Each year our state legislators meet in the capitol for 60 days to hammer out the state budget. In the course of those days as many as 1,000 to 2,000 bills are filed. While CWA of Florida monitored the session, tracked bills, attended committee meetings, and met with legislators, there were only two bills in particular that became our focus, HB 7013 and HB 633.
1. Adoption, HB 7013: This bill removed Florida’s long standing law prohibiting homosexuals from adopting. It leaves Florida’s faith-based adoption agencies, that require a married mother and father for adoption, at risk of being legally attacked and potentially shut down. Agencies have already been shut down on these grounds in Massachusetts, Illinois, California and Washington, D.C.
CWA of Florida opposed HB 7013.
HB 7013 was signed into law on April 14.
The Governor acknowledged the threat created by signing this law and called for the Legislature to “‘take further action to make clear that we will support private faith-based operators in the child welfare system and ensure that their religious convictions continue to be protected.” We hope to see conscience protection a top priority for passage in the 2016 Legislative Session. The House of Representatives passed just such a protection, but the Senate let this protection bill die in committee in the waning days of the session.
Pray that a conscience protection bill will be sponsored and that the legislators will send the Governor a conscience protection bill to sign in next year’s session.
2. 24-Hour Waiting Period Before Abortion, HB 633: This law requires a 24-hour reflection period before a woman obtains an abortion.
CWA of Florida supported HB 633.
Gov. Rick Scott signed HB 633 into law on June 10.
We are grateful to Rep. Jennifer Sullivan (R – District 31) and Sen. Anitere Flores (R – District 37) for their hard work on this bill. They were passionate and tireless in their efforts.
Currently the ACLU is challenging this new law. They have sought a temporary injunction. Pray that Chief Circuit Judge Charles Francis would issue a ruling allowing the law to stand. If he issues an injunction, pray that the appeal would be won.
- Sign Up For CWA of Florida Prayer and Action Alerts. The Florida 2016 Legislative Session will begin in January. If you want to be alerted with updates during the session in order to pray and take action, e-mail State Director Terri Johannessen. Your prayers and phone calls are greatly needed.
- Your Vote Counts. The Florida primary is March 15 next year. Our state is important as we have 99 delegates. We charge you not only to stay informed, but also to be in prayer now and continually regarding to which candidates you will give your vote. The good news is that there are many good candidates running. While we know that it is God who gives us our leaders, we also know the He does not stuff the ballot box.
- Partner With Us. CWA of Florida is strictly a voluntary work. Any and all prayers and contributions are very much appreciated.
- Join the Team! Are you ready to make a difference in your community and state on the issues that are important to you? Take a moment to read through Opportunities for Leadership and then contact State Director Terri Johannessen to join the team. She can be reached at [email protected] or 407-697-5929.