State Senator Linda Stewart (D-Orlando) presented and passed SB 944 Land Acquisition Trust Fund through its first committee. [Read more…] about Senator Linda Stewart Favorably Passes Land Acquisition Trust Fund Through First Committee
State Senator Linda Stewart
State Senator Linda Stewart (D-Orlando) and Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings will hold a news conference to announce the launch of Project Lifesaver, a search and rescue program for persons prone to wandering or eloping due to a cognitive disorder. [Read more…] about Senator Stewart, Sheriff Demings to Unveil Cutting-Edge Locating Technology for Missing Persons
Alarmed by evidence of policy violations involving a probe into ineligible concealed weapons permits, and the recent admission of erroneous statements left unchanged for more than a year by Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam’s top watchdog, state Senator Linda Stewart on Monday requested an independent investigation by Florida’s Chief Inspector General.
State Senator Linda Stewart made good on a promise she made to the families, victims and survivors of the shooting at Pulse nightclub by refiling a gun safety bill that would ban the sale of civilian versions of military assault weapons and the high capacity magazines that make them so lethal.
Senator Stewart will unveil the proposed legislation at a news conference at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, October 4 at the Orange County Courthouse. SB 196 is designed to be a bill that would ensure the 49 souls lost in the massacre 16 months ago were not in vain, but instead are a call to action.
“Americans woke up Monday morning to news of another tragic mass shooting—this time in Las Vegas,” said Senator Stewart. “We have a responsibility to act. There is no legitimate reason whatsoever to own these weapons of mass murder. We’re not taking anybody’s guns away and we’re not infringing on anybody’s right to hunt or to protect themselves. We need to start getting control of the things we can by enacting commonsense laws to help prevent what happened at Las Vegas Strip and at Pulse nightclub from being repeated.”
SB 196 is intended to prevent weapons specifically designed to deliver high rates of lethal gunfire without the need to pause and reload from falling into the hands of people such as the shooter who carried out the Pulse nightclub attack. The ban would not apply to guns already purchased in Florida.
Senator Stewart added: “The senseless killings of Americans cannot become the norm for our country, nor should the easy sale of guns designed for maximum damage. Our Founding Fathers could never have conceived of today’s modern assault weapons. Military-style weapons belong on the battlefield, not in general use. Every American should be able to enjoy public spaces without being intimidated by the possibility of being mowed down by a man with a grudge.”
A companion bill has been filed in the Florida House of Representatives by Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – State Senator Linda Stewart (D-Orlando) on Wednesday succeeded in passing Senate Bill 1304 in the Committee on Environmental Preservation and Conservation to protect Florida black bears and preserve their habitat and food sources.
“At a time when Florida’s native black bears are facing increased pressure on their habitat their food sources, it is our obligation to ensure the preservation of this iconic species as well as the safety of our neighborhoods,” said Stewart.
Senate Bill 1304, also referred to as the Florida Black Bear Habitat Restoration Act, prohibits the hunting of bears mothering young cubs under 100 pounds, prevents the unlawful harvesting on state lands of berries that supply bear diets, and prevents controlled burns from being conducted on lands identified as habitats during the February month of denning.
“This is a great success for everybody who has been championing the preservation of Florida’s only native bear species,” said Stewart. “I am committed to continuing the progress we’ve made on this issue.”
Senate Bill 1304 is a companion bill to House Bill 491, which has been introduced in the Florida House of Representatives by Rep. Amy Mercado (D-Orlando).
State Senator Linda Stewart (D-Orlando), House Democratic Leader Janet Cruz (D-Tampa) and Representative Lori Berman (D-Lantana) today filed Senate Bill 410 and House Bill 319, jointly named the Helen Gordon Davis Fair Pay Act, aimed at closing the gender pay gap in Florida.
The bills seek to close the pervasive gender pay gap by updating and clarifying Florida’s current law to ban employers from paying workers differently based on sex or gender identity. On average, women in Florida take home only 87 cents for every dollar earned by men.
“It is unconscionable that in America today women continue to be paid less for the same amount of work as men,” declared House Democratic Leader Janet Cruz. “Our nation was founded on the ideal that all of us are created equal and that ought to hold in all facets of our lives. Paying people fairly for the work they do shouldn’t depend on their gender, but rather on the quality of their work.”
Additionally, SB 410 and HB 319 delineates which reasons employers can use to pay employees differently – things like education, skill-set, and experience. By clarifying these reasons, employers can avoid costly litigation and be clear about which attributes are valued. Moreover, the bills would prohibit “mommy tracking,” ensuring that women (and men) are not forced into lower tracks of employment based on assumptions. It would bar employers from inquiring about or screening employees based on their prior salary history – a practice we know can introduce unintended discrimination into the hiring process. It would also increase civil penalties for a violation, thus motivating employers to do the right thing.
“I’m honored to be a part of this fight. Reducing an entire group of Floridians take home pay not only hurts their families, but it hurts Florida’s economy as a whole. Those groups most affected by this – the single mother; a family stricken by illness or unemployment or tragedy that relies on a female breadwinner; those Floridians whose gender identity isn’t even recognized anywhere in our state laws; they deserve policies and protections that reflect the reality of their everyday existence. That’s why we need this bill. That’s why we were elected to serve,” proclaimed Senator Linda Stewart.
Efforts to close the gender pay gap are both popular and necessary. Despite having federal legislation on the books since 1963, the gender wage gap persists. According to the The American Association of University Women (AAUW) of Florida, over a lifetime of work (47 years), the total estimated loss of earnings of women compared with men is $700,000 for a high school graduate, $1.2 million for a college graduate and $2 million for a professional school graduate.
“I am proud and honored to file this legislation along with Senator Stewart and Democratic Leader Cruz. Leader Cruz has championed this bill for 5 years and I have always supported her efforts. While I feel this legislation should be unnecessary, the reality is that in 2017 women are still not earning the same pay as men in the same position. Paying women equally is good for the economy and good for business. It is simply a no-brainer and I invite my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to write this into statute once and for all,” said Representative Lori Berman.
On Tuesday, January 24th, 2017 at 11:30am in front of the Senate Chambers, all three Members will be hosting a press conference announcing this legislation. They invite their colleagues to join them.