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Local lawmakers discuss passing of HB1 and other bills making their way through the legislature

Posted at 9:55 AM, Apr 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-18 09:55:59-04

Florida lawmakers passed House Bill 1 this week, sending it to Governor Ron DeSantis to be signed into law. The controversial "anti-riot" bill strengthens penalties against rioters, turning misdemeanors into felonies. It also better protects police from budget cuts and opens cities up to liability for poor riot control.

Speaking to Michael Williams on To The Point, democratic State Senator Tina Polsky of Boca Raton said she believes the definition of the word riot are too board in the bill.

Local lawmakers discuss passing of HB1 and other bills making their way through the legislature

"There is no issue with arresting people who are violent but the laws already exist for that," said Polsky. "I just think this bill is unnecessary and dangerous to peaceful protesters."

Republican Representative Dana Trabulsy disagreed.

"We are not criminalizing protests, we are supporting protests, peaceful protests and that is the bottom line," said Trabulsy.

Governor DeSantis is expected to sign the bill and if he does it immediately becomes law.

Political round table discussion

Both lawmakers also discussed the Bright Futures bill. The senate bill would make funding for the Bright Futures program dependent on the funding available from the state budget.

"I believe that we can't just depend on Bright Futures as we are looking into jobs of the future," said Trabulsy. "We have to look at other avenues for our students and young adults, one being the skilled trades initiative."

"Parents who are trying to plan or students who are trying to plan their education for a four year period of time want to know if I accept this offer that I'm going to be fully financed for four years and no one can guarantee that and that is the problem with the bill at the moment," Polsky said.

Currently, the house and senate do not have companion bills on the Bright Futures program.

The Florida legislative session ends on April 30.

Closing comments with Mary Anna Mancuso and Brian Crowley

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