2021 Scored Bills
Affordable Housing Cuts
This legislation enacts a permanent 50 percent cut to the Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Fund, a critical funding source used to help address Florida's affordable housing crisis. The bill was signed into law by Gov. DeSantis.
Allowing Key West Pollution
This bill overturns three Key West voter approved referendums that restricted large cruise ships from the island in an effort to protect coral reefs, water quality, and residents' quality of life. This bill has been signed into law by Gov. DeSantis.
This bill would increase our dependence on fossil fuels despite Florida facing the greatest economic and environemntal consequences of global warming. Specifically, this legislation eliminates municipalities’ ability to move toward clean energy in residential and commercial building codes. The bill was signed into law by Gov. DeSantis.
Anti-First Amendment and Peaceful Protest
This bill criminalizes Floridians exercising their First Amendment right to free speech and will increase violence at protests by emboldening vigilantes. Peaceful protesters could be arrested and charged with a felony if others at a protest or gathering became violent or disorderly, even if they themselves didn't. This bill also undermines local authority in policing decisions. The bill was signed into law by Gov. DeSantis.
Attack on Bright Futures Scholarships
This bill would have created new, unecessary barriers to receive Bright Futures college scholarships and would have weakened the merit-based scholarship’s 75% or 100% tuition and fees benefit. This bill passed the Senate but died in the House.
Ban On Trans Youth Sports
Bans trans kids from playing sports with their peers. This bill was part of a national effort to bolster far-right political support for some legislators at the expense of the most vulnerable population of young Floridians. While this bill initially seemed like it would die in the Senate, it was revived as an amendment on another bill (SB 1028). This bill was signed into law by Gov. DeSantis.
This legislation would have banned some early abortions based on results of prenatal genetic testing. When a pregnant person is faced with a prenatal diagnosis, education can help them make better-informed decisions for their families. But bills like this are about politicians imposing a decision that may be right for one family on all families. This bill passed the House but died in the Senate.
Big Sugar Pollution Bill
Prevents class action lawsuits against farmers, including Big Sugar. The bill is designed to provide legal protections for Big Sugar to allow their continued polluting of Lake Okeechobee area neighborhoods with toxic smoke and ash from the outdated practice of pre-harvest sugar field burning. The bill was signed into law by Gov. DeSantis.
Blocking Local Gun Violence Reforms
Yet another bill that takes power away from local governments, this legislation further restricts local governments’ ability to pass measures to address gun violence. The bill was signed into law by Gov. DeSantis.
Consumer Tax Increase, Corporate Tax Giveaway
Authorizes expanded collection of the online sales tax, estimated to be a $1 billion annual cost to Florida consumers. New tax revenues won't be used for programs that benefit everyday Floridians, instead they will be used to bail out big businesses from paying previously required Unemployment Insurance Premiums and for tax on commercial leases. The bill was signed into law by Gov. DeSantis.
COVID-19 Liability Exemption
This legislation will make it harder for those Floridians harmed due to negligence to bring lawsuits against businesses and health care providers for coronavirus-related issues. The bill was signed into law by Gov. DeSantis.
Defunding Public Schools
Representing a massive expansion of private school vouchers, this legislation will divert more taxpayer money from our public schools to unregulated private schools that, unlike public schools, do not have to hire college-educated teachers, make student test scores or graduation rates public, or face consequences if their students don’t make academic gains. The bill was signed into law by Gov. DeSantis.
Freedom to Vote Rollback
This legislation creates new, unnecessary barriers for eligible Floridians to exercise their freedom to vote. The bill makes mail ballots less accessible and more difficult to cast, severely limits voter assistance, and makes it more difficult for community voter registration drives to register new voters. The bill was signed into law by Gov. DeSantis.
Government Regulation of Private Tech Companies
Prevents private tech platforms from moderating their sites due to the threat of litigation, including hate-speech, disinformation from foreign extremists and harmful internet trolls. The bill was signed into law by Gov. DeSantis.
