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Florida Senate Passes Bill To Raise Speed Limits, 'Pop Tart' Gun Bill

MGN Online

The Florida Senate passed a slew of measures Thursday, including a bill that could raise the speed limit on certain Florida highways.

Speed Limits Bill

But, Sen. Audrey Gibson (D-Jacksonville) says she’s against the measure because it encourages Floridians and tourists to speed.

“When you increase the speed limit, you ultimately also have to increase the minimum speed limit. And, so we’re encouraging all drivers to drive faster whether they want to or not,” said Gibson.

But, fellow Democrat and one of the bill’s sponsors, Sen. Jeff Clemens, says Florida Department of Transportation officials will have the discretion to adjust the speed limits based on a scientific formula of what speeds most drivers are traveling. He adds it’s also time for Florida to join other states.

“16 states have speed limits that are higher than 70 mph,” said Clemens. “So, the bigger problem might be them coming here and receiving speeding tickets and feeling unwelcome to come to Florida because Florida doesn’t treat them in the same way their home states treat them.”

The measure passed the Senate with bipartisan support and opposition 27-11. Meanwhile, its House companion recently passed its last committee and is heading to the floor.

"Pop Tart" Bill

The so-called “Pop Tart” gun bill is now heading to the Governor for his signature, after the Senate passed the measure Thursday. Its sponsor is Sen. Greg Evers (R-Baker).

“This bill is the bill that protects our children from the overreaches of school administrators that are trying to enforce an overly broad policy that traumatizes children and their families. In addition to protecting children, the bill attempts to give guidance to school administrators who must walk a fine line between following the law and protecting our children,” said Evers.

The NRA-backed bill is inspired by a seven-year-old Maryland boy who was suspended from school for chewing his pop tart into a gun shape. It aims to revise schools’ zero-tolerance policies so that kids who, for example, where a T-shirt with a picture of a gun on it or are simulating a firearm with their finger, don’t get suspended or get a juvenile record.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.