Here are the nearly 200 new Florida laws taking effect Monday

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been busy over the last few months signing laws that were passed as part of the 2024 Legislative Session.

On Monday, 185 new bills go into effect.

These new laws cover subjects like insurance, crime, education, tax relief, environmentalism and many more.

Below is a full list of the laws that take effect July 1, as compiled by News 6 in Orlando.

HB 21 — Dozier School for Boys

House Bill 21 creates a compensation program for victims of the “horrific” Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys.

That reform school opened in Marianna back in 1900, and it was used to house children as young as 5 years old who were committed for various offenses, ranging from truancy to murder. In addition, the school housed orphaned children when necessary.

But abuse allegations began as early as 1903, with reports of children being chained in irons, whipped, severely beaten, sexually abused, tortured and even killed. Some of these accounts alleged that staff forced the boys to fight one another for their entertainment.

Eventually, a federal investigation uncovered “harmful practices” at the Dozier School, and it was closed in 2011 (though state official cited budget constraints). The Okeechobee School was later closed in 2020.

However, over 400 men sent to either of these schools in the mid-1900s have come forward about their experiences in recent years, calling themselves the “White House Boys” after a white structure at the Dozier School where many boys were reportedly beaten.

In addition, researchers from the University of South Florida recently discovered human remains at 55 unmarked graves on the Dozier School’s property. Some of these remains had signs of gunshot wounds or blunt force trauma, and at least one set of remains belonged to a child listed as missing in the school’s records.

As a result, this law establishes the Dozier School for Boys and Okeechobee School Victim Compensation Program to compensate anyone confined in these schools between 1940 and 1975 who suffered abuse by staff members.

HB 23 — Public Records (Dozier School for Boys)

House Bill 23 protects the personal information of those applying under the Dozier School for Boys and Okeechobee School Victim Compensation Program.

Under this law, that information will be exempt from public records. However, the exemption will be repealed on Oct. 2, 2029 unless reenacted by the Legislature, per the Open Government Sunset Review Act.

HB 49 — Teen Labor Rights

House Bill 49 removes some of the restrictions on labor rules for 16- and 17-year-olds in Florida.

For starters, the law removes restrictions about how many hours per day and week these teens are allowed to work, allowing them to work the same number of hours as adults.

The law also makes the following changes:

  • If these teens work eight or more hours in a day, they may not work more than four hours in a row without receiving at least a 30-minute meal break.

  • These teens may only work a shift between 6:30 a.m. and 11 p.m. when school is scheduled for the next day.

  • These teens may not work more than eight hours in a day when school is scheduled for the next day. The exceptions to this rule are Sundays and holidays.

  • These teens aren’t allowed to work more than 30 hours in a week when school is in session unless they have a parent’s permission otherwise.

These changes do not apply to teens 15 years old or younger. Those teens cannot work more than four hours continuously without a scheduled 30-minute break or work more than 15 hours per week while school is in session.

The only exception is if the teen faces hardship and gets approval from their district’s superintendent to work longer hours.

HB 59 — HOA Rules and Covenants

House Bill 59 changes some rules surrounding homeowners’ associations.

Specifically, the bill requires HOAs to provide a physical or digital copy of their rules and covenants to each of its members by Oct. 1 — as well as to all new members going forward.

In addition, the law requires HOAs to provide an updated copy of its rules to its members whenever they are updated.

RELATED: Man says new legislation regarding HOAs will help ‘educate’ his community

HB 73 — Developmental Disabilities

House Bill 73 establishes a “supportive decision-making agreement” (SDM) as a type of power of attorney for those with developmental disabilities.

Under this law, courts are required to address whether an “incapacitated individual” would need help to exercise their rights during a petition to determine incapacity, and to what extent he/she needs that help.

The SDM allows a supporter to help such an individual with communication and decision-making, though the SDM can’t necessarily bind a person with disabilities to any of the supporter’s actions.

In addition, the law adds the SDM as a document that can be used by parents in educational decision-making.

HB 87 — Taking of Bears

House Bill 87 creates a “Self Defense Act,” which allows people to use lethal force against a bear under certain conditions.

Those conditions are as follows:

  • The person reasonably believed it was necessary to avoid the imminent threat of death or serious harm to themselves, someone else, or a pet.

  • The person didn’t lure the bear with materials like food for illegal reasons, such as training dogs to hunt.

  • The person didn’t purposefully or “recklessly” place himself/herself or a pet in a situation where lethal force was necessary.

  • The person notified FWC within 24 hours after using lethal force against a bear.

In addition, the law prohibits people from owning, selling or disposing of a bear or its parts in this situation. Instead, FWC must handle the disposal.

HB 103 — Attorney Public Records

House Bill 103 creates public record exemptions for local government attorneys, including county and city attorneys.

Under this bill, the following information about such attorneys will be exempt from public record requirements:

  • Home addresses

  • Telephone numbers

  • Dates of birth

  • Photographs

  • Names of spouses and children

  • Names and location of schools/daycares attended by attorney’s children

However, these exemptions don’t apply to local government attorneys who are running for public office. In addition, these exemptions will be automatically repealed on Oct. 2, 2029 thanks to the Open Government Sunset Review Act — unless reenacted by lawmakers.

HB 113 — Tax Collections and Sales

House Bill 113 amends the state statutes regarding partial payments of current-year taxes.

The new law eliminates a $10 processing fee to the tax collector for partial payments.

In addition, there is a new clause for situations involving delinquent tax bills on real estate. Tax collectors must provide additional information in reports to county commissions about situations where credit is given, including federal bankruptcies and properties in which taxes are below the minimum tax bill.

HB 117 — Jeffrey Epstein Records

House Bill 117 amends state statutes regarding the disclosure of grand jury testimony.

Under this law, such a disclosure is warranted when it’s in the public’s interest — such as with the Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking case, as described by DeSantis earlier this year.

In addition, these records may only be released under all of the following conditions:

  • The subject of the grand jury inquiry is dead.

  • The grand jury inquiry related to criminal or sexual activity between the subject of the grand jury investigation and a person who was a minor at the time of the alleged incident.

  • The testimony was previously disclosed by a court order.

  • The state attorney is provided notice of the request.

HB 141 — Economic Development

House Bill 141 eliminates several requirements related to the Regional Rural Development Grants Program.

That program is meant to help rural communities use their resources to attract new businesses into their areas.

Under HB 141, the following changes will take place:

  • Removes requirements for grant funds received by a regional development organization to be matched each year by nonstate resources in an amount of 25% of state contributions

  • Removes the requirement for local governments and private businesses to make financial or in-kind commitments to the regional organization

  • Removes the requirement that the Florida Department of Commerce consider the demonstrated need of the applicant for assistance when approving participants for the program

HB 149 — Continuing Contracts

House Bill 149 increases the limit for continuing contracts covered by the Consultants’ Competitive Negotiation Act (CCNA).

The CCNA was passed in 1973, and it requires state and local governments to procure services from professionals like architects and engineers on the basis of qualifications rather than just price.

In addition, the CCNA doesn’t prohibit continuing contracts, which are contracts where a hired firm provides services on several projects.

This law ups the maximum threshold for continuing contracts under the CCNA from an estimated per-project construction cost of $4 million to $7.5 million (plus an annual increase based on the CPI).

HB 151 — Florida Retirement System

House Bill 151 amends the state statutes regarding the Florida Retirement System.

Starting later this year, retirees who have been “terminated” can be reemployed by any employer that is part of the state’s retirement system.

They can also receive retirement benefits and compensation from the employer, though these retirees may not receive both a salary from the employer and retirement benefits during the six months after they begin retirement.

HB 159 — HIV Infection Prevention Drugs

House Bill 159 allows licensed pharmacists to screen adults for HIV exposure and provide the results of such a screening.

If a patient is screened for HIV, the pharmacist must also advise that the patient seek out a physician.

Under the law, pharmacists will also have a new way to become certified to order and give out PEP, which can be used to prevent HIV after possible exposure.

HB 179 — Towing and Storage Practices

House Bill 179 addresses practices by towing-storage operators in the state.

These changes include the following:

  • Counties that have set maximum towing/storage rates are required to post those rates on the respective county’s website.

  • Towing-storage operators must send lien notices within five days after storing a towed vehicle — down from seven days.

  • Older models of unclaimed vehicles may not be sold within 35 days after being stored by a towing-storage operator. For newer models, that figure is instead 57 days.

  • Towing-storage operators must accept documents like an electronic title, paper title, leasing contract or lender contract when it comes to a person’s interest in a vehicle.

  • Towing-storage operators must allow the inspection and release of a vehicle within one hour after the owner, lienholder, or insurance representative presents the specified documents during normal business hours at the site where the vehicle is stored.

  • Towing-storage operators must accept payment for accrued charges via at least two of the following lists:

    • cash, cashier’s check, money order or traveler’s check

    • Bank, debit or credit card

    • Mobile payment service, digital wallet or other electronic payment system

HB 187 — Antisemitism

House Bill 187 defines the term “antisemitism” under state law.

While the term “anti-Semitism” already exists under Florida statutes, HB 187 defines “antisemitism” as follows:

“…A certain perception of Jewish individuals which may be expressed as hatred toward such individuals. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish and non-Jewish individuals and their property toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

HB 187

Examples of “antisemitism” under this law include calling for the deaths of or stereotyping Jewish people. It also includes examples like Holocaust denial.

HB 197 — Massage Parlors

House Bill 197 aims to combat human trafficking in the state that channels through illicit massage parlors.

Under the law, the state Department of Health would be required to issue an emergency suspension of a massage therapist or establishment’s license if any employee at the business is arrested on charges related to kidnapping, human trafficking or prostitution.

In addition, the law will explicitly prohibit any kind of sexual activity within a massage business.

HB 201 — Emergency Insulin Refills

If a pharmacist is unable to obtain authorization from a prescriber for a prescription insulin refill, the pharmacist may instead provide an emergency refill to treat diabetes mellitus, House Bill 201 states.

However, pharmacists may not do this more than three “nonconsecutive times” each year, the text reads.

HB 215 — Risk Retention Groups

House Bill 215 lets motor vehicle coverage issued by a risk retention group (RRG) satisfy financial requirements under the state’s motor vehicle law.

RRGs are a type of liability insurance company owned by its members. They usually let businesses with similar insurance needs pool their risks under state and federal laws.

HB 217 — College Campuses in Critical Areas

House Bill 217 deals with college campus facilities in areas of “critical state concern,” such as the Florida Keys.

As of this bill’s signing, the College of the Florida Keys is the only Florida College System institution located within such an area.

Under this law, healthcare workers may be housed in the college’s dorms, adding to other non-student professions like college employees, educators, and first responders.

In addition, the law increases the maximum number of non-student beds in these dorms to 50 — up from 25.

HB 241 — Skin Cancer Screenings

House Bill 241 addresses coverage of skin cancer screenings under the state’s employee health coverage.

This law requires the state group health insurance plan to provide coverage for annual skin cancer screenings, and the plan is prohibited from imposing a deductible, copayment, coinsurance or other cost-sharing requirement for coverage.

The Department of Management Services will need to implement the benefit elective by Jan. 1, 2025.

Meanwhile, the law also prohibits the plan from bundling payments for skin cancer screenings with any other procedure or service, such as evaluations or management visits.

HB 271 — Parking on Private Property

House Bill 271 establishes new rules for private parking facilities in the state.

Under this law, parking facilities are required to clearly post their rules and rates at the entrance of lots.

Furthermore, a 15-minute grace period is established for drivers who enter such a lot but don’t actually park.

