3,011 bills have been filed this session, with 1,060 being House appropriation bills. The House is the only chamber that assigns bill numbers to funding requests for projects. To date, the Legislature has passed 56 bills (14 in the House and 43 in the Senate), Governor DeSantis signed the COVID-19 liability bill on March 29th.
PANDEMIC-RELATED SCAMS The first bill passed by the House this session protects consumers against pandemic-related fraud. HB 9 criminally penalizes a person who gives false information about personal protection equipment or COVID-19 vaccine availability. The Senate will be taking up the bill the week of March 29th.
PERSONAL PROTECTION EQUIPMENT INVENTORY Senator Ben Albritton (R-Bartow) and Representative Clay Yarborough (R-Jacksonville) want the Division of Emergency Management to ensure availability of personal protection equipment for healthcare professionals during a pandemic by completing an inventory and negotiating for PPE equipment with healthcare workers or their employers.
PROTEST BILL A priority of Governor DeSantis, “Combating Public Disorder” legislation would: make it a third-degree felony to cause $200 or more in damage to a monument; require a mandatory six-month sentence for battery of a police officer during a riot; require law enforcement to detain individuals accused of committing crimes during a protest without bond until their court hearing; enhance penalties for “aggravated rioting and aggravated inciting a riot”; tighten restrictions for obstructing roadways; and allow counter protesters who injure or kill those protesting escape civil liability. Additionally, cities who reduce their law enforcement agencies’ budgets would be penalized. The House passed the bill along party lines 77-41 on March 26th after hours of debate. The Senate bill has not moved yet.