Tallahassee, FL – With the planned hearing of SB 300 in today’s Senate Health Policy Committee, Senator Linda Stewart (D – Orange County) had the following to say regarding the bill that would prohibit the termination of a pregnancy after six weeks.
“The six week ban is an insult to women and a direct attack on our fundamental and reproductive healthcare rights. I trust women to be able to make their own decisions in life and decide what is best for themselves,” said Stewart. “Just over a year after reducing the number of weeks to obtain an abortion to 15, the legislature has once again decided to take up the issue of women’s bodily autonomy by looking to reduce the already limiting time constraint to a mere six weeks.”
In addition to the ban on abortions after six weeks the bill limits access to medications used to induce an abortion by banning the use of telehealth services and requiring in person appointments. In order to receive a drug to terminate a pregnancy an individual would be required to have a physical appointment for the medication to be prescribed and distributed.
“The six-week ban limits abortion care to only four weeks after conception, and only one week realistically, from when a person could find out they are pregnant. Given this constraint, the state of Florida now expects them to get an appointment with two physicians and make this kind of a major decision in just a couple of weeks? Many young women have irregular menstrual cycles and may not be aware they are pregnant. This entire piece of legislation is ludicrous, unrealistic, and just another major overreach by Florida’s big government into our everyday lives.”
“A majority of Floridians support access to abortion and agree it should be legal in most cases. I will be encouraging all of my colleagues to listen to the people and vote against this unnecessary bill,” said Stewart.
State Rep. Jervonte Edmonds Bill on Advancing Opportunities in Education for Incarcerated Individuals Passes House Committee
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State Representative Jervonte Edmonds (D- West Palm Beach) proudly announces the first successful committee vote for House Bill 767, a groundbreaking piece of legislation aimed at maintaining the resident status for tuition purposes for incarcerated individuals in Florida. This bill marks a significant step in providing fair and accessible educational opportunities for all Floridians, regardless of their circumstances.
House Bill 767 stipulates that individuals who have previously been classified as residents for tuition purposes will not lose this status solely due to their incarceration in state or federal correctional facilities within Florida. This ensures that once they are released, they have the same educational opportunities at state tuition rates as other residents.
“Education is a fundamental right and a powerful tool for rehabilitation and reintegration,” said Representative Edmonds. “With HB 767, we’re not just opening doors for continued education; we are reinforcing our commitment to every Floridian’s future, regardless of their past. This bill is about maintaining hope and providing a tangible path to betterment and contribution to society.”
The passage of HB 767 in its first committee is a testament to Florida’s dedication to reformative justice and equal educational opportunities. The bill highlights the state’s understanding of the importance of education in reducing recidivism, aiding in the reintegration of formerly incarcerated individuals, and building stronger, more inclusive communities.
Representative Edmonds extends his gratitude to his colleagues on the committee for their support and looks forward to working with them further to ensure the bill’s passage through the Florida Legislature. “This is more than a legislative victory; it’s a win for social justice, education equity, and the long-term prosperity of our state,” he added.
Senator Linda Stewart files two criminal justice bills ahead of the 2024 legislative session
Tallahassee, FL – In partnership with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Senator Linda Stewart (D – Orlando) has filed two criminal justice bills ahead of the 2024 legislative session beginning January 9, 2024. These pieces of legislation will enable law enforcement to effectively serve the community and hold those who break the law accountable.
Luring or Enticing: This bill proposes that the penalty for luring or enticing a child for an unlawful purpose should be increased from a misdemeanor to a felony. This would allow law enforcement to issue arrest warrants and search warrants when investigating these crimes.
Duty to Report: This legislation addresses failing to report a death as well as touching, removing, or disturbing a body with the intent to alter evidence. Currently, it is only a misdemeanor to not report a death or tamper with a body with intent to alter evidence, and this bill would increase the penalty to a third degree felony.
“I am always happy to work with our local law enforcement to ensure they have all the tools they need to keep our community safe. Not only will this legislation give Orange County’s law enforcement the ability to serve justice quickly, but law enforcement across the state of Florida will benefit as well.” said Stewart.
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