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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAP NEWS / WCJB) – State law does not require apartment complexes to conduct background checks on potential employees, but after the September murder of a 19-year-old student in the central Florida, his parents and a group of bipartisan lawmakers introduced legislation to make long-distance decks mandatory.
Miya Marcano, 19, was killed in her own apartment by an infatuated 27-year-old maintenance worker who had access to a master key.
“She’s not coming home and it was completely preventable,” said Miya’s mother Yma Scarbriel.
Miya’s mother and father were on Capitol Hill on Wednesday supporting legislation bearing their daughter’s name.
“Everyone deserves to feel safe at home. Miya’s Law will help make this a reality, ”State Senator Linda Stewart said.
The four-page bill would require extensive criminal and sexual background checks of every employee at an apartment complex.
“What is important now is that no other family has to face the heartache our family had to face,” said Miya’s father, Marlon Marcano.
Amanda White, of the Florida Apartment Association, said everything in the bill is already good practice, although not mandatory.
“Passing this legislation would just ensure the consistent application of these best practices across the state,” White said.
But those who do not comply if the bill becomes law could lose their right to rent.
“From there they don’t do it in 30 days, they can be fined. And if they don’t do that the next time they come to see them, they could have their license taken away, so there’s a follow-up to that, ”said Stewart.
The 27-year-old worker committed suicide a few days after the murder.
“Justice has not been served,” Scarbriel said.
Lawmakers return to Capitol Hill for their annual session on January 11.
A hearing on the bill is promised within the first week.
In addition to requiring background checks, the legislation also increases the amount of notice a resort must give a resident before entering the apartment from twelve to twenty-four hours.
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