Week One Of The 2020 Legislative Session Is In The Books

We completed the first week of the 2020 Legislative Session.

Our Law Enforcement Officers and Correctional Officers Bill of Rights Legislation (SB 884) received a hearing on the first day of session in the Senate Criminal Justice committee. This bill will restore the 180 day rule to apply to both internal and external complaints. Currently, an agency has to complete an investigation within 180 days if the complaint was externally generated, but there is no time limit on internally generated complaints. This is inconsistent with the original intent of the law. The bill will also include part time officers under the full bill of rights which is long overdue.

We thank our sponsor Senator Ed Hooper for presenting the legislation before the committee along with committee chairman Senator Keith Perry (also a co-sponsor) for scheduling the hearing. The bill passed unanimously.

We continue to lobby for the following important issues:

Pay Raises for Florida PBA’s State Bargaining Units
Florida PBA is the exclusive collective bargaining representative the State Law Enforcement Officers, Florida Highway Patrol, Special Agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Security Services (Correctional Officers, Correctional Probation Officers, and Institutional Security Specialist) and Lottery Law Enforcement Officers. Each bargaining team has presented a pay proposal to the state for consideration. The state has already declared impasse over pay since the Legislature is the deciding body on appropriation issues. Impasse hearing is scheduled for next Thursday.

Florida Retirement System
Request relief from the FRS COLA suspension for Special Risk Members hired prior to July 1, 2011 and to roll back the years of service/age requirements for FRS members hired after July 1, 2011. We will also begin exploring ways to increase the employers’ contribution rate for members in the investment plan.

Our COLA legislation is being sponsored once again by Representative Chuck Clemons (HB 425) and Senator Joe Gruters (SB 858).

Peer to Peer Legislation
We are working with a large coalition of law enforcement, corrections and firefighting organizations to create Florida’s first ever “Peer to Peer” support legislation to assist first responders’ with mental health needs. This legislation will provide properly trained peer support in conjunction with other agency resources such as the Employee Assistance Program.

SB 160 by Senator Keith Perry & Representative Joseph Casello (HB 573) are our sponsors.

If you are experiencing signs of depression, or if you are struggling a mental health issue please visit JonsChallenge.org.

Law Enforcement and Correctional Officers Bill of Rights
The PBA and FOP are teaming up to address the Law Enforcement Officers and Correctional Officers Bill of Rights. A court decision split the definition of a complaint into “internal” and “external” which was never the intention of the statute. We are also extending the bill of rights to part-time officers. Our joint proposal will restore the original definition of complaint in the law.

Our sponsors for this legislation are Representative Wymann Duggan (HB 453) and Senator Ed Hooper (SB 884).

Broward County PBA Endorses Joshua Rydell for State Attorney

The Broward County Police Benevolent Association has announced it has officially endorsed Joshua Rydell for Broward County State Attorney in the Democratic Primary Election on Tuesday, August 18, 2020.

“Many of our members have experienced Josh Rydell’s professionalism and dedication first-hand throughout the Broward County court system,” Broward County PBA President Rod Skirvin said. “We feel that he is a fantastic candidate and is the perfect fit to lead the State Attorney’s office into the next decade and beyond.”

An experienced trial lawyer, Rydell has developed a deep understanding of the challenges that plague our criminal justice system, and will work with communities to promote equal justice for all, accountability, and public safety in Broward County.

After graduating from Nova Southeastern University School of Law, Rydell worked as an Assistant Public Defender in Broward County. Since 2007, he’s owned his own law practice, where he’s handled numerous high-profile cases and defended matters in front of the Florida Bar. From his extensive, diverse experience as a criminal defense attorney, Rydell understands the complex causes of mass incarceration, unacceptably high recidivism rates and the school-to-prison pipeline.

In 2015, Rydell won a seat on the Coconut Creek City Commission, where he has dedicated himself to securing state funding for key projects, promoting smart development, and implementing community policing. During his tenure, he has played a key role in developing award-winning budgets and managing the government of a city with over 430 full-time employees, including its own police force.

Rydell has held positions on the Broward County Substance Abuse Advisory Board, the Broward County Bar Association’s County-Municipal Affairs Committee, the Florida Bar Grievance Committee, the Broward County League of Cities, and other organizations. He lives in Coconut Creek with his wife Jaime and their daughters, ages 7 and 3.

The Florida Capitol Report: Wrapping Up Final Interim Committee Meetings

We wrapped up the final interim committee week prior to the start of Legislative Session beginning on January 14 through March 13.

This week’s lobbying team consisted of Senior Vice President Mick McHale, Vice President Jim Baiardi, South Florida PBA Senior VP John Jenkins, CPO President Tammy Marcus, Gary Bradford, Ken Kopczynski, and me.

We continue to lobby for the following important issues:

Pay Raises for Florida PBA’s State Bargaining Units
Florida PBA is the exclusive collective bargaining representative the State Law Enforcement Officers, Florida Highway Patrol, Special Agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Security Services (Correctional Officers, Correctional Probation Officers, and Institutional Security Specialist) and Lottery Law Enforcement Officers. Each bargaining team has presented a pay proposal to the state for consideration. The state has already declared impasse over pay since the Legislature is the deciding body on appropriation issues. Your local chapters will send updates on wage offers.

Florida Retirement System
Request relief from the FRS COLA suspension for Special Risk Members hired prior to July 1, 2011 and to roll back the years of service/age requirements for FRS members hired after July 1, 2011. We will also begin exploring ways to increase the employers’ contribution rate for members in the investment plan.

Our COLA legislation is being sponsored once again by Representative Chuck Clemons (HB 425) and Senator Joe Gruters (SB 858).

