Florida Senate - 2021                                    SB 1558
       By Senator Cruz
       18-01034-21                                           20211558__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to offenses against members of the
    3         press; amending s. 775.085, F.S.; expanding grounds
    4         for the reclassification of crimes to include
    5         evidencing prejudice based on employment as a member
    6         of the press; defining the term “member of the press”;
    7         providing an effective date.
    9  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   11         Section 1. Subsection (1) of section 775.085, Florida
   12  Statutes, is amended to read:
   13         775.085 Evidencing prejudice while committing offense;
   14  reclassification.—
   15         (1)(a) The penalty for any felony or misdemeanor shall be
   16  reclassified as provided in this subsection if the commission of
   17  such felony or misdemeanor evidences prejudice based on the
   18  race, color, ancestry, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation,
   19  national origin, homeless status, employment as a member of the
   20  press, or advanced age of the victim:
   21         1. A misdemeanor of the second degree is reclassified to a
   22  misdemeanor of the first degree.
   23         2. A misdemeanor of the first degree is reclassified to a
   24  felony of the third degree.
   25         3. A felony of the third degree is reclassified to a felony
   26  of the second degree.
   27         4. A felony of the second degree is reclassified to a
   28  felony of the first degree.
   29         5. A felony of the first degree is reclassified to a life
   30  felony.
   31         (b) As used in paragraph (a), the term:
   32         1. “Advanced age” means that the victim is older than 65
   33  years of age.
   34         2. “Homeless status” means that the victim:
   35         a. Lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime
   36  residence; or
   37         b. Has a primary nighttime residence that is:
   38         (I) A supervised publicly or privately operated shelter
   39  designed to provide temporary living accommodations; or
   40         (II) A public or private place not designed for, or
   41  ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human
   42  beings.
   43         3.“Member of the press” means:
   44         a.An accredited member of the press corps or media;
   45         b.A photographer or photojournalist employed by a
   46  newspaper, a magazine, or any other media company; or
   47         c.An individual operating equipment to facilitate the
   48  delivery of news or media.
   49         Section 2. This act shall take effect October 1, 2021.