Details on FC4TL Priority Bills and what has happened at the FL Capitol this week.
The hate spewing out of the Florida Capitol Legislative Agenda hit an all new high this week with next week topping the charts on anti-trans measures. Although Democratic allies did a great job debating the issues and advocates on the ground helped get them amendments to the anti-trans+ bills, a lot happened this week and next week's anti-trans agenda will, rightfully so, bring parents of trans+ youth and trans+ people in the state to a place of panic. The following is: 1) a review of what happened and where the top 5 bills stand, 2) a calendar of events for next week, and 3) links for the registration to join our FC4TL weekly organizing calls to find out more and help us "read" through the policy and decide on appropriate resistance.
1) HB 1069 (Trans+ Denier, LGBTQ Hater, and Book Banning Education Bill) Passed the House
An extension of the "Parents Bill of Rights" from last year this bill applies to public and charter schools receiving state funding. In its current form will: 1) only allow public and charter schools to teach “biological sexes” and "monogamous heterosexuality" in sex education - covers pre-k through grade 12 but limits sex ed to grades 9-12, 2) redefines sex to deny trans existence and match Yarborough's definition of sex in SB 254 which applies to ALL EDUCATION PUBLIC AND CHARTER SCHOOLS including higher education (colleges and universities), 3) prohibits use of appropriate pronouns for trans and gender diverse students and forbids a staff or contractor of a school to ask a student's pronouns, 4) moves the approval of all sex education materials to the Florida Department of Education (it was previously approved of by individual school boards, 5) sets up more rules protecting a parents (or anyone's) right to object to LGBTQ, Black and Brown and transgender people and the science of gender and reproductive fluidity and instructional materials creating more capacity for anti-trans parents and individuals to petition the school board and chilling any ability for their to be valid safe zone teaching around reproductive rights and existence of transgender and gender diverse people, 6) promotes and encourages lawsuits against school boards for book banning and 7) removes "classroom instruction" of sexual orientation and gender identity from public and charter school classrooms pre-K through 8th grade.
HB 1069 Next Steps - The bill in its current form has been assigned to one committee (Senate Fiscal Policy) to fast track it through the Senate. Senate Fiscal Policy fortunately does not meet again until April 13th but we will follow the bill and keep you updated. Once it passes Senate Fiscal Policy it can easy rush through the Senate Special Order calendar and head to the Governor.
2) SB 300 - Six Week Abortion Ban about to Pass the Senate
This bill will 1) require the Department of Health to contract for the management and delivery of parenting support services, in addition to pregnancy support services; 2) prohibit physicians from knowingly performing or inducing a termination of pregnancy after the gestational age of the fetus is determined to be more than 6 weeks, rather than 15 weeks, with exceptions; 3) allows for an exception if the woman obtaining the abortion is doing so because she is a victim of rape, incest, or human trafficking, subject to certain conditions; and 4) requiring that medications intended for use in a medical abortion be dispensed in person by a physician, etc. APPROPRIATION: $30,000,000
SB 300 Next Steps - The bill has been debated and amended and is on its third reading on the Senate Special Order calendar. Will likely pass the Florida Senate in some form on April 3rd or 4th.
3) SB 254 - Criminalization of Gender Affirming Care in Florida TP'd on Senate Floor
This is a very dangerous bill for multiple reasons but one of which is the fact that, if it passes, it currently states that it will be EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY UPON BECOMING LAW which means that this law could be in place in the next couple of weeks especially because its companion in the House (HB1421) is headed to the House floor next week.
