The House slowed and possibly killed a ban on texting while driving Tuesday after adding an unfriendly amendment, which some suspect was an act of revenge against Sen. Nancy Detert, the longtime Senate sponsor of the ban.
With the amendment, which passed passed 73-46, the bill (HB 13) now blocks phone records from being used as evidence unless a death or injury occurs in a crash where texting is suspected, further weakening enforcement of the ban. Rep. Jose Oliva, R-Miami Lakes, filed the amendment at 6:05 p.m. Monday and assured lawmakers it “protects your civil liberties.”
During debate of the amendment, Detert paid a visit to the House floor and watched with her arms crossed for most of the time. Rep. Kevin Rader, D-Delray Beach, told the House he spoke with Detert once she came over and she opposed the amendment.
Shortly before the House vote on the amendment, the Senate killed – by a 20-20 tie vote -- a so-called “parent trigger” bill that was strongly backed by House Republicans. The bill would allow parents whose children go to a failing school to have a stronger vote in a turnaround plan, and it’s been pushed hard by charter school companies and a foundation headed by former Gov.Jeb Bush.