Bills that Failed

Some of the bills that failed this legislative session include:

WORKER’S COMPENSATION Legislation was filed to find a way to reduce increases in workers’ compensation insurance rates. Business groups were heavily involved in this effort, but disagreements about the fee amount for injured workers’ attorneys stalled it.

NO FAULT AUTO INSURANCE A proposal to repeal the $10,000 personal injury protection requirement for auto insurance failed.

LABOR A labor organization bill filed by Representative Scott Plakon (R-Longwood) passed the House in a 75-42 vote, but did not make it to the Senate floor. Called a “union-busting” bill by opponents, it would have required that any public sector union must have more than fifty percent of the workers they represent pay dues to the organization. The bill excluded firefighters, law enforcement and corrections officers.

STATUARY HALL A proposal to replace the statue of Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith in the National Statuary Hall in Washington, DC with a statue of Marjory Stoneman Douglas was not heard in any committee this session. The Legislature passed a bill during the 2016 Session to select a replacement for General Smith.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA Senator Rob Bradley (R-Fleming Island) and Representative Ray Rodrigues (R-Fort Myers) led their chamber’s negotiations on the use of low-THC cannabis. The bills attempted to create a framework to implement Amendment 2, the constitutional amendment that legalized medical marijuana for chronically ill and terminally ill patients last November. Proposals included expanding the number of growers licensed to sell low-THC cannabis to patients, expanding the number of licensees to coincide with patient demand, imposing a cap on the number of retail outlets selling medical marijuana, applicability of sales tax, physician and caregiver requirements,  patient access, research opportunities and criminal and financial penalties.  The Department of Health is charged with writing the rules to register medical marijuana treatment centers and issue identification cards to qualified patients and caregivers. Speaker Corcoran announced his interest in holding a special session on this topic.

ELECTIONS A huge election package failed in the last hours of session. Cities would have been able to set their own elections. Candidates for local or state office would have had to resign to run from their current office if any part of the term ran concurrent with theirs. Persons with disabilities would have been able to use voter interface devices. Elected officials would have been prohibited from serving as poll watchers. Persons running as a NPA candidate would have had to be properly registered.

ALIMONY Bills filed in the House and Senate to modify the way alimony is calculated in the state were not heard in committees this year. Governor Scott vetoed a similar bill in 2016.

SLAVE MEMORIAL While passing unanimously in the House, a bill that would establish a Florida Slave Memorial recognizing Florida’s history regarding slavery was not heard in the Senate.

NON-NATIVE ANIMALS This bill would have required the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to establish a pilot program to mitigate the impacts of invasive species. Included were Tegu lizards, lionfish and nonnative snakes, such as the Burmese Python. While the bill passed in the House, it was not taken up by the Senate.

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