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House Leader Files Bill To Allow Rescue Break-Ins

Wikimedia Commons
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Similar to two bills filed in recent days, House Majority Leader Dana Young, R-Tampa, on Wednesday proposed allowing people to break into locked vehicles to help senior citizens, disabled adults, children and pets.

Young's proposal (HB 131) is an expanded version of bills filed by Rep. Jared Moskowitz, D-Coral Springs, and Sen. Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange.

The Moskowitz bill (HB 121) relates to helping children left in vehicles, while the Hukill bill (SB 200) relates to unattended animals.

The Young bill would shield people from civil liability if they break into vehicles and have "a good faith belief that forcible entry into the vehicle is necessary because the elderly person, disabled adult, minor, or domestic animal is in imminent danger of suffering harm if not immediately removed from the vehicle."

The bill also would require people to contact local police or fire departments before breaking into vehicles and says people couldn't use any more force than necessary.

All three of the bills will be considered during the 2016 legislative session, which starts in January.