Advocacy: Special Report
The Legislature will have no shortage of input from business groups in the 2011 session.
Bearing Arms: Marion Hammer, Florida lobbyist for the National Rifle Association, is promoting three bills this session:
» HB 155 by Rep. Jason Brodeur/SB 432 by Sen. Greg Evers would make it a felony for a physician or staff member to ask patients or family members of patients if they own guns or store guns at home. The Florida Medical Association adamantly opposes the measure.
» HB 45 by Rep. Matt Gaetz/SB 402 by Sen. Joe Negron would penalize local government officials and local governments that enact regulations related to firearms and ammunition.
» SB 234 by Greg Evers, the "open-carry" measure, would allow holders of concealed weapons permits to carry their guns in public, into private schools and into career centers, colleges and universities. It would allow owners, not just employees, with a concealed weapons permit to bring their weapons onto the private property of another person or business with or without that property owner's consent.
More Smoke: Former Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth and groups including the Florida Retail Federation, Associated Industries of Florida, the Consumer Federation of the Southeast and the American Cancer Society are again pushing for a new fee on cigarette makers that weren't included in the state's lawsuit against tobacco companies and its 1997 settlement. Yolanda Nader, CEO and CFO of Dosal Tobacco Corp., believes the measure is aimed primarily at her Opa Locka-based manufacturer, which was dismissed from the lawsuit and therefore doesn't pay the 45-cents-a-pack assessment that the settlement imposes on other tobacco companies.