Winners & Losers 1/23/19
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody will serve as co-chair of the National Association of Attorneys General Human Trafficking Committee. The committee will investigate and promote best practices for combating trafficking at a state level, including law enforcement and prosecution strategies, educational outreach efforts and alliances with partner agencies and non-governmental organizations. NAAG is made up of all 56 attorneys general from the United States and territories and facilitates the collaboration and execution of national bipartisan efforts among attorneys general.
Gulf Breeze Zoo
In January 2019, the Gulf Breeze Zoo added a family of orangutans and started their “Spirit of Sumatra” conservation program. Recently, the Zoological Association of America (ZAA) awarded the zoo its 2019 In Situ Conservation Award for a significant contribution to saving critically endangered orangutans in the wild. The national ZAA award is given only to institutions making a dramatic difference in the conservation of a species in their natural habitat.
Pensacola State College has appointed Hubbs to serve as interim general manager of WSRE and executive director of the WSRE-TV Foundation. Hubbs joined the PBS member station in 1996 and has served as director of Educational Services and Outreach. A former school teacher, she has successfully launched major early learning initiatives and teacher training programs during her 23 years at WSRE. She is also the award-winning executive producer of several WSRE productions, including “Gulf Islands National Seashore: The Treasure of the Gulf Coast” and “Baseball in Pensacola.”
Florida House Speaker Jose Oliva sent letters to 488 local governments reminding them that they are no longer allowed to enforce local tree ordinances restricting property owners from trimming or removing trees on their property. The same letter also went out to more than 72,000 tree businesses that work with local governments. The Florida Legislature last year approved the law that preempted regulations on tree trimming and removal on private property. The law applied retroactively, rendering already existing ordinances invalid.
Felons’ Voting Rights
The Florida Supreme Court rendered an advisory opinion that completing “all terms of sentence” means felons who have completed their sentences also must pay court-ordered fees, fines and restitution before regaining their voting rights. Amendment 4 was aimed at eliminating Florida’s more than 150-year-old prohibition on felons registering to vote. The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, Brennan Center for Justice and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund downplayed the Supreme Court opinion, saying it will have little effect on a federal court, which has set a challenge to the law for trial in April. Meanwhile, those seeking the restitution of their voting rights will have to wait.
Constitutional Revision Commission
The House Judiciary Committee voted to 14-2 to repeal the commission mandated by the Florida Constitution to be formed every 20 years to propose to voters a revision of all or any part of the Florida Constitution. The full House will probably approve it,too.