Press Release: Today is the first day of the 2012 Florida Legislative Session. The following statement on the first day of session and Governor Scott’s State of the State Address is from Howard Simon, Executive Director of the ACLU of Florida:
“The governor’s speech marking the start of the 2012 Legislative Session is noteworthy as much for what it did not say as for what it did. In his nearly 3,500-word State of the State Address, Governor Scott neglected to use a single word to promise to protect civil liberties in Florida. In fact, discussion of individual rights and personal freedoms was absent altogether from the governor’s remarks. Because of the disdain for civil liberties demonstrated in last year’s legislative session, it’s disappointing that protection of our Constitutional freedoms from government assault are not more of a priority for the Governor.
“Last year’s Legislative Session was the most far-reaching, brutal assault on individual rights and personal freedoms perhaps in Florida’s history. The Legislature trampled on voting rights, a woman’s right to reproductive health care, religious freedom and separation of church and state, and they authorized a new Big Brother program of invasive, illegal urine-testing for people not even suspected of drug use – just to name a few of their attacks on the rights of Floridians.
“If last year’s session was any indication, sadly the legislature is likely to spend the next weeks inventing additional creative ways to trample on Floridians’ basic freedoms. So, the people of Florida should enjoy this first day of the legislative session – no new laws will be passed today.
“It’s likely to be pretty much downhill from here.”