Tea Party Network steaming over ‘anti-Sharia law’ snub in Florida Senate

The Tea Party Network is boiling mad – and some top Florida senators might be hearing about it.

In an “action alert” sent Sunday, the Tea Party Network is asking supporters to launch a blizzard of emails and phone calls to Florida state senators to get an “anti-Sharia” bill passed by the House last heard by the Senate Rules Committee at a meeting scheduled for 2 p.m. Monday.

Barring unusual procedural action, the Rules Committee is the last stop before SB 58 can get to the full Senate for a vote.

The bill is aimed at preventing foreign laws to be used in Florida family courts. It has been dubbed the “anti-Sharia” bill by opponents and supporters alike, but its sponsors say it is not aimed at any particular country or culture.

The bill’s sponsor in the House is Rep. Larry Metz, R-Yalaha.

In the Senate it is sponsored by Sen. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla.

Opponents include liberal organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union as well as Jewish and Muslim religious groups. Those groups say it is unnecessary because no cases involving foreign laws have arisen in Florida courts and that targeting religious matters could complicate legal cases involving Americans marries or divorced from citizens of other countries.

The Tea Party Network, which supports the bill, is urging supporters to call and email the offices of Rules Committee Chairman Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, Senate Majority Leader Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto, R-Fort Myers, and Senate President Sen. Don Gaetz, R-Niceville.

In part, the “action alert” reads:

“Last year, 11th hour shenanigans derailed the effort to pass American Laws for American Courts in Florida. Make sure that the Senate leadership in Florida knows that you will not stand for a repeat of the past failure to pass this important legislation. It was recently signed into law in another state (Oklahoma), bringing the total to five states thus far …

“We must act quickly and decisively. We need as many emails and phone calls as possible to go (to) three key senators from Florida and across America starting TOMORROW morning (Monday) if possible …

“Express, respectfully, but forcefully, that you are disappointed and outraged that SB-58 by Senator Alan Hays has not made it onto the agenda for the Rules Committee to have an opportunity to make it to the floor for an up or down vote.”

It includes the sentators’ email addresses and phone numbers for their local and Tallahassee offices.

Last year, the bill also passed the House but died in the Senate.

If the bill is not heard by the Rules Committee, it would require a two-thirds vote of the 40-member Senate to get it to the floor. Republicans hold a 26-14 advantage in the 40-member Senate, but not all Republicans support the measure.
On Friday, Hays’ office said it was still working to get SB 58 on the Rules Committee agenda.



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