Capitol Report – March 6, 2020

We completed the eighth week of the 2020 Legislative Session.  However, next week is not expected to be the last week.  The Legislature has been at an impasse on big policy issues and appropriation allocations.  The impasse will add some extra time before the session actually ends… hopefully, hours and not days.
Joining the lobbying team this week were President John Kazanjian, Palm Beach PBA Vice President Rick McAffee, Palm Beach PBA Treasurer Lou Penque, Palm Beach PBA member Ray Griffith, Senior Vice President Mick McHale, Vice President Jim Baiardi, Vice President William Smith, PBA Lobbyist Gary Bradford, PBA Lobbyist Ken Kopczynski, General Counsel Stephanie Webster, and me.
Here’s where everything “still in play” stands as of today which is subject to change one hour from now and then change again.
Pay Raises for Florida PBA’s State Bargaining Units:
Budget conference is finally beginning which means the issue of pay raises can be settled.  Both chambers have pay raises in their respective budget proposals.  The Senate’s plan is far more generous to all of our bargaining units and we have advocated for the Senate plan since it was released.  The joint agreement should come into focus over the next several days.  We will keep our bargaining unit members posted as developments unfold.
Peer to Peer Legislation:
We are working with a large coalition of law enforcement, corrections and firefighting organizations to create Florida’s first ever “Peer to Peer” support legislation to assist first responders’ with mental health needs.  This legislation will provide properly trained peer support in conjunction with other agency resources such as the Employee Assistance Program.
SB 160 by Senator Keith Perry & Representative Joseph Casello (HB 573) are our sponsors.
The bills are not identical which means compromise amendments if anything is to pass.  HB 573 is on the House Special Order Calendar this evening.  SB 160 is on the Senate Special Order Calendar for Monday.
SB 7012 creating a task force to examine first responder suicides passed the Senate yesterday which places it in House Messages.  We are waiting for the House to take action.
If you are experiencing signs of depression, or if you are struggling a mental health issue please visit
Law Enforcement and Correctional Officers Bill of Rights:
The Senate Bill (SB 884) has been placed on the Senate Calendar for Third Reading.  The House Bill (HB 453) is available to receive the Senate Bill on the House floor.
The legislation will include part-time officers into the Law Enforcement Officers and Correctional Officers Bill of Rights, specifies complaints must be investigated within 180 days of receipt regardless of origin, and the small agencies of 35 or less can seek an outside agency to conduct an investigation.
Our sponsors for this legislation are Representative Wymann Duggan (HB 453) and Senator Ed Hooper (SB 884).
Until next time, please stay safe and may God bless you.

Matt Puckett
Executive Director

*Exclusive sponsor of the Florida PBA’s Capitol Report.  The opinions expressed and positions articulated on legislative and regulatory matters are those of the Florida PBA and not those of the Lincoln Financial Group.