Yesterday Tina, Hollywood, Rosalee Carolyn/wareagle and I attended the second hearing of SB968 by the Criminal Justice Committee.
Tina had contacted Senator Villalobos (I believe) office prior to the meeting to be told that the changes to the bill we had been promised were not made. That there was not time to do so and to do so would kill the bill. We also heard that any references to jail time or criminalizing any sanctions against somebody who seriously injured or killed a motorcyclists would also kill the bill.
During the meeting when the bill came up it was held back till the end of the meeting as, based on the speakers cards presented (from the folk above)
and the ABATE lobbyist who was also in attendance, there was thought that the discussion might be long. That was fortunate as it gave us a chance to here the number of late filed bills that were presented and the criminal charges that were passed for bills of a less serious nature, i.e. Did not involve serious injury or death. Causing some of us to wonder about the the sincerity of what we were being told.
When the bill did come around. Carolyn and I had an opportunity to speak out about concerns re: "lack of any teeth" in this bill.
The ABATE of Florida representative spoke in support of the bill.
Debate on the bill was stopped once again and we thought it was over. However they brought it up again approx. 10 mins. prior end of the meeting.
The chair was reminded that the meeting would end at 6:00 sharp and we were then told how if the bill does not pass that meeting it was dead. By the time the floor was opened back up to speakers there was only 3 minutes left and the remaining speakers chose not to be limited by the time and passed.
Upon leaving the committee room we ran into a person who suggested we speak with Representative Evers (sponsor of the house version of the bill Hb1161) who was still in his office. Those of us remaining went to his office and expressed our concerns.
Representative Evers respectfully listened and provided us info on how the legislature can work at times.
We offered Representative an alternative amendment written referencing current state law as per the traffic code including stiffer penalties "already in Florida law" for traffic infractions that "do not" result in serious injury and/or death.
A big Thanks to those who suited up and showed up. And thanks also to those who are working behind the scenes.
A subsequent posting will be be made expressing further thoughts on how the Legislature is currently working.Add to Technorati Favorites