CAPITOL UPDATES: Week 2

Our second week of Session in Tallahassee was a very productive one. One of our first priorities in the Florida House of Representatives was to make Florida the most unfriendly state in the nation for sexually violent predators. We passed 4 bills to protect vulnerable Floridians against sexually violent predators. These bills include SB 522 – Involuntary Civil Commitment of Sexually Violent Predators, SB 524 – Sexually Violent Predators, SB 528 – Sex Offenses, and SB 526 – Sexual Offenses.

This legislative package will strengthen our ability to punish these criminals to the fullest extent of the law as well as to help ensure that they are no longer allowed to slip through the cracks and reoffend.

  • CS/CS/SB 522 Enhances notification requirements when a convict is released in order to better inform our communities, law enforcement and families.

The bill also enhances communication between state and county officials when a convict is released.

  • CS/SB 524 Creates enhanced standards for the membership of the DCF multidisciplinary team (MDT), whose duty is to assess whether a convicted sexual offender meets the clinical definition of a sexually violent predator, and requires additional annual training for all members of MDT.

Requires the MDT to include, but not be limited to, two licensed psychiatrists or psychologists, or one licensed psychiatrist and one licensed psychologist, and requires them to have experience in or relevant to the evaluation or treatment of persons with mental abnormalities.

  • CS/CS/SB 528 Strengthens registration requirements for individuals registered in the sexual offender database in order to provide more information to law enforcement and the public.
  • CS/CS/CS/SB 526  Increases the penalties for specified sexual battery and lewd or lascivious offenses against children.

Increases the minimum mandatory sentence for dangerous sexual felony offenders to 50 years.

Requires the court to impose a split sentence in which an offender convicted of specified sexual offense, is sentenced to 2 years of community supervision after serving his or her term of imprisonment.

This legislation will keep offenders off our streets and away from our children. This bipartisan initiative highlights the House’s commitment to ensuring the safety of Florida’s children and families.

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