The Mia Act has been lifted in the Florida Senate

The Mia Act has been lifted in the Florida Senate

Tallahassee, Florida. The death of an Orlando teen may improve apartment safety in the Sunshine State.

Lawmakers on Friday morning introduced the Mia Act, which was prompted by the murder of 19-year-old Mia Marcano earlier this year.

Police believe a maintenance worker attacked and killed Marcano at her home in September. They said he was able to gain access with a master key – even though he had a criminal background.

Lawmakers introduced the Mia Act, prompted by the murder of 19-year-old Mia Marcano earlier this year.

Family and friends have since formed the Miya Marcano Foundation. Their goal was, in part, to push for change and to seek stricter security standards in apartments to prevent future tragedy.

“We put in what I consider a really good bipartisan bill,” said Senator Linda Stewart, Democrat of Orlando, who introduced SB 898.

Rep. Robin Bartelman, D-Weston, plans to introduce accompanying action in the House in the coming days.

If approved, the MIA Act will make several changes:

  • Require apartments to conduct background checks on all employees using national databases
  • Landlords will be able to disqualify those convicted of violent or sexual offenses for employment
  • Require apartments to create and keep records of keys and increase unit entry notices from 12 to 24 hours

“I can’t always be 100% that we’ll find out what’s going on,” Stewart said. “But, I think if all of those things were in place, we’d have had a chance to figure out what was going on here in Central Florida and what happened to Mia.”

Stewart said the legislation has already won some Republican support and the approval of key stakeholders such as the Florida Apartment Association.

In a statement, the FAA said the bill “will classify industry best practices related to employee background checks and apartment access protocols.”

Marcano’s parents and members of the Marcano Foundation also spoke with Governor Janet Nunez on Friday. They urged the administration to support the bill as well.

“I felt definitely supportive of, you know, seeing things get done to keep residents safe and secure,” said Foundation Board Member Judy Lewis. “We really think this is a no-brainer because it affects all of us in some way, shape or form.”

The legislature will have its say when members return to regular session in January.

As narrated by WPTV West Palm Beach.

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