Florida Senator Jeff Brandes offers bill to reform driver license suspension rules

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Yesterday, January 6, 2016, Senator Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) announced SPB 7046, related to penalties and fees, has been filed. The proposed legislation will dramatically reform the driver license suspension and revocation process in Florida, and follows a series of hearings by Senator Brandes in the Transportation Committee on the topic.

“Losing a driver license is a devastating penalty which most heavily impacts those with the least ability to afford it. For years the state has piled on driver license suspensions as an additional sanction for various non-driving related activity,” stated Senator Brandes. “This legislation will help thousands of Floridians who are caught in a relentless cycle of debt within the legal system. This bill will reduce a major burden on our courts from license suspensions, and it will give many Floridians a means to get back to work.”

The proposal follows media reports last year detailing the substantial number of driver license suspensions occurring annually in Florida. Following those reports, Senator Brandes and the Transportation Committee held several hearings and heard testimony by the State Division of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, elected Public Defenders, and various Clerks of Court. This proposal is a result of those hearings, and it is designed to radically reduce the number of suspended and revoked driver licenses. The bill establishes an alternative system for sanctions for the more than 1.2 million driver license suspensions annually.

SPB 7046 removes suspension and revocation penalties for certain non-driving-related offenses. Individuals who would have their licenses suspended today for many financial related issues will instead be issued a hardship license. The reform package also reforms a controversial surcharge in law for fines or fees which are sent to collections, and clearly establishes the right of a defendant in financial hardship to enter into community service as an alternative method of payment. Finally, the bill eliminates the felony criminal charge for a third or subsequent driving while license is suspended or revoked resulting from a defendant’s inability to pay a fine or fee.

Action Item: Florida residents, contact your reps to support medical marijuana – time is running out!

Yesterday, April 27, 2015, Florida‘s SB 7066, was postponed again by the Florida Senate, the fifth time in the last five sessions. The general session for the Florida Senate is set to expire at midnight this coming Friday, and there is fear the bill will not pass. The bill has gained approval of cannabis activists in the state, including the Florida Cannabis Action Network. The bill would allow 15 percent THC for qualifying patients, permitting them to get relief of ailment symptoms as well as potentially cure some diseases, as some research is leaning. The bill does not go far enough for libertarians in the State of Florida; however, feel it is a step in the right direction by respecting patients in need of a natural solution to the medical conditions.

Cannabis activists are now supportive of Florida medcial marijuana bill

Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Activists are hoping the general public will rise to the occasion to support the bill and send an email to their representatives in support of the SB 7066. There has been a strike-all amendment added that, with its amendments, makes SB 7066 palatable to cannabis legalization supporters.

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Tell your Florida Senator to vote NO! on SB 1214 which gives taxpayer money to businesses

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SB 1214, which is an economic development package sponsored by Senator Latvala, now includes handouts to film and sports executives, which is a perfect example of representing special interests.

Not only does this bill pick winners and losers by giving away taxpayer dollars as handouts, it also creates a lack of transparency in the Quick Action Closing Fund, which could pave the way for up to two million dollars of taxpayer money to be given out at once without any legislative oversight.

The Florida Senate is getting ready to vote on this bill.

TELL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE TO VOTE NO on SB 1214

Politicians are eager to get their bills passed during the final hours of session, often disregarding the fact that these bills may not always be good for the taxpayers of Florida.SB 1214, an economic development package sponsored by Senator Latvala, is a perfect example of this. At the last Senate committee stop for this bill, Senator Latvala added handouts to film and sports executives to this massive package.

Not only does this bill pick winners and losers by giving away taxpayer dollars as handouts, it also creates a lack of transparency in the Quick Action Closing Fund, which could pave the way for up to two million dollars of taxpayer money to be given out at once without any legislative oversight.

The Florida Senate is getting ready to vote on this bill. Tell your senator to oppose SB 1214!

Kratom under attack in Florida legislature and Palm Beach County – unbalanced business regulation

Today, March 10, 2015, kratom is being discussed by the Palm Beach County Board of Commissioners and in the Florida Senate. Elected officials are seeking ways to regulate kratom. Kratom is a tree indigenous to Southeast Asia, for which some will use the leaves to relieve the symptoms of PMS, general pain relief, depression, lowering blood pressure, decrease anxiety, diarrhea relief and increased mental acuity.

There is no reason for talk of kratom’s regulation except for the outspoken voice of a parent who blames kratom on the death of her child’s suicide. Ignoring facts from the medical examiner’s office that kratom did not cause the death of her child, the parent continues her crusade with Palm Beach County Commissioners and in the Florida legislature. Even though there has never been one proven case where kratom was responsible for the death of anyone, elected officials are willing to regulate the tree, throwing reason and science out the window.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

This is from Florida Carry regarding Florida gun rights

HB 4005 (Campus Carry) Under Unprecedented Attack from astroturf gun ban groups. Your Support Urgently Needed!
Bill may be stalled in House Higher Education Subcommittee unless you contact these Reps.

The campus carry bill, HB 4005, is now in the House Higher Education Committee. The committee is under bombardment by Bloomberg’s gun control group generated propaganda.
Please, take a few moments to ask the committee members of the House Higher Education Subcommittee to support HB 4005 – Campus Carry.
Remember that whether you contact the committee members either by email or by phone, to be courteous and respectful above all else. Be sure to keep your message brief, and thank them for their time.

Sample Body:

Dear representative,

The US Department of Education reported 392 forcible felonies on Florida Campuses in 2013, under the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act and the Higher Education Opportunity Act. Forcible felonies reported include homicide, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, and arson. The number does not include forcible felonies occurring in off-campus college housing or in the surrounding neighborhoods.

This is about licensed adults, responsibly protecting themselves on campus, just as they do off campus, and over a quarter century of statistics from the Licensing Department of DOACS proves their responsibility as a group.

Please support HB 4005.

We need your help!
Florida self-defense laws are under unprecedented attack. Florida Carry is fighting back hard in local government, the courts, and the state legislature but cash and volunteer action is necessary to support this important work. Please donate orJoin Today.

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Florida Congressional district map must be re-drawn, says judge

The Libertarian Party of Florida is victorious once again–this time regarding the gerrymandering of Florida’s Congressional districts. Yesterday, Florida Circuit Judge Terry Lewis ruled when the Florida legislature re-drew the political districts in 2012, they did so to benefit Republican Party candidates. The Florida Legislature is expected to appeal the decision to the Florida Supreme Court and depending upon that decision, it could have a major effect on the 2016 general election. The League of Women Voters of Florida initiated the lawsuit.

Read the rest of the story here.

Florida Attorney General candidate slams Florida legislature on medical cannabis

Today, May 7, 2014, Libertarian Party of Florida (LPF) Attorney General candidate Bill Wohlsifer sent out a statement highly critical of Florida lawmakers in their veiled attempt at compassion for Florida patients and the use of medical cannabis. Last week, just before close of session, Lawmakers passed CS/CS/SB 1030, also known as “Charlotte’s Web” and the “Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act 2014”. Wohlsifer has been releasing a number of statements publicly and on his campaign blog pointing out that this Act is a disappointment and disguise for crony capitalism in the name of children.

Read the rest of the story here.

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