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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed some 200 bills into law. Here are some key laws that go into effect Monday.
The Florida Legislature voted to give $90 billion to DeSantis for next fiscal year. Though some laws went into effect immediately after DeSantis’ signature, others begin halfway through the year – July 1.
Texting While Driving Becomes Primary Offense
Florida will become one of the last states to make texting while driving a primary traffic offense. The new law will also ban the use of any handheld wireless communications devices in school and construction zones.
A first offense will be punishable by a $30 fine, with a second costing $60. Court costs and fees also would apply, and points will be added to licenses. Warnings will be given until January, when officers can begin writing citations.
Allows development of self-driving vehicles and removes several legislative hurdles that prohibit driving autonomous vehicles on Florida’s Turnpike.
Benefits for Firefighters Battling Cancer
Florida firefighters diagnosed with cancer receive a new package of benefits, including the full cost of treatment, a $25,000 payout, disability pay and death benefits for beneficiaries. The bill would treat cancer and cancer deaths like on-the-job injuries and deaths.
Red Tide Research, Clean Up
With a $3 million budget, Red Tide Mitigation and Technology Development Initiative will for the next six years research how to combat the effects of algae blooms and prevent future outbreaks.
Testing standards for teacher certification being lowered after a 30% failure rate increase followed a tougher standard set in 2015.
Civilians who work in law enforcement no longer have personal addresses listed on public records, which is already in place for police officers.
‘Sanctuary Cities’ Ban
Local governments prohibited from establishing “sanctuary” policies protecting undocumented immigrants. Law would force local governments to comply with federal immigration requests and detention orders. Enforcement begins in October.
Bright Futures Scholarship Requirements
Increases score requirements to acquire Bright Futures scholarships. To qualify for 100% coverage at a state school, students will need an SAT score of 1330 – increased from 1290.
To qualify for 75% funding, SAT score requirements have been increased to 1200 – up from 1170.
Vaping banned statewide at indoor workplaces. The law expands Florida’s indoor smoking ban to include vaping, which was approved through a Florida Constitutional amendment.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs will be imported from Canada and other countries to Florida to reduce prices.
Front Yard Gardens
Floridians allowed to grow fruit and vegetables in front yards without being fined by local governments.
Oversight, guidelines and restrictions imposed on Florida’s telemedicine industry.
Florida will now allow an agricultural hemp program to be developed.
Prison Feminine Hygiene Products
Florida law requires correctional facitilies to provide feminine hygiene products to female prisoners.