Florida PBA’s 2016 Legislative Agenda

In preparation for the 2016 Florida Legislative Session, the Florida Police Benevolent Association has identified the following issues and state legislative policies that are supported by the PBA.

The 2016 Florida Legislative Session begins on January 12 and ends on March 11. At the conclusion of the session, legislators will approve new state laws and finalize the state budget before it all goes before the Governor for final approval.

  • Equitable pay increases for the State Law Enforcement Officers, FDLE Special Agents, Lottery and FHP bargaining units represented by Florida PBA.
  • Support for the creation of a career development plan for first responders employed by the State of Florida (Sponsors: Senator John Legg – SB 1580 and Representative David Kerner – HB 621)
  • Support for any and all legislation reinstating the FRS COLA
  • Support for legislation enhancing the Survivor Benefit in Chapter 121 for first responders killed in the line of duty (Sponsors: Senator Jeremy Ring – SB 7012, Representative Mike Hill – HB 87 and Representative Rene Plasencia – HB 917)
  • Support for legislation allowing retired reemployed FRS employees to enroll in the FRS investment plan (Sponsors: Ring – SB 7014 and Representative Dan Raulerson – HB 881)
  • Support for legislation creating uniform guidelines for law enforcement officer body worn cameras (Sponsors: Senator Chris Smith- SB 418 and Representative Shevrin Jones HB 93)
  • Support for legislation establishing if a person makes threats against a law enforcement officer or an officer’s family that person commits the crime of a terroristic threat (Sponsors: Senator Wilton Simpson – SB 436 and Representative Jimmie Smith HB 259)
  • Support for legislation which will protect the identity of a witness to a felony (Sponsors: Senator Charlie Dean – SB 1314 and Representative Ed Narain – HB 475)
  • Support for a constitutional amendment that will require certain county office holders (i.e. Sheriff) must be elected (Sponsors: Senator Travis Hutson – SB 648 and Representative Frank Artiles – HB 165)
  • With reference to other legislation, authorization for the Executive Director to support legislation favorable to the membership or oppose legislation harmful to the membership.
  • BCCPA January Legislative Update

    There are several new laws and amended laws on the books for 2016 that all law enforcement officers should be aware of. They include open carrying of a weapon, discharging a firearm in a residential neighborhood, expunction of records of minors, justifiable use or threatened use of defensive force, medical marijuana, forfeiture of contraband and concealed weapon or firearm licenses. A summary of each is below.

    SB 300 – Open Carrying of a Weapon

    Introducer(s): Senator Don Gaetz
    Related Bills(s): HB 163 (In Judiciary, 11/24/15. Next meeting 1/11/15)

    Last Action: Referred to Judiciary Committee, 10/23/15 (Next meeting 1/12/15)
    Effective Date: Upon becoming law

    Bill amends F.S. 790 053, to permit the open carrying of a weapon or firearm by a person licensed to carry a concealed weapon or firearm. As of this date, the FPCA’s proposed amendments have not been incorporated into the bill.

    SB 130 – Discharging a Firearm in Residential Areas

    Introducer(s): Senator Garrett Richter
    Related Bills(s): HB 41 (Passed all House Committees)

    Last Action: Favorable vote in Fiscal Policy. Placed on calendar for 2nd reading on 11/19/15
    Effective Date: Upon becoming law

    Bill amends F.S. 790.15, to prohibit the discharge of a firearm outdoors in an area that the person knows, or reasonably should know, is primarily residential in nature and that has a residential density of one or more dwelling units per acre. A violation is a misdemeanor in the first degree.

    Bill creates the following exemptions:

    • For an individual who is lawfully defending life or property
    • For discharging a firearm under circumstances where the discharge does not pose a reasonable foreseeable risk of life, safety, or property
    • For the accidental discharge of a firearm

    SB 386 – Expunction of Records of Minors

    Introducer(s): Senators Nancy Detert & Darren Soto
    Related Bill(s): HB 147
    Last Action: In Fiscal Policy Committee, 12/7/15
    Effective Date: July 1, 2016

    Bill amends F.S. 943.0515, to change the retention of juvenile offender records from 5 years after the minor reaches 19 years of age to 2 years, provided that certain statutory exceptions do not exist. (Person is 18 years old or older and is charged or convicted of a forcible felony or child has not been classified as a serious or habitual juvenile offender.)

    SB 344 – Justifiable Use or Threatened Use of Defensive Force

    Introducer(s): Senator(s): Rob Bradley
    Co-introducer(s): Senator(s): Charles Dean; Greg Evers; Aaron Bean; & Wilton Simpson

    Related Bill(s): HB 169
    Last Action: Placed on Calendar for 2nd reading on 12/7/15
    Effective Date: Upon becoming law

    Bill amends F.S. 776.032, to remove the burden of proof of self-defense from the individual asserting the defense. Once an individual asserts a prima facie case of self-defense, the State then has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the individual is not entitled to dismissal of the charge on the grounds that he/she acted in self-defense.

    The most recent version of the Bill removes the language which entitled a defendant who prevails during a motion to dismiss, to private attorney’s fees and costs for defending the criminal action.

    SB 440 – Experimental Treatments for Terminal Conditions

    Introducer(s): Senators Rob Bradley & Daren Soto
    Related Bill(s): HB 307
    Last Action: Fiscal Policy Committee, 12/7/15
    Effective Date: 7/1/16

    Bill amends F.S. 499.0295, to permit eligible patients or their representatives to purchase and possess cannabis for medical use. The cannabis must be purchased from an approved dispensing organization as defined by F.S. 381.986 (facility approved by the Dept. of Health).

