Update: Public Notice Bills, 2021 Session, Week 7.

Here are the bills we are following and their status:

Senate Bill 402:

The amended bill passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 22 and the Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice on April 16. Thereafter, FPA staff and other parties worked through the weekend to reach a compromise with the sponsor, and the compromise language appeared in a strike-all amendment Sunday evening. It was heard by the full Appropriations Committee on Monday, April 19, and after testimony from publishers and FPA staff in support, the bill passed unanimously, and now heads to the Senate floor.

The new language is summarized in recent communications to members from FPA staff.  We will keep membership apprised of new developments as the bill proceeds forward for a floor vote, probably next week, the last week of session. If passed by the Senate, the bill would likely then be sent to the House, which may adopt the Senate language, change it and send it back, or again send their own language.

House Bill 35: 

Filed by Rep. Randy Fine (R. Palm Bay), the bill is similar to those he filed the last two sessions (both of which passed the House but failed in the Senate), and, again, would end newspaper notice in favor of notice on government websites.

The bill passed out of the House Floor on March 18 with a vote of 85-34, largely along party lines. Here is the link to the vote tally: https://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/floorvote.aspx?VoteId=19909&BillId=69988&SessionId=90&.  The bill has been sent to the Senate for consideration but it has not been taken up.   We will continue to follow the bill and similar language that might appear on the Senate side until session ends. If there is any sign of movement, we will be back in touch to continue opposition efforts.

Reaching Out to Legislators

In a separate email to members, we will be sending suggestions on reaching out to your House members and the best messaging for that, as well as a short summary of what the Senate bill contains.

For more information about any of these items, please call Jim Fogler at 321.283.5277 or Sam Morley at 321.283.5353, or email at jfogler@mediagenius.com or smorley@flpress.com.