John Hallman, the lobbyist for the Libertarian Party of Florida in the Florida Legislature, provided the Tampa Bay Libertarian Examiner with his latest Tallahassee Legislative Update report. This article, written in his words, comes directly from John Hallman’s latest update, issued on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.
Hallman provides introductory information on interim committee work
We are in our third week of interim committee meetings in Tallahassee, Fla. There will be three more interim committee weeks preceding the official start of the 2013 Regular Session on March 5.
There have been a total of 407 bills filed between the House and Senate to date. Here are some of the issues concerning our individual liberties and Constitutional rights.
The Florida House and Senate have created the Select Committee on PPACA (The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act). They will meet over the next several weeks to discuss the implementation of Obamacare as well as take testimony and public comments.
Two of the key components of funding and implementing Obamacare are the state-run Health Care Exchanges and the expansion of Medicaid.
Neither of these two components is required by law and Florida Legislature can reject both. Expanding Medicaid and establishing a state-run exchange will bankrupt Florida and diminish the quality of our heath care.
Unmanned Surveillance Drones
The “Freedom of Unwarranted Surveillance Act” unanimously passed Senate Criminal Justice Committee last week. Senate Bill (SB) 92 is sponsored by Senator Joe Negron, a Republican (R) from Stuart, Fla.
SB92 is sponsored by Senator Joe Negron, R-Stuart and would prohibit any law enforcement agency from using unmanned drones to gather evidence or other information with the exception of countering a high risk of a terrorist attack.
SB92 also prohibits the use of any evidence to be used in a court of law in violation of this law. Representative Mitch Workman, R-Melbourne has filed an identical bill (HB119) in the House. House Bill (HB) 119 is still waiting for Committee assignments.
The use of Red Light Cameras
Representative Daphne Campbell, a Democrat (D) from Miami filed HB4011 to repeal a previous law that allowed the use of red light cameras. The use of red light cameras violate many of our legal rights embedded in the US Constitution, such as the right to due process, innocent until proven guilty, right to face your accuser. In fact many judges in Florida are finding red light cameras unconstitutional.
After the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman incident in Florida, the liberal media began working feverishly to whip up anti-gun hysteria and their goal is to destroy our right of self-defense by gutting or repealing Stand Your Ground Laws. The media smear campaign derided Florida as the “Gunshine State” for daring to protect law-abiding gun owners’ rights to self-defense!
Stand Your Ground Laws simply state that law-abiding gun owners do not have a “duty to retreat” and cannot be prosecuted for defending themselves against criminal attack.
As expected, Democrats in the Florida legislature filed several bills (HB331/SB136, HB123/SB362, and HB4009) in Tallahassee to DESTROY our right of self-defense by gutting or repealing the Stand Your Ground Law.
Concerns Republicans could cave in to pressure from the left
The question is if any of these bills gain any steam with a Republican majority in the state legislature and a Republican Governor? I have some concern that Republicans will be tempted to do something, so they can say they can say they did not ignore the recent tragic shootings around the country.
Florida’s Republican Governor, Rick Scott, has announced he would be willing to “to look at any laws that made citizens feel uncomfortable.”
There is no need to make any changes to the “Stand Your Ground” law. All of the complaints that people can shoot someone and just walk away are not true. Under the current “Stand Your Ground” law, local Law Enforcement and State Attorneys can still investigate, detain and arrest someone if they feel the facts warrant it and then allow Judges and Juries to decide if the use of “Stand Your Ground” law is a justifiable defense.
Next Tallahassee Legislative Update to be issued next month
John Hallman will issue the next edition of the Tallahassee Legislative Update next month after the final three weeks of interim committee sessions wrap up in the Florida Legislature. The Tampa Bay Libertarian Examiner will publish Hallman’s report to his readers in February.