Welcome to The Children’s Campaign’s new streamlined Legislative Connection. Below you will find highlights of the latest actions on targeted bills and information on where these bills are headed this week, as available.
Action this week:
SB 386 – Expunction of Juvenile Records was read a second time and placed on the calendar for third reading. The bill will be heard on January 28th. Contact your Senator and ask them to vote in support of this bill that keeps youthful mistakes from damaging a child’s future.
A bill that removes the ability to charge a child under 18 with prostitution, HB 545 – Sex Trafficking, passed unanimously through the Judiciary Committee. The bill has been placed on the calendar for second reading.
Companion bill to HB 545, SB 784 – Sex Trafficking is scheduled to be heard on January 25th in the Senate Criminal Justice Committee at 1:00pm in room 37 S. The bill contains the removal of coercion from the definition of sex trafficking, language that was amended from HB 545. An amendment has been filed to fix that issue. Contact your Senator and ask them to support SB 784 once the changes removing coercion from the definition are reversed.
SB 590 – Adoption unanimously passed the Senate Fiscal Policy Committee, the last of its committees of reference, and is on its way to the Senate Floor. An amendment was adopted that changed existing language to match the House version. The bill passed with much support from Senator Flores (R-Miami) who said, “This is something that that will take children and families light years from where they are now.” The bill has been placed on the special order calendar on January 28th. Contact your senator and encourage them to support this good bill.
HB 599 – Child Welfare passed the Children, Families & Seniors Subcommittee after a strike-all amendment was adopted. The bill creates a continuum of care that would attempt to reduce the number of placements, keep children in a family-like setting whenever possible, and reduce the number of out-of-home placements. The bill is a well-intentioned massive change to child welfare that has the potential to also have negative unintended consequences.
HB 943 – Early Steps unanimously passed the Health Quality Subcommittee. The adopted strike-all amendment included adding informed clinical opinion to the eligibility determination and enhancing family and caregiver competence to the reason the Early Steps program was established. Its next stop will be the Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee.
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