Q&A with Florida State Representative Cyndi Stevenson, District 17

Q: What is the upcoming schedule (after the date of this interview, April 12)?
A: We should be in “conference” soon on the budget. Session ends on May 1.

Q: Can you give us an update on the voter privacy bill you are sponsoring?
A: This bill is ready for the floor. The bill is an attempt to protect the personal information of 16 and 17 year olds who pre register to vote. Voter information including name, address, gender, political party and birthdate are all public record. The bill also now includes the provision that phone numbers and email addresses of all voters would no longer be public record in addition to all the information of the minors. This was added by amendment and I think it’s a welcome addition.

Q: What can you tell us about the status of HB 25, which you are sponsoring?

A: This bill allows for ambulatory surgical centers to provide more affordable options to a hospital for qualifying surgical procedures, as well as allow a 48-hour stay. Now, many stays are less than 24 hours. It also adds certain birthing services to the suite of permitted services. This bill is also ready for the floor.

Q: What can you tell us about your Peer Specialist Bill?

A: This bill will allow more people (such as those who have overcome mental illness or substance abuse themselves) to serve as peer specialists, which have been found to be very helpful in support of others to help in their recovery.

Q: Do you have an update on the cyber harassment bill?
A: This issue was brought to us by law enforcement and the terms of the bill I sponsored have now been included in a larger bill. HB 1043 makes the 2015 cyberstalking bill that we passed more effective; both bills target what is generally known as “revenge porn.” When someone sends by electronic means a sexually explicit image of someone for the sole purpose of embarrassing or harassing the person depicted without their permission, the sender would be subject to prosecution under this law. Previously, law enforcement was unable to enforce against images sent directly by email. The 2015 bill required the image to be posted on the internet, which left out many intentional acts of revenge porn due to the proliferation of high quality photographic and recording devices and the ability to easily share digital images.

Q: What is the best way for our readers to contact you?

A: Readers can email me at Cyndi.Stevenson@myfloridahouse.gov or call my local office at (904) 823-2300.