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Every horrible bill proposed by DeSantis's Florida GOP this year
Homophobes, racists, billionaires, and white nationalists rejoice?
Welcome to a Tuesday evening edition of Progress Report.
Did you hear the big news? The Florida legislature is now in session, and according to the New York Times, that means Ron DeSantis has a chance to check off some of the items on his wish list. In fact, as Politico tells it, the Florida GOP is already primed to hand Ron DeSantis some legislative wins ahead of his 2024 presidential campaign.
Pay no attention to the fact that the wish list is filled with some of the most barbaric, dangerous, corrupt, and needlessly cruel laws since at least the 1960s. When they pass, they’ll still count as wins for ghost presidential candidate Ron DeSantis, which according to the unredeemable Beltway media is all that really matters.
To make up for that industry failure, I’ve been working some activists friends in Florida to keep the heat on the Republican fascists by breaking news, putting up big billboards, pulling off very public stunts, and providing mutual aid to those in need.
Tonight, we’re launching a new newsletter called SWORD, which will provide very frequent news stories and investigations into GOP corruption, cruelty, and the impact it’s all having on families across Florida. We’ll be using the money we raise from the newsletter to help fund our activity, all of which is focused on stopping DeSantis’s march of cruelty all the way to the White House.
SWORD’s first post is a list of all the terrible bills that DeSantis and the state GOP have introduced and indicated support for this legislative session. The entire thing is listed below, as well, to reach maximum eyeballs
by Thomas Kennedy
The Florida Legislature, a body controlled by Republicans for over two decades, has ceased to function as an independent body and instead serves as a rubber stamp for Ron DeSantis. The result of this one party rule now completely steered by the whims of a single right wing fanatic is a slew of unhinged fascist legislation that targets vulnerable communities, diminishes our freedoms and serves special interest groups at the expense of working people.
The barrage of bills filed by Florida Republicans is hard to believe, so I will list them below, one by one, so that you can soak in their rancidity and get working to spread the word.
HB 1/SB 202: The Defund Public Schools Act
This proposal is designed to continue the defunding of Florida public schools and transfer over $4 BILLION of that funding to unaccountable private charter schools through a voucher program. At a recent committee hearing for the bill, they cut public comment to just one minute in an effort to stifle criticism. If you’re curious as to how poorly this will inevitably go, just look to Arizona.
SB 102: The Landlord Protection Act
Despite out-of-control housing costs that have resulted in some of the most expensive property markets in the country, Florida Republicans want to take away local government ability to enact rent control during states of emergency. This bill would also silence the voices of 59 percent of Orange County residents, who in 2022 voted to enact a rent stabilization ordinance due to skyrocketing rental prices.
SB 170: The Corporations Over People Act
In a transparent giveaway to wealthy special interest groups, this bill allows for-profit corporations to sue local governments for passing local laws that serve the needs of their communities.
This bill would permit any private business to sue local governments for damages if the courts deem a new or amended local ordinance to be “arbitrary or unreasonable.” It even allows for local ordinances to be automatically suspended upon initiation of a lawsuit.
Basically, deep-pocketed corporations could use litigation to delay the effect of local ordinances by tying them up in court. Similar legislation failed last after intense outcry from the public.
HB 991: The Conservative Snowflake Baby Act
In a truly snowflake move, Florida Republicans want to create safe spaces for themselves by basically fining you $35,000 if you call them racist or accuse them of discrimination.
HB1011: The Homophobic Virtue Signaling Act
As Floridians are getting evicted and face a crumbling property insurance market, GOP State Rep. David Borrero decided to use one of his seven available bill slots for an idiotic bill meant to ban pride flags from being flown on public buildings.
SB 1126: The Let Cops Murder Without Accountability Act
Keeping to their theme of undermining the First Amendment, this bill would basically prohibit people from filming police officers by forcing you to be at least 30 feet away if you want to film.
SB 6B: The Let Ron DeSantis Kidnap Migrants Act
After facing a national outcry when transporting 50 migrants, along with their children, to Martha’s Vineyard under false pretenses and who were given wrong information meant to sabotage their asylum cases, DeSantis decided to double down.
The Florida Legislature approved $10 million to continue the plan and retroactively amended previous language in other bills that prohibited DeSantis from using Florida tax dollars to transport undocumented people from other states to other states. It also gave him retroactive approval for the flights, which were conducted after no-bid contracts were given out to GOP donors.
HB 999: The Right-Wing Loser University Act
Cementing attacks on higher education institutions meant to turn them into compliant right wing puritans and wimps, this bill would enact the most draconian and censorious restrictions on higher education in the history of the United States.
It would ban majors and minors in gender studies and allow trustees, who are often unqualified political appointees, to call for a post-tenure review of any faculty member at any time. Aaculty hiring is now in the hands of those trustees as well.
SB 1240: The Let Floridians Choke Act
This is another unhinged preemption bill that would ban local governments from adopting “laws, regulations, rules, or policies” having to do with water quality or quantity, pollution control, and wetlands. Another obvious giveaway to special interest groups that don’t want local anti-pollution ordinances to impact their profit margins.
