Miguel Díaz de la Portilla
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|Miguel Díaz de la Portilla, Esq.|
|Member of the Florida Senate
from the 37th district
|Preceded by||Rene Garcia|
|Member of the Florida Senate
from the 36th district
|Preceded by||Alex Díaz de la Portilla|
|Succeeded by||Oscar Braynon|
January 30, 1963 |
|Alma mater||University of Miami (B.A.) University of Miami Law School (J.D.)|
|Profession||Attorney at Arnstein & Lehr LLP|
Miguel Díaz de la Portilla (born January 30, 1963) is a local AV rated Miami-Dade based attorney and Former Chairman of the Florida Senate Judiciary Committee, representing the newly re-districted 37th District, which includes western Miami-Dade County, since 2012.
A graduate of Miami’s Belen Jesuit Preparatory School, Miguel went on to earn his bachelor’s degree and Juris Doctorate at the University of Miami.
His Grandfather, Angel Pio de la Portilla was his personal mentor and an inspiration for social and political involvement. His great-grandfather served in the Cuban Senate, while two of his sons (Miguel’s great-uncles) served simultaneously in the Cuban House of Representatives. Miguel has served Miami-Dade County since 1993. He began his career in public service as a Miami-Dade County Commissioner, where he served as Chair of the Transportation Committee, as well as Chairman of the Board. In 1995, Miguel the only Republican appointed by Governor Lawton Chiles to Sustainable South Florida to help restore our cherished river of grass.
Most recently, when the Florida Environmental Regulation Commission signed off on controversial new limits for toxic compounds that can go into Florida’s surface waters, Republican Senator Miguel Diaz de la Portilla called on Governor Scott to do a do-over and reconsider their position. ((Tallahassee Democrat) “I cannot understand how allowing for the increase of not one but multiple known cancer-causing agents in our waterways throughout the state makes any logical sense,” Diaz de la Portilla declared in a statement he released following the vote.
In April 2016, Senator Miguel Diaz de la Portilla was recognized nationally by the American Psychiatric Association for championing efforts to address the need to improve mental health services in the Criminal Justice system in the state of Florida. American Psychiatry Association 2016 Apex Awards
Recent Gun Measures Introduced in FL Legislature in 2016
Since 1999, Florida has passed over 30 pro-gun bills. In 2005, it became the first state with a “Stand Your Ground” law on its books. Three years later, Marco Rubio, then House speaker, crossed the NRA after he’d slowed the passage of a gun bill that allowed licensed concealed carriers to take their guns to work. Campus carry was reintroduced at the start of the legislative session this fall—Florida Students for Concealed Carry, one of the measure’s chief proponents, tirelessly lobbied lawmakers on behalf of the bill—along with legislation allowing open carry, which lawmakers had also previously debated. Despite its history, Florida remains only one of five states where the open carry remains illegal. Supporters framed the bills as public safety measures. In August, on an NRA news program, Hammer said that a “gun-free zone campus” is “a sanctuary where criminals can rape and commit mass murder without out fear of resistance.” On the website Florida Open Carry, which extols potential virtues of publicly displayed sidearms, a writer explains, “When I’m carrying concealed I feel like my ‘teeth’ are hidden, and thus of no real deterrent value.”
When dealing with campus carry, he took meetings with university presidents, college police chiefs, faculty members, and students from around the state. All of them voiced their opposition to the bill. But the measure’s most influential opponent was perhaps John Thrasher, president of Florida State University. For Thrasher, the issue was personal. Before taking a position at FSU, he was a Republican state senator who had opposed a campus-carry measure in 2011. That same year, while he was serving as the Chair of the Rules Committee, an FSU student named Ashley Cowie was accidentally shot and killed in a fraternity house. Cowie was the daughter of one of Thrasher’s close friends, and he had recruited her to come to the school. “That story really resonated with me,” Diaz de la Portilla says. The open carry bill, meanwhile, was opposed by law enforcement officials from around the state. They told him that, with the passage of open carry, their jobs would be exponentially more difficult. Business leaders, for their part, worried about the impact it might have on tourism. “Do you really think it’s a good idea to allow people to openly carry handguns in crime-ridden neighborhoods?” he asks, paraphrasing the concerns. “It makes it pretty hard for cops to pick out good guys from bad guys. And what impression are you creating for visitors? Do you want tourists thinking this is the O.K. Corral?”
It’s not clear whether the bills would have passed had Diaz de la Portilla allowed them to come up for vote, but there are 26 Republicans and 14 Democrats in the Senate, and approval for either measure would have required only a simple majority. Diaz de la Portilla rejected those arguments with the same logic, concluding that, “In either case, the dangers outweigh any perceived benefits.”
In a recent interview with Sun Sentinel reporter Dan Sweeney, Diaz de la Portilla stated, "I don't think I'm an anti-gun guy. I'm a pro-common sense guy." Sun Sentinel
In the same article, Diaz de la Portilla further added that his focus in the 2016 legislation was to "Do something about mental health in a state that ranks 49th out of all the states in per capita mental health funding. He wanted to do something about infrastructure in a state that relies almost exclusively on aging highways for its transportation. And, he wanted to do something about wages in a state where the minimum wage is set at $8.05 an hour." In February 2016, a few months prior to the nation's deadliest mass shooting incident since 9/11, the Editorial Board of the Orlando Sentinel weighed in on Diaz de la Portilla's legislative actions pertaining to these gun measures. Orlando Sentinel
Senator Diaz de la Portilla was recently downgraded to an a F rating by the National Rifle Association. On February 19, 2016, USF Executive Director and NRA Past President Marion P. Hammer sent a "Florida Alert!" to USF & NRA Members and Friends regarding Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Miguel Diaz de la Portilla recent actions. Portilla rejected several key gun bills including HB4001, HB163, and SB68. On February 23, 2016 USF Executive Director and NRA Past President Marion P. Hammer sent a second "Florida Alert!" highlighting Republican Senator Don Gaetz open letter to Miguel de la Portilla criticizing him of “Put simply, Senator Diaz de la Portilla used his power as a committee chairman to deny senators and the public the opportunity even to discuss the issue of open carry and vote for or against the bill". On February 28, 2016 USF Executive Director and NRA Past President Marion P. Hammer sent a third "Florida Alert!" highlighting House Republican Matt Gaetz open letter to Miguel de la Portilla also criticizing him of not scheduling thus killing the "Open Carry" bill.
- "NRA PVF". NRA PVF. Retrieved 2016-02-19.
- "Florida Alert! Republican Senator Explains His Reason for Killing Pro-gun Bills". NRA-ILA Institute for Legislative Action. Retrieved February 19, 2016.
- "Meet the Florida Republican Who Single-Handedly Killed Two of the NRA's Top State Bills". The Trace. Retrieved February 22, 2016.
- "Alert! Florida Senator brags about killing 2A gun bills". NRA-ILA. February 23, 2016.
- "Florida Alert: Matt Gaetz never quits fighting for second amendment rights". NRA-ILA. February 28, 2016.
- Florida State Senate - Miguel Díaz de la Portilla
- Miguel Díaz de la Portilla for State Senate
- Miguel Diaz de la Portilla on Facebook
- Diaz de la Portilla declares campus-carry bill dead for the session
- Two gun bills shot down in Florida Legislature
- Florida Senators Called Out by Students for Stalling Bill Recognizing Right to Carry Guns on Campus
- Florida Senator Pushes Open-Carry Bill, Kills Guns On Campus Debate
- Senator Portilla, R-Miami, Holds the Key to Florida Open Carry
- Political Courage Test