142-year-old women's advocacy organization highlights 5 bills to support in Florida

The American Association of University Women founded in 1881 promotes equity for women and for all. AAUW of Florida has identified several bills to support in the current legislative session. Although ignored in recent lists of legislation to watch, they have been crafted to make the lives of women easier in Florida. Please make your legislators aware of:

ERA Bills: SCR142/H647: The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution does not prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in the same way it does for race or national origin. We need this protection now.

Pregnant Women in Custody: SB 100/HB 237: After a pregnancy test on their request, every arrested female would be allowed to petition for a postponement, but not a reprieve, of incarceration. Jail is no place for healthy pregnancy and delivery.

Paid Parental Leave for State Career Service Employees: SB 127/HB 128: This bill changes unpaid to paid leave for the over 80,000 employees of the state of Florida who are paid an average of $56,500 per year.

Pregnancy Support and Wellness Services: SB 256/HB 343: This bill would improve the integrity of the state-supported, childbirth-only Pregnancy Support Centers by requiring that information presented be medically correct and requiring Department of Health inspections and annual audit reports.

Freedom to Learn Act (Education): SB1414 and HB1355: Repealing or amending previous restrictions on materials on systematic racism in higher education, permitting only parents to object to library materials in K-12, permitting no objection based on partisan or doctrinal approval and ceasing immediate removal of questioned material.

AAUW Florida opposes bills aiming to enable employers to hire 16-year-olds without time or job restrictions (HB49/SB1596), because of the supreme importance of a good education in lifting people out of poverty.

For more information go to aauwadvocacyflorida.blog.

DeWitt
DeWitt
Mary Gatta of St. Augustine is public policy co-director, American Association of University Women of Florida.
Mary Gatta of St. Augustine is public policy co-director, American Association of University Women of Florida.

Patricia DeWitt of Jacksonville and Mary Gatta of St. Augustine are public police co-directors for American Association of University Women of Florida

This guest column is the opinion of the author and does not necessarily represent the views of the Times-Union. We welcome a diversity of opinions.

This article originally appeared on Florida Times-Union: Women's group touts bills to support in Florida legislative session