What’s on tap for week three of the legislative session

by | Jan 27, 2020

If week two of session was the appetizer, week three may very well be the entree.

Lawmakers are entering the third week of the annual 60-day Legislative Session, and things are officially heating up inside the House in Senate. A number of important measures are set to be voted on this week — from a pro-life bill to legislation that would expand the Second Amendment.

With Republicans looking to get the first victory of the early cycle, here are some of the bills to keep an eye on this week.

(HB 183) – Prohibited Places for Weapons and Firearms

Gun legislation introduced by Representative Mel Ponder will face its first hurdle on Tuesday when it is up for consideration in the Criminal Justice Subcommittee.

The bill would create an exception to allow members of county commissions, municipal boards, school boards or special district boards to carry at their meetings if they have concealed weapons licenses.

As it stands, the state bans carrying concealed weapons at places such as police and sheriff’s stations, jails, courthouses, polling places, colleges, and professional sporting events.

A similar bill (SB 1524) was filed by Sen. George Gainer.

(SB 404) – Parental Consent for Abortion

Pro-life advocates received a preliminary victory last Wednesday, with Senator Kelli Stargel‘s parental consent for abortion bill being approved in its final committee. The bill, which is supported by Governor Ron DeSantis, would prevent a physician from performing an abortion on a minor unless the physician received consent from the minor’s parents or guardian.

The measure passed in the Senate Rules Committee last week with a 9-7 vote.

Arguably the most important bill this week, the hot-button issue has divided many on both sides of the political aisle. Democrats claim the bill restricts women’s rights and could lead to other measures — such as (HB 271) — being passed, furthering curtailing abortions in the state. Republicans, however, believe the bill will prevent more murders, restoring accountability by allowing parents to be part of such a crucial decision.

The controversial proposal is set to be considered by the full Senate on Wednesday.

(HB 1189) – Genetic Information for Insurance Purposes

A bill that will prohibit insurance companies from using home genetic testing kits in changing, denying or canceling policies is set to be considered in the House on Wednesday.

The legislation, introduced by Speaker-designate Chris Sprowls, seeks to outlaw life, disability and long-term care insurers from denying policies or setting premiums based on markers that might be discovered through DNA home kits.

State and federal law already prevent insurance providers from using a person’s genetic information when deciding if and at what price to cover that consumer. The future speaker seeks to expand that ban to life, disability and long-term care insurers.

With hundreds of DNA kits growing in popularity, Sprowls says that insurers want to take the genetic information and weaponize it to use it to set rates and exclude someone from coverage.


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