So, I've been reading policy and working on policy related issues for 15 years. Disregarding the fact I'm a nerd, I did it while with the Federal government for the first 14 years of my career.
Go figure, in only a little over a year in Florida, I think I have seen the worst bill EVER in my life.
SB86, "Scrutinizing Companies," was passed on with a favorable recommendation on October 20, 2015 in the Senate by a 6-0 vote and is now headed to the Senate Appropriations committee. What is so bad about this bill?
Limits Free Speech. Boycotts are a constitutionally protected form of free speech, and have a long history of being used successfully to address injustice and demand political change. This bill seeks to create a Board, managed by your tax dollars, to limit your free speech.
Inappropriate Use of Public Funds. SB86 intends to use public funds to either invest in or to attack companies who choose to exercise their free speech, as provided in the constitution. Thus, FL taxpayers are all footing the bill while they attack companies that seek to exercise their American right to free speech.
Florida Sanctioned "Blacklist." SB86 calls for a Board to determine who may be participating in their constitutionally protected right to boycott and place them on a "list" that will exclude them from doing business with municipalities and the State. Is this the right way to promote business and free market enterprise in Florida?
Cuba, Syria, Iran & Sudan. While it's stripping away our constitutional rights, SB86 also states that anyone with legal business transactions in any of these countries are also on the "blacklist."
The bottom line: this is a witch hunt of businesses and companies that lawfully do business in FL and it seeks to restrict any business dealings with Cuba, just as the Federal government is restoring diplomatic relations. Further, it completely ignores the supremacy clause that states that the Federal government has jurisdictional authority over the States on certain matters, such as foreign affairs. Thus, Florida completely ignores the Executive Action taken by President Obama regarding the opening of relations with Cuba.
Who is on this mysterious "Board," how are they selected and how is this "Board" governed? Inconspicuously, THEY DON'T SAY.
Call the sponsoring legislators and let them know that having a "blacklist" with your tax dollars is not American, not free market economics and you will not be afraid of a government and elected officials that are trying to use fear and economic intimidation to scare you in Tallahassee.
Sign up at www.emerge-usa.org for updates and details about what you can do and how to stop horrible bills like this becoming a reality for our communities.
Senator Joe Negron
District Office: (305) 571-5777
Tallahassee Office: (850) 487-5032
Senator Oscar Braynon
District Office: (305) 654-7152
Tallahassee Office: (850) 487-5036
Senator John Baez
District Office: (850) 897-5747
Tallahassee Office: (850) 747-5856
Senator Gwen Margolis
District Office: (850) 571-5777
Tallahassee Office: (850) 487-5035