    SB 852 – Medical Marijuana

    Introducer(s): Senator Jeff Brandes
    Related Bill(s): SB 616 & HB 4021
    Last Action Referred to Regulated Industries and Health Policy Committees, 12/3/15
    Effective Date: 7/1/16

    Bill repeals the “Compassionate Use of Low-THC Cannabis Act and creates F.S. 381.99 (Florida Medical Marijuana Act”). The Bill authorizes a registered patient or a designated caregiver to purchase, acquire, and possess up to the allowed amount of medical marijuana for a patient’s medical use. To qualify for the Act, a registered patient or a designated caregiver must demonstrate that they have been diagnosed with one of the listed infirmities and manifest specific listed symptoms from the infirmity. The Bill also requires that the Dept. of Health notify law enforcement of the expiration or cancellation of an identification card.

    SB 1044 – Forfeiture of Contraband

    Introducer(s): Senators Jeff Brandes & Joe Negron
    Related Bill(s): HB 0883
    Last Action: Referred to Criminal Justice and Fiscal Committees and Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice, 12/17/15
    Effective Date: 7/1/16

    The Bill amends F.S. 932.703, to bestow upon the law enforcement agency “provisional title” to seized property upon a finding of probable cause for the seizure. The Bill then requires that the property owner be convicted of the charges supporting the forfeiture before title to the property passes to the agency. Additionally, the law enforcement agency is financially responsible to the property owner for any damage, storage fees, and any other related applicable costs, if the owner is acquitted of the charges or the charges are nolle prosed or dismissed by the court.

    SB 1140 – Concealed Weapon or Firearm Licenses

    Introducer(s): Senator Dwight Bullard
    Related Bill(s): HB 0935
    Last Action: Filed 12/15/15
    Effective Date: 7/1/16

    Bill requires a concealed weapon or firearm licensee to inform a first responder that they are in possession of a weapon or firearm, and display both the license and proper identification upon demand of the first responder. Failure to provide such notification is a non-criminal infraction which carries a $1,000.00 fine payable to the clerk of court. Additionally, any subsequent violation of this section would mandate a suspension or revocation of one’s license to carry a concealed weapon or firearm.

    BCPBA Endorses Lauren Book For Florida Senate

    The Broward County Police Benevolent Association has announced its support for Lauren Book for election to the Florida State Senate, District 32, in the General Election on Tuesday, November 8, 2016.

    “Lauren has proven to be an incredible and resilient woman,” Broward County PBA President Jeff Marano said. “We are confident she will be a great leader and asset not only to her District 32 constituents, but to all Floridians. Law enforcement relies on public officials and we strive to endorse the very best candidates.”

    Book is an author, educator and internationally respected and renowned child advocate. As founder and CEO of Lauren’s Kids, Book seeks to create a world where the exploitation of children is not tolerated. She has been named a PEOPLE All-Star Among Us, L’Oreal Woman of Worth and is the recipient of a Congressional Medal of Merit for her tireless work to protect childhood.

    Since 2002, Book has advocated for the passage of laws to better support survivors of abuse and protect children from predators, including the enactment of the nation’s toughest mandatory reporting laws, the creation of child safety zones and the elimination of the Statute of Limitations for prosecution of sexual crimes committed against children. Since 2010, Lauren has walked 1,500 miles across the state of Florida annually to raise awareness and empower survivors with the message that “It’s OK to Tell.”

    Book was born and raised in South Florida, where she currently resides and directs Lauren’s Kids. She graduated from the University of Miami with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and creative writing and a master’s degree in community psychology and social change.

    BCPBA Endorses Bobby DuBose For Florida House

    The Broward County Police Benevolent Association has announced its support for Bobby DuBose for re-election to the Florida House of Representatives, serving District 94, in the General Election on Tuesday, November 8, 2016.

    DuBose was born in Fort Lauderdale and attended the University of Florida. He graduated with a degree in economics and began working as a self-employed insurance agent. In 2009, DuBose ran for and won a seat on the Fort Lauderdale City Commission (District III) and two years later was re-elected to a second term without opposition. He served as the Vice-Mayor of Fort Lauderdale from 2011 to 2012.

    In 2014, DuBose ran for the open seat in the Florida House of Representatives, District 94, winning with 67% of the vote. DuBose serves on the Local and Federal Affairs committee, and is the ranking Democratic member on the Health Quality subcommittee.

    DuBose is married to Yvette, and the couple has two children, Ethan Joshua, Jacob Emmanuel.

    Hope For Deputy Peter Peraza

    Law Enforcement friends, family and supporters … the Broward County PBA has set up a way of helping Deputy Peter Peraza and his family through this very difficult time. Deputy Peraza is a family man and a decent person who was thrust into this horrible situation by just doing his job and responding to a 911 call.

    If you can help, please mail a check, made out to the BROWARD COUNTY PBA HOPE FUND and put Peraza in the memo section, to 2650 West State Road 84, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312. You can also give them directly to Meghan Anderson, Chris Anderson, Chris Palamara, Don Huneke, Robert Lahiff or Christopher Bradley.

    If you are unable to donate at this time, please send your prayers and positive thoughts.

    Thank you and God bless.

    Get In Touch With BCPBA

    Broward County Police
    Benevolent Association
    2650 West State Road 84
    Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312

    Telephone: (954) 584-7600
    Fax: (954) 583-0405

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