Growth Mismanagement Part I
Makes it nearly impossible for local governments to require developers to pay their fair share (impact fees) for new infrastructure including roads, first responders, sewer lines and schools. The bill was signed into law by Gov. DeSantis.
Growth Mismanagement Part II
This bill will have a chilling effect on the ability of local governments to enforce their comprehensive plans and land development rules and will undermine protection for conservation lands and waterways. The bill was signed into law by Gov. DeSantis.
Guns In Churches
This bill lets people carry guns in churches that share property with a school. Some experts believe this legislation could lead to allowing guns in Florida classrooms. The bill was signed into law by Gov. DeSantis.
Health Care Fairness
Requires the Office of Minority Health and Health Equity to develop new equity programs and requires one representative from each county health department to serve as a minority health liaison. The bill is now law.
Ideological Litmus Test for Colleges
Requires Florida's public universities to survey students’ and faculty members’ political beliefs annually. Civil liberties groups, academic experts and faculty have expressed concerns about how the survey data would be used. There is no assurance of data anonymity or clarity on who will use the data, or for what purpose. The bill was signed into law by Gov. DeSantis.
Justice for Survivors of Sexual Assault "Gail's Law"
Empowers sexual assualt survivors to anonymously and securely track their rape kits through the entire process. From collection through forensic analysis to final storage location and possible destruction, this law ensures that survivors like Gail Gardner, the bill's namesake, do not have to wait decades for justice. This bill is now law.
Juvenile Justice "Kaia Rolle Act"
Requires law enforcement authorities to put procedures in place for arresting children under age 10. This bill passed the Senate, was not heard in the House, but was added to the police reform bill, HB 7051.
Juvenile Justice Reform Part II
Florida law currently allows juvenile Floridians to expunge their record for first-time misdemeanor arrests upon completion of a certified diversion program. This bill expands that policy to include juvenile first-time felonies. The Florida Sheriff’s Association, the Police Benevolent Association, police chiefs, prosecutors and public defenders supported the legislation. This bill was vetoed by Gov. DeSantis.
Local Emergency Power Restrictions
Severely restricts the ability of local governments to enact emergency policies to protect residents. The bill also gives the governor sweeping powers to invalidate local emergency measures put in place during emergencies such as a pandemic. The bill was signed into law by Gov. DeSantis.
Pelvic Exam Consent Requirement
Bans pelvic examinations of patients including anesthetized patients without their prior affirmative consent. The bill is now law.
This bi-partisan policing reform bill requires basic training on proportional use of force, including de-escalation techniques and intervening in another officer’s excessive use of force and chokeholds. The bill is now law.
Restricting Citizen Initiatives
The latest in a series bills passed by the Florida Legislature in recent years to undermine the citizen initiative process, this bill limits contributions to any political committee formed to sponsor a citizen-led effort to amend the state Constitution to $3,000 in the initial, most critical stages of a ballot initiative campaign. This restriction undermines direct democracy in Florida by making it harder, if not impossible for citizen-led efforts to amend Florida's Constitution. The bill was signed into law by Gov. DeSantis.
Sea Level Rise Preparedness
The legislation provides millions in funding to prepare communities for rising sea levels. The legislation also directs the Department of Environmental Protection to conduct a statewide flood risk assessment; requires a three-year statewide flooding and sea-level rise resilience plan; encourages the formation of regional resilience coalitions; and establishes the Florida Flood Hub for Applied Research and Innovation within the University of South Florida’s College of Marine Science. The bill is now law.
Unemployment Benefit Increase
Increases weekly unemployment payments $100 from $275 to $375 per weel. Florida's unemployment safety net benefit of $275 is among the lowest in the nation. This bill passed the Senate, but died in the House.
This bill purports to re-codify parental rights and responsibilities, many of which already exist in law. Many experts have concerns that this bill could compel schools to out LGBTQ youth who face unsupportive or dangerous home environments. School districts, guidance counselors, and teachers should have the flexibility to determine when disclosing information may endanger a student and this bill fails to address that. The bill was signed into law by Gov. DeSantis.