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

SCHOOL CREDIT FOR MILITARY SERVICE This legislation requires the Department of Education’s Articulation Coordinating Committee to put together a 13-member workgroup to determine the minimum college credits or certification hours awarded to armed service members for their experience in the military.

EDUCATION In addition to the $500 million in teacher pay raises, the budget also includes about $60 million to expand access to the Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten Program for families currently on its wait list and $8 million for classroom technology. The controversial Best and Brightest bonus program was repealed and no replacement program was proposed. While no sweeping changes were made to school safety, the budget does include $42 million for school hardening.

BEAR HUNTING This bill increased penalties for killing bears outside of designated hunting seasons. It raised the killing, possessing or selling a bear out of season from a level-two violation to a level-three, which includes a $500 fine and forfeits any Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission license or permit issued for three years after the date of violation.

SHARK FIN BAN The “Kristin Jacobs Ocean Conservation Act,” named in honor of its sponsor Representative Kristin Jacobs (D-Coconut Creek), prohibits the import, export, and sale of shark fins in Florida. The bill was amended to allow fishermen who held a valid federal shark fishing permit on January 1, 2020 to continue to do so.