Legislative Update

Gun ban in government buildings and daycare centers, by Lori Berman. This one is so obvious, it’s hard to imagine how anyone who is sane could object:

There’s currently a list in the Florida Statutes of 15 places where you can’t bring a concealed weapon. A pair of state legislators would like to make that 17.

Last year, the legislature passed a law that would impose fines on counties and municipalities that tried to write up their own gun laws.

Officials in Palm Beach County and West Palm Beach governments have been freaking out over it — one saying a “catastrophe” could take place — and they’ve been taking all sorts of exotic measures to combat the law.

Now, State Rep. Lori Berman, a Delray Beach Democrat, has filed legislation to add government buildings and childcare facilities to the list of places you can’t bring a concealed weapon, saying it’s in the interest of “public safety.”

Business deregulation reprise. I’m having a hard time thinking of any single deregulation effort in my lifetime that helped make any situation better for the American people. I’m sure there are examples, but I don’t know of any. I do know of numerous examples of deregulation measures that were disastrous:

The House will likely take another run at a bill that would have deregulated several professions, including interior designers, Speaker Dean Cannon said Tuesday via the News Service of Florida. In a pre-session interview, Cannon said the House still regarded the measure as important and would try to work with the Senate to get the measure approved. “I think it reflects a basic Republican, conservative premise that government shouldn’t try to control anything unless it really needs to, and if the benefit of regulating something outweighs the cost and the potential unintended consequences,” Cannon said of the measure, which was voted down in the Senate during the chaotic final day of this year’s session.

-Improvement of Guide Dog Laws, by Rick Kriseman. Obviously I support this one.

Bipartisan legislation has been filed to revise the law related to service animals, providing more rights to Floridians with disabilities and to individuals who train guide dogs.

State Rep. Rick Kriseman (D-St. Petersburg) has filed House Bill 1077, which prohibits discrimination of guide dog owners as it relates to housing accommodations, allows for the use of guide dogs in public and private schools, and provides a punishment to those who knowingly and fraudulently represent themselves as the owner or trainer of a guide dog.

“Our current laws related to service animals and guide dogs are woefully inadequate and out of step with recently revised federal regulations. Passage of House Bill 1077 will give needed protections to our most vulnerable citizens and their beloved guide dogs,” said Representative Kriseman, who is the Florida House Democratic Policy Chair.

“The more exposure to real-world experiences the dogs get during their training, the better prepared they will be when given the responsibility of serving as someone’s eyes. By ensuring full access rights for the tireless trainers, these dogs will no doubt go on to become unflappable guides, leading their handlers to an independent life,” said Titus Herman, the CEO of Southeastern Guide Dogs, whose mission is to create and nurture a partnership between a visually impaired individual and a guide dog, facilitating life’s journey with mobility, independence and dignity.

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