The House and Senate released their budget proposals for criminal justice programs this week.  Some significant items effecting counties include:

  • The Senate proposes to exempt counties for another year from the statutorily-required 1.5% increase in Article V court funding; the House budget does not include the exemption.
  • The Senate proposes to eliminate payment in lieu of taxes to local governments for private correctional facilities in Bay, Columbia, Gadsden and Palm Beach counties; the House did not take this up.
  • The Senate reduces counties’ secure detention costs by $2,730,998; the House proposes to reduce costs by $898,300.
  • Both the Senate and House provide $1,551,605 in recurring revenue to expand CINS/FINS services in 10 rural counties: Hamilton, Highlands, Jefferson, Madison, Taylor, Franklin, Sumter, Levy, Citrus and Bradford.
  • This week, SB1192 which seeks to preempt regulation of Pain Management clinics, was removed from HHS Appropriations and referred to Community Affairs but has not yet been calendared. HB831, which does not contain preemption language,  is in its last stop in Health & Human Services committee and can be heard as early as 4/4. FAC has issued a call to action to all counties asking that Commissioners contact their local delegation and law enforcement contact Attorney General Bondi to express their opposition to preemption in SB1192.
  • Also, SB 294 pertaining to illegalization of Synthetic Drugs was read for the second time on the floor this week and is now ready for final passage in the Senate. Its companion bill HB 619 is on the Special Order calendar and is ready for second reading in the House.

Read more on public safety bills…

Public Safety

Controlled Substances “Synthetic Drugs”
SB 294 (S. Bradley)/HB 619 (R. Ingram)

  • Summary:  Expands Schedule I of the controlled substances register to include 22 new formulas of synthetic drugs; all 22 formulas were included in the Attorney General’s December 2012 Emergency Order outlawing them.
  • Status:  SB 294 was read for the second time this week and is ready for a vote in the Senate. HB 619 is on the Special Order calendar and is ready for second reading in the House.

Concealed Weapons and Firearms
SB 374 (S. Braynon)/HB 97 (R. Powell)

  • Summary: Seek to permit local governments to regulate carry of concealed weapons in public buildings or government-sponsored outdoor public venues.
  • Status:  No bill has been heard in committee. Senate bill has been referred to four committees; House has been referred to three committees. 

Pain Management Clinics
SB 1192 (S. Grimsley)/ HB 831 (R. Fasano)

  • Summary:
    • Requires physicians to consult PDMP prior to prescribing drugs to new patients
    • Removes restriction on state funding for PDMP
    • Places a moratorium on new county ordinances
    • The House bill directs a workgroup to create a model county ordinance to go into effect in 2014 limited to zoning matters; no county ordinance can be stricter or go beyond model ordinance
    • The Senate bill preempts the regulation of pain clinics and its practitioners, as well as, pharmacies, pharmacists, and health care facilities to the State.
  • Status: Both bills were referred to three committees. SB 1192 unanimously passed out of Health Policy on 3/20 despite strong opposition from counties over the preemption language. This week, SB 1192 was removed from Health and Human Services Appropriations and referred to Community Affairs and can be heard as early as 4/2.  In the House, HB 831 passed out of the Health Quality Committee 3/19 with an amendment that removed all preemption language, which FAC supported; the bill now moves to its second and last stop in the Health & Human Services committee, where it can be heard as early as 4/4. Currently the bills are drastically different.  FAC has issued a call to action to all counties asking that Commissioners contact their local delegation and law enforcement contact Attorney General Bondi to express their opposition to preemption of counties’ ability to regulate pain management clinics.

Texting While Driving
SB 52 (S. Detert)/HB 13 (R. Holder)

  • Summary:
    • Creates “Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law”
    • Makes texting, emailing or instant messaging while driving a secondary offense
    • Does not ban such activities when a vehicle is stationary
    • A first violation is a nonmoving violation and subsequent offenses within a 5  year period is a moving violation with fines and points assessed
  • Status:  The Senate bill has passed two of its three committees and the House bill passed its second of three committees unanimously this week.  SB 52 is currently in Judiciary but has not moved in three weeks.  HB 13 is still in Economic Affairs but has not yet been placed on the agenda.