District 3 Digest, Your Monthly E-Newsletter from Commissioner Julie FIshman. March 2019. Julie.Fishman@Tamarac.org. Office: (954) 597-3460. Cell: (954)46101311
Image of the Florida State Capitol building

2019 Legislative Session


“No man’s life, liberty or property are safe while the legislature is in session.” So said Gideon J. Tucker back in 1866 and this is still true today.

The official start to this year’s Florida legislative session is Tuesday, March 5th. This day will be filled with pomp and circumstance; the Governor will address both chambers of the legislature speaking on the state of the State and his vision for how the year will progress. Meanwhile, in the background, bills will be finalized and priority bills moved to the head of the line.
 
It might be interesting to those of you who have heard the term “government in the sunshine” that while your local city and county commission and school board members are prohibited by law (Tallahassee lawmakers) to discuss anything that might potentially come before their board for a vote, senators and representatives are free to discuss upcoming legislation with each other.
 
Here are some of the bills that are already making their way through the legislative process that could have an impact on our City:

Image of two people in a moving car, in which the driver is using a smart phone.

•    House Bill 45 and companion SB 76, which would prohibit driving while distracted.

This includes many things I see on the road daily such as reading and writing, personal grooming and using a personal wireless communication device (cell phone).


While this bill sounds good, there are issues with the definitions in the bill being rather broad. This bill would allow law enforcement to stop any driver they felt to be driving while distracted.

Image of a gavel

•    Vacation rental bills are back again this year with some working to again completely preempt all regulation back to the state.

This would undo any work done by cities to help neighbors and associations know who’s in charge of a property through the city’s registration of vacation rentals.
 
•    Senate Bill 88 would remove a state preemption and make way for cities to ban straws, disposable bags and to go containers. This would allow Tamarac to pass a local ordinance to ban any or all of these items if it chose to do so. This bill is one of a very few trying to give control to local governments.
 
These are just a few of the bills I will keep you informed of during the two months of the session. I will be in Tallahassee twice this month to talk to our state legislators about how the bills they are considering and voting on impact cities like ours; to remind them that their actions have consequences to the folks all over this state, not just a select few.

Image of the word stop with a hand print as the "o"

Human Trafficking

One of the bills on my personal watch list is Senate Bill 540 sponsored by Senator Lauren Book, a bill on human trafficking. After the arrests these past weeks putting human trafficking in the spotlight, it is even more imperative that residents understand and accept just how prevalent this issue is. I am working with the City to look at ways we can ensure that Tamarac is not a haven for traffickers.
 
Senate Bill 540 would require hotels, motels and resorts to adopt and implement training for their employees in the “identification, prevention and reporting of suspected human trafficking.”

At one meeting I attended about human trafficking, we heard from a survivor who was kept in a hotel room for several weeks when she was about 8 or 9 years old, with men going in and out of the room all day and night. Someone working at the hotel had to see or suspect something, yet no one did anything. It was twenty more years of abuse before this woman got away.
 
This bill would also create a direct support organization to help fund programs to educate, identify, prevent human trafficking and care for the victims. Here in Broward County, there are very limited resources available for the victims of human trafficking because the treatment for the victims is so different than that for victims of other similar crimes, such as domestic violence.
 
Senate Bill 540 would be a very positive step in the right direction in dealing with human trafficking. I will keep you informed of the progress of this bill as well.

What’s Happening in Tamarac?


If you haven’t had an opportunity to see two new videos updating residents on what’s happening in Tamarac yet here are the links for the 2019 State of the City Address and The Time is Now videos!
 
Here are some events happening in our City:
 
March 1st, 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm – Movie in the Park
March 2nd from 10 am  to  Noon – Bike Rodeo and Dr. Seuss’ Birthday
March 3rd from 9 am to 2 pm – Tamarac Farmers Market
March 15th from 7 pm to 9 pm – Groove in the Grass (Concert in the Park)
March 16th from 7:30 am to Noon – Community Garage Sale

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