New laws go into effect October 1st

While the majority of the 269 laws passed by the Florida Legislature and signed by Governor Scott this spring went into effect July 1st, 26  will go into effect Saturday, October 1st. They include:

ELECTRONIC SKIMMERS

• SB 912, which is part of a crackdown on illegal electronic skimmers that have been found on gas pumps and ATM machines. The measure, backed by Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, increases the penalties for people who possess counterfeit credit-card information. The proposal also includes requirements for gas-station owners and managers to use security measures on self-service fuel pumps.

HOUSE ARREST

• HB 75, which expands rules regarding electronic monitoring devices. The measure makes it a third-degree felony to ask another person to remove or help circumvent the operation of a monitoring device.

EBT CARDS

• SB 218, which is aimed at reducing trafficking in electronic-benefit transfer cards. The cards, commonly known as EBT cards, are a higher-tech form of food stamps and help provide food assistance to low-income Floridians. The measure, in part, would make it a first-degree misdemeanor to have two or more EBT cards and sell or attempt to sell one of the cards. A second offense would be a third-degree felony.

DISABILITIES PROTECTION

• HB 387, which is named “Carl’s Law” and increases civil and criminal penalties when victims are people with disabilities. Carl Stark, a 36-year-old autistic man from St. Augustine was shot and killed in 2015 after being targeted by teenagers looking to steal a car.

SUPERVISORS PAY

 • SB 514, which adjusts salaries for county supervisors of elections to be calculated the same as for clerks of circuit court, property appraisers and tax collectors. The Legislature’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research has indicated the change will result in $1.2 million in salary increases, which averages to an $18,540 increase per county.

HUMAN TRAFFICKING

• HB 545, which prohibits people under 18 from being prosecuted for prostitution and makes clear that sexually exploiting a child in prostitution should be viewed as human trafficking. The measure also increases the penalty for people who knowingly rent space used for prostitution.

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