Published: Mon, March 05, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Florida House passes bill to combat opioid epidemic

Florida House passes bill to combat opioid epidemic

The Senate delayed considering the package until a rare Saturday session, and the House will stall until midweek.

Berman said she voted for the bill in committee, in part after hearing the support of teachers, parents, school board members and others.

The House approved toughening Florida's ban on texting-while-driving Thursday, but the effort has been detoured by the Senate.

"Holding a sitting on Saturday is the best option for both working within our existing rules and affording this legislation the serious time and consideration it deserves", Negron said in the memo.

The Senate is expected to take up the legislation on a final vote Monday.

Both the Florida Senate and House could vote Friday on wide-range bills that include increased school safety funding and programs, changes to the state's gun laws and increased mental health funding.

The lawmakers' response to the Parkland shooting, SB 7026, would arm some teachers, raise the age to purchase and possess an assault rifle in Florida from 18 to 21, and spend $400 million to strengthen school security and fund mental health counselors.

Scott opposes the plan, saying teachers should not be armed.

Cruz was transferred to a school with programs for emotionally and disabled students when he was in eighth grade but wanted to be mainstreamed back into his home school, Runcie said. But among Republicans, 54 percent want gun laws left alone or made less strict. Neither should Gov. Rick Scott, who opposes arming teachers.

Marion Hammer, a lobbyist for the National Rifle Association and Unified Sportsmen of Florida, told the House Appropriations Committee that she supports hardening schools and keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill, but couldn't support the bill because of the new restrictions on gun ownership. Holmes of Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Tallahassee.

Commissioners voted to ask the county attorney to explore possible gun measures they could enact, to hire an independent agency to investigate the shooting and to create a task force to review the actions of agencies that responded to the shooting. "That decision is downright wrong".

Meanwhile, Democrats are demanding the purchase of weapons, including AR-15 assault-style rifle, to be prohibited. They also have to "successfully complete at least 12 hours of a certified nationally recognized diversity training program".

"Floridians must come first".

The upcoming votes on the school safety packages has put many lawmakers, especially conservatives who have spent their political careers protecting gun rights, in a hard position.

The measure is meant to respond to the February 14 Parkland shootings but is firmly opposed by the gun lobby because it raises the age from 18 to 21 to buy any gun and imposes a three-day waiting period on all gun purchases.

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