Dan Sweeney Profile picture
Feb 27, 2018 81 tweets 19 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
OK, new thread! Greetings from the Senate Appropriations, where they're set to hear the school safety/mental health/gun access bill as well.
To clarify, the last absurdly long thread was House Appropriations. Now we're in Senate Approps. They'll do their version of the bill here, which is now unlike the House version in several significant ways, esp. after amendments in House Approps.
After this, both bills will head to the floor in either chamber.
Right now, they're debating HB 7055, a major education bill. They'll get to SB 7026, the gun bill soon. Right now, they're debating a requirement that "In God We Trust" be put in all schools.
Amendment passes. "In God We Trust" will be required to be displayed in all schools should this bill pass.
Excuse me, all public schools. Including charter schools. Does not apply to private schools.
Until the school safety bill comes up, tweets will be fairly intermittent as I attempt to do my job and write a story on what just happened at House Approps.
Before discussing bill that will allow teachers to carry firearms, Senate Appropriations considering a portion of a large education bill right now that would decertify their unions if less than 50% of members pay dues.
"It's an issue of legitimacy," says @dennisbaxley, saying that an organization purporting to represent workers ought to be supported by a majority of the workers.
The decertification bit was previously a part of HB 7055, but it was removed in an earlier committee, which helped guarantee passage. Now that it's passed that committee, the language is being re-inserted.
Amendment is adopted. Two people yell, "Shame!" @Rob_Bradley tells sergeant to eject whoever it was from the meeting, but they can't seem to find out who it was.
And here we go on SB 7026, the bill in response to #StonemanDouglas
The previous bill, HB 7055, was temporarily postponed.
.@BillGalvano explains bill will allow law enforcement to take guns from people who are a threat to themselves or others, also allows police to seize firearms when someone is involuntarily institutionalized under the Baker Act.
Also bans possession of firearms for people who have been found mentally incompetent by a court (current law only bans sales)
Also funding for school districts and charter schools to expand mental health programs, plus more school resource officers and school hardening funds. To the tune of about $400M.
Bill also bans bump fire stock sales. Significant change from House version, which also bans possession.
Bill also includes Marshal Program -- 132 hours of training, plus background and psychological exams, and teachers can carry firearms, but only if district superintendent and county sheriff are onboard. Also a significant change from House.
House amended its bill to require sheriffs to create program. Superintendent still has option of participating.
On to amendments! First up, @BillGalvano amendment regarding seizing of firearms under Baker Act. Bill allows police to take their firearms. Amendment says people can voluntarily surrender firearms not on their person, but if they don't give them up, police can take them.
Police however would need to show probably cause.
Amendment passes unanimously
Next up, @SenAudrey2eet amendment that closes the so-called "gunshow loophole," in which private sales are not subject to a background check.
Amendment is similar to a bill that never got a hearing. Would require private deals to get a third-party licensed firearm dealer to complete the transaction.
.@kellistargel points to part of amendment that would seem to indicate you violate the law if you loan someone a gun for more than 10 days. Gibson says amendment is about sales, not loans.
Amendment fails on a voice vote.
Next up, @SenAudrey2eet amendment that repeals state ban on firearms registry. Registration of firearms is a serious issue for @NRA, which sees it as a big leap toward confiscation.
.@SenAudrey2eet points out that a registry would guarantee that police know whether there are guns to confiscate under the new Baker Act and restraining order provisions of this bill.
Amendment fails.
Next up, @LindaStewartFL bill on #AssaultWeaponsBan and ban of high-capacity magazines. This is the third attempt at this by Democrats in two days. Failed at yesterday's Senate meeting and House meeting earlier today.
Sorry, Stewart amendment to bill, not Stewart bill.
"It is my hope that with the passage of this amendment, as senators ... we can be the authors of action," Stewart says. Lots of appearance forms, @Rob_Bradley says
Max Schachter first up to speak. His son Alex died in the #StonemanDouglas shooting.
Schachter spoke earlier at House Appropriations. Appears to be delivering the same testimony to Senate Appropriations.
"We owe it to these students, and you owe it to me and the other 16 families of Parkland," Schachter says. Wants to secure school perimeters, make sure bulletproofing and other school hardening measures are in place.
As Schachter leaves podium, @anitere_flores takes over as chair while @Rob_Bradley gets a glass of water, then goes over to talk to Schachter in the audience.
.@Rob_Bradley and Schachter step out with a few others for a private conversation as testimony continues.
By the way, here's my story on this morning's House Appropriations meeting: sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/…
Their version of this bill is now heading to the House floor. After Senate Approps approves its version (and it almost certainly will), it will move to Senate floor.
.@oscarjb2 says this legislation seems tailored to this incident, with its school hardening and mental health parts, but without #AssaultWeaponsBan it doesn't address shootings everywhere. "Are we just trying to react to this incident?" he ask.
"I'm excited to do something that will stop this incident from happening [again]," @oscarjb2 says. "I implore you to do something that will stop anyone from having to witness what these children had to witness."
.@LindaStewartFL closes on amendment. Much less testimony than previous attempts at #AssaultWeaponsBan
Amendment fails 12-8, all Democrats and @anitere_flores voted for it.
Next up is an amendment by @LindaStewartFL to ban possession of bump stocks. Bill bans sale -- and House version bans sale and possession -- so this would move bill closer to House version.
Amendment fails.
After a @BillGalvano amendment passes on probable cause for seizure of guns, we're at another @BillGalvano amendment, which moves school safety awareness program from Dept. of Education to Dept. of Legal Affairs under state attorney general.
Amendment passes. Next up: technical amendment that passes easily. Then an amendment by @oscarjb2 and @Book4Senate removing part of bill that allows some teachers to be armed.
Braynon says program will have "unintended consequence of putting children in harm's way."
Florida PTA and teachers union lobbyists all announce opposition to arming teachers.
"This is the last best option to keep the active shooter away from our children," says @PolkCoSheriff Grady Judd. "It's not something we want to do, it's something we have to do."

