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Important Update


To all White House Boys (Okeechobee and Marianna) , Widows and Supporters:


As you probably know, the bills have been filed. This is wonderful news and it is terrific that they have been filed so early. We are already way ahead of last year!

The bills are:



You can follow them here:

It is very important that we ALL go to the Capital as often as possible and speak to the legislatures to ask for their support of these bills, as you will see from the notes that follow below.

In the meantime, Roy Conerly, Paul Elgin and I am making our first trip of this Legislative Session to Tallahassee on September 22 and we invite you all to join us. This will be the first of many trips, and although this is not a very organized or "official" trip, it will be to our benefit that as many as can attend, will do so. There is no time like the present to get started promoting our bills throughout the Capitol, and the more people that can make it, the better. You will see later in this message how it has been recommended to us that we be seen in the hallways and talk to as many Senators and Representatives as possible.

I understand that this is last minute, but I already had to be in Tallahassee the 22nd and 23rd so it made sense to spend the day of the 22nd at the Capitol. Roy Conerly Sergeant at Arms, along with Paul Elgin and his friend and I will be meeting the niece of Joseph Weatherby, who died in the fire at Florida Industrial School, and is coming from Massachusetts on the evening of the 22nd and the day of 23rd, to see where her uncle is interred. Sadly, the cemetery is so difficult to find that we were afraid she may travel all the way from Massachusetts to Marianna and not be able to locate Boot Hill Cemetery. Roy, Paul and I will also take her to visit the cemetery in Tallahasse

e. Everyone is welcome, of course, to join us to Marianna and the cemetery at Tallahassee on the 23rd if you wish, but the most important thing is for as many people as possible to knock on doors and be seen in

the Capitol on the 22nd. We plan to be at the Capitol by 8 am.

We plan to have MANY other organized trips to Tallahassee this year in the next few months, and we hope that if you are able, you'll join us as often as you can, with as many family members and supporters as you can bring. We also hope that you will go to Tallahassee on your own, or in small groups, to visit the Senators and Representatives. You don't have to wait until we go as a group. Go as often as you can! You will see below that this is the directive from Senator Rousson, Representative Salzman, and our Advocates and Lobbyists.


Troy Rafferty, one of our advocates from Levin, Papantonio and Rafferty Law Firm, put together a spur of the moment conference call a couple of months ago to update us on the progress of the bills after the Session ended without the bill being passed.. He and Senator Rouson and Representative Salzman wanted to tell us what the plans were for this year's Session and what we can do. Both the Senator and Representative promised to file the bills early, and they have already filed them. They are SB 24 and HB 21.

The overall point of the conversation was to say that Senator Rouson, Representative Salzman, and the advocate's team did everything they could last year, but the Speaker of the House didn't "move on the bill". They reminded us that it is often a multi-year process to get bills passed. They were encouraged by the fact that the bill passed unanimously in 2 Senate committees. They are hopeful we can be successful this year, but it is going to take work.

Senator Rouson promised to work as hard as he has ever worked on this year's bill, and also said that there is nothing that will be as impact

ful as your presence in Tallahassee. By us being in Tallahassee and visiting the legislature, he said it puts a face and a voice that is very impactful. He asked that you not give up now!

Representative Salzman said that our bill will be her priority this year. She would like to see us at the Capital on a regular basis, trying to arrange meetings and get support. She said the men must be their own advocates in addition to what she and the Senator and the advocates and the lobbyists are doing. In addition to going to Tallahassee, you can also make phone calls and visit the Senators and Representatives in your district. Tell them about why this bill is so important to you and ask for their support.

Troy Rafferty said that he is also advocating and making phone calls constantly. He told us that we have a team of lobbyists who are helping through the Florida Justice Committee, of which he is a former president. He stated that when the legislature hears directly from the men and their families, "this is what moves the needle". He said we have to reach out to our legislatures and "keep this on their radar".

They continued to stress that the Official White House Boys, Widows and Supporters have to do everything they can to help pass this year's bill. They all said the most important thing we can do is GO TO TALLAHASSEE! You can do this on your own, in small groups, or when we announce that we are all going together as a large group. Knock on doors and ask for support of the bill, and tell your stories.

Then, once the bill gets referred to committees, we need to go and visit each of the committee members and ask for their support. This will be even more important! The bill must pass each committee it goes to, so we need to have all the committee members vote "yay" to the bill. They said that the Committee Members will discuss who they have seen in the hallways. This is how to get their attention! They said that The Official White House Boys and their sup

porters will want to create that conversation about the bills. Here is what we know so far about the Committee Weeks for this year's session:

Committee Weeks 2024 Session

Interim Committee Week #1, September 18-22 (House only)

9:00-10:30 a.m. Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee (agenda will be released by 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 12)

1:30-3:00 p.m. House Education Quality Subcommittee (agenda will be released by 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 12)

Interim Committee Week #2, October 9-13 (Senate only)

Interim Committee Week #3, October 16-20

Interim Committee Week #4, November 6-9

Interim Committee Week #5, November 13-17

Interim Committee Week #6, December 4-7

Interim Committee Week #7, December 11-15

FYI, we got as many of you as possible on that conference call given the short notice, and the notes above cover everything that was discussed. If we missed any of you, we apologize.

We look forward to seeing you as often as possible at the Capitol.


Charles A Fudge

President, The Official White House Boys

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