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After seeing Ask Anthony story, Florida lawmaker drafting legislation to ensure landlords, prisons provide AC

State Rep. Angie Nixon was the first lawmaker to respond with a solution after seeing our story about a Jacksonville woman without air conditioning for six weeks.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Earlier this month, we told you about Carol Russell. She's a Jacksonville woman who was without air conditioning in her apartment for six weeks.  

While doing research on this story, the "Ask Anthony" team discovered the state of Florida requires landlords to provide tenants with heat, but not air conditioning. 

We contacted all of our local state lawmakers about this issue.  

"To see your story about Miss Carroll, I just knew that I couldn't just sit idly by. I went ahead and drafted legislation in regards to it," Rep. Angie Nixon said. 

State Representative Angie Nixon plans to introduce a bill to protect people, like Miss Carol, from the Florida heat. She was the first state lawmaker to respond after seeing our story. 

"I want to ensure that wherever folks lay their heads that we're making it mandatory for a/c units to be there," Rep. Nixon added. 

In 2021, State Senator Jason Pizzo of Miami filed a bill that would require landlords to provide tenants with a/c, but it never made it out of committee. 

"It struck us as sort of a no-brainer to go ahead and require air conditioning," Sen. Jason Pizzo responded. 

He believes this time it should at least get a hearing and discussion. 

"Anytime that you try to include or add a requirement or mandate onto a statute, to an industry that has a lot of influence in Tallahassee, they're going to be resistant," Sen. Pizzo added. 

Recently, advocates have been pushing to protect inmates and staff members at non-air-conditioned Florida prisons. That's gotten the attention of lawmakers, on both sides of the aisle, in Tallahassee.  

"Miami, where I live, may have had snow flurries in 1977. But those aren't coming back anytime soon. It's only getting hotter," Sen. Pizzo said. 

Rep. Nixon believes her colleagues will get behind this bill after a summer of excessive heat in Florida. 

"At the end of the day, people can die from things like heatstroke. We want to avoid that at all costs," Rep. Nixon said. 

If you are a renter who has been without air conditioning for an extended period of time, you can contact Rep. Nixon's office.  

Both Nixon and Pizzo are encouraging you to contact your state senator and representative and share your thoughts on this issue. 


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