Program is based on Judd's Sentinel Program, which has armed teachers in Polk Co.
Sen. Montford says he's afraid schools unable to afford more school resource officers will have no choice but to arm teachers given the expectations of parents. Wants to know who pays for program. Do teachers get extra pay?
Montford also wants to know whether Judd would prefer school resource officers or teachers with guns. Judd says his county has about 160 schools without SROs, and it would cost $18M-$22M to place SROs in all schools every year.
Judd says in the event of a shooter at a school, the marshal program, "Will be a game changer. I promise."
Judd says that @FLGovScott plan to have at least one SRO per 1,000 students is "not sustainable." Costs are simply too great.

"Everyone will be glad the marshals are there to save our children," he says.
We're on an amendment to remove the marshal program from the bill. @DSimmonsFL now speaking about the influence of violent video games on mass shooters.
"Is there some way you can tell us your views on the prohibition of the sale and distribution of these repulsive violent videos to impressionable teens?" Simmons asks Judd.
"There's nothing more we would like than to get ahold of these horrible programs," Judd says about violent video games. "Unfortunately, they have a First Amendment right."
Judd's Sentinel Program includes a couple colleges in his county, not K-12 schools. @oscarjb2 asks if they've ever encountered shooters. Judd says they never have. (To be expected, worth noting -- mass shootings vanishingly rare, despite hype by my industry.)
"I urge you to listen to those students and not put more guns in the classroom," says @MichaelRajner in pointing out many #StonemanDouglas students are not in favor of this part of bill that is named after their school.
A #Parkland resident and teacher identifies herself as a Republican and a gun owner, says she is against arming teachers.
"I haven't heard someone who works in the school system day to day say yes, this is what we want," @Powell4Senate says. Adds he would support bill if this part were removed.
"We need more specificity" on when and how armed teachers can engage with students or trespassers on campus, @SenAudrey2eet says.
.@SenAudrey2eet says she does not want kids moved into the law enforcement system, cites the "school-to-prison pipeline"
.@kellistargel reminds committee that the program is entirely voluntary on both the district-wide and individual level. "I want my kids to be safe, I want my grandkids to be safe," she says. "One person against one person with a gun is not enough."
.@oscarjb2 closes by saying marshal program "will put kids in harm's way."
sounding very frustrated as he wraps up his close and amendment fails.
Last amendment, by @BillGalvano, appropriates $400M for the bill, including $200M recurring, $200M nonrecurring.
That's $100M recurring for mental health program, $500k for memorial at #StonemanDouglas, $15M in nonrecurring to replace Building 12 at #StonemanDouglas. ...
$500k recurring, $67M nonrecurring for marshal program ... Full details on spending is here:
No more testimony @Rob_Bradley says. Waiving in opposition or support only, as amendments are finally over and the committee is on the bill.
.@oscarjb2 asks that anyone from out of town be allowed to speak if they haven't already. @Rob_Bradley asks for a show of hands of anyone who fits the description. A slew of hands go up. Bradley apologizes but says, "We cannot accommodate that."
The out of towners include many from #Parkland. Parkland City Commissioner Grace Solomon asks to speak. @Rob_Bradley allows it.
Linda Seigel Shulman, whose son Scott Beigel was killed at #StonemanDouglas is speaking now. Wants the age limit that's in the bill, plus an #AssaultWeaponsBan and ban on large-capacity magazines that are not.
"From what I have read, I think I could support the bill if the marshal plan were taken out," Shulman says.
Shulman also wants a memorial to have a permanent place on campus at #StonemanDouglas
.@LindaStewartFL comes out against the bill in debate, says she hopes she can vote for it on the floor. Clearly wants to see assault weapons ban she supports put in.
The bill has been temporarily postponed as the committee moves back to amendments on HB 7055, a massive education bill. 20 minutes left in committee.
HB 7055, a 200-page education train, passes Senate Appropriations with no public input and little debate.
Back on SB 7026, the school safety/gun access bill. @BillGalvano now closing. "The reality is we should have acted this comprehensively long ago," he says.
Bill passes 12 or 13 to 7. I lost count there. But vote quite a bit closer than you'd think because some Democrats and Republicans voted no.
13-7. Pretty sure now. And that is it from the Senate Appropriations Committee. Thank you for reading along. I'm going to go have a drink and rest my poor typing fingers now.

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More from @Daniel_Sweeney

Mar 5, 2018
Greetings from the @FLSenate, where they'll be voting out their bill in response to the #StonemanDouglas shooting today. That's after a rare Saturday session to amend the bill.
My thread on the Saturday session, which -- fair warning -- is Tolstoy-esque in its length though not its prose, is here:
The Stoneman Douglas bill will not be voted on till the afternoon, so sit tight if you're curious about that vote. In the meantime, this morning they'll be taking up HB7055, the big education bill.
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