Hometown America is Alive and Well

From the desk of Florida State Senator Baxley

Friends, Washington D.C. may be in turmoil and dysfunction, but hometown America is alive and well! In the State of Florida and Senate District 12, we remain committed to those core values of faith, family, freedom and opportunity. This is your government and I work for you. As promised, I will continue this series of letters to you, highlighting all that we have done together and some of the recognitions we have received along the way.

The Florida Bail Agents Association (FBAA) is an advocacy organization that works with policy makers to advocate continued high standards for all bail agents, works to defeat serious threats to eliminate bail in Florida, and pushes to improve professional standards of bail agents through licensing and educational requirements. In 2017, your Senator was recognized as the Legislator of the Year by the FBAA for our work on SB 680, which passed as HB 361 and was signed into law by Gov. Scott. This bill amends several provisions related to bail and bail bonds agents and received unanimous support in the House and Senate.

That same year, we were given the Religious Liberties Courage Award by the Christian Family Coalition of Florida for our huge victory in passing SB 436, the “Florida Student and School Personnel Religious Liberties Act”. I was recently told by a member of the University of Florida – College Republicans, that this has been a major game changer in allowing more students the freedom to express their viewpoint without having to stand in University mandated “Free Speech Zones”. Big win for 1st amendment rights in Florida!

Last year, it was an honor to receive an award of appreciation from the Florida Center for the Blind. As a father to a blind son, this is an organization that I am very familiar with and I truly believe in their vision and mission. We are proud to work with, and support this organization in helping rehabilitate individuals who are blind or vision impaired.

Also in 2018, we worked on some legislation titled, “The Eyewitness Identification Reform Act”. This bill received overwhelming support in the Senate and House, was passed unanimously in the Senate and signed into law by Gov. Scott. This bill sets forth specific procedures that state, county, municipal, or other law enforcement agencies must implement when conducting lineups in Florida. The bill also provides certain alternative procedures that will benefit smaller law enforcement agencies with staffing issues related to conducting lineups. For our efforts, the Innocence Project of Florida recognized your Senator with an Advocate for Innocence award.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you in the Florida Senate. Without your support, we could not have accomplished so much. Next month I will share more with you about our work in Tallahassee during the 2018 session, and my hope is that this will be encouraging and inspiring. It is still a great country!

Onward & Upward,

Dennis Baxley