Below is a budget comparison of issues and allocated funding amounts for the judicial branch by the Senate and House Appropriations subcommittees, as compared to the actual State Courts Systemâs Legislative Budget Request (LBR). In what he has called âThe Year of the Teacher,â the Governor is holding to his proposal to raise teachersâ salaries to $47,500, despite resistance from the House and education unions. Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Legislature took steps during the 2020 Legislative Session to keep Florida’s momentum going. The calendar, as published by the Office of the Senate Secretary, is the official publication containing legislative activities or a list of bills awaiting action on a specific day. Effective October 1, 2020, funds are provided in Specific Appropriation 2014B to grant a competitive pay adjustment of 3.0 percent to each eligible employee in the Career Service, the Selected Exempt Service, the Senior Management Service, the lottery pay plan, the judicial branch pay plan, the legislative pay plan, and the pay plans administered by the Justice Administration Commission, to each military employee of the Florida National Guard on full-time military duty, and to each eligible non-career service employee of the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind, based on each eligible employeeâs September 30, 2020, base rate of pay, but the minimum annual increase shall be $1,000. The Senate bill is now on the calendar ready to be scheduled for consideration by the full Senate. Disagreements over budget priorities and a spate of policy issues â health care, E-Verify, gaming, to name a few â stood in the way of an on-time finish. The legislation does not affect jury service for those students older than 21 years of age and a student is not prohibited from choosing to report for jury service if they are summoned for jury service while a full-time student. HB 479 has two committee hearings remaining. While the numbers of COVID-19 cases in Florida continue to soar this summer, the future of the pandemic remains unknown. On March 2nd, HB 5301 passed the Senate Rules Committee by a vote of 16 to 0 and the bill is now on the calendar of bills ready for the Senate floor. Of course, this funnel-like process is designed to focus legislative priorities and helps explain why roughly 10% of all bills filed actually pass. supply of primary care physicians, and scope of practice as issues within Floridaâs healthcare space. Currently, the governor appoints nine members to each of the 26 JNCs. Link to SB 1324: http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2020/1324 The House adopted technical amendments to the bill which clarify that the publication requirement only applies to a governmental entity who uses a website to publish notices, and that the notice of proposals for any public-private partnership still has to be published in the Florida Administrative Register and in the local county in which the project would be located. HB 393 is now on the calendar of bills ready for House floor consideration. On January 30th, HB 7 passed the Judiciary Committee by a vote of 11 to 7. HB 1421 by Rep. Anika Omphroy (D-Lauderdale Lakes) revises the types of nonresidents who qualify as a personal representative to include members in good standing of The Florida Bar. As of Tuesday, health officials report 889,864 people statewide have been infected, about one in every 24 Floridians. SB 1392 also included language to incorporate the changes to court jurisdiction limits from SB 1510. Below is a chart depicting the current status of appropriations issues important to the judicial branch. November 22, 2019:Â Deadline for submitting requests for drafts of general bills and joint resolutions, including requests for companion bills. Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, spoke to the Senate on Tuesday to open the 2020 Legislative Session. September 16, 2019:Â The start of the first fall interim committee week ahead of the 2020 Legislative Session. Provides circumstances under which a court may remove a child and place he or she in out-of-home care if a child was placed in the childâs own home with an in-home safety plan or was reunited with a parent with an in home safety plan. Most importantly, the bills authorize district court of appeal judges who reside within 50 miles of his or her DCA headquarters and meet certain other criteria to have an appropriate facility in their county of residence designated as their official headquarters. The political committee will also need Florida Supreme Court approval of the proposed ballot wording. February 28, 2020 House 45th Day rule - After the 45th day (February 27) of regular session, notice shall be provided no later than 4:30 p.m. on the day (including Saturdays, Sundays, and official state holidays) before the committee or subcommittee meeting House Important Dates Governor Ron DeSantis kicked off his second legislative session with the official âState of the Stateâ speech themed around a âseason of opportunity.â Governor DeSantis called for fiscal rectitude, saying, âFlorida needs to tax lightly, spend wisely and regulate reasonablyâ and proposing a $91.4-billion budget â a 0.4% increase from last year. SB 1510 is scheduled to be heard in the Judiciary Committee on January 21st. HB 5301 has passed the House, was sent to the Senate in messages, and is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Rules Committee on March 2nd. The House bill creates 10 new circuit and county judge positions â 4 new circuit judges in the First (1), Ninth (2), and Fourteenth (1) Circuits and 6 new county court judges for Hillsborough County (4), Lee County (1), and Orange County (1). These changes include: SB 1510 remains in the Appropriations Committee. The Senate joint resolution would be voted on by the voters in 2020 and, if approved, would apply to the next CRC which is slated to meet in 2037, in advance of placing measures on the 2038 ballot. The 2nd DCA is the only appellate court in the state that has operations in two locations, and consolidation into one location would significantly improve the efficiency of the court by reducing duplicative costs and streamlining operations. The amendment also specifies that all of the new judgeships will be appointed, rather than elected. For links to House and Senate calendars and schedules, see Floor Calendars. Itâs going to be a hectic nine weeks! (added 3/31/2020) House and Senate sessions and all committee hearings for the week of March 16-20 have been cancelled (added March 14, 2020). Link to SB 1288: http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2020/1288. The councilâs membership includes four prosecutors, four public defenders or assistant public defenders, a district court of appeal judge, and two county or circuit court judges. The legislation was based on the recommendations of a recent report by the Supreme Courtâs Judicial Management Councilâs Workgroup on Appellate Review of County Court Decisions. A House companion bill has not been filed to-date. A comparable bill, HB 1105 by Rep. Josie Tomkow (R-Polk City), also requires certain training to be offered to dependency court judges that informs them of the benefits of stable placements and related issues. And thereâs probably a lot of reasons, including the fact that weâre both practicing attorneys, board- certified attorneys. HB 449 has not been heard in committees. HB 5301 also creates six new county court judges â four new judges in Hillsborough County, one judge in Lee County, and one judge in Orange County. Additionally, the legislation specifies that its provisions control over any conflicting provision in the travel-reimbursement statute that applies to all state employees and officers. On March 11th, the House passed SB 1392 by a vote of 118 to 0. The legislation is based on the recommendations of a recent report by the Supreme Courtâs Judicial Management Councilâs Workgroup on Appellate Review of County Court Decisions. SB 236 previously passed the Children, Families, and Elder Affairs Committee by a vote of 6 to 0, and has two remaining committee references â the Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice and the Appropriations Committee. HB 479 has passed the Civil Justice Subcommittee. Link to HB 7057: http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2020/7057. 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