Legislative Issues

Of the 3,517 bills filed this Session (including 1,634 proposed House appropriations projects, which are considered bills), only 207 passed both the Senate and House. That is 10 more bills than last year’s total. Here is a recap of some interesting bills that passed and failed this Session.

Bills that Passed

PARENTAL CONSENT One of the first bills to pass the Senate, by a 23-17 vote, was sponsored by Senator Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland). It requires a minor to get written and notarized parental or legal guardian permission before receiving an abortion. Minors would be able to seek a judicial waiver. A law passed previously required parental notification only. The bill, sponsored by Representative Erin Grall (R-Vero Beach), passed the House 75-43.

ELECTRIC BICYCLES A bill classifying and regulating electric bikes is on its way to Governor DeSantis. The bill outlines where an e-bike can operate, but local governments will retain the ability to regulate the operation of e-bikes on their streets, highways, sidewalks, and sidewalk areas.

SPECIALTY LICENSE TAGS After four years of reworking the State’s specialty license plate program, an agreement was reached between the Senate and House after the Divine Nine plate was added to the list of 150 options. The threshold for issuance of a new tag is 3,000 pre-sales rather than the previous 1,000 within a two-year period. Any out-of-state colleges and university tags must maintain annual sales of 4,000. Fleet companies and dealers are now eligible for specialty plates. The bill goes into effect October 1st and designs must be submitted 60 days after that. There are over 1.65 million specialty plates registered to current Florida drivers.

FIREWORKS A bill that lifts the ban on importing, selling and buying certain fireworks for use on New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day and Independence Day is on its way to Governor DeSantis.

ALYSSA’S LAW The compromised bill requires panic alarms in public and charter schools throughout the state. It drops the word “interoperable” from the description of the mobile panic alert system allowing schools to use other complying systems. Eight million dollars was appropriated to the Department of Education to create the system. Representative Michael Gottlieb (D-Davie) led the effort for the panic button legislation together with Lori Alhadeff, whose daughter Alyssa was one of the 17 people murdered during the 2018 shooting at Broward County’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.