Tallahassee Diaries

 

I was in Tallahassee this week for committee week. Committee weeks are the time before the official kick off of legislative session when legislators start discussing, and moving forward legislation.

Here are some of the highlights:

Tuesday I went to the Reapportionment Committee in the Senate. This committee is tasked with redistricting and will create the new Congressional, state house and state senate districts for the next 10 years. Redistricting is a tremendously important process because it really sets the stage for elections, and therefore who will govern, for the next decade. The Senate Reapportionment Committee is extremely important, with many legislators wanting to be appointed to it. One of the things that immediately struck me when walking into the Committee chamber was the difference between the number of Democrats and the number of Republicans on the committee, 17 Republicans and 10 Democrats. They spent time talking about districts in Northeast and Central Florida, spending a lot of time discussing the minority-majority districts  currently represented by Senators Gibson, Siplin. The legislators were also given a packet of proposed districts, submitted by the public. One map was submitted by a 13 year old student- you are never too young to care about democracy!

Tuesday evening I attended the Equal Rights Amendment press conference hosted by Representative Berman and Senator Rich. Decades after the ERA was first proposed, it is still being fought for. In fact, the ERA is only 3 states away from being ratified and Rep. Berman and Sen. Rich have introduced a bill that would adopt the ERA in Florida.

 
(Above: Representatives Perman, Pafford, Clemens and Bullard with Mallory in Tallahassee on Tuesday.)
 
Wednesday I spent the day meeting with legislators about the Florida Competitive Workforce Act. The bill would prohibit discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations based on sexual orientation and gender identity. We continue to get a good reception from legislators about the bill- most see it as common sense and a way for Florida to improve it’s reputation as a welcoming place to live and visit. You can join me in Tallahassee for our annual Lobby Days and lobby for this important bill. For more information on Lobby Days, visit www.eqfl.org/lobbydays

Blog

February 2012

September 2011

October 2010

May 2010

October 2009

July 2009

June 2009

May 2009

April 2009