The law also prohibits the owners and operators of these parking facilities from selling the personal information of customers parked there.

HB 275 — “Critical Infrastructure” Crimes

House Bill 275 aims to create new offenses under state law involving critical infrastructure.

“Critical infrastructure” in the bill refers to linear assets that are designed to exclude unauthorized people, such as fences, no-trespassing signs, generators, energy plants, or TV stations.

Under this bill, damaging, accessing or tampering with critical infrastructure could result in both criminal and civil penalties.

HB 287 — Transportation

House Bill 287 addresses several issues related to transportation in the state, primarily as it relates to FDOT and the DHSMV.

For example, the law limits the amount of fuel tax revenues and motor vehicle license-related fees that can be spent on public transit projects.

Other changes include the following:

  • Requires the DHSMV to annually review major traffic law changes each year so that driving course content can be modified accordingly

  • Motor vehicles used for the performance of work on an FDOT road/bridge project must be registered in compliance with state standards

  • Amends provisions related to funding a fire station along the Alligator Alley toll road
  • Amends provisions that a property owner’s right of first refusal for property that FDOT acquired but later determined is no longer needed for a transportation facility

HB 303 — Rabies Vaccinations

House Bill 303 allows agents of a local animal control authority or sheriff’s office to administer rabies vaccinations.

To do so, the agent must be supervised by a veterinarian, and the vaccines may be provided to impounded dogs, cats and ferrets that are set to be adopted or fostered.

However, the veterinarian won’t have to be physically present — the veterinarian would only be required to be available for consultation via telecommunications.

HB 305 — Offenses Involving Children

House Bill 305 amends state statutes involving hearsay exceptions.

While hearsay is generally inadmissible in court, some exceptions to the rule apply under the law, such as when child victims under the age of 16 make statements involving child abuse, sexual abuse of a child, or neglect.

Under this law, the age at which this hearsay exception applies is raised to 17 years old.

HB 321 — Releasing Balloons

House Bill 321 prevents Florida residents from releasing balloons into the atmosphere.

According to the law, people will not be allowed to intentionally release — or cause someone else to release — a balloon “inflated with a gas that is lighter than air.”

A few exceptions to the rule are as follows:

  • If a balloon is released on behalf of a government agency for scientific or meteorological purposes

  • Hot-air balloons if they’re recovered after launching

  • Balloons released indoors

  • The person who releases the balloon is 6 years old or younger

Under the law, violations would be treated as littering and could be penalized as such.

HB 353 — Alternative Headquarters for District Court Judges

House Bill 353 amends the state statutes regarding the district courts of appeal in Florida.

The changes allow for a district court of appeal judge to work at a courthouse in an adjacent county from where they live, provided it’s within the same district.

Before, these judges would be required to live within the same county as the courthouse.

If such a judge lives in an adjacent county, this legislation could provide possible reimbursement for the judge’s travel expenses between their official headquarters and the headquarters of the appellate district.

HB 357 — Veterans Appreciation Month

House Bill 357 replaces “Veterans Week,” instead designating the entirety of November as “Veterans Appreciation Month.”

HB 377 — Vehicles for Hire

House Bill 377 establishes new rules for “vehicles for hire” — motor vehicles used to transport people or goods for compensation.

Some local governments in the state require a permit or license when operating one of these vehicles, such as taxis, jitneys, limousines and rental cars.

Under this law, local governments would be prohibited from requiring vehicles for hire to obtain an additional license or permit if they already have one from another county or municipality.

However, this rule only applies if the person holds an active license in a county/municipality where they live and if the person hasn’t had their license revoked within the past five years. This doesn’t apply to public-use airports or seaports.

HB 379 — State Contract Public Records

House Bill 379 creates a public record exemption for prospective bidders on state projects.

Under current state law, to prequalify for bidding on a Florida Department of Transportation construction project, contractors must be able to prove their financial health.

HB 379 exempts the financial information necessary to verify a prospective bidder’s financial adequacy from public disclosure.

However, this exemption will be automatically repealed on Oct. 2, 2029 thanks to the Open Government Sunset Review Act — unless it’s reenacted by lawmakers.

HB 385 — Safe Exchange of Children

House Bill 385 sets rules for parents of a common child.

Specifically, the law requires each sheriff to designate at least one parking lot for parents of a common child to safely exchange the child.

These parking lots must include a purple light or signage and have a camera surveillance system to improve security.

HB 389 — Highway Designations

House Bill 389 creates 17 designations for various transportation facilities across the state at the following locations:

Location Designation Reason
Portion of I-75 between US-17/Duncan Road and Harbor View Road Deputy Sheriff Christopher Taylor Memorial Highway Taylor was struck by a drunk driver while conducting a traffic stop in November 2022.
Portion of US-19 between Palm View Road and Terra Ceia Road in Manatee County Army Specialist Nicholas Panipinto Memorial Highway Panipinto died during training in Seoul, South Korea in November 2019.
Mid-block crossing on the portion of East University Avenue/SR-26 between NE 26th Terr. and SE 26th Terr. in Alachua County Dylan Roberts Memorial Crosswalk Roberts, 4, was struck by a car while crossing University Avenue in October 2021.
Portions of Gandy Bridge on US-92 in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties AWF3 Mohammed “Mo” Haitham Memorial Way Haitham was fatally struck by an active shooter at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola in December 2019.
Portion of SR-434 between SR-400 and Ronald Reagan Blvd. in Seminole County Deputy Sheriff George Pfeil Memorial Highway Pfeil was shot and killed when he interrupted an armed robbery at a pharmacy in 1977.
Portion of US 17-92 between 1st Street and 25th Street in Seminole County Deputy Sheriff Robert Moore Memorial Highway Moore died of smoke inhalation while rescuing inmates during a fire at the local jail in 1975.
Portion of CR-419 between Snow Hill Road and the Orange County line in Seminole County Deputy Sheriff James Cleveland Jacobs Memorial Highway Jacobs was shot and killed while trying to arrest a man for theft in 1922.
Portion of Bay Avenue between W. 25th Street and W. 27th Street in Sunset Islands in Miami-Dade County Abe Resnick Drive Resnick was a Holocaust survivor and the first Hispanic city commissioner in Miami Beach.
Portion of SW 168th Street between US-1 and SW 89th Ave. in Miami-Dade County Pastor Rick Blackwood Street Rev. Blackwood served as lead pastor of the Christ Fellowship Church for 23 years.
Portion of SR-16 between CR-225 and Rifle Range Road in Clay County Gus Kopelousos Memorial Highway Kopelousos was raised by Greek immigrant parents, taking over the family’s “Garden Restaurant” before his death in 2023.
Portion of SR-997/Krome Ave./W. 177th Ave. between SW 8th Street and the entrance to the Miccosukee Casino in Miami-Dade County MICCO WAY Miccosukee Indians were originally part of the Creek Nation before migrating to the land that would become Florida.
Portion of SR-59 between US-90 and US-27 in Leon and Jefferson counties Major John Leroy Haynes Memorial Highway Haynes was a longtime member of the U.S. Marine Corps with numerous achievements before his death in 2023.
Portion of I-10 between the Alabama state line and I-75 Tuskegee Airmen Memorial Highway Tuskegee Airmen were the first African American military aviators in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Portion of SR-570/Polk Parkway between MM 3.5 and MM 2.5 in Polk County Randy Roberts Memorial Highway Roberts served as the Director of Government Affairs for Public Supermarkets before his death in 2009.
Portion of SR-35/George Jenkins Blvd. between Kathleen Road and N. Sloan Ave. in Polk County Carol Jenkins Barnett Memorial Highway Barnett was the daughter of George Jenkins, the founder of Publix Supermarkets.
Portion of I-95 between MM 115 and MM 120 in St. Lucie County Trooper Zachary Fink Memorial Highway Fink was killed while trying to stop a reckless driver on I-95 in February 2024.
The new SR-A1A N. Causeway Bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway in St. Lucie County (upon completion) E.C. Summerlin Family Bridge The Summerlin family has had connections to Florida since 1770, when members first came from England and Scotland.

HB 405 — FMCSA Alignment

House Bill 405 aligns state laws with changes to federal regulations.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration established requirements in 2021 for state driver licensing agencies to have access to data on driver-specific drug and alcohol program violations.

These agencies have until Nov. 18 to comply with the requirements — hence why HB 405 was passed.

In addition, the bill will adopt updated FMCSA regulations for commercial motor vehicles.

HB 415 — Pregnancy and Parenting Resources

House Bill 415 seeks to create a “comprehensive state website” with information about pregnancy and parenting resources.

Under this bill, the Department of Health would be responsible for contracting a third party to create the website with details on both public and private resources.

That website would have to include information on resources related to:

  • Education materials on pregnancy and parenting

  • Maternal health services

  • Prenatal and postnatal services

  • Educational and mentorship programs for fathers

  • Social services

  • Financial assistance

  • Adoption services

HB 429 — Real Property

House Bill 429 puts the secretary of state — as opposed to the governor — in charge of appointing commissioners of deeds.

The law also revises the Florida Vacation Plan and Timesharing Act, making the following changes:

  • Allows a COA’s board of administration to “delete” facilities with member approval as long as those deletions are approved by at least two-thirds of the board.

  • Grants the managing firm of a timeshare project the right to remove someone from the property, just like with hotel operators, restaurants and similar establishments

  • Requires the managing firm of a timeshare condo to provide a necessary assessment certificate instead of the estoppel certificate

HB 433 — Employment Regulations

House Bill 433 prevents local governments in Florida from implementing heat exposure requirements for companies.

Instead, city and county governments may only establish heat exposure requirements for their own employees, the text says.

HB 437 — Anchoring Limitation Areas

House Bill 437 expands on parts of Biscayne Bay in Miami-Dade County, which are designated as anchoring limitation areas.

“Anchoring” refers to when boaters seek and use a safe harbor on a public waterway for an indefinite period using an anchor.

Previously, Florida law designated certain areas that are densely populated with narrow waterways as “anchoring limitation areas.” When in these areas, people are prohibited from anchoring between a half-hour after sunset and a half-hour before sunrise.

This law designates sections of Biscayne Bay between Palm Island and State Road A1A; and between San Marino Island and Di Lido Island as anchoring limitation areas.

HB 461 — Pregnant Women Excused from Jury Service

House Bill 461 amends state rules regarding jury service in Florida.

Under this law, a woman who has given birth within six months before the reporting date on a jury summons may be excused from service upon request.

HB 463 — Lights on Fire Department Vehicles

Under current law, vehicles under a fire department or fire patrol may show either red or red-and-white lights.

This law allows such vehicles to use blue lights under the following conditions:

  • The vehicle has a gross vehicle rating of over 24,000 pounds.

  • It is authorized by the fire chief.

  • The blue lights are show only on the rear.

HB 481 — HVAC System Regulations

House Bill 481 deals with construction regulations involving HVAC systems.

The law expands the scope of work for certain HVAC system contractors to include specified line-side repairs or replacements, as well as the repair/replacement of specific components for HVAC circuits.

In addition, the law prohibits an HVAC system warranty from being conditioned on product registration. Instead, the full length of such a warrant’s coverage term would begin on the date a contractor installed the system.

HB 487 — Lost and Abandoned Property

House Bill 487 amends state statutes regarding procedures for lost and abandoned property.

The law changes the time period within which a law enforcement officer must notify the owner of abandoned/lost property, a derelict vessel, or a vessel that has been declared a public nuisance.

