The Senate Democratic Caucus on Wednesday released the following statement on the governor’s signing of Florida’s record $101.5 billion budget: [Read more…] about Senate Democrats’ Statement on Florida’s Budget Signing
Senate Democratic Caucus
Caucus promises to attach their gun safety amendments to any viable legislation
The Senate Democratic Caucus on Wednesday unanimously agreed to push for an assault weapons ban, and vowed that they would seek to attach their gun safety amendments to any viable legislation as the 2018 legislative session hurtles to an end.
“The one single thing each and every one of these killings had in common was access to and possession of an assault rifle, a military weapon of war that has been repeatedly turned on our own children and citizens,” said Senate Democratic Leader Oscar Braynon (D-Miami Gardens), adding that the majority of mass shootings involving assault rifles were committed by individuals over the age of 21, and not every perpetrator was officially classified as mentally ill.
“So long as assault rifles like the AR-15 are legally sold in this state, so long as they are not banned, their threat to civilians will remain in every school, every mall, every movie theater, every nightclub, and in every place the public gathers.”
The gun safety measures filed by Democrats, including SB 196, a ban on assault weapons, have been bottled up in the committee process while pro-gun measures have been moving through the Senate. This week was the first time pro-gun bills were pulled from consideration, one week after the massacre at Stoneman Douglas High School.
With no guarantee that these controversial measures will remain off the table, Senate Democrats said that they are ready to file their assault weapons ban and other gun safety bills as amendments should they reappear.
These amendments include:
- SB 196 Assault Weapons Ban
- SB 218 Trigger Locks
- SB 838 Sale & Delivery Through Licensed Dealer
- SB 456 Bump Stock Ban
- SB 1476 Firearms Registry
- SB 400 Mental Health Screening
- SB 530 Risk Protection Order
The 2018 legislative session is scheduled to conclude on March 9th, 2018.
Led by Senate Democratic Leader Oscar Braynon (D-Miami Gardens), united members of the Senate Democratic Caucus on Friday called on Governor Rick Scott to veto HB 7069.
“Signing this bill signals immediate financial peril for our public school system in Florida, and endangers the future of public education in our state,” said Leader Braynon. “We call on the governor to exercise his authority and stop it in its tracks.”
On Thursday, Senate Democrats attempted multiple amendments to restore critical funding to the K-12 system by rerouting state dollars committed to the controversial charter school plan pushed by the House Speaker. While future promises have been made to correct a multitude of problems expected to arise from HB 7069 should it become law, Democrats argue that the better, more pragmatic approach is to preempt them through a veto.
“Aside from the financial dangers, the fatal flaw in this legislation is that it was hatched in secrecy, and never subjected to vetting by the full legislature prior to its narrow passage,” said Leader Braynon. “Even the governor recognized this critical defect, and chastised those who participated in its creation. Propping up for-profit charter companies violates every tenet of our duty to the constitutional requirement of a quality public education for all children, and walks away from the oath we took to ensure its success. We owe no such duty to charter school management corporations.”
As the special session nears its end, Leader Braynon and the Democratic Caucus urged the governor to reexamine the need for such rushed legislation and quash the clandestine measure before the damage is done.
“Dropping this 278-page rewrite of Florida’s K-12 education on the last day of the 2017 session violated every promise of transparency and accountability made by those we task with governing,” said Leader Braynon. “We call on the governor to do what multitudes of parents, educators, school superintendents, and lawmakers are all looking to him to do: Veto HB 7069.”
Famed former Los Angeles Lakers basketball star Earvin “Magic” Johnson Jr. will join Senate Democratic Leader Oscar Braynon II and members of the Senate Democratic Caucus on Monday. The meeting will be held at 9 am, March 13, 2017, in the Senate Democratic Caucus Conference Room, Room 200, SOB.