Legal Affairs

Legislative Platform

Florida Sheriffs 2017 Legislative Priorities

Updated March 14, 2017  Download PDF version

Comprehensive Drug Control

This year FSA will focus on one key legislative priority: the passage of comprehensive drug control legislation to address Florida’s rising heroin and Fentanyl epidemic. Much of this recent devastation is caused by Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTOs) mixing heroin with Fentanyl, a narcotic drug prescribed to treat severe pain, to create a more potent drug. The end result is a deadly combination that is overwhelming first responders. Between 2013-2015, Florida medical examiners recorded a 281% increase in Fentanyl and a 280% increase in heroin caused deaths in Florida.

The Comprehensive Drug Control bill:

  • Creates criminal penalties for trafficking in Fentanyl and synthetic drugs, such as cannabinoids and cathinones.
  • Allows a person to be charged with murder for causing any death through the distribution of Fentanyl, heroin, or any mixture thereof. This penalty currently exists for cocaine, opium, and methadone.
  • Adds numerous “Fentanyl Derivatives” to Florida’s Controlled Substances Schedules to ensure all chemical variants of Fentanyl are included.
  • Provides for an increased penalty for 10 or more grams of Fentanyl. This penalty currently exists for other drugs that have no accepted medical applications.

Without legislation to address the widespread rise of heroin and the increase in abuse of Fentanyl, these drugs will continue to devastate Florida communities.


Florida Sheriffs Association Legislative Platform (2017)

Prevention & Youth Services

Civil Citations: Oppose a statewide mandate of issuing civil citations to all juveniles, and support enhanced data collection to ensure deputies have the most up-to-date information available to them before issuing a civil citation.

Law Enforcement

Elected Sheriffs: Support SJR 134/HJR 721 to propose an amendment to Florida’s Constitution to ensure all sheriffs are elected by the citizens of their county.

Blue Lives Matter: Support legislation (SB 70/HB 57) that protects law enforcement officers in the line of duty.

Jails, Corrections & Re-Entry

Early Release: Support Truth in Sentencing laws requiring convicted criminals to serve at least 85% of their sentence.

Mandatory Minimum Sentencing: Oppose the elimination of mandatory minimum sentences.

Expunction of Criminal Records: Oppose unlimited expunction of criminal records.

State Sentencing: Oppose the sentencing of state inmates to county jails, but the Florida Sheriffs Association supports sheriffs’ ability to individually contract with the Department of Corrections for housing state inmates.


Gambling: Oppose the expansion of any gambling, including Casino Resorts or Internet poker.


Florida Retirement System: Support returning length of service to 25 years and the retirement age to 55 years for Special Risk Class employees.

Florida Retirement System: Support legislation to assess the financial impact and necessary funding required for an ad hoc cost of living adjustment for future Special Risk Class retirees.


Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Training Funding: Support continued funding to train law enforcement officers to safely assess and identify people in mental health crisis and help connect them with community treatment, and keep them out of the criminal justice system.

Community Mental Health Funding: Support funding for mental health services that will assist persons after they are released from county jails and have to transition back into the community.

Sexual Offender/Predator Registry Improvements: Support funding FDLE to affect critical updates to the electronic statewide registration process.

Click this link to the Florida Retirement System position paper for more information.