If the property is unable to be easily removed and is unlawfully on public property, current law requires officers to post a notice on the property stating that it must be removed within five days or else be disposed of at the owner’s expense.

Under this law, officers must notify the owner (once he/she has been identified) as soon after the posting as possible, rather than before the posting.

HB 521 — Distribution of Marital Assets

House Bill 521 amends state statutes regarding the distribution of marital assets during a divorce.

Specifically, the law clarifies the circumstances that justify an interim partial distribution, providing a list of factors that courts can use to determine whether interim partial distribution should be used.

This law also requires that interspousal gifts of real property be made in writing, and the law recognizes that enterprise goodwill in a business should also be distributed as a marital asset.

HB 523 — Seal of Fine Arts

House Bill 523 establishes the “Florida Seal of Fine Arts Program” to recognize exemplary work in the fine arts by high school graduates.

Beginning with the 2024-2025 school year, the Seal of Fine Arts must be awarded to a high school graduate who completed at least three year-long courses in dance, music, theatre or visual arts with a grade of “A” or higher in each.

In addition, the student must meet at least two of the following requirements:

  • Complete a fine arts International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement, dual enrollment or honors course in dance, music, theatre or visual arts with a grade of “B” or higher

  • Participate in a district or statewide juried event as a student participant for at least two years

  • Record at least 25 volunteer hours of arts-related community service and present a comprehensive presentation on his/her experience

  • Meet the requirements of a portfolio-based program identifying the student as an “exemplary practitioner of the fine arts”

  • Receive district, state or national recognition for an original work of art

HB 535 — Low-Voltage Electric Fences

House Bill 535 clarifies rules surrounding low-voltage electric fences.

Specifically, the law clarifies that a nonelectric fence or wall must only be completely enclosed on the outside perimeter of a low-voltage electric fence, but it doesn’t have to be completely enclosed on both sides.

In addition, the law requires a low-voltage electric fence to be 2 feet higher than the perimeter nonelectric fence or wall.

Beyond that, the law mandates that local governments allow low-voltage electric fences in areas not exclusively zoned for single- or multi-family residential use.

HB 537 — STEM Music Program for Middle Schools

House Bill 537 establishes a pilot program for “mSCALES” — “Music-based Supplemental Content to Accelerate Learner Engagement and Success.”

The program is aimed at providing “music-based supplemental materials” to support science and math classes for middle-school students.

According to the bill’s text, only the Alachua, Marion and Miami-Dade school districts would be eligible to participate in the pilot program.

In addition, participating school districts are set to receive $6 per student, though eligible middle schools would have to be in the same “attendance zone” as an elementary school that participated in the Early Childhood Music Education Incentive Program.

This pilot program is also set to be evaluated by the College of Education at the University of Florida, which will put together a report on the program’s efficacy by Oct. 1, 2026.

HB 583 — Larger Wine Bottles

House Bill 583 allows wine bottles to be sold in larger sizes in Florida.

State law prohibits the sale of individual containers that hold over 1 gallon of wine, though this law would allow for exceptions to those limitations.

When announcing the bill’s signature, DeSantis said the prior laws were deemed “anachronistic.”

Under HB 583, wine can be sold in glass containers holding 4.5 liters (Rehoboam bottle), 6 liters (Methuselah bottle), 9 liters (Salmanazar bottle), 12 liters (Balthazar bottle) or 15 liters (Nebuchadnezzar bottle).

HB 591 — Hot Car Death Prevention Month

House Bill 591 designates April as “Hot Car Death Prevention Month.”

The law — dubbed “Ariya’s Act” after Ariya Paige, a 10-month-old who suffered heatstroke after being left in a hot car — is aimed at raising awareness of the danger of leaving children alone in vehicles.

Under this law, state agencies are encouraged to sponsor events to educate the public about these dangers and how bystanders can rescue vulnerable children in such situations.

HB 601 — Civilian Oversight Boards

House Bill 601 prohibits local governments from using civilian oversight agencies to investigate complaints of law enforcement misconduct.

According to the Legislative Analysis, the law is meant to align such investigative procedures to make them uniform statewide.

However, the law also allows a sheriff or police chief to establish a civilian oversight board to review the policies of the respective law enforcement agency.

These boards will be required to have between three and seven members appointed by the sheriff/police chief, one of whom must be a retired law enforcement officer.

HB 613 — Mobile Home Parks

House Bill 613 involves new rules regarding mobile home parks in Florida.

Under the law, mobile homeowners must provide specific documents when filing a petition for mediation with the CTMH involving the park owner. The law also allows for more protections of both homeowners and park owners during the mediation process.

Aside from the new mediation rules, the law mandates that live-in healthcare aides must be able to get into and out of a relevant mobile home owner’s property without any additional fees or rent being charged. The only exception is for the cost of a background check.

However, that doesn’t mean these aides have rights of tenancy within these mobile home parks, the law says.

HB 619 — Sovereign Immunity

House Bill 619 amends state statutes regarding sovereign immunity, which bars lawsuits against the state with certain exceptions.

Under this bill, that immunity will be expanded to professional firms and employees that are contracted with the FDOT.

HB 621 — Removing Squatters

House Bill 621 aims to hasten the removal of “squatters” — people living in a building without permission from the owner — from homes in Florida.

Under this law, deputies may be called to help remove squatters if they unlawfully entered and remain on the property after the owner asked them to leave. This doesn’t necessarily apply if the person is a current or former tenant in a legal dispute.

RELATED: New bill protects property owners from squatters, allows police to intervene

The law also creates the following two crimes:

  • Second-Degree Felony: “Unlawfully detaining or trespassing upon a residential dwelling and intentionally causing at least $1,000 in damage to such dwelling”

  • First-Degree Misdemeanor: “Using a false document purporting to be a valid lease or deed”

  • First-Degree Felony: “Fraudulently listing for sale or renting or leasing residential property without possessing an ownership right to or leasehold interest in the property”

A sheriff can charge an hourly fee for property owners who ask the sheriff’s office to help keep the peace while they change locks and remove a squatter’s personal property from a home.

HB 623 — Builder Warranties

House Bill 623 creates a new law that requires builders to warrant newly constructed homes for one year after the home is either sold or occupied.

These warranties involve construction defects of “equipment, material or workmanship” that cause the home to violate Florida’s Building Code.

However, the law doesn’t require the warranty in the following situations:

  • Normal wear and tear

  • Normal house settling

  • Defects caused by buyers or their contractors

  • Natural disasters

HB 705 — Public Works Projects

House Bill 705 amends the definition of “public works project” under state law.

Current rules prohibit the state or political subdivisions that contract for a public works project using state funds from imposing certain requirements on contractors for these projects.

Under HB 705, the definition includes all projects paid for with local funds as well as state-appropriated funds. The bill also clarifies that the definition doesn’t include goods, services or work that are incidental to these projects.

HB 707 — State University Funds

House Bill 707 allows a state university to carry forward unexpended funds over the 7% minimum of its state operating budget as an annual reserve balance.

HB 709 — In-Store Servicing of Alcoholic Beverages

House Bill 709 allows distributors of distilled spirits — including brandy, whiskey or rum — to provide in-store servicing of these beverages for vendors they sell to.

This authorization includes placing these drinks on store shelves, rotating bottles, and price stamping the products.

HB 725 — Veterans’ Long-Term Care

House Bill 725 expands the eligibility for residency at a state veteran’s home to include the veteran’s spouse or the surviving spouse of a qualified veteran.

HB 761 — Domestic Violence Protections

House Bill 761 amends the state statutes regarding domestic violence.

This bill will get rid of notary requirements for those seeking a petition for protection against domestic violence. Instead, these petitions would only need to be verified by the petitioner.

HB 775 — Surrendered Infants

House Bill 775 increases the age at which an infant may be surrendered with no questions asked.

Florida’s “Safe Haven Law” allows parents who are either unwilling or unable to care for their newborn infants — up to 7 days old — to surrender them at hospitals, fire stations and EMS stations.

RELATED: Safe Haven for Newborns reaches milestone of 402 babies saved in Florida since its opening

However, HB 775 would up the age limit from 7 days old to 30 days old for unharmed infants.

In addition, the law lets parents leave their infant with hospital medical staff after the child has been delivered. To do so, parents have to notify staff that they are voluntarily surrendering the child.

HB 775 also lets a parent call 911 and request to meet with an EMS provider so that the parent can surrender the infant.

HB 781 — Public-Private Partnerships

House Bill 781 involves public-private partnerships (P3s), which are contract agreements between local governments and private firms to help fund public infrastructure projects.

Typically, local governments who want to engage in a P3 with a private firm via an unsolicited proposal have to publish notices both of the proposal itself and that the government is still accepting bids.

This legislation allows local governments to go ahead with unsolicited proposals for infrastructure projects without having to go through the whole public bidding process.

To do so, the bill requires local leaders to hold meetings to hear from the public and determine whether the proposals fit the public’s best interests.

In addition, local governments entering a P3 under this bill would no longer have to publish a notice in newspapers or mail copies to each local government in the affected area.

This law is expected to help local governments fund their infrastructure projects more easily with the help of outside businesses.

HB 813 — Certified Public Accountants (CPA)

House Bill 813 amends the state statutes for public accountants.

The bill allows CPAs who are at least 65 years old to apply to have their Florida CPA license “retired,” as opposed to being placed as “inactive.”

This allows retired licensees to reactivate their licenses based on standards set by the Florida Board of Accountancy, which requires fees and additional education — around 120 hours of professional education for every two years that the license is placed in retirement.

HB 849 — Veterinary Telehealth

House Bill 849 creates the “Providing Equity in Telehealth Services” (PETS) Act, which allows for the use of veterinary telehealth.

Under the law, though, veterinarians would be prohibited from prescribing certain drugs unless the animal has been examined in person.

HB 855 – Dental Services

House Bill 855 revises dentistry standards in Florida.

Specifically, the bill establishes requirements for dentists to provide patients with the following information:

  • Dentist’s name

  • Contact telephone number

  • After-hour contact information for emergencies

  • License information

In addition, the bill requires dentists to perform an in-person examination on a patient (or review records from an in-person exam from the last 12 months) before making an initial diagnosis and correction for malpositioned teeth or the use of an orthodontic appliance. This requirement only affects dentists who provide services via telehealth.

HB 865 — Youth Athletic Activities

House Bill 865 requires athletic coaches at Florida public schools to be certified in CPR, first aid and the use of an AED.

According to the Legislative Analysis, sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death for student athletes, so this law is aimed at addressing the issue.

HB 883 — Bronchodilators

House Bill 883 allows public and private schools to stock up on short-acting bronchodilators, which can be used to treat respiratory conditions like asthma.

Under the law, schools can acquire these devices via wholesale distributors and manufacturers at either fair-market or reduced prices. It also lays out the criteria for staff authorized to administer these bronchodilators in schools.

In addition, the law states that private school asthmatic students are allowed to carry short-acting bronchodilators while in school with physician approval, just as with public school students.

HB 885 — Biomarker Testing

House Bill 885 requires coverage under the state group insurance plan and Medicaid for biomarker testing.

This method allows physicians to diagnose or treat a patient’s disease or condition by examining biological factors like genes, proteins or other bodily substances.

Under this law, the Medicaid program will be required to implement the added coverage by Oct. 1, and it will be applicable to the state group insurance policies starting on Jan. 1, 2025.

HB 917 — Teen Labor Rights and Education

House Bill 917 allows 16- and 17-year-olds to work in home construction if they’ve received proper certification from OSHA.

However, this doesn’t apply to situations involving scaffolding, roofs, superstructures or ladders above 6 feet, and the teen must be properly supervised.

