State Sen. Mike Fasano’s recently altered “Choose Life” bill passed the Community Affairs Committee today in a 7-2 vote.
S.B. 196 aims to rewrite the law governing Florida’s brightly colored “Choose Life” license plates, moving funds from individual counties directly into the hands of Choose Life, Inc. The bill would also remove a stipulation that states at least 70 percent of the funds must go to meeting the physical needs of pregnant women looking to make an adoption plan for their unborn child.
The bill has already drawn the ire of some critics, who argued that the changes could mean that more funds go to crisis pregnancy centers that often disseminate false information regarding abortion. Other questions regarding the bill lead to the filing of four separate amendments, each of which aims to ensure that funds are used for meeting the material needs of pregnant women in the state of Florida.
One amendment, filed March 15, made only one subtle change to the bill while the other three, all filed April 1, placed more restrictions on where the funds can end up. With the addition of the newest amendments, Choose Life, Inc. will only be able to use 15 percent of the funds for plate advertisements, and all of the funds made off the plates must remain in Florida.
Recent data released by Collier County's Criminal Alien Task Force reveals that only a small percentage of those detained under Section 287(g) — a federal program that grants Collier the authority to conduct immigration law enforcement — are actually dangerous criminals, a fact cited in a March 2010 Office of Inspector General report as evidence that 287(g) is failing to meet its proponents' stated goals.
In Arizona, signatures will be turned in today to launch a recall of Senate President Russell Pearce, the architect of S.B. 1070, Arizona’s signature immigration bill. If successful, the recall would be the first time in Arizona history that a state senator lost a recall election. It would also mark the first time in U.S. history that a state Senate president was recalled.