Letters to the Editor


Texting bill moves to House floor, stalls in Senate

TALLAHASSEE – In response to House Bill 33 being stalled in the Senate Appropriations Committee, bill co-sponsor Rep. Emily Slosberg (D-Delray Beach) offers the following statement:

“Motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death for teenagers. Primary enforcement of texting and driving laws decrease fatalities – most significantly among teenagers. HB 33, which I sponsored with Representative Jackie Toledo (R-Tampa), makes texting while driving a primary offense and gives law enforcement the tools to do their job. 

Deaths caused by texting while driving do not discriminate no matter your age, gender, nationality, socioeconomic status, or religion. We must all do our part to prevent the endless pain and suffering that thousands of Floridians feel every day. Everyone has the power to tip the scales of change in favor of justice and safety, rather tipping them in favor of death and heartache.”

“HB 33 enjoys widespread bipartisan support and has the support of Speaker of the House, Representative Richard Corcoran (R-Land O’ Lakes). [The bill was scheduled to go to the floor of the House of Representatives on Wednesday, February 28.] However, its companion bill in the Senate (SB 90) is stuck in the Appropriations Committee and on the verge of the demise. Senator Rob Bradley (R-Fleming Island) is the chair of Appropriations and I implore Senator Bradley to help us save lives and bring SB 90 up for a vote in the Appropriations Committee as soon as possible. I also urge all Floridians to contact their local legislators and urge them to support HB 33 and SB 90.”

Rep. Emily Slosberg

State House District 91

Delray Beach 

Former school superintendent: arm homeless veterans to

protect schools

As I sit and listen to the TV news as well as read the printed news, my heart breaks for the families directly and indirectly involved. That is pure emotion. When I take a step back and force my brain to act, a different image begins to emerge. Either way my prayers and heartfelt pain for all is real.

So many pundits are extoling the same remedies. These are the same offerings we have heard every time a tragedy, such as this, has occurred. We must ban certain types of firearms, raise the “buying age”, expand mental health criteria and designate more gun free areas.

 The only people affected by these rules, if legislated, are law abiding persons. When was the last time a gun toting criminal from the inner city had a mental evaluation and/or age check before handling a lethal weapon.

Outlawing the “bump stock” will be a feel-good move for legislators but it will not guarantee a safe area. Unfortunately, I view this as theater and a rerun at that. Do these well-meaning youth realize that even if they get all they are asking for it would take months, at least, to enact.

Let’s look at some practical possible remedies. Why not put mobile homes on campuses and hire homeless veterans, fully vetted, to live there. They would be required to be on armed, active duty for at least one hour before and one hour after regular school hours. Hire other well qualified, preferably former police or military trained personnel to supplement the protective force during the school day. These people would not have to live on campus unless they and the board desired. As I heard Dan Bongino state, train willing educator/administrators to handle firearms. This could be done within a month.

County wide school districts, as in Florida, should be able to enact this within a very short time. States that have school districts within every town or city may need a little more time to decide how to pro-rate the financial end. It can be done.

 And it can be done much faster than trying to pass legislation. This would also give plenty of time to reach quality agreement on what laws should be enacted as opposed to knee-jerk political reactions.

I sincerely pray we find a safe solution. I wish the people marching on the capitol a safe and productive mission. Hopefully, this horrific incident will motivate our youth to learn and understand the complexities of sound government. And that they follow the path of the young man, Patrick Neville, the Columbine survivor who become involved with government.

Ann B. Wiggins



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