Florida House Passes Bills Expanding Censorship and Government Control Agenda


Florida House Passes Bills Expanding Censorship and Government Control Agenda

Tallahassee, FL — Today, the Florida House passed three bills that continue to expand an agenda of extreme censorship and government intrusion and overreach by the Republican-controlled legislature.

Now the Florida Senate will decide the fate of the Trans Erasure Bill (HB 1639), the Stop WOKE Teacher Training Bill (HB 1291), and the Preemption of Employment Protections Bill (HB 433).

The Trans Erasure Bill, which imposes sweeping anti-LGBTQ mandates on private insurance companies and bans transgender Floridians from accessing accurate driver's licenses and IDs, passed by a 75-33 vote despite bipartisan votes in opposition. The vote comes on the heels of hundreds of transgender Floridians gathering at the Florida Capitol this week to deliver the simple message “Let Us Live”.

“Floridians are tired of this cruel culture war obsession that was ginned up to serve DeSantis’s failed presidential bid,” said Joe Saunders, Equality Florida's Senior Political Director. “It’s time to focus on solving problems rather than creating new ones that future legislatures will eventually have to clean up.”

The sweeping new anti-LGBTQ government mandates on private insurers in the state are sure to increase health insurance costs for every Floridian at a time when the state is already facing an affordability crisis. The proposal further requires that all healthcare plans offered in the state include coverage for anti-trans “conversion therapy,” a dangerous and debunked practice opposed by the American Medical Association and banned in twenty-two states.

The bill also blocks transgender Floridians from obtaining accurate state-issued identification, which denies their legal existence and jeopardizes Florida’s compliance with the federal REAL ID Act. Forcing transgender Floridians to out themselves at an airport, in interactions with law enforcement, or when accessing a club or movie theater is a threat to their safety.

“Transgender people exist — and always will. This cruel bill weaponizes private insurance companies and state agencies to threaten the safety and inclusion of the transgender community, and it exists for the purpose of bullying transgender Floridians out of public life entirely,” added Saunders.

Senate President Kathleen Passidomo told reporters earlier this week that the bill would not be voted on because it had not been through the Senate committee process required before a bill can be brought to the floor.

Two other extremist bills that passed the House today would have sweeping impacts on Floridians.

The “Stop WOKE Teacher Training Bill” (HB 1291) would expand state censorship of concepts disfavored by conservatives related to racism, sexism, oppression, and privilege to educator training and preparation courses. They build on existing harms created by the so-called Stop WOKE Act, currently blocked by federal courts, while further restricting the ability of educators to lead 21st century classrooms with honest and accurate discussions that reckon with our past to create a better future for our students.

The Preemption of Employment Protections Bill (HB 433) threatens existing and future local employment nondiscrimination protections over and above those provided by the Florida Civil Rights Act. It would repeal or ban local governments from adopting nondiscrimination policies on "conditions of employment," which already protect 60% of Floridians. This is legislative interference with local control and a dramatic roll back of local priorities that have been in place with broad support from the public and businesses for years.




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