A bill designed to crack down on violent protests was passed by the Florida House. The measure approved on a 76-39 vote Friday would create increased penalties and new crimes for people who participate in violent protests. (March 26)
BOBBY CAINA CALVAN: After getting an inside lane in the Florida House, momentum for the so-called anti-riot bill could face hurdles in the Senate. Or it could come to a screeching halt as Florida lawmakers near the midway point of their two-month session.
This is one of the bills consuming lots of air in the Florida State House. Its official title refers to combating public disorder, but most Democrats and other critics think it will have a chilling effect on how people exercise their constitutional rights to free speech and peaceful assembly.
The bill would stiffen penalties for crimes committed during a violent protest, and it would create new felonies for organizing or taking part in demonstrations that get out of hand.