SB 1238: The Let Hurricanes to Destroy Florida Act
In yet another giveaway to special interest groups at the expense of the environment, this bill puts restrictions on how state agencies can “regulate greenhouse gas emissions for the purpose of addressing changes in atmospheric temperature,” and preempts local governments from requiring use of energy saving materials in construction.
HB1233: The Don’t Say Gay Even Around Teenagers Act
This is an expansion of Florida’s already infamous Don’t Say Gay bill. It would censor LGBTQ topics through 8th grade and includes charter schools along with the public school system. It also establishes government regulation of pronouns.
SB 1248: The One Party State Act
Probably one of the dumbest bills filed this legislative session, it would abolish the Florida Democratic Party due to its past support of slavery in the 1800’s. It’s a wildly unconstitutional proposal that its sponsor even admits is just a troll, which is to say another dumb performative stunt that does zero to help Floridians dealing with out of control housing costs.
SB256: The Destroy Worker Rights Act
The same asshole that filed the bill to abolish the Florida Democratic Party also filed this union-busting bill that would decertify public sector unions with less than 60% membership while also making automatic dues deduction illegal for public sector unions.
Of course, police and corrections officers’ unions are exempt.
It’s meant to undermine workers' ability to collectively bargain and fight for better wages and benefits — sort of a “right to work” for the direct deposit age.
SB 494: The Bleed Renters Dry Act
This proposal is backed by out-of-state companies that want Florida lawmakers to allow them to charge perpetual, limitless junk fees on tenants who can’t come up with cash to pay security deposits when moving into a new apartment.
It also guts security deposit protections in Florida. The aim is to squeeze every last cent out of low-income renters before landlords get to evict them.
SB 1316: The First Amendment Repeal Act
This bill is so bad, it’s making people feel actual sympathy for bloggers.
Introduced by Jason Brodeur — who was elected through an electoral fraud scheme involving ghost candidates funded by Florida Power & Light, which also funds astroturf news sites — it would require bloggers who write about Ron DeSantis and other members of the state government to register with the state or face fines.
It has been noted that this law appears to have been modeled after laws passed by the authoritarian governments of both Russia and Hungary.
SB 1320: The Big Government Sex-Ed Act
If this passes, Florida's elected school board members would no longer be able to approve materials that are used to teach sex ed to public school students. It would also further limit lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity, and would not allow school staff to ask students what their preferred pronouns are.
SB 1438: The Beta Man Drag Panic Act
This is the Florida GOP attempting to ban drag queen shows by seeking to revoke licenses of establishments that admit a child to so-called "adult live performances."
What does that mean? The real question is what doesn’t it mean. The language is very broad, and the punishment any violation carries is a misdemeanor of the first degree.
SB 1674: The GOP Genital Obsession Act
This bill would make it a second degree misdemeanor for a trans person to not leave a bathroom of their self-identified gender when asked by someone. More anti-trans bigotry funded by our tax dollars.
SB 254: The Eradicate Transgender Kids Act
Probably the most extreme, anti-trans proposal that has been filed so far, it would criminalize parents and health care providers that give gender affirming care to trans youth. It would allow the government to seize control of kids if their parents might seek the care that is supported by all major medical organizations, including from families where the child in question may reside outside of Florida.
HB 543: The Get More People Murdered Act
This is one of Ron DeSantis priority bills for this legislative session. It would establish permitless carry in Florida and abolish all training and safety requirements to carry a gun in Florida. States that passed permitless carry saw a 22% increase in gun homicide in the three years after passage. When Arizona repealed its concealed carry requirement in 2010, there was an 11% increase in gun injuries and deaths.
HB 1543: The More Guns for Young People Act
As the United States continues to grapple with gun violence, this bill would slash gun safety regulations established after the Parkland shooting by lowering the age to buy a rifle from 21 to 18.
SB 1718: Terrorize Innocent Immigrants & Tank the Economy Act
Ron DeSantis pushed Republican lawmakers to propose what would be perhaps the most anti-immigrant legislation filed at the state level ever. It makes it a third degree felony to drive or house an undocumented immigrant; blocks undocumented people from practicing law in Florida; and prohibits local funding of community identification programs, which allow those who can’t get a driver's license or state level ID card to access municipal level identification cards.
Oh, and that’s not it: The bill also expands E-verify to make it harder for immigrants to work and small businesses to hire, and violates HIPPA by mandating healthcare providers to disclose patients’ immigration status. Undocumented Floridians pay more in taxes than Ron DeSantis billionaire donors.
SB 300: The Six-Week Abortion Ban
Ron DeSantis spent the better part of last year running away whenever asked if he supported more abortion restrictions after signing into law a 15 week abortion ban. As advocates warned would happen, Florida Republicans have now filed a six-week abortion ban, because we have in Tallahassee a bunch of extremist right wing theocrats who want to impose their way of life on the rest of us.
If you are pissed off after reading this and want to participate in some sort of peaceful demonstration in the Florida State capitol, just beware, it’s fascist even inside that the Department of Management Services, which oversees state facilities, is now requiring at the behest of the DeSantis administration that events held in the Capitol “align” with its mission.
Meaning that if you want to hold an event in the Capitol critical of DeSantis and Florida GOP policies, good luck with that.
It’s fascism folks, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Thomas Kennedy is an elected Democratic National Committee member from Florida. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram at @tomaskenn
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