Throughout the year the Florida government creates and signs new laws. Often times, these signed laws don’t go into effect until specific dates – typically January and July 1st marking the start and the middle of each year.
Here are over a dozen laws that have officially gone into effect as of July 1st in the state of Florida.
- Parental Consent (SB 404) – Requires girls under 18 to get a parent’s consent before allowing a doctor to perform an abortion.
- Student Athletes (HB 7011) – Requires each public school that’s a member of the Florida High School Athletic Association to monitor heat stress and ensure cooling zones are available to athletes. It requires an automated external defibrillator (AED) to be available on school grounds for each athletic contest and practice – including those outside of the school year.
- Drug and Cosmetic Act (SB 172) – Prohibits local governments from regulating over-the-counter drugs and cosmetics, including sales of sunscreen containing chemicals that damage coral reefs.
- Child Welfare (HB 43) – Requires the Department of Law Enforcement to provide certain information to law enforcement officers relating to specified individuals; requiring Child Protection Teams to be capable of providing certain training relating to head trauma and brain injuries in children younger than a specified age.
- Teacher Pay (HB 641) – Raises the minimum base pay for new, full-time teachers to $47,500 and repeals the Florida Best and Brightest Teacher Program, Florida Best and Brightest Principal Program and the Florida Best and Brightest Teacher and Principal Allocation.
- School Choice (HB 7067) – Expands access to the Family Empowerment Scholarship (FES) Program, the Florida Tax Credit (FTC) Scholarship Program and the Hope Scholarship Program (HSP) which provide financial assistance to families seeking private education.
- Holocaust, Black History in Schools (HB 1213) – Requires the Florida Department of Education to create curriculum for students about the Holocaust and Black history.
- Incarcerated Pregnant Women (HB 1259) – Requires a pregnant prisoner placed in restrictive housing to be seen by a qualified healthcare professional at least once every 24 hours and observed by a correctional officer at least once every hour. It also ensures that the pregnant prisoner will be housed in the least restrictive setting consistent with the health and safety of the pregnant prisoner and given a medical treatment plan developed and approved by a qualified health care professional at the correctional institution if the pregnant prisoner does not already have such a treatment plan in place.
- Illegal Taking, Possession, and Sale of Bears (HB 327) – Makes it a first-degree misdemeanor (up from a second-degree misdemeanor) to kill a bear or have a newly-killed bear during closed season. The violation would also carry the consequence of FWC permit forfeiture for three years.
- Emotional Support Animals (SB 1084) – Prohibits discrimination in housing provided to a person with a disability or a disability-related need for an emotional support animal, prohibits a health care practitioner from providing information regarding a person’s need for an emotional support animal without having personal knowledge of that person’s need for the animal and prohibits the falsification of information or misrepresentation regarding the use of an emotional support animal.
- Drug Repository Program (HB 177) – Enables Florida residents with valid prescriptions who are indigent, uninsured or underinsured to receive donated prescription drugs and supplies under the program and limits dispensing of prescription drugs under the program to persons who are licensed, registered or otherwise permitted by state law.
- Electric Bikes (HB 971) – Allows the same rights to electric bicycles that are given to standard bicycles and gives local governments authority to limit their use.
- Drones (HB 659) – Authorizes the use of drones by a non-law enforcement employee of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission or of the Florida Forest Service for the purposes of managing invasive exotic plants or animals on public lands and suppressing or mitigating wildfire threats.
- Domestic Violence Injunctions (SB 1082) – Gives courts authority to take action regarding the care and possession of animals in domestic violence injunctions.
- Elder Abuse Fatality Review (SB 400) – Authorizes a state attorney to create an elder abuse fatality review team, composed of volunteer members review closed cases of elder fatalities caused by abuse or neglect.
If you or someone you know are charged with breaking one of these laws, it’s imperative that you seek out the counsel of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Russell Spatz has over four decades of practice under his belt and is well versed in the workings of the criminal justice system. Give him a call today at (305) 442-0200 to see how he can help you.
“The Florida Senate.” 2020 Bill Summaries – The Florida Senate, www.flsenate.gov/Committees/BillSummaries/2020.
Sunderland, Kelsey. “New Florida Laws: What Went in Effect July 1?” WFLA, WFLA, 3 July 2020, www.wfla.com/news/florida/new-florida-laws-whats-in-effect-july-1/.