Florida Legislature: Preview of Day 35

HouseFlorida House of Representatives

The House of Representatives has no meetings scheduled for today.


SenateFlorida SenateIn the Senate Regulated Industries Committee, a committee substitute will be proposed to merge two bills dealing with direct-to-consumer wine shipments from out of state wineries. SB 126 by Sen. Burt Saunders and SB 2282 by Sen. Steven Geller will be combined into a signle bill. Legislaive action is needed, according to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, despite a 2005 United States Supreme Court Case that struck down Florida’s previous ban.

The new bill would allow smaller wineries, those who don’t go through a wholesaler, to ship direct to consumers. According to the Tampa Bay Business Journal:

Although no specific bill has made the House or Senate floor for vote, two bills are circulating in committees that will cap the amount of wine that any single winery can ship into Florida and restrict the amount of wine that a household can buy each year. Under the proposed bill, wineries that produce more than 250,000 gallons of wine per year would be prohibited from shipping to Florida and no winery could ship more than six cases of wine per year to the same household.

The Senate Transportation Committee will hear SB 2372 by Sen. Frederica Wilson, which would ban the use of cellular telephones while driving. Not just require hands free – and outright ban: “A person may not operate a motor vehicle on the highways of this state while dialing or sending a telephone call or text message on a cellular telephone or while listening to or speaking on a cellular telephone.” I understand that distracted drivers post a safety risk, but why not also ban eating, drinking, or changing the radio station or compact disc? Or how about banning conversations within a vehicle? According to a recent study:

Each year an estimated 284,000 distracted drivers are involved in serious crashes, according to a new study by the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center funded by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

The study found that drivers were most often distracted by something outside their vehicle (29.4 percent) followed by adjusting a radio or CD player (11.4 percent). Other specific distractions included talking with other occupants (10.9 percent), adjusting vehicle or climate controls (2.8 percent), eating or drinking (1.7 percent), cell-phone use (1.5 percent) and smoking (0.9 percent).

And people wonder why our legislature focuses on problems that simple do not exist. Of course, this is also the same Senator that wants to prohibit the use of the term illegal alien, pay for car insurance for foster children, have an elected education commissioner, ban seminautomatic firearms, and prohibit the display of gas prices when stations are out of gas.

About Jim Johnson

Editor and publisher of The State of Sunshine.
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