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FSA’s Legislative Priorities in 2022

March 24, 2022

Every year, the Florida Sheriffs Association serves as the voice of Florida’s sheriffs during the legislative session. While the FSA legislative team works year-round to promote public safety and best practices in law enforcement, session is a particularly important time in pursuing these goals.

Here is a quick summary of FSA’s legislative priorities for 2022 and what they mean for the citizens of Florida.

1. Controlled Substances/Drug Control SB 190 and HB 95

The opioid epidemic has claimed countless lives in Florida, which is why it is the first of FSA’s legislative priorities this year.

This legislation makes two important changes based on the recommendations of the Statewide Task Force on Opioid. First, the bill adds methamphetamine to the list of specified controlled substances which, if the substance caused or is proven to have been the proximate cause in producing the victim’s death, can subject the person who distributed the controlled substance to a conviction for first degree murder. Additionally, the bill increases the penalty for selling or distributing a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a drug treatment facility (or anything like it) in the interest of protecting those recovering from addiction. In Florida, these types of restrictions already exist to protect certain areas, including schools and daycare centers. This law would extend that protection to facilities where individuals are being treated – and are attempting to recover from – a substance abuse problem.

Additionally, the bill increases the mandatory minimum sentences under the drug trafficking statute (s. 893.135, F.S.) for trafficking in dangerous fentanyl or fentanyl analogues from:

  • 3 to 7 years for 4 grams or more but less than 14 grams.
  • 15 to 20 years for 14 grams or more but less than 28 grams.

BILL STATUS: Passed the House (84 Yeas / 35 Nays) and Senate (33 Yeas / 5 Nays). Heading to the Governor’s Desk.


2. Florida Model Jail Standards HB 1561 and SB 1236

Florida’s detention centers have long been considered the standard for providing detention-related services. That’s because of the Florida Model Jail Standards (FMJS), which were developed 25 years ago to protect the constitutional rights of those who are incarcerated in this state. Like many laws, the FMJS are constantly being reviewed to guarantee they are evolving appropriately with Florida law. For that reason, a number of updates have been proposed this year.

Updates to these standards include changes to county-level jail inspections and county and municipal detention facility inspections. The bill adds two more members to the current 5-member working group, including a Florida-licensed physician with at least two years’ experience in correctional health care appointed by the Florida Sheriffs Association and a Florida-licensed psychiatrist with at least two years’ experience in correctional psychiatry, appointed by the Florida Association of Counties. It also proposes new financial penalties for non-compliance with the FMJS standards, and allows the salary of an individual in charge of a jail to be withheld if they refused to allow the jail to be inspected. The penalty collected would then be paid into that facility’s inmate welfare fund.

BILL STATUS: Passed the House (109 Yeas / 0 Nays) and Senate (39 Yeas / 0 Nays). Heading to the Governor’s Desk.


3. DJJ 21-Day Solution SB 7040 and HB 7029

Next, the third of FSA’s legislative priorities relates to the detention of juveniles who have committed a serious crime. Currently, Florida law includes a 21-day maximum holding period for juveniles. This time frame was determined in 1978, but is now outdated. That’s because, on average, it takes 100 days for a juvenile to move from his or her initial arrest to trial.

During that time, a judge cannot prevent a potentially dangerous individual from returning to the streets because of the 21-day limit. To increase public safety during these circumstances, this legislative update is designed to give the judge the ability (but not the obligation) to hold the juvenile for longer than 21 days. This is in the best interest of not just the community, but also the juvenile being detained.

BILL STATUS: Passed the House (77 Yeas / 37 Nays) and Senate (27 Yeas / 10 Nays). Heading to the Governor’s Desk.


4. Law Enforcement Officer, Benefits, Recruitment, and Training HB 3

The fourth of FSA’s legislative priorities this year relate to supporting proposals put forth by Gov. Ron DeSantis. These proposals are designed to help recruit the best of the best for law enforcement in Florida in many different ways.

First, Gov. DeSantis has proposed a one-time, $5,000 signing bonus for individuals entering the law enforcement profession for the first time in Florida. Second, he has proposed an Academy Scholarship Program to provide financial assistance to eligible law enforcement academy students. Third, he has proposed that Florida offer the State Officer Certification Exam free of charge to out-of-state officers who are interested in relocating to this state.

Each of these proposals and additional details within the bill plays a different role in strengthening our law enforcement by recruiting qualified and highly motivated individuals from within and outside of Florida. The Florida Sheriffs Association is proud to get behind these initiatives, which is why they are included in FSA’s legislative priorities for this year.

BILL STATUS: Passed the House (114 Yeas / 3 Nays) and Senate (34 Yeas / 0 Nays). Approved by Governor.


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The Florida Sheriffs Association works every day to foster the effectiveness of the Office of Sheriff, including important legislative initiatives. If you are interested in keeping up with the status of FSA’s legislative priorities, subscribe to FSACast, the official podcast of the Florida Sheriffs Association, which provides weekly recaps during session.

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