March 19, 2021
Good Morning, welcome to Radioactivity. I’m Rob Lorei.
The Florida House will consider a controversial bill next week that would increase penalties on protests. Democrats and others argue the measure would violate First Amendment rights and have a chilling effect on peaceful protests.
The bill (HB 1),is a priority of House Speaker Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor, and Gov. Ron DeSantis. It is scheduled to be heard next Thursday on the House floor.
Governor DeSantis began pushing for such legislation last year after widespread Black Lives Matter protests across the country over police treatment of African Americans.
Florida largely escaped the scenes of looting and torched buildings that occurred in such cities as Minneapolis and Portland. But DeSantis contends that Florida should enact tough penalties for violent protests to ensure the safety of citizens and tourists.
As an indication of the opposition, the House Democratic Caucus voted 41-0 to take a position against to the bill.