In addition, the law requires the state Department of Education to identify “best practices” in career and technical education (CTE) pathways from middle to high school.

As such, state agencies will be required to focus on finding new ways to expand CTE in the state.

HB 919 — A.I. Use in Political Ads

House Bill 919 establishes rules for political advertisements that use generative A.I.

If such ads show an apparently “real person” doing something that didn’t happen in reality — mainly as a way to smear another candidate — it must include a disclaimer explaining as much.

Anyone responsible for violating this rule can face a first-degree misdemeanor charge, the law says.

HB 931 — School Chaplains

House Bill 931 allows school districts and charter schools to let volunteer school chaplains provide support to students.

Under this law, such chaplains will have to undergo a screening process beforehand, and districts will have to properly describe what supports, services or programs the chaplain will be assigned.

Furthermore, the principals of schools with a volunteer chaplain will have to notify parents of the availability of these services. A list of chaplains — including their religious affiliations — must be published on the district’s website.

HB 935 — Home Health Care Services

House Bill 935 allows Medicaid to pay for home health services.

According to Legislative analysts, this will be allowed if ordered by advanced practice registered nurses or physician assistants.

HB 937 – Purple Alert

House Bill 937 updates the state’s Purple Alert statutes.

The new law will require local law enforcement agencies to develop their own policies to determine whether a Purple Alert should be activated.

When such an alert is issued, these agencies are also required to contact media outlets, inform all on-duty law enforcement officers and communicate the information to other law enforcement agencies within the county.

HB 983 — Clerk Public Records

House Bill 983 amends state statutes regarding public records exemptions for public officials.

Under this law, an exemption is created for clerks of circuit courts, deputy clerks of circuit courts, clerk personnel, and their families. The exempted information includes the following:

  • Home addresses

  • Telephone numbers

  • Dates of birth

  • Photographs

  • Names of spouses and children

  • Names and location of schools/daycares attended by clerk’s children

These exemptions will be automatically repealed on Oct. 2, 2029 thanks to the Open Government Sunset Review Act — unless reenacted by lawmakers.

HB 1021 — Community Associations (CAs)

House Bill 1021 aims to make changes under the law regarding community associations — such as condo associations (COAs) or homeowners associations (HOAs) — and their management.

Under this bill, such managers would be required to return all of their CA records within 20 days of a service agreement being terminated.

The bill would also make the following changes:

  • Various new requirements regarding record-keeping by community associations

  • Criminal penalties for associations accepting kickbacks or engaging in fraudulent voting activities

  • Requirements for residential COAs with 10 or more units to meet at least once quarterly for community members to ask questions

HB 1029 – Condo Pilot Program

House Bill 1029 establishes the “My Safe Florida Condominium Pilot Program” (MSFCPP) to encourage hurricane resiliency for Florida’s condos.

The program is meant to mirror the “My Safe Florida Home Program,” which offers grants to help homeowners make improvements and repairs on their home related to storms. Lawmakers approved the program in 2006 to help homeowners make their homes less vulnerable to hurricanes and bring down insurance costs.

Under the MSFCPP, condo associations can apply for similar grants to help harden condos against storm damage.

HB 1031 — Debt Relief Services

House Bill 1031 establishes state rules regarding debt relief services.

Current state law doesn’t define “debt relief services” or regulate such service providers, though the federal Telemarketing Act does.

As a result, this law aims to align state law with the federal statutes.

HB 1065 — Substance Abuse Treatment

House Bill 1065 amends requirements for substance abuse treatment policies.

For starters, the law prohibits a “recovery residence” — used in the treatment of substance abuse — from denying access solely on the basis that a person has been prescribed federally approved medication for the treatment of a substance abuse disorder.

In addition, the law increases the number of residents whom a recovery residence administrator may actively manage at a given time from 100 to 150.

The law also increases the timeframe for a certified recovery residence to find a new administrator if one is removed from 30 days to 90 days.

HB 1083 — Permanency for Children

House Bill 1083 seeks to create a more efficient, less costly adoption process.

According to analysts, the law streamlines the adoption process for orphaned children so long as they already know the prospective guardian.

In addition, this law expands the criteria for Post-Secondary Education and Support (PESS), Aftercare, and Extended Guardianship and Adoption Assistance Programs, which aim to make it easier for those ages 18 – 23 to receive benefits as they transition out of foster care.

The law also expands eligibility for adoption incentives and increases the award amounts.

HB 1109 — Security at Jewish Schools

House Bill 1109 funds Jewish schools and preschools in the state for security hardening.

Under this law, those funds could be used to buy and install security cameras, perimeter lighting, fencing, shatter-resistant glass windows, and security personnel.

These purchases must be based on a risk assessment performed by law enforcement or a private security company.

HB 1113 — Emergency Vehicles

House Bill 1113 amends the state’s definition of “authorized emergency vehicles.”

Under this law, such vehicles will include:

  • Organ transport vehicles

  • Emergency management vehicles of county departments

  • Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services vehicles

In addition, the law requires that the driver of an organ transport vehicle must have finished a 16-hour emergency vehicle operator course.

As a result of this law, organ transport vehicles can display red warning signals and bypass certain traffic laws when transporting organs or requisite surgical teams, much like other emergency vehicles.

HB 1131 — Online Sting Operations

House Bill 1131 establishes the “Online Sting Operations Grant Program” within the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

More specifically, this program will award grants to local law enforcement agencies to help them put together sting operations to catch suspected child predators trying to prey on children online.

HB 1133 — Vulnerable Road Users

House Bill 1133 amends state statutes regarding traffic infractions involving “vulnerable road users.”

Under state law, “vulnerable road users” are defined as one of the following:

Pedestrian, including a person actually engaged in work upon a highway, or in work upon utility facilities along a highway, or engaged in the provision of emergency services within the right-of-way

Person operating a bicycle, an electric bicycle, a motorcycle, a scooter, or a moped lawfully on the roadway;

Person riding an animal; or

Person lawfully operating on a public right-of-way, crosswalk, or shoulder of the roadway any: farm tractor or similar vehicle designed primarily for farm use; skateboard, roller skates, or in-line skates; horse-drawn carriage; electric personal assistive mobility device; or wheelchair.

S. 316.027 (1)

HB 1133 sets up specific penalties for anyone who commits a non-criminal traffic infraction that seriously injures or kills a vulnerable road user.

Those penalties include fines, suspension of driver’s licenses, and the requirement to complete a driver improvement course.

These are in addition to any other criminal charges that could arise from such incidents.

HB 1161 – Verification of Eligibility for Homestead Exemption

House Bill 1161 requires the Florida Department of Revenue to provide a form for county property appraisers to use to verify the eligibility of a veteran or surviving spouse who believes they qualify for an exemption under state statutes when purchasing a homestead property.

This form will only be allowed to be issued if the person involved provides the documentation necessary to qualify for the exemption.

HB 1181 — Juvenile Justice

House Bill 1181 amends the state rules regarding the Department of Juvenile Justice in Florida.

Under the law, the following changes will take place:

  • Minors found to have unlawfully possessed a firearm three or more times are adjudicated and committed to a DJJ residential program.

  • Officers may arrest a minor without a warrant for unlawfully possessing a firearm if the officer has probable cause.

  • A presumption will be created that minors must be securely detained if the court finds probable cause that he/she committed murder or other offenses with a firearm.

  • Penalties are increased for introducing contraband into a DJJ facility.

  • Courts are prohibited from withholding adjudication if a minor has previously had their adjudication withheld for certain offenses. Delinquent minors must instead be adjudicated and sentenced to a DJJ residential program.

HB 1203 — Homeowners’ Associations

House Bill 1203 makes several changes involving homeowners’ associations in the state.

These changes include:

  • An HOA with 100 or more parcels must post certain official records on the HOA’s website by Jan. 1, 2025.

  • Community Association Managers and HOA directors must satisfy educational requirements.

  • HOAs may not limit the interior of a home when that space can’t be viewed from the front of the property, an adjacent property, an adjacent common area or a community golf course.

  • HOAs may not require the review and approval of plans for a central A/C, refrigeration, heating or ventilation system by the HOA if such system is not visible from the front of the property, an adjacent property, an adjacent common area or a community golf course.

  • HOAs may not prevent a homeowner from installing vegetable gardens if they aren’t visible from the front of the property, an adjacent property, an adjacent common area or a community golf course.

  • HOA officers, directors or managers could face criminal penalties for accepting a kickback.

HB 1227 — Tuskegee Airmen Commemoration Day

House Bill 1227 establishes “Tuskegee Airmen Commemoration Day” in Florida.

The holiday is set to take place every fourth Thursday in March, and it will celebrate the Tuskegee Airmen — the first black military flying squadron in the U.S., which fought in World War II.

HB 1259 — Cardiovascular Services

House Bill 1259 amends license requirements for Level I Adult Cardiovascular Service (ACS) programs.

More specifically, the bill allows these programs to perform adult percutaneous cardiac intervention for the treatment of chronic total occlusions, as well as use atherectomy devices or electrophysiology when performing this procedure.

HB 1267 — Economic Self-Sufficiency

House Bill 1267 revises certain parts of the TANF, SNAP, and School Readiness programs.

The law creates case management as a transitional benefit for families getting off of Temporary Cash Assistance. It also lets participation in adult general education exam prep count toward certain TCA work requirements.

In addition, the law requires the DCF to expand mandatory SNAP Employment and Training participation to include adults ages 18-59 without children in the home.

Beyond that, the law creates the School Readiness Plus Program, which gives money to families who no longer qualify for school readiness program funding.

HB 1285 — Book Challenges

House Bill 1285 revises some of the rules regarding book challenges in Florida public schools.

Under this law, the number of books a person who is not a student’s parent or guardian may challenge is limited to one per month. The goal is to limit the influx of book challenges to school districts.

In addition, the law includes the following educational changes:

  • New requirements for school districts that want to turn a school into a charter school

  • More provisions for schools that offer a “classical education” and for teachers who seek a “classical education” degree

  • Allows school districts to send disruptive students to a disciplinary program or alternative school, though such students can’t be labeled eligible for these programs simply on the basis of a disability

HB 1291 — Teacher Prep Programs

House Bill 1291 prohibits teacher preparation programs from teaching concepts like identity politics.

Under this law, such programs may not involve a curriculum based on theories that systemic racism, oppression and privilege are inherent to institutions of the U.S. or that these institutions are aimed at creating social, political or economic inequities.

HB 1301 — Florida Department of Transportation

House Bill 1301 addresses several issues involving transportation, including:

  • Revises selection means for the FDOT secretary, as well as FDOT’s responsibilities

  • Increases the period for how long a prepaid toll account may remain dormant before being presumed unclaimed from 3 years to 10 years

  • Removes obsolete language that requires the FDOT secretary to appoint FDOT’s inspector general

  • Provides requirements for voting and public meetings about lane elimination or lane repurposing

HB 1317 — Patriotic Organizations

House Bill 1317 allows school districts to let a representative of a “patriotic organization” speak to students in classrooms.

Under the law, a “patriotic organization” is defined as follows:

“A youth membership organization serving young people under the age of 21 with an educational purpose that promotes patriotism and civic involvement which is listed in Title 36, U.S.C.

Florida House Bill 1317

If such a representative is allowed to speak to students, parents must be notified about the presentation ahead of time, and these parents can opt out of having their child participate.

Furthermore, the law prohibits school districts from discriminating against patriotic organizations in terms of using school buildings or property outside of the school day. However, districts that allow access to a patriotic organization aren’t required to do the same for groups that aren’t designated as patriotic organizations.

