The Florida Legislative sessions got kicked off this week, and since this is Florida, there's no lack of fodder to get super riled up about and make loud angry noises and be an anonymous tough guy in the comments sections of blogs and on Twitter.
Lawmakers will look at and vote on about 2,000 bills and resolutions, with only about 300 bills winning final passage. From medical marijuana to a ban on plastic bags, there are plenty o' issues that affect you, Florida.
Here now are the NINE MOST IMPORTANT BILLS that will be voted on in the coming months:
9.) Bongs Ban: Ex-crackhead Rep. Darryl Rouson believes that The Pot is a gateway drug to things like The Crack. Therefore, he wants a ban on all bongs, glass bowls, roach clips, and other things that can be used as a marijuana smoking device, such as a two-liter bottle and duct tape (although, how these things can be policed is anyone's guess). This boils down to retail stores not being able to sell these items.
"If we can make people drive to Georgia and Alabama and South Carolina to get fireworks, they can drive to get these utensils of death," he recently told us.
The bill seeks a misdmeanor on first offenses and third-degree felonies after that.
Stop being... hold on... [bubbling noises]... Stop being such a buzzkill, D-Rous.
8.) Repeal of Death Penalty: As it stands, we here in Florida lead the nation in sending people to death row. And it's pretty darned wasteful, with at least one study estimating that the legal costs for inmates on death row add up to more than $20 million for every execution -- while life in prison is a fraction of that.
This bill specifically seeks to repeal the death penalty for capital felonies and to put a stop to putting to death inmates with mental retardation as well as deleting provisions relating to preservation of DNA evidence in death penalty cases.
7.) Ban on Texting and Driving: As it stands, Florida ain't got no restrictions or laws on texting and driving. And there is not one but several bills seeking to put the kibosh on that practice.
One bill seeks to make it a secondary offense if a cop has reason to believe you were texting and driving if he stopped you for a whole other moving violation altogether.
Another seeks to ban texting and driving PERIOD.
While still another wants to make it illegal for minors to have handheld devices of any kind while driving.
How authorities plan on enforcing any of these should they become law is anyone's guess. Unless you're caught by a traffic light camera typing LOL at someone's tweet, there's really no way a cop can prove you were texing while driving. lol
6.) HPV Vaccine Info: This one's important simply by virtue of not letting people make other people dumb with their stupid theories. No, vaccinations do not cause autism, and yes, people should always listen to learned doctors and not C-list celebrities who became famous for showing people their tits. Especially when their kids are involved.
This bill basically boils down to educating and informing parents on what exactly the Human Papillomavirus Vaccination is, why it's necessary, and what it helps prevent (cervical cancer, genital warts, and some less common cancers) in young people and to make sure the Jenny McCarthys of the world don't go around saying dumb shit like vaccines that can potentially save your child's life will turn them into a centaur.
5.) Medical Marijuana: It's simple. Allow patients with certain qualifying medical conditions to privately possess up to four ounces of marijuana and grow up to eight marijuana plants so they can ease the pain and suffering that mountains of expensive prescription pills fail to do. And basically putting a stop to cops raiding wheelchair-bound people's houses like they were Tony Fucking Montana.
4.) Assault Weapons Ban: Mmmmmm Florida loves them some guns. Hey, we're number one in concealed-weapons permits!
But this bill looks to basically put a stop to the manufacturing, importing, possessing, purchasing, selling, eating, sucking, fucking, slurping, dry-humping, licking, or transferring of any assault weapon or large-capacity magazine in Florida. It also includes background checks.
Yes, yes, we know. The Forefathers were thinking about high-powered weapons that can turn a fully grown male deer into apple sauce in 3.2 seconds when they wrote that stuff about being allowed to own a musket in case someone wanted to steal your farm. Pffft. Government interference, right??
3.) The Ban on All Abortions, No Exceptions: Basically, Good Ole Senate Bill Number Ten Oh Fiver Sixington will not allow you to get an abortion even if you were the victim of a rape, incest, or human trafficking. Oh, and any and all coverage afforded by the Affordable Care Act when it comes to abortion will be kaput if you were raped or got pregnant through incest, under this bill.
So try really, really hard not to get raped, ladies.
2.) LGBT Civil Rights: In Florida, it's perfectly cool for your boss to fire you if you are A Gay. Doesn't matter if you're really good at your job. You're just gaying up the company, and, well, that just won't do. So pack your things, Gay McGayington.
However, the Competitive Workforce Act bill will look to update Florida's Civil Rights Act of 1992 to include protections against discrimination for reasons of sexual orientation and gender identity.
1.) Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: A House committee got together and voted and recommended that Florida should not expand Medicaid coverage to roughly 1 million-plus residents under the Affordable Care Act, then drove off in their gold plated hovercrafts and went golfing with their personal doctors.
So we're not even sure this thing will be brought up again.
But Gov. Rick Scott, the once-biggest-rival-of-Medicaid-expansion-of-all-times wants this to happen. And, most important, the majority of Floridians want this to happen.
The numbers are there. Without Medicaid expansion, Florida hospitals could face a $53.3 billion increase in uncompensated care costs by 2019. The $53 billion in unpaid care costs would coincide with a total $14.1 billion in Medicaid reductions.
Enough with the Teabag Dipshit-palooza. Let's make this happen already, Legislature.
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