Advertisement

Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at tampabay.com/coronavirus. Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Archive

New law bans date rape drug

Surrounded by boxes of tiny white pills, Gov. Lawton Chiles approved the first law of this year's legislative session by outlawing date rape drugs.

Rohypnol, commonly known as roofies, is frequently used by rapists to knock out their victims. It is also used by teens and young adults as a party drug.

"We look forward to welcoming spring breakers," Chiles said. "We want them to know . . . that we don't tolerate drugs and we don't tolerate rape."

Roofies are illegal in Florida under an emergency rule that expires in June. The new law, which takes effect immediately, groups roofies with heroin and LSD and also criminalizes a host of other drugs that have been used in date rapes, such as GHB.

_ T. CHRISTIAN MILLER

Senate approves its election reform bill

The state Senate agreed to a sweeping new elections reform package Thursday by a 37-2 vote, with only Charlie Crist, R-St. Petersburg, and Jim Hargrett, D-Tampa, voting against the bill.

The measure now goes back to the House, which has passed a similar bill. It is likely to wind up in a conference committee where legislators will try to resolve the differences between the House and Senate bills.

Crist opposed the legislation because it limits independent expenditures on campaigns, a limit he thinks violates the right to free speech. Hargrett opposed the bill because it did not eliminate runoff primaries.

Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Palm Harbor, sponsored the bill, which makes substantial changes in campaign laws. It would ban deceptive telephone calls like those used by Gov. Lawton Chiles in 1994, increase penalties on elections law violators and restrict independent expenditures made by parties and labor unions, and limits party spending on individual candidates to $50,000.

_ LUCY MORGAN

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Advertisement
Advertisement