DeSantis' supposed 'anti-riot' bill headed to Florida Senate on Friday

The Republican-controlled House passed the bill March 26 in a party-line vote.

click to enlarge DeSantis' supposed 'anti-riot' bill headed to Florida Senate on Friday
Dave Decker

After fierce debate in the House about a law-and-order bill that is a priority of Gov. Ron DeSantis, the focus is ready to shift to the Senate.

The Senate Appropriations Committee is scheduled Friday to take up the bill (HB 1), which is aimed at cracking down on violent protests by creating a host of new crimes and enhancing riot-related penalties. DeSantis began floating the idea for the legislation last year after protests throughout the country sparked by the death of George Floyd, a Minneapolis Black man who died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes. The Republican-controlled House passed the bill March 26 in a party-line vote, with Black lawmakers arguing the measure poses a threat to civil disobedience  and that it wouldn’t be applied equally to Black and white protesters.

A Senate version of the bill had been stuck in a committee, but Senate President Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby, used a procedural move to assign the House bill to the Senate Appropriations Committee. The committee has scheduled an all-day meeting Friday to consider the bill and also has set aside time Saturday if needed, according to a Senate calendar published Tuesday.

Support local journalism in these crazy days. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you up to the minute news on how Coronavirus is affecting Tampa and surrounding areas. Please consider making a one time or monthly donation to help support our staff. Every little bit helps.

Subscribe to our newsletter and follow @cl_tampabay on Twitter. 

Scroll to read more Florida News articles
Join the Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.

Newsletters

Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected]