Bills that Passed

PARENTS BILL OF RIGHTS This legislation says that parents have ultimate decision-making authority on issues of education, physical and mental health. Parents could more easily opt their kids out of medical procedures like vaccinations or educational courses that parents object to – like sex ed.

CRAFT DISTILLERIES Florida’s craft distilleries finally leveled the playing field after several attempts in past years. The bill increases the gallonage produced for a craft distillery from 75,000 to 250,000 gallons per year, loosens laws for entertainment venues, and allows for the direct sales of their wares to customers; provided such transactions are done in person.

DRINKS TO GO A bill passed that would make permanent the Governor’s executive order allowing restaurants to sell to-go alcoholic drinks. The law would allow restaurants with liquor licenses to sell sealed wine, beer, and wine- or liquor-based cocktails for consumption away from the premises or for take-away orders. 

FLORIDA WILDLIFE CORRIDOR Part of a last-minute amendment to Senate Bill 976, the “Florida Wildlife Corridor Act” will expand efforts to preserve migration paths for animals such as the Florida panther, preventing fragmentation of critical lands. The bill also protects the headwaters of major watersheds (including the Everglades and St. Johns River); helps to sustain working farms, lands and forests; and preserves lands and waters to protect coastal estuaries. Lawmakers agreed to put $300 million from federal stimulus funding toward land conservation.

In other environmental news, the Legislature agreed to spend more than $500 million from federal funds for a resiliency initiative to combat rising sea levels and $100 million in trust fund dollars for the Florida Forever land buying program.

LARGEMOUTH BASS Certified aquaculture producers and dealers are permitted to sell aquaculture products, except those otherwise prohibited by law and those for which the origin of the product is unknown. This bill removed the prohibition for the production and sale of Florida largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides floridanus) by an aquaculture producer certified by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, so long as the products origin can be identified.