2015 Scored Bills
Each of Florida's 2015 Middle Class Champions stood up to protect and expand Florida's middle class with their votes on each critical bill below in their respective chambers:
SB 2-A would have established the Florida Health Insurance Exchange (FHIX) and accepted more than $50 billion federal funding to provide health coverage to nearly one million hardworking Floridians. The plan did not expand traditional Medicaid but instead helped Floridians purchase private insurance. FHIX represented a critical step forward for Floridians who don’t qualify for Medicaid and are unable to afford private insurance. The bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in the senate and failed on a party line vote in the house.
SB 228 establishes an online voter registration system for Florida. Supported by county supervisors of election from both parties, an online system will make voter registration more cost efficient for taxpayers and convenient for voters. The bill passed overwhelmingly in both houses and was signed into law by Gov. Scott.
SB 264 makes it illegal for law enforcement agencies to have a ticket quota and requires local governments report to the state if traffic ticket revenue exceeds a third of the cost of operating its law enforcement agency. Ticket quotas represent a perverse incentive for law enforcement to prey on the public instead of protect them. The bill passed overwhelmingly in both houses and was signed by Gov. Scott.
SB 378 expands the state’s civil citation program, giving police officers the option of offering alternatives for juveniles who commit minor crimes instead of arresting them. An arrest record for a juvenile can be highly detrimental to future economic opportunity, including access to employment, housing, and higher education. The bill passed overwhelmingly in both houses
and was signed by Gov. Scott.
HB 633 forces women to wait for at least 24 hours before accessing abortion services, even after state-mandated counseling. This bill has nothing to do with women’s health and represents a cynical attempt to shame, coerce, and judge women. Ending a pregnancy is a difficult decision that should be left between women, their family, their doctor, and their faith. The bill passed on a party line vote in the house and senate and was signed into law by Gov. Scott.
The state budget represents a slap in the face to everyday Floridians. The budget failed to accept federal funding to close Florida’s disgraceful health care gap, leaving nearly one million hardworking Floridians without health coverage. Legislators ignored the will of 75% of Florida voters by not fully funding Amendment 1 for land and water conservation. Despite rhetoric about a “historic” level of funding for public education, per pupil funding remains at near 2007 levels. The budget included $400 million in tax giveaways of minimal value to working families at the expense of badly needed investments in education, healthcare, and infrastructure. The budget passed with strong majorities in both houses and was signed by Gov. Scott.
HB 7037 would have required cash-strapped public school districts to share capital funding for construction and maintenance with privately managed charter schools. Traditional public schools, attended by the vast majority of Florida children, have seen little to no capital funding from the legislature over the last several years. These funds have been directed almost exclusively to charter schools. Meanwhile, as construction and maintenance needs are deferred at traditional public schools, the bill to taxpayers is rising. The bill passed on a mostly party line vote in the house and died in the senate.
HB 7111 would have allowed private child placement agencies that receive taxpayer funds to use their personal religious beliefs to discriminate against qualified LGBT parents. This Indiana-style discrimination bill was opposed by numerous adoption and children’s advocacy groups. The bill passed the house on a party line vote and died in the senate.