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Legislative Update: March 24, 2023



It's no secret the LGBTQ+ community is under attack at the Legislature. We want to keep our members informed of the bills affecting Tampa Bay's ability to be the best place to live, work, and play. Learn about a few bills we are watching and how you can take action below.

A Few Bills to Watch

HB 1223/SB 1320: The Child Protection in Public Schools says the following: Defining the term “sex”; prohibiting an employee, contractor, or student of a public school from being required to refer to a person using personal titles or pronouns that do not correspond with that person’s sex; prohibiting classroom instruction by school personnel on sexual orientation or gender identity until grade 9; providing that such prohibition applies to charter schools; providing that materials used to teach reproductive health or any disease as part of certain courses must be approved by the Department of Education; requiring district school boards to adopt and publish a specified process relating to student access to certain materials, etc.

STATUS: 3/22/2023 Senate - Now in Fiscal Policy
ACTION: Click here to contact Fiscal Policy Committee


HB 999/SB 266: The Higher Education Bill bans universities from offering courses related to women and gender studies, critical race theory, or intersectionality. It also shifts all university faculty hiring to Boards of Trustees stacked with political appointees, and bans considering diversity or equity in hiring or promotion. Any programs or campus activities that support diversity, equity, and inclusion or critical race theory are defunded– threatening every state university's LGBTQ support programs.
STATUS: 3/21/2023 Senate - CS by Education Postsecondary read 1st time
ACTIONClick here for the Education & Employment Committee


HB 1265/SB 952: The Employer Coverage of Gender Dysphoria Treatment Bill discourages employers from offering insurance coverage for gender-affirming care by burdening employers with an unlimited financial liability.
STATUS: Introduced
ACTION: Click here to contact the Senate Health Policy Committee


HB 1521/SB 1674: The Facility Requirements Based on Sex Bill prohibits gender-inclusive restrooms and changing facilities in schools, private businesses, public shelters, healthcare facilities, and jails.
STATUS: Introduced
ACTION: Click here to contact the Senate Rules Committee


HB 1423/SB 1438: Florida law already prohibits exposing minors to shows considered sexually explicit or harmful, but the Protection of Children Bill expands state law to include vague language that can be used to attack the drag community. It gives state agencies the power to fine and/or shut down LGBTQ-friendly businesses and it revokes a parent’s right to determine what art and entertainment content is appropriate for their own family. It threatens venues that host drag performances with steep fines.
STATUS: 3/22/2023 Senate - Now in Rules

ACTION: Click here to contact the Senate Rules Committee 

SB 416: Antiretroviral Drugs: Antiretroviral Drugs; Authorizing pharmacists to order and dispense HIV preexposure and postexposure prophylaxis drugs without a prescription under certain circumstances; requiring pharmacists to complete specified training before ordering or dispensing such drugs without a prescription; prohibiting certain health insurers from requiring prior authorization or step-therapy protocols for certain antiretroviral drugs, etc.
STATUS: 3/7/2023 Senate – Introduced
ACTION: Click here to contact Senate Health Policy Committee


SB 818: HIV Infection Prevention Drugs: HIV Infection Prevention Drugs; Authorizing licensed pharmacists to screen for HIV exposure and order and dispense HIV infection prevention drugs in accordance with a certain written supervisory protocol or statewide drug therapy protocol; requiring pharmacists to be certified by the Board of Pharmacy before ordering and dispensing HIV infection prevention drugs; requiring the board, in consultation with the Board of Medicine, the Board of Osteopathic Medicine, and the Department of Health, to develop a certain statewide drug therapy protocol, etc.

STATUS: 3/7/2023 Senate - Introduced
ACTION: Click here to contact Senate Health Policy Committee


According to our partners at the St. Petersburg Area Chamber, the plan for the expanded, permanent Cross-Bay Ferry service is underway. Upon completion of the South Hillsborough Terminal (expected Spring 2025), the Cross Bay Ferry will operate between St. Pete, Tampa, and South Hillsborough County year-round on weeknights and weekends, with potential to expand service hours as demand grows. Please complete this survey regarding permanent ferry service.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of all the bills that will affect our community. Rather, these are some of the bills most closely related to the TLGBTC mission. We are concerned about ALL bills affecting our members, colleagues, and friends. Equality Florida has identified more bills from the 2023 Legislative Slate here.

Take Further Action

  • Check out our Advocacy 101 page to learn how to contact your representatives, to check your voter registration status, and more
  • Follow and track all House and Senate bills
  • Follow us on social media for updates and further calls to action


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