DeSantis listed several patriotic organizations back in April after signing the bill. These examples include:

  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of America

  • Boy Scouts

  • Girl Scouts

  • Boys and Girls Clubs of America

  • Civil Air Patrol

  • Farmers of America

  • Little Leagues Baseball

  • Marine Corps League

  • Navy SEAL Cadet Corps

HB 1329 — Veterans

House Bill 1329 creates the Major John Leroy Haynes Florida Veterans’ History Program within the Department of State’s Division of Arts and Culture.

The law expands the employment outreach services of Veterans Florida, as well as exempt certain disabled veterans from having to pay fees related to hunting and fishing licenses.

In addition, this law requires middle- and high-school students to be taught about the history and importance of Veterans’ Day and Memorial Day.

HB 1331 — Forced Labor Vendors

House Bill 1331 will require state officials to set up a “forced labor vendor list.”

Under this law, companies in the state that rely on forced labor will be barred from public contracting.

Furthermore, if evidence arises that a firm has been using forced labor in its products while in a public contract, state officials must investigate and figure out whether the company should be placed on the list.

HB 1335 — Department of Business and Professional Regulation

House Bill 1335 makes various changes regarding the DBPR and its policies.

Applicants and licensees will be required to create and maintain an online account to communicate with the DBPR if they’re part of the tobacco, nicotine, alcohol, CPA, or elevator industries.

Furthermore, the law removes certain requirements and provisions for practices like barbers, cosmetologists, pilots, specialty electrical contractors and asbestos abatement professionals.

HB 1337 — Department of Corrections

House Bill 1337 is aimed at providing extra authority for investigators under the Office of Inspector General regarding departmental and contractor-operated correctional facilities.

Under the legislation, correctional privatization contracts are no longer exempt from certain state provisions.

HB 1347 — Consumer Finance Loans

House Bill 1347 amends state statutes regarding the Florida Consumer Finance Act.

Lenders in the state are prohibited from making consumer finance loans unless authorized under the Act, though licensed lenders can make certain types of loans so long as they align with the state’s guidelines (a tiered interest rate structure).

This law prohibits the operation of a lending branch that makes such loans without first obtaining a license.

In addition, the bill will increase the maximum interest rate and principal amount in the tiered interest rate structure as follows:

  • 36% per year — Applied to the first $10,000 of the principal amount

  • 30% per year — Applied to the amount of the principal above $10,000 and below $20,000

  • 24% per year — Applied to the amount of the principal above $20,000 and below $25,000

With these new calculations, the maximum interest rate allowed on the following loan amounts would be:

Principal Current Max. Interest Rate New Max. Interest Rate
$5,000 26.4% 36%
$10,000 22.2% 36%
$15,000 20.8% 34%
$25,000 19.2% 31.2%

HB 1361 — New Worlds Education Programs

House Bill 1361 expands the eligibility for the New Worlds Scholarship to include students enrolled in a Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) program.

Specifically, the law extends eligibility to VPK students who have shown learning deficiencies.

The law also makes other changes to state education programs, such as establishing a New World Tutoring Program to improve performance in K-5 classrooms across the state. This tutoring program would award grants for in-person tutors to help these students in reading and mathematics.

Additionally, HB 1361 will provide more opportunities for grants to eligible school districts, which can be used for subscription fees and professional learning resources to improve education for students in grades 6-12.

The New Worlds Scholarship program provides reimbursements for certain educational expenses, including:

  • Instructional materials

  • Curriculum

  • Tuition and fees for part-time tutors

  • Summer education programs

  • After-school education programs

HB 1363 — Traffic Enforcement

House Bill 1363 adds requirements to the state statutes that authorize red light cameras.

The bill requires county governments to pass an ordinance to authorize the installation of traffic infraction detectors after July 1, 2025 (so long as they’re in an area where no such detectors are already installed).

Counties using these detectors would also have to annually report the results of all traffic infraction detectors at a public meeting.

HB 1403 — School Choice Expansion

House Bill 1403 expands eligibility under the Family Empowerment Scholarship (FES) and the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship (FTC) programs.

Specifically, the law extends eligibility to dependent children of U.S. Armed Forces members who are either permanently stationed in Florida or whose home of record is in Florida at the time of renewal.

The FES and FTC programs help provide school transportation vouchers to families, allowing them more options for which schools to enroll their K-12 students. The program was expanded last year to include all residents in the state.

Under this law, deadlines will be implemented for Scholarship Funding Organizations (SFO) and parents applying for or renewing a scholarship, with priority being granted to renewal students over new ones.

In addition, the law updates the requirements for SFOs, such as reporting standards and the creation of processes to collect feedback from parents.

School choice programs have become controversial in recent years, with critics arguing that they can put undue pressure on staff at underperforming schools. Meanwhile, proponents say that these programs provide more opportunities for students and force schools to improve through increased competition.

HB 1425 — Juvenile Justice

House Bill 1425 amends several state rules regarding the Department of Juvenile Justice.

First, the law replaces the term “gender” with “sex” when discussing restrictions on where delinquent minors may be committed.

In addition, a person who has taken a child into custody may not release the child to a juvenile assessment center if that child:

  • is suffering a serious physical condition that requires prompt treatment

  • is believed to be mentally ill

  • appears to be intoxicated and has threatened themselves or others

  • is incapacitated by substance abuse

HB 1451 — ID Documents

House Bill 1451 prohibits local governments from accepting ID cards or documents issued by groups that knowingly provide such materials for people who are in the country illegally.

However, this law does not apply to federal documentation.

According to Gov. Ron DeSantis, this law is aimed at deterring illegal immigration into Florida.

HB 1473 — School Safety

House Bill 1473 seeks several changes aimed at bolstering school security in Florida.

The law requires that sheriff’s offices responsible for certifying school guardians report the information to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

In turn, FDLE will have to keep a list of each person appointed as a school guardian, including their names, dates of certification and appointed schools.

Meanwhile, private schools will have to take on the costs involved in background screening and training for school guardians, though certification could waive those fees.

Additionally, the bill makes the following changes for school safety:

  • Exits/entrances must be secured when students are on campus.

  • Exits/entrances must be actively staffed when opened or unlocked (with some exceptions).

  • Each school district must develop a discipline policy for staff who violate school safety requirements.

  • People are prohibited from operating drones over a public or private school serving students in grades PreK – 12.

  • A grant program would be created through FDLE to give funds to law enforcement agencies to conduct security assessments for private schools.

HB 1503 — Citizens Property Insurance

House Bill 1503 makes certain changes to Citizens Property Insurance, including:

  • Surplus Lines: Surplus line insurers meeting state standards may take out policies from Citizens issued on homes that aren’t primary residences or homesteaded properties.

  • Flood Coverage: Citizens policyholders who must purchase flood insurance for coverage eligibility are required to buy only dwelling coverage for a flood loss — rather than dwelling and contents coverage. This rule took effect upon the bill’s signing.

  • Combining Accounts: The law eliminates unnecessary statutory language now that Citizens has combined the Personal Lines Account, Commercial Lines Account and Coastal Account.

  • Operations and Management: Citizens’ executive director may appoint a designee to act as the agency head, and Citizens can share information with the NICB to help fight insurance fraud.

HB 1509 — School Safety (Public Records)

House Bill 1509 is linked to House Bill 1473, being based on HB 1473′s rules regarding FDLE school guardian records.

Under this law, a public-record exemption would be established for information held by FDLE, law enforcement agencies, school districts or charter schools that could identify whether a person has been certified to serve as a school guardian.

The law goes into effect at the same time as HB 1473.

HB 1555 — “Cyber Florida”

House Bill 1555 amends the state statutes for cybersecurity.

The bill renames the Florida Center for Cybersecurity — which provides education and research to bolster the cybersecurity sector in Florida — as “Cyber Florida.”

In addition, the bill redefines the center’s mission: to “conduct, fund, and facilitate research and applied science that leads to the creation of new technologies and software packages that have military and homeland defense purposes or for sale or use in the private sector.”

Alongside that, the bill allows — but does not require — Cyber Florida to help state agencies with cybersecurity training and improving cybersecurity for government tech infrastructure, including within public schools.

HB 1557 — Department of Environmental Protection

House Bill 1557 makes several changes involving the DEP, including:

  • Requires each water management district (WMD) to develop rules by the end of 2025 to promote the reuse of reclaimed water

  • Requires the DEP to work on maintaining data on rising sea levels and statewide flood vulnerability

HB 1565 – Florida Red Tide Mitigation

House Bill 1565 amends the state statutes regarding red tide mitigation.

Currently, the Florida Red Tide Mitigation and Technology Development Initiative has been working to develop technology that could address the impacts of red tide in Florida.

This law requires the initiative to establish recommendations for trial deployment of these technologies in state waters once they’re completed.

Under the law, the Department of Environmental Protection must expedite regulatory reviews for these technologies so that they can be rolled out sooner rather than later.

HB 1567 — Emergency Management Directors

House Bill 1567 creates requirements to qualify for Emergency Management Directors in the state.

Under the State Emergency Management Act, each county is required to have a director for its respective emergency management agency.

These directors are appointed by local leaders, though there are no specific minimum qualifications to serve as one.

As such, this bill establishes minimum education, experience and training requirements to qualify for a director position. These standards include holding a bachelor’s degree, having at least four years of similar experience in another role, and completing 150 hours of emergency management training.

Existing county emergency management directors will have until June 30, 2026, to meet the new criteria.

HB 1569 — Nonprofit Regulation Exemptions

House Bill 1569 provides regulatory exemptions to “bona fide” nonprofits in the state.

In response to the 2008 financial crisis, the U.S. Congress passed the SAFE Act, which set forth rules for residential mortgage loan originators.

However, states were allowed to provide exemptions from SAFE Act registration requirements to nonprofit organizations and their employees based on specified criteria.

Under this law, nonprofits would be exempt from such loan originator and mortgage broker regulations.

HB 1571 — Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority

House Bill 1571 removes a provision regarding the powers of the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority.

Specifically, the bill removes a section “prohibiting combination of water system with sewer system within geographic boundaries of authority for purposes of financing.”

HB 1589 — Driving Without a Valid Driver’s License

House Bill 1589 amends state statutes regarding penalties for those caught driving without a valid driver’s license.

This law revises penalties so that such drivers face the following:

  • Second-degree misdemeanor — Upon a first conviction

  • First-degree misdemeanor — Upon a second conviction

  • First-degree misdemeanor and must serve 10 days in jail — Upon a third or subsequent conviction

HB 1611 — Insurance Changes

House Bill 1611 makes several changes to the state’s insurance rules, including:

  • Data Reporting: Property insurers must report information to the OIR on a monthly basis rather than a quarterly one. Data must be reported based on ZIP code instead of county.

  • Public Housing Authority: The maximum per-loss occurrence amount that a PHA self-insurance fund may retain is changed from $350,000 to an amount that the fund can withstand, so long as it meets sustainability criteria.

  • Cancellation Prohibition: Surplus lines insurers’ ability to cancel or non-renew personal and commercial lines residential insurance polices because of unrepaired damage after a hurricane or wind-loss following a declared emergency is restricted.

  • Hurricane Modeling: Insurers using the average of at least two models in their rate filing must use the same average model throughout the state. If using a weighted average instead, insurers must justify their decision with the OIR.

  • Citizens Property Insurance: This law eliminates a provision that lets Citizens charge up to 50% above the established rate for policyholders whose coverage was provided by an insurer who was determined to be “unsound.”

