Senators begin filing general bills for 2018 Session - Florida Politics

Senators begin filing general bills for 2018 Session

State senators on Wednesday filed the first tranche of general bills for the 2018 Legislative Session, with an assortment of new ideas and old stand-bys.

The old: Sen. Lauren Book, a Broward County Democrat and mother of twins, filed for the second year legislation to exempt diapers from the state’s 6 percent sales tax. An effort this year, which included baby wipes, died in committee.

Sen. Jeff Clemens, a Lake Worth Democrat, filed the “Florida Competitive Workforce Act,” a measure that aims to expand legal protections against “sexual orientation and gender identity” discrimination. A version of the bill has been filed for nearly a decade.

The new: Sen. Greg Steube, a Sarasota Republican, introduced a bill that would create a legal right to sue by concealed weapon license-holders who weren’t allowed to take their gun into a place of business and then were injured “as the result of an unlawful or reckless act by another person, or an attack by a vicious or wild animal.”

And Sen. Dorothy Hukill, a Port Orange Republican, filed legislation to create a third-degree felony of “animal hoarding.” It’s defined as “keeping a large number of companion animals in overcrowded conditions” and “failing to provide such animals with minimal standards of nutrition, sanitation, shelter, and medical care.”

In all, 36 bills had been filed by midday Wednesday, according to the Florida Senate websiteSession begins Jan. 9, with the first committee week this Sept. 12-15.

Jim Rosica covers state government from Tallahassee for Florida Politics. He previously was the Tampa Tribune’s statehouse reporter. Before that, he covered three legislative sessions in Florida for The Associated Press. Jim graduated from law school in 2009 after spending nearly a decade covering courts for the Tallahassee Democrat, including reporting on the 2000 presidential recount. He can be reached at jim@floridapolitics.com.

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