BILLS THAT PASSED THE 2016 LEGISLATIVE SESSION
To date, Governor Rick Scott has signed 192 bills. To see a list of these bills go here. We have outlined a few items of interest that passed this year.
GOOD SAMARITAN LAW Thanks to this law the Governor signed, if you see a pet or child locked in a hot car, you are immune from civil liability for entering or damaging the motor vehicle to rescue them.
INSURANCE REGULATORY REPORTING Insurance code revisions for solvency requirements and regulatory oversight were changed by this bill. Florida adopted the ORSA Model Act, which 34 other jurisdictions already have implemented.
VOTER ID Both chambers unanimously passed legislation which expands the list of acceptable forms of identification voters may use such as veteran health cards, concealed weapons permits, and certain government employee ID cards, among others.
DIGITAL ASSETS A multi-year effort to pass this bill by Senator Dorothy Hukill (R-Port Orange) paid off. The bill allows an authorized personal representative to have access to specified digital assets of a deceased person, such as emails, text messages and social media accounts. Governor Scott approved this measure on March 10th.
ALCOHOL SALES AT TRAIN STATIONS The Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco can issue alcoholic beverage licenses to the owners of railroad transit stations that are used for passenger service between two or more cities. All Aboard Florida was the top proponent of this effort.
BOAT REGISTRATION ON March 25th, Governor Scott signed a bill which was aimed toward boater safety. Vehicle registration fees for boats will be reduced should the vessel be equipped with an emergency position beacon.
SINKHOLES This legislation creates a new type of limited sinkhole insurance for residents only that would cover structural damage caused by sinkholes at agreed upon limits.
DOZIER BURIALS A bill which would provide up to $7,500 per burial has been approved for the victims of the now-closed, state-run Dozier School for Boys in Marianna. Governor Scott signed this bill into law on March 30th.
SLUNGSHOTS This legislation allows the manufacture and sale of slungshots, which are small handheld weapons made of a mass of metal or stone on a flexible handle or strap. It was previously illegal to manufacture and sell these devices and they were classified as a “concealed weapon.”
BODY CAMERAS Local governments which have body camera programs for law enforcement officers will be required to have policies and a training program. The measure was approved by the Governor on March 24th.
HUMAN TRAFFICKING New legislation increases protections for minors and victims of human trafficking, including increasing the maximum age at which a victim or witness may be allowed to testify via closed circuit television rather than in a courtroom and adding the offense of human trafficking to the list of crimes that support a felony murder conviction. Governor Scott signed this into law on March 8th.
ELEVATOR SAFETY The Maxwell Erik ‘Max’ Grablin Act adds safety requirements, including sensors, to residential elevators. It is named after a 12-year-old who was killed while searching for a runaway hamster in the family’s elevator shaft.
U.S. CAPITOL STATUARY HALL Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith’s likeness in the U.S. Capitol National Statuary Hall will be replaced by another historical figure determined by committee recommendations to the Governor and Cabinet by January 1, 2017. The statue of Dr. John Gorrie, inventor of air conditioning, will remain in the Hall. Governor Scott signed this into law on March 10th.
NEEDLE EXCHANGE PROGRAM A needle exchange pilot program has been approved by the Legislature. The University of Miami will be able to set up a program in Miami-Dade County where exchanges will be permitted anonymously. The goal of the pilot program is to reduce the spread of disease and infections. The Governor approved this measure on March 23rd.
MULTI-STATE NURSES COMPACT Florida will join with two dozen other states in allowing reciprocation of licenses for nurses.
COHABITATION A law dating back to 1868 has been wiped off the books. The law forbade unmarried people from living together. Mississippi and Michigan are now the only two states that continue to make it illegal.
SEIZED PROPERTY Police will only be allowed to seize personal property for persons who have been convicted of a crime, rather than the current program involving suspicion.