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Derecho Constitucional / Constitucional Law

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Florida House approves bill allowing more armed teachers      

Source: Jurist

May 2, 2019

-United States-

The Florida House of Representatives on Wednesday approved HB 7093 (School Safety Bill), which will expand opportunities for teachers to become armed school guardians. The bill will be passed on to Governor Ron DeSantis, who is expected to sign it.

The School Safety Bill will loosen the requirements of the Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program, which was enacted in response to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. Under the Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program, only teachers who had a second role at the school, like athletic coach, could apply to be a school guardian. Such school guardians would be allowed to carry guns on campus as a last line of defense.

The School Safety Bill will let any teacher be a part of the program. No teacher will be required to participate in the program.

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Derecho Constitucional / Constitucional Law

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Utah Senate approves hate crimes Bill

Source: Jurist

March 06, 2019

-United States-

 The Utah Senate passed a hates crime bill (SB 103) by a vote of 18-11 on Tuesday. The bill now moves to the Utah House of Representatives for consideration.

SB 103 would authorize increased penalties for criminals who target victims based on certain personal attributes including age, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation.

(2) A defendant is subject to enhanced penalties under Subsection (3) if the defendant intentionally selects:

(a) the victim of the criminal offense because of the defendant’s belief or perception regarding the victim’s personal attribute or a personal attribute of another individual or group of individuals with whom the victim has a relationship; or
(b) the property damaged or otherwise affected by the criminal offense because of the defendant’s belief or perception regarding the property owner’s, possessor’s, or occupant’s personal attribute or a personal attribute of another individual or group of individuals with whom the property owner, possessor, or occupant has a relationship.

Senator Daniel Thatcher, who sponsored the bill, said the biggest hurdle facing the bill came from senators worried about prosecuting thought crimes. As written, SB 103 would not operate as a standalone criminal offense, and only increase penalties for those convicted of other crimes.

SB 103 faced significant debate on the floor, including over what classes should be covered.