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. 10 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, 38 NOW, THEREFORE, 39 40 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 41 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.