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ACTION ALERT: OPPOSE HB 1 Combating Public Disorder

Updated: Mar 6, 2021

The second committee in the Florida House -- the Justice Appropriations Subcommittee -- will be hearing the anti-Democratic/anti-free speech HB 1 Combating Public Disorder bill tomorrow March 3 at 4:15 pm ET (3:15 pm CT). We need you to mobilize and let the Representatives on this next committee know that you OPPOSE this bill. These are the talking points that would be great to mention when contacting our elected officials:

  • HB 1 Combating Public Disorder was initially conceptualized by Gov. DeSantis as a backlash to Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests during the summer, even though these protests remained mostly peaceful, especially in Florida.

  • Immediately after the deadly Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6, DeSantis rebranded the bill as necessary to fight violence associated with protests, even though he personally contributed to the "Big Lie" and growing GOP conspiracies and unrest with his encouragement for Republican State Legislatures to "provide remedies" in those states that Biden won -- i.e., override elector certifications if they felt the results were fraudulent (Nov. 5 Fox interview with Laura Ingraham).

  • Violent behavior during public protests is already illegal under Florida law, but HB 1 would go beyond and seek to:

  • Expand penalties against anyone affiliated with a protest that becomes "disorderly;"

  • Mandate that anyone arrested at a protest would be detained until their first court appearance;

  • Protect Confederate monuments;

  • Prevent local community decisions from modifying law enforcement activities;

  • Provide protections for people who drive into a peaceful demonstration and "accidentally" run over a protester obstructing a public roadway.

  • (NEW) According to the most recent Florida House Staff Analysis, this bill may have a negative fiscal impact on the Florida Department of Corrections and local governments due to:

  • The creation of new felony offenses relating to public disorder that will require more prison beds, and

  • The creation of new misdemeanor offenses that will require more jail beds for those arrested and held over until their first appearance hearings.

At a time when the state is already struggling with costs related to a bloated prison and jail system, do we really need to be adding to those costs? Please contact the following House Representatives who sit on the Justice Appropriations Subcommittee before tomorrow and tell them to vote "NO" on this bill!

Thank you,

Jean Siebenaler Santa Rosa Democrats Legislative Liaison

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