For several years in the Liberty First Network’s fight to repeal the use of red light cameras we have had success in the Florida House of Representatives and last session a bill to repeal red light cameras passed the House easily. It has been the Florida Senate that continues to stonewall any repeal bill. There have been too many Senators taking the side of the local governments and the camera companies for this government camera-for-profit program, despite studies showing how ineffective these cameras are at preventing intersection crashes.
But, the headwinds are changing in our direction with this year’s primary results and our prospects for finally sending this public nuisance to the dustbin of history are looking very good.
The incoming Senate President will be Joe Negron (District 28). Joe has always supported the repeal of red light cameras and I expect he will be supportive and will not try to block a repeal bill moving through the committee process. Senator Brandes (District 24) will be back for another term in the Senate and is committed to his long-time fight to repeal the cameras. Senator Brandes will sponsor the Senate camera repeal bill again in the 2017 session.
The continued good news is that in the August 30 primary election we had several former House members win who support repealing red light cameras. Debbie Mayfield (District 17) and Greg Steube (District 23) won their primary and are expected to win in November. Former Representative Frank Artiles (District 40) has sponsored the House repeal bill over the last few sessions and has a good chance to win a Senate seat in November, as well as Dana Young (District 18), who served as the Majority Leader in the House and supports repealing the cameras. Another former House member who has supported repealing cameras is Keith Perry (District 8) who will have a tough fight in November. Former House members Dennis Baxley (District 12) and Kathleen Passidomo (District 28) won their primaries and with no general election opponents will be sworn into the Senate in November. Both Dennis Baxley and Kathleen Passidomo supported the House camera repeal bill in the last session.
It looks like we will have at least two Democrats win Senate seats that support repealing cameras. Former House member Daphne Campbell (District 38) is unopposed in the general election and former House member Darryl Rousan (District 19) who is likely to win his heavily Democrat district in November.
Representative Richard Corcoran (District 37) will become the Speaker of the House for the next two years. Richard has been a long-time advocate for repealing cameras and is committed to making it happen in the next session. I am not expecting any problems in passing a repeal bill in the House again in the next session.
We will have our best opportunity to finally repeal cameras in the next session, but let me caution you that we still have to be ready to fight. The camera companies like American Traffic Solutions will have their army of lobbyist along with the local government bureaucrats who do not want to see their cash cow die. Please be ready to make the phone calls and e-mails to pressure your legislator to do the right thing. I will keep you alerted as to which legislators you need to contact and when.
However, I need your help to ensure that I will be there every day at the Capitol to remind them that they represent you and not American Traffic Solutions and their high-priced lobbyist. It costs the Liberty First Network $125 per day to be in Tallahassee for the legislative session. It is a large undertaking and with your support we can make a huge impact this upcoming year.
The fight against red light cameras will be one of our highest priorities this upcoming session. Our chances for success have never been higher but we need you to keep us up there fighting for you.
Liberty First Network