AMENDMENT 1 CONSERVATION The First District Court of Appeal has overruled a lower court and sided with the State regarding Amendment 1 funding for land and water conservation. The lower court had ruled that the required funding could only be utilized for projects after the Amendment’s effective date.
ABORTION 24-HOUR WAIT PERIOD The 2015 law requiring a 24-hour waiting period prior to an abortion remains on hold. The ACLU won a circuit court battle when it was declared unconstitutional. The First District Court of Appeal, on a 2-1 ruling, rejected the decision saying the judge erred by not allowing a full trial. The appeal court sent the case back to the circuit level for trial. Meanwhile, the stay granted by the Florida Supreme Court remains in effect.
MEDICAL MARIJUANA The First District Court of Appeal, on a 4-4 vote, refused to revisit the issue of requiring licensed medical marijuana growers to grow, process and distribute cannabis. The court left in place the previous Appeal Court decision that ruled such vertical integration ran counter to the voter-approved Amendment’s intention. The judges asked the Florida Supreme Court to make the final decision.
EDUCATION LAW Several school boards challenged a 2017 education bill enacted into law which, among other things, favored charter schools. The boards alleged the law infringed upon their rights to operate schools. The First District Court of Appeal agreed with a lower court ruling and determined either the school board did not have standing for the lawsuit, or they infringed upon precedent that limits the ability of public officials to challenge the constitutionality of state laws.