Foreign law, textbooks among dozens of bill sent to Gov. Scott

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Bills renaming a pair of state colleges, prohibiting the use of foreign law in Florida courts and giving additional parental input on school textbooks are some of the 58 legislative proposals sent to Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday.

The governor has 15 days to sign, veto or let each bill enact as law without his signature.

SB 386 is one controversial bill, passed primarily along party lines that codifies existing law, declaring that any attempt to apply foreign laws in state courts to be void if it violates Florida policy. Opponents of the bill see the proposal as anti-Muslim, intended to attack Sharia religious law used in some Islamic countries.

The bill does not mention Sharia or any particular international law, which supporters say strengthens the law against legal challenges.

SB 864 allows county school districts to establish a process for parents to provide feedback  on choices of state-sanctioned textbooks and other educational materials. Initially, the bill called for the elimination of the state textbook-approval process, requiring each county to implement their own local process.

A less controversial bill (SB 236) renames Edison State College to Florida Southwestern State College, and changes Pasco-Hernando Community College to Pasco-Hernando State College. The Fort Myers-based Edison State College was subject to a possible trademark-infringement lawsuit from Trenton, New Jersey-based Thomas Edison State College.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, 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.