Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Politics

Sen. Chris Smith to propose bill that would amend 'stand your ground' law

For the second year in a row, Senate Democratic Leader Chris Smith will try to amend Florida's controversial "stand your ground" law.

Smith's proposal, SB 122, would prevent individuals from initiating or "unreasonably escalating" a deadly conflict — and then claiming immunity from prosecution under the self-defense law. Immunity would also be denied to individuals who left a place of safety or chased someone down.

"The 'Last Man Standing' escape hatch would finally close with the passage of this legislation," Smith wrote in a press release.

Additionally, Smith's proposal has language requiring sheriffs and municipal police departments to craft guidelines on neighborhood watch programs.

From the bill text: "The guidelines must include, but not be limited to, prohibiting a neighborhood crime watch patrol participant who is on patrol from confronting or attempting to apprehend a person suspected of improper or unlawful activity except in those circumstances in which a reasonable person would be permitted, authorized, or expected to assist another person."

That language, of course, is a reference to Sanford neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, who fatally shot an unarmed Trayvon Martin in 2012. Zimmerman was found not guilty of second-degree murder earlier this year.

Rubio travels on fundraising trail

Sen. Marco Rubio has been busy fundraising this summer, stopping in Boston this week after a swing through the deep pockets of California.

Rubio held at least one fundraiser for his Reclaim America PAC in Boston on Monday and was joined by former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., now a Fox News commentator.

Last week, Rubio attended six fundraisers in California, while also meeting with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, a supporter of immigration reform.

An invite showed Rubio was fetching $500 per guest for a private breakfast at the Corral de Tierra Country Club near Monterey. Co-hosts paid $2,600, which included a photo with the senator. Hosts shelled out $5,200 and got to sit with Rubio. Rubio also picked up checks in Hollywood. The money went to Rubio's PAC and his U.S. Senate campaign account.

Rubio earlier this month spent three days traveling through North Florida, criticizing Obamacare and meeting privately with grass roots conservatives, many of whom are upset with his role in immigration reform.

On Friday, his standing with conservatives will be tested as he speaks at the Americans for Prosperity "Defending the American Dream Summit" in Orlando.

He'll soon be back on the campaign trail — appearing with Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli.

 
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