To this point - SB254 and HB1421 are Much more dangerous than even some of our allies are claiming. Right now this bill (as is): 1) Gives the courts and DCF to intervene and remove children from their home who are receiving gender affirming care (our lawyer interprets this bill, and the Senate Fiscal Policy analysis of it, as creating precedence for a child abuse intervention FOR ANY FAMILY (not just families in a custody battle)) to have FL Department of Children and Families remove children from the home. See Senate Fiscal Policy analysis that points in this direction and join our call on Sunday, April 2nd to hear more, 2) a sanctuary for parents in and outside of Florida to gain custody over children who are currently receiving gender affirming care or what the bill calls "sex reassignment prescriptions and procedures" by changing and challenging the US Department of Justice's Uniform Child Custody and Enforcement Act, 3) Creates prohibition on public funds for gender affirming care of any kind including state health insurance, a state agency, etc., 4) Forces licensed health care facilities to attest that they are not providing gender affirming care to children under 18 and will have their license revoked if they do not sign, 5) Changes the definition of sex to “classification of a person as either male or female based on the organization of the human body of the person for a specific reproductive role, as indicated by the person’s sex chromosomes, naturally occurring sex hormones, and external and internal genitalia present at birth”, 6) ) redefines "sex-reassignment prescriptions or procedures" to target and isolate trans folx and separates gender affirming care for intersex or sex development disorders, infection, etc., 7) Creates the informed consent (does not create a registry) mandate for children already receiving care and adopts Board of Medicine grandfather clause for children who are already receiving care BUT requires that care to move to a allopathic or osteopathic physician. In the case of an adult ANY NEW PRESCRIPTION requires a new consent form, 8) Creates a 3rd degree felony for violations of statute for healthcare providers who violate in Section 1 of the statute involving minors/children under the age of 18 and first degree misdemeanor for healthcare providers who violate Section 2-3 restrictions on gender affirming care for adults and strips the healthcare practitioner of their license UPON ARREST, and 9) Removes the licensure for hospitals, physicians offices and physicians who do not agree or sign the attestation.
SB 254 Next Steps - Placed on Senate Special Order Calendar for April 4th.
4) SB 1438 - Anti-Drag "Protection of Children" Bill Placed on Senate Special Order Calendar
SB 1438 passed its final committee and is on its way to the Senate Floor next week. This bill: gives the state the ability to remove licenses from business who allow children to view "lewd and pornographic" things (which is already in law) in an effort to ban drag shows and performances in education and other facilities and events where children are present including PRIDE events.
SB 1438 Next Steps - Placed on Senate Special Order Calendar for April 4th.
5) HB 1421 - Criminalization of Gender Affirming Care on House Floor
This bill is moving quickly through the house and has had changes that bring it closer to matching SB 254 but still needs changes. Our assumption is that the House and Senate will (in messages) pick the worst of both bills and then pass them as one bill adopting SB 254's EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY UPON BECOMING LAW provision. Currently the bill: 1) Gives the courts and DCF to intervene and remove children from their home who are receiving gender affirming care (our lawyer interprets this bill, and the Senate Fiscal Policy analysis of it, as creating precedence for a child abuse intervention FOR ANY FAMILY (not just families in a custody battle) to have Department of Children and Families remove children from the home. See Senate Fiscal Policy analysis of the Senate version of the language adopted into HB1421 that points in this direction and join our call on Sunday, April 2nd to hear more, 2) a sanctuary for parents in and outside of Florida to gain custody over children who are currently receiving gender affirming care or what the bill calls "sex reassignment prescriptions and procedures" by changing and challenging the US Department of Justice's Uniform Child Custody and Enforcement Act, 3) removes the ability to change your gender on a birth certificate (except for intersex people) - will inadvertently exclude adopted children. Note: All laws are presumed to be prospective and not retrospective unless otherwise stated so this only bars future gender marker changes on birth certificates for those born in Florida and will not retrospectively change those birth certificates already changed by the effective date, 4) States that only a physician can offer “gender clinical interventions” closing a loophole for nurse practitioners who can prescribe gender affirming prescriptions such as puberty blockers and hormones, 5) Redefines “Gender clinical interventions” to isolate transgender and gender non-conforming care, 6) Requires “informed consent” provisions with penalties for clinicians who do not follow informed consent rules. Similar to abortion laws that promote the same false information, and 7) allows and encourages civil action lawsuits against physicians for damages during gender affirming care.
HB 1421 Next Steps - Second Reading will likely be amended in Messages to merge with SB254 so that there is a matching bill in both chambers and then go to the House Floor the following week.
Join our trans+ led WEEKLY LEGISLATIVE ORGANIZING MEETINGS (Sundays at 6:30 pm EST/5:30 CT) to find out more and get involved.
FC4TL LEGISLATIVE CALENDAR:
FC4TL BILL TRACKER