News

Actions

New Florida laws on murder witnesses, miscarriages, religion

Florida State Capitol
Posted at 3:22 PM, Jul 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-01 19:24:35-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - 121 new laws go into effect in Florida on Saturday, July 1.

That includes statewide regulations for ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft, pay raises for state employees, protections for religious expression in public schools, a mandatory recess requirement for elementary school students, stricter notification requirements for pollution spills and state-issued certificates for women who have miscarriages.

The budget that goes into effect will also boost funding by $100 per student in grades K-12 and provide more money for charter schools to locate near struggling public schools.

Lawmakers passed 249 bills during their annual session and a four-day special session held in June.

Pollution

The law now establishes new requirements for public notification of pollution incidents within 24 hours by all responsible parties following a pollution incident.

Birth certificates

Families who suffer a miscarriage can get a “nonviable birth” certificate and state employees will get their first pay raise in four years.

Drones and robots

This new law regulates commercial deliveries by drones and "land-based personal delivery devices," such as robots. 

Boating

The new law adds additional guidelines to where boaters can anchor or moor their boats. 

State parks

The new law gives 50% entry-free discount to state parks for foster home families and a one-time, annual entrance pass for families that adopt a child with special needs.

Economic Development

This bill establishes the new $85 million Florida Job Growth Grant Fund to promote public infrastructure and individual job training. It also fully funds VISIT FLORIDA at $76 million and implements new accountability and transparency measures to VISIT FLORIDA and Enterprise Florida (EFI).

Florida Education Finance Program 

This bill secures the highest per-student K-12 funding in state history, increasing funding by $100 per student, for a total of $20.6 billion for K-12 public schools included in the Fighting for Florida's Future Budget.

Educational Options

This bill expands the Gardiner Scholarship Program for students with unique abilities and increases the scholarship amounts for the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship program.

Resource Recovery and Management 

This bill creates guidelines for the resource recovery and management of certain plastic materials.

Bail Bonds

This bill revises the responsibilities of bail bond agents and the requirements for a bond to be forfeited and discharged.

Controlled Substance Prescribing

This bill modifies reporting requirements to the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.

Designation of School Grades

This bill provides greater opportunities for K-3 schools to receive school recognition funding.

Stroke Centers 

This bill makes additional resources and services available to stroke patients and creates a statewide stroke data registry to further improve care.

Practices of Substance Abuse Service Providers

This bill enhances oversight on licensure and regulation of substance abuse service providers.

Department of Financial Services 

This bill updates regulation procedures and requirements within the Department of Financial Services.

Public Records/Department of Elderly Affairs

This bill creates a public record exemption for identifying information in connection with a complaint investigation.

Instructional Materials

This bill allows greater public input and transparency in the K-12 instructional materials adoption process.

Marine Turtle Protection

This bill amends a cross-reference in the Marine Turtle Protection Act.

Laboratory Screening 

This bill revises provisions to enhance the Lead Screening Program, the Newborn Screening Program and laboratory screening requirements.

Forensic Hospital Diversion Pilot Program

This bill authorizes the Department of Children and Families to implement a Forensic Hospital Diversion Pilot Program in Okaloosa County.

Public Records and Meetings/Campus Emergency Response for Public Postsecondary Educational Institutions 

This bill creates a public record and public meeting exemption for information associated with the campus emergency response of state colleges and universities.

Public Records/Workers' Compensation/Department of Financial Services 

This bill creates a public record exemption for the identifying information of an injured or deceased employee held by the Department of Financial Services.

Private School Student Participation in Extracurricular Activities

This bill increases opportunities for private school students to participate in sports at public schools.

Condominiums 

This bill makes changes to the regulation and operation of condominium associations to provide greater transparency and accountability for unit owners. 

School Bus Safety 

This bill creates the Cameron Mayhew Act which provides additional penalties for failing to stop for a school bus and causing serious bodily injury or death.

Application of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act to Credit Unions

This bill exempts credit unions from the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.

Prescription Drug Monitoring Program 

This bill permanently authorizes the Department of Health to implement the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program using state funds.

Direct Support Organization of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program 

This bill extends the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Direct Support Organization to October 2027.