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Senate passes shark fin sales ban — without ‘Baby Shark’ serenade

Baby shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo.

There are some lines senators won’t cross to win the votes for their most dear of bills.

For Sen. Travis Hutson, that line is apparently singing a global kids phenomena on the Senate floor.

The St. Augustine Republican’s “fin-tastic” bill (SB 680) would outlaw the sale and import and export of fins to or from Florida. That proposal swam through the committee process with unanimous support, but Miami Republican Sen. Anitere Flores gave Hutson an ultimatum — sing the “Baby Shark” song.

“Members, this is a very serious issue because it affects several people, including Baby Shark, Momma Shark and Daddy Shark,” she said. “I would say that if he does not do this in a musical rendition, then I would urge every single person in this chamber to vote against this bill.”

Sen. Bobby Powell too implored Hutson to serenade his colleagues.

“I’ve had an opportunity to read through the bill, and I’m trying to get a good grasp on it, and I also have a 17-month-old, so I would love to have the opportunity to support your piece of legislation today, but it would require you to go into the doot dit-doot di-doo,” the Riviera Beach Democrat said.

But Hutson, who may be saving his singing voice for his youngest child, born in January, risked beaching his bill on the Senate floor.

“I look forward to your favorable support, or kill it. I don’t care. I’m not singing,” he said.

In protest, Senators looked set to vote down the bill before the tide shifted — all except for Sen. George Gainer, who saved one zinger for the end.

“This is a profession I used to engage mildly in, but it doesn’t deal with the card sharks or loan sharks, and I just wondered why those were left out.”

The House companion bill (HB 401), sponsored by Democratic Coconut Creek Rep. Kristin Jacobs, is ready for a House vote.

Written By

Renzo Downey covers the Florida Legislature for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at renzo@floridapolitics.com and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.

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