  • Roof Inspections: Roofing contractors are added to the list of authorized inspectors whom an insurer can approve to inspect a roof.

HB 1645 — Energy Resources

House Bill 1645 makes several changes to the state’s energy policies and energy-related laws.

Some of the measures include research into the use of nuclear-powered technologies, the potential development of hydrogen-powered vehicles on the state’s highways, and restrictions on the construction of wind turbines near the state’s coastline.

HB 1653 — Dead Bodies

House Bill 1653 establishes penalties for those who knowingly fail to report a dead body.

Under the law, anyone who becomes aware of someone’s death (as provided by state statutes) is required to report the death to either the district medical examiner or law enforcement.

If they don’t, they can face a first-degree misdemeanor. And if they fail to make the report because they’re trying to hide the death or mislead investigators, they can face a third-degree felony.

State Sen. Linda Stewart — who sponsored the Senate version of this bill — said the new rules will help investigators use search warrants to locate bodies that have been illegally dumped.

“Apparently, when people bury bodies in their backyard — I guess mainly drug dealers who have people die on their couch and they take them outside and bury them — well, the sheriffs can’t get to them,” Stewart told News 6. “Because I guess (sheriffs) have to get a warrant, and they won’t give them a warrant unless it’s a felony charge.”

HB 5001 — General Appropriations Act

House Bill 5001 is the General Appropriations Act, which determines how state funds will be spent for Fiscal Year 2024-2025.

This time around, the state budget amounts to roughly $116.5 billion, though nearly $1 billion worth of line items were vetoed by DeSantis before the law’s approval.

HB 5003 — Implementing General Appropriations

House Bill 5003 provides the necessary authority to roll out the General Appropriations Act for the fiscal year.

These appropriations consist of funds for state agencies, programs and schools to keep them running through Fiscal Year 2025.

HB 5005 — Collective Bargaining

House Bill 5005 relates to several outstanding collective bargaining issues for state employees (not including salary and benefits issues, which are covered under HB 5003).

Specifically, this law adopts a proposal by state officials from January to resolve bargaining issues with the Florida State Fire Association regarding health and welfare.

HB 5101 — Education

House Bill 5101 conforms relevant state statutes to the education appropriations made in the General Appropriations Act.

HB 5201 — FGCC Trust Fund

House Bill 5201 creates a Federal Law Enforcement Trust Fund within the Florida Gaming Control Commission, which is responsible for upholding laws related to gambling.

Under this law, the FGCC may deposit funds collected through its enforcement actions into the trust fund, which can then be used for future Legislative appropriations.

HB 5203 — Property Seized by the FGCC

House Bill 5203 involves the Florida Gaming Control Commission and its seizure of contraband.

Under this law, property rights for gambling machines, money and other valuables confiscated by the FGCC during their law enforcement activities are thereby forfeited to the agency. Proceeds are then deposited in the Pari-Mutel Wagering Trust Fund.

HB 5401 — New Judge Positions

House Bill 5401 establishes a few new judge positions in Florida.

According to Legislative analysts, the state’s Supreme Court issued an order in November detailing the need for the new positions.

As a result, this bill sets up the following:

  • A circuit court judgeship in the First Judicial Circuit (Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton counties)

  • A circuit court judgeship in the Twentieth Judicial Circuit (Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee counties)

  • A county court judgeship in Columbia County

  • A county court judgeship in Santa Rosa County

  • Two county court judgeships in Hillsborough County

  • Three new county court judgeships in Orange County

HB 7011 – Inactive Special Districts

House Bill 7011 deals with special districts, which are units of local government created for a particular purpose.

The bill dissolves four special districts that were already declared “inactive.” They are as follows:

  • Calhoun County Transportation Authority

  • Highland View Water and Sewer District

  • West Orange Airport Authority

  • Dead Lakes Water Management District

In addition, the Sunny Isles Reclamation and Water Control Board are also dissolved.

HB 7013 — Special Districts

House Bill 7013 revises provisions that relate to special districts in Florida.

Under the law, elected members of most independent special districts will have a 12-year term limit, and the creation of new safe neighborhood improvement districts will be prohibited.

Likewise, boundaries of independent special districts will only be changed by the state Legislature, with few exceptions.

HB 7021 — Baker Act and Marchman Act

House Bill 7021 amends the Baker Act and Marchman Act, which deal with mental health and substance abuse, respectively.

Under this law, the Baker Act will have the following changes:

  • Gives officers discretion when it comes to initiating involuntary examinations

  • Requires the 72-hour examination period to start when a patient arrives at a facility

  • Extends the maximum time a person can be ordered into involuntary outpatient services from 90 days to six months

  • Removes the 30-bed limit for crisis stabilization units

Under this law, the Marchman Act will have the following changes:

  • Requires courts to inform respondents about the of the right to request an independent assessment

  • Reduces a court’s timeframe to schedule a hearing from 15 days to 10 days

  • Allows the person who filed a petition for a treatment order to petition to extend that treatment

  • Combines the two-petition process — for assessment and stabilization, and for treatment —into a single process

HB 7063 — Stripper Age Limits

House Bill 7063 is aimed at cracking down on human trafficking in the state.

Under this law, certain groups — such as residential treatment centers for minors and massage parlors — will have to post signs with a phone number for the Florida Human Trafficking Hotline.

Additionally, the bill restricts minors from working for vendors licensed under the state’s Beverage Law unless these minors are in a position that doesn’t involve working with alcohol.

In the Senate, lawmakers attached provisions to the bill that would prohibit anyone under the age of 21 from working in an “adult entertainment establishment,” such as a strip club, adult bookstore or sex shop.

Such a business that hires someone younger than 21 to “perform or work while nude” could face a second-degree felony, according to the bill’s text.

HB 7073 — Tax Relief Package

House Bill 7073 involves a tax relief package set to provide savings in homeowners or flood insurance premiums.

The package includes the following:

  • 14-day “back-to-school” tax holiday for certain clothing and school supplies; runs from July 29-Aug. 11

  • Two 14-day “disaster preparedness” tax holidays for specified supplies; runs from June 1-14 and Aug. 24-Sept. 6

  • A “Freedom Month” tax holiday for specified recreational items/activities; runs from July 1-31

  • A seven-day “tool time” tax holiday for certain tools; runs from Sept. 1-7

  • One-year exemption on taxes for residential property and flood insurance policies

HB 7089 — Transparency in Health and Human Services

House Bill 7089 sets standards for medical billing to increase price transparency.

First, the law requires hospitals to publish the costs of 300 or more “shoppable services” or provide an online resource that meets federal guidelines. In addition, hospitals will be required to set up an internal process for patient billing disputes.

“Hospitals and (Ambulatory Surgical Centers) must disclose when an insured patient’s cost-sharing amount exceeds a non-insured person’s cash price or pay a maximum fine of $500 per incident,” the Legislative analysis reads. “The bill requires hospitals and ASCs to provide each patient with an estimate and requires health plans to provide an advanced explanation of benefits on certain timelines.”

Alongside these rules, the law prohibits hospitals from filing an “extraordinary collection action” for medical debt, and a three-year statute of limitation period for medical debt collection will be implemented on the day that the hospital refers the debt to a third party.

The law also exempts up to $10,000 of a debtor’s property from garnishment or other legal actions by a hospital to recover medical debt.

SB 46 — Reading Achievement Initiative for Scholastic Excellence

Senate Bill 46 allows school districts that participate in the RAISE tutoring program to offer that program after the school day is over.

The law also provides a stipend to instructional staff and high school students who serve as tutors after school hours for these schools.

However, if a high school student performs unpaid hours for such tutoring, those hours can count toward community service requirements for high school graduation or the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program.

SB 158 — Motor Vehicle Values

Senate Bill 158 increases the maximum value of a debtor’s motor vehicle that is exempt from attachment or garnishment.

That maximum value was established at $1,000 in 1993, though this law pushes it up to $5,000.

SB 168 — Congenital Cytomegalovirus Screenings

Senate Bill 168 amends state statutes regarding newborn health screening requirements.

Under this law, all newborns born under 35 weeks and requiring cardiac care in a hospital with neonatal intensive care services must be tested for Cytomegalovirus (CMV).

CMB is a common virus, though a healthy immune system typically keeps it from making people sick. However, some babies with a congenital CMV infection can have health problems that are apparent at birth and which can result in death.

The law also requires that CMV screening and medically necessary follow-up reevaluations that lead to a diagnosis are covered for Medicaid patients.

In addition, children diagnosed with CMV must be referred to a primary care physician and the Children’s Medical Services Early Intervention Program for management of the condition.

SB 186 — Neurodegenerative Diseases

Senate Bill 186 requires the state’s Surgeon General to establish a policy committee for progressive supranuclear palsy and other neurodegenerative diseases.

The committee is aimed at identifying the impact of these diseases on Floridians while providing recommendations to improve awareness, detection and outcomes.

Members of the committee must be appointed by Sept. 1, and the initial meeting must be held by Oct. 1.

SB 276 — Review of Advisory Bodies

Senate Bill 276 amends the state statutes for organizational structure in the executive branch.

The changes require executive agencies with an advisory body to upload a report each year by Aug. 15 with the following information:

  • Whichever statute is responsible for the advisory body

  • A brief description of the advisory body’s purpose

  • A list of each member on the advisory body and who appointed them

  • Any vacancies on the advisory body

  • A list of the advisory body’s meeting dates and times

  • A brief summary of the advisory body’s work plan over the next two years

  • The amount of funds appropriated to the advisory body

  • A recommendation about why the advisory body should be continued/terminated/modified

In addition, any laws that create an advisory body must now include a provision that repeals the body on Oct. 2 of the third year after enactment, unless the law is reviewed and saved from repeal by being passed through the Legislature again.

SB 304 — Household Moving Services

Senate Bill 304 aims to protect people moving within Florida by creating new rules regarding moving services.

Some of these rules involve additional registration requirements for movers, requiring binding cost estimates to be provided by movers to shippers, and requiring moving brokers to arrange with a registered mover to load, transport and/or unload household goods as part of a move.

SB 330 — Behavioral Health Teaching Hospitals

Senate Bill 330 designates four behavioral health teaching hospitals linked to universities.

Those hospitals are as follows:

  • Tampa General Hospital — University of South Florida

  • UF Health Shands Hospital — University of Florida

  • UF Health Jacksonville — University of Florida

  • Jackson Memorial Hospital — University of Miami

The designation is aimed at addressing issues with treating patients for mental health issues, as the law will provide $100 million each year over the next three years to these hospitals, along with additional funds for factors like residency positions for psychiatrists.

SB 364 — Public Service Commission Rules

Senate Bill 364 amends state statutes regarding rulemaking by the Public Service Commission.

Under this law, rules about the Florida Public Service Regulatory Trust Fund and assessment fees charged to Florida utilities can be adopted by the PSC without being subject to potential ratification under state law.

SB 366 — Gas Safety Law of 1967

Senate Bill 366 revises the maximum civil penalties for violating Florida’s Gas Safety Law of 1967.

Under SB 366, maximum penalties are increased from $25,000 to $266,015 for each violation for each day that a violation persists. This can reach over $2.6 million in total for any related series of violations.

SB 382 — Continuing Education Requirements

Senate Bill 382 revises requirements for licensure by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

Under this law, someone trying to renew their license with the DBPR and who has held their license for at least 10 years is exempted from being required to complete continuing education — so long as there is no disciplinary action imposed on the license.

However, this rule does not apply to engineers, CPAs, brokers, broker associates, sales associates, real estate appraisers, architects or interior designers.

