Proposed Florida laws that will make your head spin

Just a BillFlorida lawmakers often file bills that leave your head spinning, with some of these bills actually becoming law. One such example is FS 800.02, the “Unnatural and Lascivious Act,” that states one may not commit any “unnatural acts” with another.

In his opening day remarks for Florida’s 2013 Legislative Session, House Speaker Will Weatherford asked his fellow lawmakers, “Will we earn the people’s trust, or will we let them down by confirming their worst fears about government and politics?”

With most state representative being hell-bent on expending their allotment of six bills to file each legislative session — state senators can introduce an unlimited number — we’ll share a few examples of bills introduced this year that may fall under the “worst fears” category.

Florida state Sen. Darren Soto, a Democrat, introduced the “Sunshine Protection Act” that would make daylight saving time permanent year round. Why? Soto, an attorney, said that he was just tired of leaving his law office in the dark.

“It’s been bothering me for years,” Soto told Politico. “It’s something I’d think about leaving the office in the winter when it’s dark out.”

Another Democrat, Sen. Audrey Gibson, filed a bill that would require a three-day waiting period for anyone trying to buy ammunition who has not completed an anger management program first, as reported here on BizPac Review.

“It’s about getting people to think, really, about how much ammunition they need,” Gibson said. “It’s a step, I think, in a safer direction. It’s about getting people to think before they buy.”

And just when it appears this is all about Democrats, there are also examples from those who reside on the “limited government” side of aisle.

Rep. Doug Holder has teamed up with fellow Republican state Rep. Ray Pilon, to sponsor a bill to make texting while driving a secondary offense. No word on when a bill that bans putting make-up on while driving will be introduced. Or the bill to ban eating while driving, or the bill to ban… well, you get the idea.

“The most important part of this whole thing is to be able to empower parents and drivers’ ed teachers to tell their students and children that texting while driving in Florida is illegal,” Holder said, according to the Miami Herald.

Sen. Kelli Stargel and Rep. Dennis Baxley, Republicans as well, have filed respective bills to create a marriage education handbook.

The handbook will be distributed through the offices of the clerks of court to couples applying for a marriage license and will include among other things information on communication skills, conflict resolution, parenting and managing finances, reports Sunshine State News.

What role, if any, Planned Parenthood would have here is unclear. And it may be just a matter of time before legislation is proposed that will require couples to read the handbook and pass a comprehension quiz.

While these are just a few examples of bills being proposed this year, with each having to survive an arduous committee process, should a bill be passed into law, citizens have one last refuge — the good judgement of the governor before he signs it into law.

A less than sobering thought this year, as it turns out.


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Tom Tillison


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