive director for the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops (FCCB) issued the following statement: “It is stunning that the Florida legislature would weaken a common-sense law passed just six years ago that required unanimous agreement by a jury in order to sentence someone to death.
Today, the Florida legislature passed a prohibition on abortion in Florida after six-weeks gestation. The bill, SB 300, also contains provisions providing pregnancy and parenting support. Christie Arnold, associate for social concerns and respect life for the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops (FCCB) issued the following statement: “With the passage of the Heartbeat Protection Act, life is better respected and protected in the early stages of development."
Louis Gaskin is scheduled to be executed by the State of Florida on Wednesday, April 12, 2023 at 6:00 p.m. for the murder of Georgette and Robert Sturmfels. Catholic faithful and members of the community plan to gather at the following times and locations to pray for Mr. Gaskin, his victim and their families, for our society which continues to impose violence in return for violence, and for an end to the use of the death penalty.
"As lawmakers, we do have to draw the line when drastic life-altering treatments and surgeries are being prescribed for children, sometimes very young children," said bill sponsor Senator Clay Yarborough during his closing statement. "I believe we need to let kids be kids and our laws need to set appropriate boundaries to respect the rights and responsibilities of parents, while protecting children from the very serious health and safety concerns associated with these treatments."
HB 1403 (Rudman) and SB 1580 (Trumbull) provide health care providers and payors with the right to opt out of participation in, or payment for, any health care service on the basis of conscience. The bill also creates whistleblower protections for health care providers and payors who provide information regarding violations of medical conscience protections.
On Monday, the Florida Senate passed the Heartbeat Protection Act, SB 300 (Grall), by a 26-13 vote. "For fifty years the killing of innocent children has been legal," said bill sponsor Senator Erin Grall during her closing speech.
The Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops (FCCB) has requested that Gov. Ron DeSantis stay the execution of Louis Gaskin and commute his sentence to life without parole. Gaskin is scheduled to be executed on April 12, 2023 at 6:00 p.m. for the 1989 murders of married couple Georgette and Robert Sturmfels, in Palm Coast, Florida.
“This legislation is a transformational opportunity to make it clear that the money follows the child, and parents have a right to guide their child’s education as they see fit,” said Senator Corey Simon at the bill signing. “We recognize that parents are a child’s first and best teachers."
After passing the Senate Fiscal Policy Committee by a 12-7 vote earlier in the week, SB 300 (Grall) was introduced on second reading in the Senate. Bill sponsor, Senator Erin Grall, answered numerous questions about the bill from members, and it was rolled to third reading.
Michael Barrett, associate for education, testified in support of HB 1421 (Fine) before the House Health and Human Services Committee on Wednesday. "We deeply sympathize with anyone who experiences gender dysphoria and recognize that it can be intensely difficult," said Barrett. "Therefore, it is important to recognize that so-called gender-affirming protocols lack long-term evidence of their efficacy and result in irreversible physical damage to the patient."
HB 1267 (Fernandez-Barquin) and SB 580 (Gruters) would create an increase of interest rates by between 6% and 18% on what are already generally high cost installment loans for low-income consumers who are often in acute financial distress. It would drastically raise the cost of these chapter 516 loans for the consumer, despite consumer protection advocates that have long worked to keep the current cap at 30%.
The Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops (FCCB) applauds today’s approval of HB 1 by Governor Ron DeSantis. The bill’s expansion of school choice and the creation of Education Savings Accounts will empower all parents to choose the educational environment and services that best meet the needs of their children.
HB 7 (Persons-Mulicka) passed its first stop in the House on Thursday when the Healthcare Regulation Subcommittee found it favorable on a 13-5 vote. Michael Sheedy, FCCB executive director, sent a letter in support of the bill, and Christie Arnold, associate for social concerns and respect life, testified on behalf of the FCCB.
On Monday, FCCB's Mike Barrett, associate for education, testified in support of SB 246 before the Senate Committee on Health Policy. "Everyone needs access to healthcare," said Barrett. "This bill extends coverage to a vulnerable population and is a positive step in providing all Floridians with access to the healthcare they need."
HB 555 (Jacques) and SB 450 (Ingoglia) would repeal current law that requires a jury to be unanimous in recommending a death sentence. The measure instead requires that a recommendation by only 8 of 12 jurors is necessary for a sentence of death to be imposed.