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  • Writer's pictureSarasota NAACP

FSC NAACP Legislative Priorities for 2024

Dear Freedom Fighters, 

Florida legislators are back in Tallahassee for the 2024 Legislative Session, and they still appear incapable of addressing real issues that matter to people. Instead, of focusing on lowering property insurance rates, creating more affordable housing and expanding Medicaid, lawmakers want to ban Pride flags in public buildings, protect Confederate monuments, and obsess over what pronouns people use in private workspaces. 

The FL NAACP will show up to discuss the people's needs and to push back against draconian, suppressive measures, just as we always have. Here is a short list of some of our priorities for the 2024 session. 

Once again, the majority legislature is focused on suppressing our access to the ballot box and other measures that make free and fair elections more difficult to attain. We'll push back against SB 1752, that would prohibit most voters from using vote by mail ballots unless you're out of the country, ill or physically disabled. Supervisors of Elections are calling this measure unnecessary and foolish. 

We'll oppose SB 190, requiring a law enforcement officer to supervise all ballot boxes at all times. We don't need law enforcement officers at our polling places! And, HB 359, requiring counties to hand count ballots, delaying election results and opening the system to great potential for human error (intentional or not!).

We'll continue our fight to protect direct democracy, after all it is the People's government. We will oppose HJR 335, that proposes to raise the threshold for approving citizen initiatives to the Florida constitution from 60% needed to pass an initiative to 66.67%! We've fought off this provision before and we'll fight to do it again this year. 

There's some exciting news. FL NAACP joined with SPLC, ACLU FL, Florida Rising, Equal Ground and NAACP LDF to develop a state Voting Rights Act. Known as the Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore Voting Rights Act (SB 1522 and HB 1035). This measure repeals many of the recent suppressive voting laws enacted by the legislature and proposes measures that enhance and ensure a safe voting environment for all. 

We'll protect our children and our public education system. As the use of universal vouchers has increased, we still must ensure that public funds are used responsibly and transparently and that our public education system is well funded. We'll follow the education budget. We'll do everything we can to keep the restaurant industry from using our youth to save themselves. Unions fought hard to pass child labor laws to reduce the number of hours our teens work to provide a better opportunity for them to work and attend school. We'll fight hard against HB 49. We won't go back. 

Gun safety is paramount to keeping our community safe. HB 279 is a priority. Assault weapons should be banned! And, we'll support SB 130, banning guns from libraries, nursing homes, Houses of worship, zoos, public transportation, drug treatment centers, and other sensitive locations while opposing HB 17 that reduces the wait time for gun purchases. 

You know that our democracy is quickly slipping away. Everyday, I get the feeling we're rapidly moving towards a police state. Remember the election police, the state guard and the extensive authority they carry? Well, take a look at HB 747, creating a voluntary, auxiliary, unpaid law enforcement unit with statewide authority, SB 1092, increasing penalties for crimes against law enforcement officers, and HB 601, banning local governments from creating law enforcement review boards. It gets scary and we need to do something about it. 

These are just a few of the measures that we'll support and fight against in this legislative session. 

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