SB 522 — Tallahassee Community College

Senate Bill 522 changes the name of “Tallahassee Community College” to “Tallahassee State College.”

SB 544 — Swimming Lesson Vouchers

Senate Bill 544 aims to reduce the number of child drownings in the state by expanding access to swim lessons.

The bill creates a Swimming Lessons Voucher Program, which gives low-income families vouchers to enroll their children in swimming lessons at participating vendors.

According to the bill’s text, it applies to Florida families with children ages 4 and under and who have an income that can be up to 200% of the national poverty level.

RELATED: New bill creates voucher program to give free swim lessons to children

SB 564 — Young Adult Aftercare Services

Senate Bill 564 expands eligibility for young adults — those between the ages of 18 and 22 — to receive Aftercare services.

If these young adults receive Postsecondary Education Services and Support, require emergency financial assistance and was placed in out-of-home care for at least six months after turning 14 years old without reuniting with his/her parent, they could be eligible to receive these Aftercare services.

In addition, the law allows the Florida DCF to distribute federal funds to young adults under this program in the event of a state or national emergency, even if they don’t meet the PESS or Aftercare requirements.

SB 592 – Historical Preservation Programs

Senate Bill 592 requires the Florida Department of State to partner with the Florida African American Heritage Preservation Network “to preserve the history, culture and contributions of Florida’s black and African-American residents.”

This includes supporting member museums, funding galleries, developing exhibits and preserving artifacts, the text reads.

SB 644 — Rural Emergency Hospitals

Senate Bill 644 establishes a new hospital designation type: “Rural Emergency Hospital.”

Under this law, rural hospitals licensed in FY2010-2011 or FY2011-2012 will have their licensure expiration date moved from June 30, 2025 to June 30, 2031.

SB 674 — U.S.-Produced Iron and Steel

Senate Bill 674 requires that iron or steel products used in public works projects be produced in the U.S.

This requirement is waived under the following conditions:

  • The iron or steel products that are required for the project aren’t produced in the U.S. in sufficient qualities, aren’t reasonably available, or aren’t of satisfactory quality.

  • The use of these products will increase the total cost of the project by more than 20%.

  • Compliance with this requirement is inconsistent with the public interest.

Foreign-made iron or steel materials are allowed for minimal use in these projects if they’re ancillary to the primary product and the cost of the materials is no more than 0.10% of the contract cost (or $2,500 — whichever is greater).

These provisions also don’t apply to contracts under the FDOT.

SB 678 — Genetic Genealogy Grant Program

Senate Bill 678 creates the Forensic Investigative Genetic Genealogy Grant Program within the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

The program is aimed at awarding annual grants to medical examiner’s offices or law enforcement agencies in Florida to support their processing of DNA samples.

This can help these agencies to better identify human remains or solve violent crimes.

SB 692 — Public Records (FGCC)

Senate Bill 692 creates a public records exemption for personal information about commissioners on the Florida Gaming Control Commission (FGCC).

Under this law, the following information about these figures will be exempted from the public record:

  • Home addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth and photographs

  • Places of employment for spouses and children

  • Names and locations of schools/day cares attended by children

However, that exemption is subject to the state’s Open Government Sunset Review Act, meaning it will be repealed on Oct. 2, 2029 unless reenacted by the Legislature.

SB 736 — Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles

Senate Bill 736 makes several changes regarding the programs under the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

Specifically, these changes include:

  • Allowing the DHSMV to issue reduced-dimension license plates for trailers

  • Providing that disabled veterans who qualify for a free “DV” license plate may choose a military or specialty license plate that he/she qualifies for in lieu of the “DV” plate

  • Removing the requirement to provide written, notarized requests for the purchase of a temporary tag

  • Authorizing permanent motor vehicle registration decals for rental trucks that weigh under 15,000 pounds

  • Clarifying that no additional fees can be charged by the DHSMV or tax collector for the reissuance of a certificate of title that becomes lost in transit

SB 764 — Retention of Sexual Offense Evidence

Senate Bill 764 amends state statutes to specify the standards for storing sexual assault evidence kits (SAKs).

SAKs must be retained for a minimum of 50 years if they are collected from alleged victims who:

  • do not report the sexual offense to law enforcement during the forensic physical exam

  • do not ask to have the evidence tested

In addition, the medical facility or certified rape crisis center that collected the SAK must transfer the kit to the FDLE within 30 days of collection.

The FDLE must then store the evidence anonymously with a documented chain of custody.

SB 770 — Property Improvements

Senate Bill 770 amends the Property Assessed Clean Energy program, which lets property owners make certain improvements to real property using annual non-ad valorem tax assessments.

The law expands the range of projects that local PACE programs can finance, such as:

  • Repairing/replacing/improving a roof

  • Improving waste systems

  • Raising structures above flood elevation

  • Building/repairing a flood diversion apparatus

  • Installing energy-efficient heating, cooling or ventilation systems

  • Replacing/installing insulation

  • Replacing/installing energy-efficient water heaters

  • Improving renewable energy systems — Commercial property only

  • Installing electric vehicle charging equipment — Commercial property only

  • Installing efficient lighting equipment — Commercial property only

SB 804 — Horseracing Licenses

Senate Bill 804 revises gaming permitting and licensing procedures.

Under this law, the Florida Gaming Control Commission may deny, revoke or suspend a license of anyone who has been subjected to a provisional suspension by the federal Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority.

If the occupational license is suspended, the commission must offer the licensee a post-suspension hearing within three days.

SB 818 — Military Leave

Senate Bill 818 revises requirements about public employers providing servicemembers full paid leave for the first 30 days of active military service.

This law limits this to only servicemembers who are activated under federal military service that lasts at least 90 consecutive days.

SB 832 — Employing People with Disabilities

Senate Bill 832 adds requirements involving data sharing and accountability to the objectives of the state’s Employment First Act.

The act is aimed at helping people with disabilities in Florida gain meaningful employment.

Aside from the objectives update, SB 832 also requires the Office of Reimagining Education and Career Help to issue a report by Dec. 1 each year on progress made via the Employment First Act.

SB 938 – Dentistry

Senate Bill 938 removes the state’s Board of Dentistry (BOD) and Department of Health from the dental examination administration process.

Specifically, the law revises the dental licensure requirements by:

  • Deleting language that requires dental students who have completed the necessary coursework to prepare for the ADEX to wait until their final year of dental school to apply for licensure

  • Deleting the National Board of Dental Examiners’ dental exam as obsolete, and replacing it with the exam administered by the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations

  • Deleting an alternate pathway to dental licensure by having an active Florida health access dental license and meeting certain practice requirements

  • Requiring that an out-of-state licensed dentist who is applying for licensure in Florida must disclose to the BOD during the application process whether he or she has been reported to the NPDB or the AADBC
  • Allowing anyone who fails the licensure examination as a dentist or dental hygienist to retake the examination.

SB 958 — Local Government Employees

Senate Bill 958 raises the base salary rates for tax collectors and district school superintendents by $5,000.

The bill also allows tax collector employees to be eligible for monetary benefits if they adopt a child from the child welfare system, and tax collectors may pay out a retention bonus to employees if approved by state or county officials.

In addition, this legislation lets a school board contract with a county tax collector to have road tests administered on school grounds for driver’s licensing.

SB 968 — Spaceport Territory

Senate Bill 968 brings two new spaceports to Florida: one at Homestead Air Force Reserve Base (located south of Miami) and another at Tyndall Air Force Base by Panama City.

The bill designates these two areas as “spaceport territories,” and the legislation is aimed at improving infrastructure in the state for Florida’s booming aerospace industry.

SB 984 — Judgment Liens

Senate Bill 984 amends legislation passed last year regarding judgment liens.

These changes include the following:

  • Clarifying that a judgment lien in payment intangibles and accounts only applies to property interests that are located in the state.

  • Allows filing of a corrective judgment lien certificate

  • Provide that the Uniform Commercial Code lien priority law prevails over the lien priority of the statute on judgments

  • Allow an account debtor to pay a judgment creditor instead of paying the judgment debtor through a settlement agreement between the judgment creditor and the judgment debtor without the need for a final order directing the payment

SB 998 — Liquefied Petroleum Gas

Senate Bill 998 makes several changes regarding liquefied petroleum (LP) gas.

Many of these changes are regulatory and aimed at ensuring proper handling and storage of LP.

SB 1084 — Lab-Grown Meat

Senate Bill 1084 makes several changes involving the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ regulatory powers.

RELATED: ‘Lab-grown’ meat maker hosts Miami tasting party as Florida ban goes into effect

Among many minor changes, these rules include the following:

  • Prohibits local governments from regulating electric vehicle charging stations

  • Prohibits the sale of “cultivated meat” — also known as “lab-grown meat”

  • Prohibits the destruction or harvest of saw palmetto berries without written permission of a landowner

  • Establishes criminal penalties for trespassing on commercial agricultural property

  • Provides that a student’s participation in a 4-H or Future Farmers of America program is an excused absence from school

SB 1090 — Alcoholic Drink Sales

Senate Bill 1090 increases penalties for breaking Florida’s laws regarding the sale of alcoholic beverages.

Anyone who operates a place where these types of drinks are sold unlawfully can now face a third-degree felony charge, along with fines of between $5,000 and $10,000.

In addition, those who sell alcoholic drinks without a license can now be punished with fines between $15,000 and $20,000 on second and subsequent offenses, the text reads.

SB 1136 — Water Well Contractor Licenses

Senate Bill 1136 amends state statutes regarding water resources in the state, revising the qualifications for people taking the water well contractor licensing exam.

Under the law, exam applicants will need to have at least two years of experience in constructing, repairing or abandoning water wells in Florida.

Furthermore, the bill will make it illegal to advertise water-well drilling or construction services if a business isn’t owned by a licensed water well contractor or doesn’t employ such a contractor.

SB 1142 – Occupational Licensing

Senate Bill 1142 amends state statutes regarding the registration of specialty contractors.

The law allows contractors in good standing who have been registered with a local jurisdiction in 2021, 2022, or 2023 to qualify for a registration when the jurisdiction has determined not to continue issuing local licenses or exercising disciplinary oversight of such licensees.

SB 1198 — Corporate Actions

Senate Bill 1198 provides a ratification process for corporate actions that might not have been properly authorized and for shares that could be improperly issued.

This procedure is only meant to be available when there is objective evidence that a corporate action was “defectively implemented.”

The bill will only apply to the following types of firms:

  • LLC

  • Corporation

  • Corporation not for profit

SB 1224 — Lethality Assessment

Senate Bill 1224 establishes 12 questions that law enforcement officers must ask potential victims for a “lethality assessment” during a domestic violence call.

Those questions include the following:

  • 1. “Did the aggressor ever use a weapon against you or threaten you with a weapon?”

  • 2. “Did the aggressor ever threaten to kill you or your children?”

  • 3. “Do you believe the aggressor will try to kill you?”

  • 4. “Has the aggressor ever choked you or attempted to choke you?”

  • 5. “Does the aggressor have a gun, or could the aggressor easily obtain a gun?”

  • 6. “Is the aggressor violently or constantly jealous, or does the aggressor control most of your daily activities?”

  • 7. “Did you leave or separate from the aggressor after you were living together or married?”

  • 8. “Is the aggressor unemployed?”

  • 9. “To the best of your knowledge, has the aggressor ever attempted suicide?”

  • 10. “Do you have a child whom the aggressor believes is not the aggressor’s biological child?”

  • 11. “Has the aggressor ever followed, spied on, or left threatening messages for you?”

