Florida Senate Committee on Fiscal Policy meet for final passing of bills

The Florida Senate Committee on Fiscal Policy met Wednesday for the final stages of Senate Bill 716 and SB 380. Committee Chairman, Sen. Anitere Flores, began by inviting Sen. Eleanor Sobel to explain her bill, SB 716: Florida Holocaust Memorial.

“This bill would establish that stature framework necessary to create the Florida Holocaust Memorial on Capitol grounds,” Sobel said.

Sobel feels this is an important issue to address because of the impact it has on many lives. However, there are prohibitions that are stopping the Department of Management from building the memorial until conditions are met.

Steve Felder, a strong supporter of SB 716, has been working alongside Sobel to create what he also feels is a very important issue.

“I think it is so important that we remember history,” Felder said. “I also want to emphasize how important this will be when thousands of teachers and students come to the Capitol (and) the one thing they will learn is never stand on the sidelines when something has gone wrong.”

According to SB 716, the Department of Management Services will set aside an appropriate public area for the memorial on the Capitol Complex grounds. The department will build the Florida Holocaust Memorial after it has considered the recommendation of the Florida Historical Commission as required.  This act is set to take effect July 1, 2016.

“Through this memorial of remembrance, we hope to educate present and future generations, and eradicate prejudice and injustice done unto any people, particularly in Florida, which is home to one of the largest populations of Holocaust survivors in the country,” Sobel said.

Sobel’s bill was reported favorable by the Appropriation Subcommittee on General Government earlier this month. With no questions, debates or amendments from the Senate Committee, Sobel was granted final passage of SB 716: Florida Holocaust Memorial.

After the quick passage of other bills, Sen. Abruzzo introduced SB 380: Violation of an Injunction for Protection. This bill was reported favorable by the Criminal Justice committee back in November 2015.

“This bill will increases the penalty for a third or subsequent violation of an injunction for protection against domestic violence, stalking or cyberstalking in repeat violence, if a person has two or more convictions in the same offense,” Abruzzo said.

According to SB 380, “it is a violation of …  and a misdemeanor of 45 the first degree, punishable … for a person to violate a final injunction for 47 protection against domestic violence by having in his or her 48 care, custody, possession, or control any firearm or ammunition.”

Before closing his opening remarks, Abruzzo took a brief moment to thank Vice Chair of the Committee of Fiscal Policy, Sen. Rob Bradley, for his continuous support and his help creating amendments on the bill.

Jean Howard with the State Attorney and Florida Prosecutors Office, Barney Bishop with the Florida Smart Justice Alliance and Charles Brown with the Volusia County Sheriff's Office were all in attendance to wave their support of SB 380.

“What we are about to pass is something I truly feel is one of the most significant bills that we can pass specifically for females in the state of Florida,” Abruzzo said.

For more information on SB 716 and SB 380, please visit myfloridahouse.gov.