FLCAN E-Update
Inside this issue
  Bill Requiring Parental Consent Prior to a Minor's Abortion Passes First Committee  
Bill sponsor, Rep. Erin Grall, presents her bill in committee.

HB 1335, which requires that a parent shall provide consent before a minor can terminate her pregnancy, passed its first committee of reference, Health Quality Subcommittee (10-4). FCCB indicated its support for the bill during the meeting.

Florida statutes require, in most cases, that a parent must consent to a minor's medical treatment. This is not the case when a minor seeks an abortion, which is a permanent procedure and life-ending for the unborn child.
The U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) has upheld laws requiring parental consent prior to a minor's abortion, as long as the child can petition the court for a waiver in certain circumstances. However, a law similar to those upheld by SCOTUS was successfully challenged in our state in 1989, citing concerns with the judicial bypass procedure and privacy rights.

The Florida Supreme Court's concerns with the bypass procedure cited in striking down Florida's former parental consent law are addressed in HB 1335.


  State-Level Immigration Bill Continues to Move  
Ingrid Delgado, FCCB associate for social concerns and respect life

The House version of a costly and unnecessary immigration enforcement proposal was heard by its first committee of reference. The House Civil Justice Subcommittee passed HB 527 (10-3) despite that almost all testimony was in opposition to the measure. Ingrid Delgado, associate for social concerns and respect life, testified against the bill on behalf of the FCCB.

The bill would mandate that local jurisdictions comply with all requests made by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to hold individuals 48 hours beyond the time they would otherwise be released. Complying with detainer requests is and should remain at the discretion of the county. At present, every jurisdiction in Florida complies with federal immigration laws. There are no so-called "sanctuaries" where these laws are not followed.
FCCB outlined its opposition to the proposal in a letter to the bill sponsor, Rep. Cord Byrd. The current bill would violate subsidiarity and shift cost burdens to counties. It draws on rhetoric that obscures the current state of immigration law. It would also likely undermine public safety and law enforcement efforts, as immigrants and persons close to them may become less likely to report crimes.

We share the concern that our immigration system is in need of reform. However, rather than state-level enforcement measures, thoughtful, bipartisan reform at the federal level is needed to address our immigration challenges.


  House Continues to Advance Parental Empowerment in Education  

SB 7070 was passed by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Education (5-3). The bill creates the Family Empowerment Scholarship Program, a new taxpayer-funded program for students from lower-income families to attend eligible non-public schools that meet their educational needs.The measure also increases educational opportunities for lower-income families who would otherwise be eligible to participate in the Florida Tax Credit (FTC) Scholarship Program by helping to reduce a nearly 13,000-student waiting list.

The bishops of Florida have long supported parental empowerment in education and increased educational opportunities for low-income families. Parents are the primary educators of their children. As such, they are best positioned to determine which academic settings or options will best meet the unique needs of their school-aged children.


  44th Annual Red Mass to be Celebrated March 27 in Tallahassee  

Join the bishops of Florida as they pray with and for those serving in the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government and for members of the legal profession at the annual Red Mass of the Holy Spirit. The Red Mass will coincide with Catholic Days at the Capitol. Learn More...


  Recent News from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)  


March 22, 2019

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E-Update: Week 3

The 2019 Regular Session of the Florida Legislature began March 5 and is schedule to conclude May 3.

Each Friday during the 60-day session, the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops (FCCB) provides a summary of activity on priority bills and other items of interest at the Capitol.

For the current status of FCCB priority bills, see our legislative bill report.

E-Update: Week 1
E-Update: Week 2

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