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 2024 Legislative Priorities

In Fall 2023, BAM participated in We the People, a coalition of diverse community groups, organizations and advocates, that developed a unified legislative agenda for addressing the unmet needs of Duval County residents. Members came together to discuss issues and identify priorities for legislative action. By consensus, five issue areas were selected as the focus of this effort:

  • Healthcare Access and Affordability, including Disability Care, Mental Healthcare, Reproductive Healthcare, and Workforce Demands,

  • Affordable Housing, including Tenants’ Rights,

  • Democracy & Voting Rights, including Rights for Returning Citizens,

  • Education, including the Rights of LGBTQIA+ and Black Students & Staff, and,

  • Gun Violence Prevention.

 

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The group produced a comprehensive Resource Guide with information and links to supporting data and resources about the impact of these issues on Jacksonville and communities across the state. It also presents solutions for consideration by state lawmakers to address these issues.

Listed below are specific priorities selected by the BAM Board based on a detailed review of the We the People resource guide. They address the focus areas selected by the WTP coalition, as well as two additional areas on Diversity and Inclusion, and the Environment. These priorities will guide BAM's advocacy efforts during the 2024 Legislative Session.

Healthcare Access and Affordability
  • Expand Medicaid as provided for under the Affordable Care Act.

  • Eliminate abortion restrictions and expand access to contraception.

  • Remove barriers to disability services for adults and children, end the wait list.

  • Address infant and maternal mortality rates with increased funding, services and oversight.

  • Increase services for mental illness and substance abuse.

  • Protect healthcare providers who serve LGBTQ+ patients and those who provide reproductive health care.

  • Address healthcare disparities.

Ending Gun Violence
  • Ban assault weapons.

  • Restore required background checks and firearm training for all gun purchases.

  • Require that gun owners receive training regarding safety, including storage for firearms, and the need for ammunition to be stored separately from firearms.

  • Maintain the waiting period to purchase firearms.

Education
  • Eliminate the universal voucher program.

  • Fully fund high quality, full day VPK programs.          

  • Protect students’ right to learn: eliminate book bans and restrictive curriculum.

  • Require age-appropriate instruction, based on The National Sex Education Standards from the Advocates for Youth, on human health and sexuality from K to 12 including LGBTQI+ topics, contraception, and abortion information.

  • Ensure support for LGBTQI+ students.

  • Teach accurate African American History.

  • Fully fund public schools, including salary increases for teachers.

Affordable Housing
  • Implement limits on increases in rent and fees for tenants.

  • Hold landlords accountable for the condition of rental property.

  • Address the crisis of unhoused Floridians by limiting use of state housing trust funds (Sadowski Trust) to their intended purpose.

  • Pass a tenants’ “Bill of Rights”.

  • Adopt effective strategies for addressing Florida’s high property insurance rates.

Democracy & Voting Rights
  • Implement a Voters' Bill of Rights.

  • Reduce burdensome requirements on third party groups that conduct voter registration.

  • Restore voting rights to returning citizens without fees.

    • Provide accurate information to returning citizens regarding their voter status

  • Eliminate requirements for requesting VBM ballots annually, making requests valid for at least three years.

  • Eliminate the Election Security Office.

  • Implement automatic voter registration with the issuance of a driver's license.

Racial Justice-Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
  • Repeal “stop woke” legislation.

  • Oppose efforts to fine local officials who vote for the removal of Confederate monuments.

  • Support DEI Programs in private and public arenas.

Environmental Issues
  • Implement sustainable climate change policies. 

  • Ensure access to clean water and air.

  • Encourage the use of renewable energy sources.

  • Address flood mitigation.

How to Take Action!

Watch for bills on topics you care about and advocate for or against them. Sign up for bill tracking notices on the websites of both the Florida Senate and House (Click "Tracker"/"Tracking" on links).  BAM will also publish alerts on its priorities and ask for help in reaching out to legislators.

 

Useful links: 

Florida Senate website

Florida House website

Tips on communicating with your legislators.

Contact info on beaches area legislators:

Sen. Clay Yarborough

Rep. Kiyan Michaels

Duval County Legislative Delegation

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