|Legislative session over! CFC scores Major Victories! READ AND FORWARD|
Legislative session over. CFC Scores Major Victories!
MIAMI-Today, the Christian Family Coalition (CFC), Florida’s premier human rights and social justice organization announced the results of its intense lobbying efforts during the 2013 statewide legislative session in Tallahassee.
More than 1,800 bills were filed during this year’s state legislative session, however, our tenacious staff focused on four legislative priorities affecting Florida’s families. Our strength lies in our CFC lobbyist, Nathaniel Wilcox, as our 130 CFC-trained citizen lobbyists who descended on Tallahassee during our 2013 Day at the Capitol. CFC’s advocacy makes a huge difference on key issues that have lasting impact here at home.
This year has had a total of three high-profile victories and only one temporary setback. It is self-evident that law and policy influence people’s values, attitudes and ultimately their behavior. This is why we have to do even more. Below are the results of our lobbying efforts on behalf of the CFC’s 2013 legislative priorities. Two of these priorities we announced at the start of session, while two additional priorities were added during session:
PASSED: Infants Born Alive – THIS CFC-SUPPORTED PRO-LIFE BILL WAS THE ONLY ONE TO PASS THIS SESSION
SB 1636 by Senator Anitere Flores / HB 1129 by Representative Carey Pigman.
Mr. Verdugo shared the story of Belkis Gonzalez, an abortion clinic worker in Hialeah who was arrested in 2006 for tampering with evidence and practicing without a license after she took a baby who survived an abortion, put it in a plastic bag and placed on the roof of the clinic where it was left to die. He was joined by Gail Adger, an abortion survivor, who shared her compelling story as well.
We want to thank Sheila Hopkins at the Catholic Conference for taking the lead on this bill, CFC is honored to work hand-in-hand with this well-respected organization on pro-life legislation.
ADOPTED: Boy Scouts of America
SR 1856 by Senator Anitere Flores / HR 9113 by Representative Daphne Campbell.
DEFEATED: "Families First" – Same-sex marriages/ Civil Unions/ Domestic Partnerships
This bill calls itself a domestic partnership but it is actually a full-blown civil union attempting to give all the rights, benefits, and privileges of marriage. The Senate bill was brought up 3 times in the Children, Families, and Elder Affairs committee. The second time it was called up, CFC made a 24-hour “emergency run” to Tallahassee to testify against the bill. On the way up, we were actually lobbying, by text, a key member of the Committee, who mistakenly thought the bill had been “watered down” to our satisfaction, NOT SO. “Long story short, we, along with other pro-family groups, held the line and pushed back, we won this battle”, stated Anthony Verdugo, Founder and Executive Director, Christian Family Coalition (CFC).
Application of Foreign Laws in Certain Cases – restrictions on judges
This bill prohibits Florida judges from referring to laws of other nations for Florida court decisions. CFC lobbied hard for this bill in both the House and Senate, it passed all of its House and Senate committees. In fact, when it was stuck in the Senate Rules Committee, we generated hundreds of emails to leadership and helped get it to the Senate floor for a vote. However, when it was brought to the floor of the Senate it died in procedural vote. The Democratic Minority Leader Sen. Chris Smith objected to a motion so there had to be a 2/3 vote to move the bill, we were two votes short of a 2/3 vote.
This session produced three major victories and only one temporary setback (Application of Foreign Laws in Certain Cases). However, we will not give up on this bill, CFC will continue to build its legislative lobbying efforts in Tallahassee and throughout the state of Florida in the coming year.