  • 12. “Is there anything else that worries you about your safety, and if so, what worries you?”

While the questions can have slightly different wording depending on the case, the victim’s answers will determine whether an officer must refer them to a domestic violence shelter.

SB 1264 — Anti-Communism Classes

Senate Bill 1264 establishes educational requirements for Florida public schools to include courses about communism.

More specifically, these courses will teach about the failures of communist groups in places like the Soviet Union, Cuba and China — as well as the threat that communist ideology poses to countries like the U.S. These classes are set to begin in the 2026-2027 school year.

In addition, the law creates the Institute for Freedom in the Americas at Miami-Dade College to hold workshops and symposiums that promote ideas for “intellectual, political and economic freedoms.”

SB 1286 — Returning Firearms

Senate Bill 1286 requires law enforcement agencies to return weapons that are taken from a person after an arrest — just so long as the weapons aren’t seized as evidence — within 45 days of the arrested person’s release from detention.

However, this only applies if the person provides a government-issued photographic ID and if the person passes a criminal history background check.

SB 1350 — Salvage

Senate Bill 1350 involves the salvage of motor vehicles, mobile homes and boats.

Specifically, the bill would:

  • Incorporate vessels into the definition of “independent entity” for incorporating vessels into the salvage certificate of title statute

  • Define “major component parts” of electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles for verifying the source of these parts during the rebuilt inspection process

  • Require that if the owner maintains possession of a total-loss vehicle or mobile home, that owner or insurance company notify the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to receive a salvage certificate of title or a certificate of destruction

  • Incorporate damaged or dismantled “vessel” to the salvage statute and provide procedures for the release and application for titling by an independent entity in possession of the vessel

  • Reenact statutes related to the sale of specified motor vehicles and the rebuilt motor vehicle inspection program to incorporate changes to the definition of “major component parts”

SB 1380 — Disability Transportation Services

Senate Bill 1380 involves special transportation services geared for those with disabilities.

The law revises the duties of FDOT regarding requirements in its grants and agreements with firms that provide paratransit services.

For example, the law requires that such providers:

  • offer both pre-booking and on-demand service to paratransit service users

  • establish reasonable time periods between a trip request and arrival, best practices for limiting travel times, and transparency about service quality

  • offer specific technology-based ride booking and vehicle tracking services in accessible formats

  • provide training to each paratransit driver for the professional development of staff providing direct services

SB 1420 — Department of Commerce (DCM)

Senate Bill 1420 makes several changes regarding the Florida Department of Commerce.

Specifically, the law:

  • creates a Supply Chain Innovation Program within the DCM and require the department to jointly select grants with the FDOT.

  • specifies that an HOA’s proposed revived declaration of covenants and articles of incorporation and bylaws must be submitted to the DCM within 60 days of obtaining valid written consent from the majority of affected parcel owners (or within 60 days after the documents are approved by the owners by vote at a meeting).

  • requires the DCM to establish a direct-support organization and rename the Florida Defense Support Task Force.

  • provides that if a local government doesn’t hold a second public hearing and adopt a comprehensive plan amendment within 180 days after the DCM provides comments, the amendment is considered withdrawn.

SB 1456 — Areas of Critical State Concern

Senate Bill 1456 makes changes to state law regarding the Florida Keys as “Areas of Critical State Concern.”

The Florida Keys were dubbed as such in 1975, including the areas of Islamorada, Marathon, Layton, Key Colony Beach, and unincorporated Monroe County.

Under this bill, hurricane evacuation clearance time criteria have been revised, and land authorities are allowed to require compliance with income limitations on land conveyed for affordable housing by memorializing the original land authority funding or contribution in a recordable perpetual deed restriction.

The bill also exempts counties and municipalities in areas of critical state concern within the past five years from having to provide assistance to very low-income persons. This is for such places where the state Legislature has already declared an intent to provide affordable housing, and it would make it so that these local governments would not have to pay from their local housing assistance trust funds.

Lastly, a county that has been designated as an “Area of Critical State Concern” and that levies a tourist development tax and tourist impact tax would be allowed to use the accumulated surplus from those taxes (incurred through Sept. 30) for affordable housing.

SB 1512 — Controlled Substances

Senate Bill 1512 amends state statutes regarding controlled substances.

Under this law, tianeptine — an antidepressant that increases serotonin uptake in the brain — will be added to the list of Schedule I controlled substances.

According to the CDC, tianeptine hasn’t been approved for any medical use by the FDA, and the agency warns that consumers should avoid products containing the antidepressant.

SB 1532 — Water Quality Enhancements

Senate Bill 1532 seeks to let private firms purchase credits through the water quality enhancement credit program.

The bill’s analysis reads as follows:

SB 1532 expands the water quality enhancement credit program to allow private entities to purchase credits. Currently, only governmental entities may purchase water quality enhancement credits under the program. Specifically, the bill provides that water quality enhancement credits may be sold to governmental entities seeking to meet an assigned basin management action plan allocation or reasonable assurance plan or to private or governmental applicants for the purpose of achieving net improvement or meeting environmental resource permit performance standards.

Florida Senate

SB 1582 — Florida Department of Health

Senate Bill 1582 amends several provisions regarding the FDOH.

Specifically, these changes include the following:

  • Creating a new position — the “Environmental Health Technician” (EHT) — and allowing the EHT to perform septic tank inspections without a four-year degree

  • Creating the Andrew John Anderson Pediatric Rare Disease Grant Program to invest in researching cures for rare pediatric diseases

  • Standardizing the hearing-screening requirements for newborns, infants and toddlers at hospitals, licensed birth facilities, and birth centers

  • Allowing certain applicants for licensure as a Medical Marijuana Treatment Center 90 days to fix problems with an application

SB 1600 — Interstate Mobility

Senate Bill 1600 requires officials in the DBPR to allow licensure by endorsement if an applicant meets certain criteria, such as having held a valid license issued by another state for at least five years prior.

In addition, the law requires the Florida Department of Health to issue licenses by endorsement for applicants within seven days of receiving all required documents for certain healthcare professions.

SB 1616 — Electronic Access to Official Records

Senate Bill 1616 seeks to make official records easier to search.

Specifically, the law aims to make these searches more user-friendly for those who are trying to identify adults against whom a protective injunction has been issued to protect a minor from domestic violence.

As such, the law requires that a respondent’s identity and related case information must be viewable through a publicly searchable database that is available on the homepage of the respective county clerk’s website.

SB 1680 — Advanced Technology

Senate Bill 1680 establishes the Government Technology Modernization Council.

This council is set to advise the state Legislature on new technologies, A.I. and other related issues.

The law also creates new rules about “generated child pornography,” which makes it a crime to own or purposefully view generated child pornography.

Those convicted of violating this new statute face up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

SB 1688 — Career-Themed Courses

Senate Bill 1688 adds requirements to improve student awareness of CTE opportunities.

In particular, the law adds requirements for:

  • strategic planning among local education, workforce and economic development agencies

  • the collection of data in career education programs and career-themed courses

  • student and parent notifications about available career and professional academies and career-themed courses

SB 1704 — Florida Sheriffs

Senate Bill 1704 adds two new state statutes.

The first allows a sheriff to transfer funds between categories and code levels after their office’s budget has been approved.

Meanwhile, the second provides the sheriff with independence in certain personnel and procurement decisions.

SB 1720 — Marine Encroachment on Military Operations

Senate Bill 1720 adds several locations to the list of military installations that — due to their placement — face a greater chance of having coordination issues with local governments.

These locations include various annexes across Boca Chica Key and Key West, along with the Fleming Bay/Patton Water Drop Zone training range, which is used by the Army Special Forces Underwater Operations School.

SB 1758 — People With Disabilities

Senate Bill 1758 amends state statutes regarding the Agency for Persons with Disabilities.

Under this law, the APD will be required to offer care-navigation services to clients and caregivers, including the creation of care plans.

In addition, the law modifies the application process for APD services to streamline eligibility timeframes.

SB 1764 — Highway Racing

Senate Bill 1764 amends state statutes regarding racing on highways.

Under the law, violations of these rules would see harsher fines and enhanced penalties.

The law will also make it so that anyone who breaks these rules while engaging in a “coordinated street takeover” — a situation where at least 10 cars are organized to take over a street — could face a third-degree felony charge and steep fines.

In addition, fines will be increased for spectators at such events.

SB 7002 — Deregulation of Public Schools

Senate Bill 7002 removes certain regulations on school districts to improve their efficiency.

These changes are aimed at simplifying procedures for school districts so that they can focus more on improving student education.

According to Legislative analysts, these changes include:

  • Allowing school districts and parents to agree on alternate notification systems

  • Removing requirements for school boards to provide economic security reports to parents

  • Giving school boards autonomy for facility planning according to local long-term needs rather than state-specified assessments

  • Providing more flexibility for how local school boards choose to spend federal funds or money generated by civil penalties

  • Letting school districts decide whether to make up days lost because of emergencies

  • Simplifying school board rulemaking procedures into a single process involving open meetings with public input

SB 7004 — Educational Changes

Senate Bill 7004 gives school districts more authority over VPK programs, testing and instructional materials.

For starters, the law removes the requirements that school districts must offer the summer VPK program and allows districts to reduce how often assessments are given during the program.

In addition, the law makes the following changes:

  • School districts will no longer be required to adhere to the uniform testing calendar, instead submitting a district testing calendar to the state.

  • The common assessment will no longer have to be administered for students in the Department of Juvenile Justice prevention, residential or day treatment programs.

  • Districts will have more control over the provision of instructional materials for students in core subject areas.

  • Principals will have the authority to determine how to collect funds for lost or damaged instructional materials.

  • School districts are no longer required to offer virtual instruction, though any students enrolled full-time in such a program must be provided with the necessary equipment, regardless of income status.

The law also loosens regulations for school districts when it comes to implementing turnaround plans, extending their timelines from two years to four years.

SB 7028 — My Safe Florida Home Program

Senate Bill 7028 appropriates $200 million for the “My Safe Florida Home Program.”

The program offers grants to help homeowners make improvements and repairs on their home related to storms. Lawmakers approved the program in 2006 to help homeowners make their homes less vulnerable to hurricanes and bring down insurance costs.

Under this law, the appropriations for the program are raised from $107 million.

SB 7032 — GATE Program

Senate Bill 7032 creates the Graduation Alternative to Traditional Education (GATE) program, as well as three other GATE programs.

Each program aims to provide opportunities for students who have withdrawn from high school to earn career education credits while completing a high school diploma.

Under this law, students enrolled in the GATE program at a specified career center can have their tuition, fees and costs for instructional materials waived.

To be eligible, students must:

  • not have earned a high school diploma or equivalent

  • have been withdrawn from high school

  • be a resident of the state

  • be 16-21 years old at the time of initial enrollment

  • select a qualified secondary education program and career education program upon admission to the GATE program

  • maintain a 2.0 GPA for coursework

  • complete the program within three years unless an extension is warranted

SB 7072 — Cancer Research Funding

Senate Bill 7072 revises state statutes regarding the Casey DeSantis Cancer Research Program.

Under this law, the program is established to promote the provision of high-quality health care for people undergoing cancer treatments in Florida.

In addition, the law makes other governmental changes related to funding cancer research in the state.

SB 7078 — Public Records (Cancer Research)

Senate Bill 7078 creates a public records exemption for proprietary business information related to the review of research grant applications under SB 7072.

However, the exemption will be repealed on Oct. 2, 2029 unless reenacted by the Legislature, per the Open Government Sunset Review Act.

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