Below is a summary of the Legislative priorities and actions items. Please review and take appropriate action including calling, writing to, emailing or posting Facebook messages to our senators and representative. Gun Bills It's too late for HB 219 (Smith-D), and SB 196 (Stewart-D) that ban assault weapons and large-capacity magazines to clear committees before the end of session. We will fight for provisions of these bills to be added as amendments to other bills. Follow the Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence Facebook page to stay connected. Lobby for HB 231 (Berman-D), and SB 530 (Gibson-D) for Risk Protection Orders to allow family members help in preventing access to firearms by those at risk of harming themselves or others. Action steps to follow. Rallies, Marches and Protests Calling for Gun Safety Laws - Please check Facebook for an event near you. These events will be collabrative and we will announce in our Facebook group also, Feel free to notify us if you find one that you would like us to promote. Budget - Contact the Speaker of the House and President of the Senate and ask for increased funding for mental health services in schools. HB 1434 (Passidomo-R) is the Safe Schools bill that the funding will be attached to. The Senate bill has $14M allocated but more is being discussed. Medicaid - No bills but many legislative priorities are accomplished through the budgeting process each year. Senate budget now has cut Medicaid retroactive eligibility from 90 days to 30 days. This will have a chilling effect on providers' willingness to serve a population that already has poor access to services. Additionally, this will cut revenue to medical providers that serve large numbers of Medicaid patients. Tax Resolution - SJR 1742 (Stargel-R) is a joint resolution that would go on the ballot as an amendment in November. It has already passed the House. It would require a supermajority vote of both houses of the legislature for future tax increases or to repeal tax breaks, which ties the hands of future legislatures if they need to meet emergency needs. Contact members of the Senate Appropriations Committee and ask them to vote NO. You can also call Senator Braynon and ask him to take a caucus position of NO on this bill (850-487-5035). Education Train Bill - (HB 7055 Appropriations & Education Committees) - 7055 will divert public school funding to unaccountable private schools in the form of phony "Hope" Scholarships. It would also decertify the teachers' union and end collective bargaining for teachers, which is appalling after three died to protect their students in Parkland this week. Speaker Corcoran is holding K-12 education funding hostage to this take-it-or-leave-it bill. It will be heard on 02/20/18, 11:00 am, 412 Knott Building by the Senate Education Committee. Please call committee members and ask them to vote NO. Human Trafficking Support - HB 167 (Spano-R), SB 1044 (Book-D) Bipartisan bill that provides a civil cause of action for victims of human trafficking against a trafficker or facilitator. Disney and hotel and restaurant owners are trying to get themselves exempted from liability. Sen. Book's bill is moving, but the house bill is stalled. Abortion Method Ban - This bill would ban the D&E method of performing an abortion. This is the most common method used in the 2nd trimester. Guttmacher Institute studies that show most women who have 2nd trimester abortions are young, struggling economically, or there's a problem with the fetus. HB 1429 (Grall-R) is on 2nd reading in the House. Contact your own House member and ask him/her to vote NO. Its companion bill SB 1890 hasn't had a hearing. Infectious Disease Elimination Pilot Program - HB 579, SB 800 (3rd reading) This is a pilot needle exchange program bill. It could save lives and it's getting bipartisan support. Stay tuned, stay alert, stay engaged and stay Blue!