Paul L. Caron

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Florida Senate Passes ‘Markel’ Grandparent Visitation Bill

Florida Politics, Florida Grandparents Score Major Win, With Assist From Johnston & Stewart:

Markel & ParentsThe issue: expanding the rights of Florida grandparents to connect with their grandchildren following tragedy — an effort inspired by the 2014 murder of FSU law professor Dan Markel that left his two young children estranged from his grieving parents, even after his ex-wife Wendi Adelson and members of her family were named by law enforcement as co-conspirators in his killing.

Under Florida law, Markel’s parents could not even petition courts to seek visitation with their grandchildren, which led allies ...  to seek a legislative remedy. ...

Today, the Senate unanimously passed what has become informally known as the “Markel Act” — HB 1119 by Rep. Jackie Toledo and companion SB 1408 by Sen. Keith Perry, marking one of this Session’s major bipartisan victories. The House bill passed with a vote of 112-3. ...

Dan’s mother Ruth Markel, in response to today’s vote, offered praise in all directions.

“This was a group effort, built by a community of people. To the lawmakers and their staff who took charge this year, including Speaker Chris Sprowls, President Wilton Simpson, Rep. Jackie Toledo, Sen. Keith Perry, and Sen. Lauren Book, thank you. I’m grateful to Karen Cyphers for initiating the process and for her spirit and persistence. I am forever thankful to Jeremy Cohen for attending the bill hearings to represent our family and his friendship with Dan. So many others lent their advice and attention, including Jason Solomon for founding Justice for Dan. This online community has provided enormous support for our cause. We cannot forget the media coverage from Karl Etters and William Hatfield of the Tallahassee Democrat, Julie Montanaro of WCTV, Peter Schorsch of Florida Politics, and others at WTXL and WFSU. And, to our wonderful lobbyists, Jeff Johnston and Amanda Stewart, we will always remember and cherish their tireless efforts and dedication.”

Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

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