Florida Senate - 2021                             CS for SB 1606
       By the Committee on Governmental Oversight and Accountability;
       and Senators Rodriguez, Garcia, Hutson, and Rodrigues
       585-03333-21                                          20211606c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to victims of communism; amending s.
    3         683.01, F.S.; establishing November 7 as the Victims
    4         of Communism legal holiday; requiring the Legislature
    5         to annually observe a moment of silence in observance
    6         of the victims of communism; requiring high school
    7         students in a United States Government course to
    8         receive certain instruction on “Victims of Communism
    9         Day”; providing an effective date.
   11         WHEREAS, over 100 years have passed since the Bolshevik
   12  Revolution in Russia and the formation of the first communist
   13  government under Vladimir Lenin, leading to decades of
   14  oppression and violence under communist regimes throughout the
   15  world, and
   16         WHEREAS, based on the economic philosophies of Karl Marx,
   17  communism has proven incompatible with the ideals of liberty,
   18  prosperity, and dignity of human life and has given rise to such
   19  infamous totalitarian dictators as Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, Hồ
   20  Chí Minh, and Pol Pot, and
   21         WHEREAS, communist regimes worldwide have killed more than
   22  100 million people and subjected countless others to
   23  exploitation and unspeakable atrocities, with victims
   24  representing many different ethnicities, creeds, and
   25  backgrounds, and
   26         WHEREAS, through false promises of equality and liberation,
   27  communist regimes have systematically robbed their own citizens
   28  of the rights of freedom of worship, freedom of speech, and
   29  freedom of association through coercion, brutality, and fear,
   30  and
   31         WHEREAS, many victims of communism were persecuted as
   32  political prisoners for speaking out against these regimes, and
   33  others were killed in genocidal state-sponsored purges of
   34  undesirable groups, and
   35         WHEREAS, in addition to violating basic human rights,
   36  communist regimes have suppressed intellectual freedom, cultural
   37  life, and self-determination movements in more than 40 nations,
   40  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   42         Section 1. Present paragraphs (q) through (u) of subsection
   43  (1) of section 683.01, Florida Statutes, are redesignated as
   44  paragraphs (r) through (v), respectively, and a new paragraph
   45  (q) is added to that subsection, to read:
   46         683.01 Legal holidays.—
   47         (1) The legal holidays, which are also public holidays, are
   48  the following:
   49         (q)Victims of Communism Day, November 7.
   50         Section 2. The Legislature shall, on the final day of each
   51  regular legislative session, observe a moment of silence in
   52  observance of the victims of communism.
   53         Section 3. Beginning in the 2022-2023 school year, high
   54  school students enrolled in the United States Government class
   55  required by s. 1003.4282, Florida Statutes, must receive at
   56  least 45 minutes of instruction on “Victims of Communism Day” on
   57  topics such as Mao Zedong in China, Joseph Stalin and the Soviet
   58  System, Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution, Vladimir Lenin
   59  and the Russian Revolution, Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam, and Nicolas
   60  Maduro in Venezuela and how the victims suffered under these
   61  regimes through suppression of speech, poverty, starvation,
   62  migration, and systemic lethal violence against civilians.
   63         Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2021.