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Get the latest coverage of the 2023 Florida legislative session in Tallahassee from our coverage partners and 90.7 WMFE.

Orlandoans are key for proposed 'Tyre Sampson Act,' lawmakers say

The Orlando Eye was bathed in rainbows on Sunday, June 12.
The Orlando Eye was bathed in rainbows on Sunday, June 12.

March marks one year since 14-year-old Tyre Sampson died after falling from an amusement park ride at ICON Park in Orlando. Sampson's death made ripples throughout the community that are still making waves in Central Florida's legal landscape.

Central Florida Senator Geraldine Thompson and Representative LaVon Bracey Davis, both Democrats, have been working to change laws to make the industry safer both locally, and, possibly, nationally.

On Thursday, Thompson and Bracey Davis addressed a crowd at the Experience Christian Center during a Pine Hills Town Hall meeting. Among the many topics they covered was the proposed legislation known as the Tyre Sampson Act, which would require regulations on permanently fixed and temporary amusement rides including safety certificates and unannounced inspections. 

 Representative LaVon Bracey Davis and Senator Geraldine Thompson
Joe Mario Pedersen
Representative LaVon Bracey Davis and Senator Geraldine Thompson Thursday, 3/3/23, at a Pine Hills Town Hall meeting at the Experience Christian Center speaking about their proposed Tyre Sampson Act, which would place more regulations on amusement park rides.

The bill was originally filed in February and was referred to the Appropriations Committee on Agriculture for review.

Thompson and Bracey Davis asked residents to reach out to the committee chairman, Republican Senator Jason Brodeur, and let him know the bill is not a partisan issue, but for the safety of all.

“What we would like is advocacy, which should not be partisan. This is a health, safety, and welfare issue. Not a partisan issue,” Thompson said.

Senator Thompson says the bill could have national implications.

“You know there are some states that don’t even have regulations. Saying that they’re going to have a fair, and set up some amusement rides. There’s no oversight. There’s no accountability," Thompson said.

On Feb. 17, a ride at the Florida State Fair in Tampa was shut down after several people were injured when the ride flipped over, according to a report by WFLA.

The legislative session begins Tuesday.

Originally from South Florida, Joe Mario came to Orlando to attend the University of Central Florida where he graduated with degrees in Radio & Television Production, Film, and Psychology. He worked several beats and covered multimedia at The Villages Daily Sun but returned to the City Beautiful as a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel where he covered crime, hurricanes, and viral news. Joe Mario has too many interests and not enough time but tries to focus on his love for strange stories in comic books and horror movies. When he's not writing he loves to run in his spare time.
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