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