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What's next for Frank Artiles? Asks and apologies

Frank Ariles being sworn in to the Florida Senate in November

Scott Keeler, Tampa Bay Times

Frank Ariles being sworn in to the Florida Senate in November



As a freshman senator this year. Frank Artiles has filed more bills than just about anyone except maybe Republican freshman, Sen. Greg Steube; so how will that play out when his bills come up before some of the colleagues he has insulted?

The Senate Judiciary Committee hears two of Artiles' top priority bills Wednesday:  SB 12, a claims bill against the Department of Transportation on behalf of the family of Jacksonville man who was killed when his car skidded out of control because of standing water from a clogged drainage basin. He also seeks approval for a more controversial bill, SJR 134, which is a constitutional amendment to require Miami-Dade, Broward and Volusia counties to elect their sheriffs. 

Sitting on Senate Judiciary are both Sen. Audrey Gibson, D-Jacksonville, and Sen. Perry Thurston, D-Fort Lauderdale, each of whom was at the receiving end of one of Artiles' racial slurs at a Tallahassee bar on Monday night. He has since apologized and asked for a moment to address the full Senate on Wednesday morning. 

Things could get complicated, especially if the Democratic caucus votes to file a formal complaint alleging a violation of the rules and conduct and triggering a full-blown ethics review by the Senate Rules Chair Lizbeth Benacquisto, R-Fort Myers.

Benacquisto quoted Senate President Joe Negron's tweet late Wednesday: "Racial slurs and profane, sexist insults have no place in conversation between Senators and will not be tolerated" and replied: "Intolerance will not be accepted in any form...…

[Last modified: Tuesday, April 18, 2017 11:59pm]


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