Peer to Peer Legislation
We are working with a large coalition of law enforcement, corrections and firefighting organizations to create Florida’s first ever “Peer to Peer” support legislation to assist first responders’ with mental health needs. This legislation will provide properly trained peer support in conjunction with other agency resources such as the Employee Assistance Program.

SB 160 by Senator Keith Perry Representative Joseph Casello (HB 573) are the sponsors.

If you are experiencing signs of depression, or if you are struggling a mental health issue please visit JonsChallenge.org.

Law Enforcement and Correctional Officers Bill of Rights
The PBA and FOP are teaming up to address the Law Enforcement Officers and Correctional Officers Bill of Rights. A court decision split the definition of a complaint into “internal” and “external” which was never the intention of the statute. We are also extending the bill of rights to part-time officers. Our joint proposal will restore the original definition of complaint in the law.

Our sponsors for this legislation are Representative Wymann Duggan (HB 453) and Senator Ed Hooper (SB 884)

The Florida Capitol Report

This week was the last of the interim committee meetings scheduled for November. The only interim week left is during December on the 9th through the 13th. The Legislative Session will begin on January 14th through March 13th.

This week’s lobbying team consisted of Senior Vice President Mick McHale, Vice President Jim Baiardi, Vice President Steve Slade, CPO President Tammy Marcus, Correctional Officers Steve and Amanda Pepin, Gary Bradford, Ken Kopczynski, along with Florida PBA General Counsel Stephanie Webster.

We continue to lobby for the following important issues:

Pay Raises for Florida PBA’s State Bargaining Units:
All of our pay raise proposals will be announced in coming weeks. Just a reminder, Florida PBA is the exclusive collective bargaining representative the State Law Enforcement Officers, Florida Highway Patrol, Special Agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Security Services (Correctional Officers, Correctional Probation Officers, and Institutional Security Specialist) and Lottery Law Enforcement Officers.

Florida Retirement System:
Request relief from the FRS COLA suspension for Special Risk Members hired prior to July 1, 2011, and to roll back the years of service/age requirements for FRS members hired after July 1, 2011. We will also begin exploring ways to increase the employers’ contribution rate for members in the investment plan.

Our COLA legislation is being sponsored once again by Representative Chuck Clemons and Senator Joe Gruters (SB 858).

Peer to Peer Legislation:
We are working with a large coalition of law enforcement, corrections and firefighting organizations to create Florida’s first ever “Peer to Peer” support legislation to assist first responders’ with mental health needs. This legislation will provide properly trained peer support in conjunction with other agency resources such as the Employee Assistance Program.

SB 160 by Senator Keith Perry passed the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously on Tuesday. The legislation is a work in progress. We anticipate further amendments at the next committee.

Representative Joseph Casello is the sponsor HB 573.

If you are experiencing signs of depression, or if you are struggling a mental health issue please visit JonsChallenge.org.

Law Enforcement and Correctional Officers Bill of Rights:
The PBA and FOP are teaming up to address the Law Enforcement Officers and Correctional Officers Bill of Rights. A court decision split the definition of a complaint into “internal” and “external” which was never the intention of the statute. We are also extending the bill of rights to part-time officers. Our joint proposal will restore the original definition of complaint in the law.

Our sponsors for this legislation are Representative Wymann Duggan (HB 453) and Senator Ed Hooper (SB 884)

The Florida Capitol Report

This week was the second of six interim committee weeks for the Florida Legislature. As previously stated, these meetings are designed to get a early start on the major issues of the upcoming session.

This week’s lobbying team was led by Senior Vice President Mick McHale, Correctional Probation Officers’ President Tammy Marcus, State Correctional Officers’ President Jim Baiardi, Gary Bradford, Ken Kopczynski along with me.

Here are the issues we are lobbying for this session:

Pay Raises for Florida PBA’s State Bargaining Units:
We are not publicly releasing our proposals yet, because we just started contract negotiations. All of our pay raise proposals will be announced in next few weeks. Just a reminder, Florida PBA is the exclusive collective bargaining representative the State Law Enforcement Officers, Florida Highway Patrol, Special Agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Security Services (Correctional Officers, Correctional Probation Officers, and Institutional Security Specialist) and Lottery Law Enforcement Officers.

Florida Retirement System:
Request relief from the FRS COLA suspension and to roll back the years of service/age requirements for FRS members hired after July 1, 2011. We will also begin exploring ways to increase the employers’ contribution rate for members in the investment plan.

Our COLA legislation is being sponsored once again by Representative Chuck Clemons and Senator Joe Gruters.

Peer to Peer Legislation:
We are working with a large coalition of law enforcement, corrections and firefighting organizations to create Florida’s first ever “Peer to Peer” support legislation to assist first responders’ with mental health needs. This legislation will provide properly trained peer support in lieu of the Employee Assistance Programs.

SB 160 by Senator Keith Perry is on next week’s Children & Families Committee agenda.

Law Enforcement and Correctional Officers Bill of Rights:
The PBA and FOP are teaming up to address the Law Enforcement Officers and Correctional Officers Bill of Rights. A court decision split the definition of a complaint into “internal” and “external” which was never the intention of the statute. We are also extending the bill of rights to part-time officers. Our joint proposal will restore the original definition of complaint in the law.

There are certainly more issues to discuss, but these items listed above are part of our main agenda.

One issue not on our list, but important to us is preventing a home owners’ association from sanctioning you for parking your patrol car in your driveway. In fact, Senior Vice President Mick McHale spoke in favor of legislation at a press conference on Wednesday to allow your patrol vehicle to be parked in front of your home regardless of whether your home owner association’s covenant prevents this practice.

The third interim committee meeting week starts on Monday. We will continue to move our agenda items forward. Thank you for reading this very brief summary and please stay tuned for more details in future reports.