ACTION ALERT: Vote NO on HB 1 Combating Public Disorder
All, HB 1 Combating Public Disorder passed all of its House committees and is now awaiting a vote on the House floor, possibly by the end of this week. If you have not yet done so, please contact your individual local Florida House Representative ASAP to vote NO on this bill. This may be the first time that your Representative has had the opportunity to vote on this bill. Make sure you let him or her know that you are a constituent and that you vote regularly. Also please encourage your friends and family to oppose the bill with their individual House member. I previously provided some talking points that are still relevant today, so I am including them below:
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.
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.
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.
Here is the contact information for the local House members from Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties: District 1--Rep. Michelle Salzman is Michelle.Salzman@myfloridahouse.gov or (850) 717-5001 (NOTE: Rep. Salzman voted "YES" in the Judiciary Committee).
District 2--Rep. Alex Andrade is Alex.Andrade@myfloridahouse.gov or (850) 717-5002
District 3--Rep. Jayer Williamson is Jayer.Williamson@myfloridahouse.gov or (850) 717-5003 Thank you, Jean Siebenaler Legislative Chair