159 new laws went into effect in Florida on July 1st. A sampling:
HB 7099- the $129.1 million package exempts sales taxes on food and drinks sold by veterans’ organizations; revises how taxes are calculated on alcohol and tobacco sales for cruise ships within Florida waters; on pear cider; and on an excise tax on aviation fuel. It also includes a sales-tax “holiday” for back-to-school shoppers, which runs from Aug. 5 to Aug. 7.
SB 228 – removes aggravated assault from a list of offenses that fall under the 10-20-Life mandatory-minimum sentencing law.
SB 636- requires local law-enforcement agencies to submit sexual-assault evidence kits, known as “rape kits,” to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement within 30 days of the beginning of their investigations.
HB 1411- cuts off funding to organizations affiliated with abortion clinics, such as Planned Parenthood. The law also requires clinics that provide first-trimester abortions have written patient-transfer agreements with hospitals and that clinic physicians be required to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. The measure is being challenged in state and federal courts.
HB59- agritourism operators are protected from local regulation that would limit their agritourism activities.
HB 43- protects churches, clergy members and church employees who object, due to their religious beliefs, to performing wedding ceremonies for gay and lesbian couples.
HB 7029- allows parents to transfer their children to any public school in the state that isn’t at capacity; gives charter schools that serve lower-income students or those with disabilities more funding for construction; allows private schools to join the Florida High School Athletic Association or other organizations on a sport-by-sport basis.
SB716- creates a Holocaust Memorial in the Capitol Complex.
HB 7007- designates Tupelo honey as Florida’s official honey.
HB 1602- the Maxwell Erik ‘Max’ Grablin Act adds safety requirements, including sensors, to newly installed residential elevators.
HB 103- allows the use of EBT cards (“food stamps”) at farmer’s markets.
HB 427- vehicle registration fees for boats with emergency beacons will be reduced.