BILLS THAT FAILED
The following is a sampling of bills which failed this legislative session, largely because of the impasse between the Senate and House. Expect to see many of these issues return next year.
ALIMONY REFORM The House passed their bill on a 93-22 vote, but the Senate never took up the final measure. The bill, which would have effectively ended permanent alimony, contained provisions supported by the Florida Bar that established a formula for alimony amounts and the time frame for such payments. Judges would have been given some discretion in awarding alimony.
RIDE-SHARING Efforts to create statewide uniformity for app-based transportation services, known as ride sharing like Uber and Lyft failed to clear the Legislature. Each chamber advanced their bill, but major differences led to often contentious debate. A major stumbling block was the idea of pre-emption of local regulation. The House was adamant this concept must be part of any solution.
GUNS One proposal allowed school superintendents, with the permission of their school boards, to appoint designees to carry concealed firearms on public school grounds. Another bill permitted individuals, aged 21 and over who have a concealed weapon permit, to carry a weapon on college campuses.
TELEMEDICINE Bills which would have allowed telemedicine for Florida patients failed for the second year in a row when they were unable to clear their committees. The legislation would have created standards of practice for doctors, nurses and other health care professionals. Physicians would have been required to be licensed in Florida.
SPORT FRANCHISES The Orlando City MLS soccer team, along with three other facilities, wanted the Legislature to act on a proposal approved in 2014 which would provide annual sales tax rebates of up to $3 million to help build or upgrade their complexes. There is still a chance that the Legislature will appropriate these funds during the special session.
PERSONAL LEARNING SCHOLARSHIPS The scholarships would have been available for private school students, allowed eligible three and four year olds to apply, included students with muscular dystrophy and broadened the definition of autism. It was the top priority of President Gardiner and was the last bill considered by the Senate when they were in session.
WATER A top priority of Speaker Crisafulli, a bill outlining comprehensive plan to protect and clean the state’s water resources, died at the end of session. The Senate took it up on the last day of their session and sent it back to the House; however the House was not there to receive it. Requirements for consumptive use permitting, minimum flows and levels and several water quality provisions were part of the proposal.