Bills Signed into Law

Bills signed into law by Governor Scott:

Pollution Public notification must be given within 24 hours of pollution incidents and additional resources for pollution prevention and recovery are now available. This legislation stems from an incident last year where approximately 215 million gallons of radioactive and contaminated water was released into Florida’s aquifer when a sinkhole formed directly below a wastewater storage pond used by Mosaic. The public was not notified for three weeks.

Controlled Substances New and harsher penalties are now in place for users of synthetic opioid drugs, including fentanyl and its derivatives.

Certificates of Nonviable Birth This bill creates the “Grieving Families Act” which requires the Department of Health to issue a certificate of nonviable birth upon request of parents.

Adoption Benefits This bill expands qualifying employees for the state employee adoption benefit program to include employees from charter schools and The Florida Virtual School.

Memory Disorder Clinic Florida Hospital in Orange County is now a designated memory disorder clinic.

Medication Synchronization Patients of health insurers and HMOs can align the refill dates of their prescription medication.

Discount Plan Organizations This bill streamlines the regulation of Discount Plans and Discount Plan Organizations. Discount Plan Organizations offer Discount Medical Plans in exchange for fees, dues, or charges which provide access for plan members to receive medical services from contracted providers at a discount.

Professional Regulation The “Occupational Opportunity Act” waives initial professional licensure fees for eligible members, including veterans, spouses, and surviving spouses of the Armed Forces.

Unmanned Devices This bill creates the “Unmanned Aircraft Systems Act”, which codifies the use of drones.  Drones will be able to operate on sidewalks and crosswalks throughout the state, local governments will have the power to enact ordinances governing illegal activity performed by drones, and operators must adhere to all federal statutes and regulations regarding their use.

Transportation Network Companies Ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft must now follow state regulations regarding requirements for insurance coverage and driver background checks.

Transportation Facility Designations  This legislation makes 50 honorary designations of Florida transportation facilities, including the “Muhammed Ali Boulevard” in Miami-Dade County,  the “Gulf Coast Highway” in Pasco County, the  “Lieutenant Debra Clayton Memorial Highway” and the “First Class Deputy Normal Lewis Memorial Highway,” both in Orange County.

Certificates of Title for Motor Vehicles Surviving spouses will no longer be required to pay a fee to procure a new car title after the death of their partner.

Tax Exemptions for First Responders and Surviving Spouses An additional property tax exemption is now given to first responders permanently disabled in the line of duty and the surviving spouse of first responders killed in the line of duty.

Water Protection and Sustainability This legislation creates the “Heartland Headwaters Protection and Sustainability Act” and requires the Polk County Regional Water Cooperative to provide an annual report on local projects and conservation efforts.

Utilities  The “Advanced Wireless Infrastructure Deployment Act” will increase the availability of 5G wireless technology throughout Florida.

Public Works Projects State and local governments cannot impose specified restrictions on contracts for public works projects funded 50 percent or more by the state.

Terrorism and Terrorist Activities This bill creates criminal offenses for people who engage in illegal activities in connection with terrorist organizations or commit acts of terrorism.

Eyewitness Identification Law enforcement agencies now have uniform guidelines to follow when conducting photo and in-person lineups.

Residential Elevators Safety standards of residential elevators enacted in the 2016 Erick “Max” Grablin Act have been improved.

Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority TBARTA will now have a streamlined structure and mission that focuses on regional transit challenges and opportunities in the Tampa Bay area, rather than the entire transportation spectrum.

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