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Florida House adds homeless to hate crimes law

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From the 13th Juror: Despite one state representative calling the homeless “bums,” the Florida House has passed a bill that would add the homeless to the state’s hate crime law.

Sponsored by Rep. Ari Porth, D-Coral Springs, the measure (HB 11) passed 80-28.

“Nobody is more vulnerable,” Porth said. “If the sole reason you beat them was because they were homeless and sleeping on a bench then that deserves extra protection.”

Referring to the homeless as “bums,” Rep. Paige Kreegel, R-Punta Gorda, was among those in opposition.

“The bill is creating a new protected class of people based on the fact that they’re not voters, they’re not taxpayers and they live on the streets,” he said.

An identical bill, SB 506, is headed for the Senate floor.

Read the Orlando Sentinel report here.

The St. Petersburg Times has a more complete story here.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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