Legislative Advocacy

Legislative Advocacy

Support for the positions of public policy and specific items of legislation noted on this page and in Action Alert emails are initiatives of the UU Justice Florida Action Network.

Supporters of UUJFAN urge our elected representatives and appointees in local, state and national offices to support public policy and legislation consistent with values of faith and principle. We insist that the administration of justice and governmental operations be unbiased, transparent, compassionate, accountable, fair, ethical and focused on long term challenges and opportunities facing our state and nation. Proposed actions to address areas of specific interest and concern are listed below.

UU Justice Florida Action Network supporters are encouraged to meet with their legislators before the start of each Legislative session, develop relationships with them and respond to email Action Alerts from UUJFAN regarding legislation that will come before their representatives in Committee hearings or in subsequent votes on the House or Senate floor.

The biggest obstacles to passage of bills we support is getting Committee Chairs to place bills of interest on their committee agendas for hearings and votes. Use the guidelines in the following section to address and overcome these obstacles.

Resources and Strategy for Meetings with Elected Representatives

  • Edit the Legislative Agenda to include contact and demographic information about your congregation or partner organization and print copies for your legislators and staff.
  • Print these documents listing bills that were approved by the Governor in 2019, bills that failed in the House and bills that failed in the Senate.
  • Discuss with your legislator the list of bills that passed in 2019 and determine whether there are areas of agreement or common ground.
  • Urge your legislator to support bills that died in Committee if and when they are re-introduced for the upcoming 2020 session.
  • Print copies of these two documents listing newly introduced bills and their next committee referrals in the House and in the Senate.
  • Note that these documents are frequently updated so be sure to review the most current version just before your meeting.
  • Look up committee assignments for your Senator and Representative. Note whether they chair or sit on committees to which bills of interest have been referred.
  • Request that your legislators support these bills and urge their Chamber Leadership and Committee chairs to place to these bills on the agendas of committees to which they have been referred for hearings.
  • Refer to the Bills-2020 tab on the Legislative Tracker for links, talking points and additional information on bills of interest.
  • Sign up for Action Alerts on the Take Action page.
  • Participate in UUJF Legislative Days in Tallahassee, January 27-28, 2020.

Legislative Agenda

Clean Water and Renewable Energy

  • Replace septic tanks with sewers and water treatment systems
  • Replace fossil fuels with sources of renewable energy
  • Ban fracking and matrix acidizing
  • Fund purchase of Florida Forever lands and enact protections from development
  • Protect Florida’s springs, aquifers and the Everglades from overdevelopment and pollution
  • Reduce the solid waste stream – compost organic waste and expand recycling efforts
  • Regulate land application of biosolids containing nutrients that feed toxic algae in rivers

Criminal Justice Reform

  • Reduce Florida’s prison populations and recidivism
  • Facilitate re-entry programs with occupational licensing reforms and job training
  • Support juvenile civil citations and similar diversion programs
  • Recognize and end racial disparities in the criminal justice system
  • End the money bail system that criminalizes poverty
  • End the war on drugs and reduce or eliminate mandatory minimum sentencing
  • End solitary confinement and protect the dignity and well being of prisoners
  • Abolish the death penalty
  • Hold police accountable for use of excessive force
  • End privatization of prisons that incentivizes recidivism

Disaster resiliency and recovery

  • Require infrastructure vulnerability assessments and fund flood mitigation projects
  • Require post disaster rebuilding to account for sea level rise estimates
  • Address lack of affordable housing especially for those displaced by hurricanes and flooding
  • Provide sufficient temporary shelters for residents of communities and neighborhoods that must be rebuilt following natural disasters
  • Establish the Hurricane Michael Recovery Task Force

Education

  • Fund teacher salaries to further excellence in education
  • Require and fund programs to address bullying, domestic violence and human trafficking
  • Eliminate the school to prison pipeline
  • Provide optional sex education and parenting classes
  • Affirm that religious instruction and practice belong in the home and places of worship and not in public or private schools funded by state or federal government
  • Oppose diversion of general revenue dollars to charter, private and religious schools

Election Reform

  • Insure election security with paper trails, Risk Limiting Audits and a Cybersecurity Unit
  • Pass the National Popular Vote Compact
  • Implement Open Primaries and ranked-choice or instant-runoff voting
  • Implement Automatic Voter Registration
  • Repeal SB 7066 provisions that require returning citizens to pay all restitution, fines and fees before they are eligible to vote.
  • Oppose State preemption of local control
  • Repeal HB5 restrictions on citizen petitions to Amend the State Constitution

Gun Safety

  • Respect Second Amendment Rights to gun ownership
  • Require universal background checks and waiting periods
  • Ban assault weapons, high capacity magazines and bump stocks
  • Authorize risk protection orders
  • Repeal “Stand Your Ground” to discourage the unlawful and reckless use of firearms

Immigration Reform

  • Appreciate and welcome the diversity, talents and skills of immigrants and their cultures
  • Recognize and develop the potential of immigrants to become contributing and self-supporting participants in Florida’s labor force
  • Protect the rights of families and those seeking asylum while maintaining border security
  • End family separation and inhumane detention of immigrants
  • Oppose E-Verify legislation
  • Allow law-abiding undocumented residents to receive work permits and driver’s licenses so that they may sustain themselves and families with dignity and respect

LGBTQI

  • Pass the Competitive Workforce Act and nondiscrimination protections for the LGBTQI community
  • Expand hate crimes laws
  • Ban conversion therapy

Public Health and Safety

  • Declare that universal and affordable health care is a human right
  • Expand Medicaid
  • Treat mental illness, substance abuse and addiction as non criminal public health issues

Women’s Rights

  • Support the Equal Rights Amendment to the US Constitution
  • Support reproductive freedoms, the right to choose and prescription contraceptive coverage
  • End taxpayer funding for bogus anti-abortion clinics
  • Ensure access to family planning clinic entrances

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