Legislative Issues


HUMAN TRAFFICKING The Legislature will pursue additional human trafficking legislation in 2016.  New laws went into effect on January 1st, with the goal of raising awareness about human trafficking by requiring signs be posted in a wide range of places, including rest areas, airports and strip clubs. Additional measures under consideration this session would deal with state licensing of professionals.

BODY CAMERAS A bill was filed to establish policies, procedures and training requirements for law enforcement agencies that permit its officers to wear body cameras. A similar bill passed the full House in 2015, but died in a Senate committee.

BLACK BEARS In an effort to decrease bear-human interactions, the “Florida Black Bear Habitat Restoration Act” would, among other things, create a Bear-Resistant Garbage Container Account within the Non-game Wildlife Trust Fund and designate areas of the State as black bear habitat.

PLASTIC BAGS A pilot program for coastal communities with a population of less than 100,000 would ban the use of plastic bags for a thirty month trial period beginning January 1, 2017.

GROCERY STORE FINANCING Small, independent grocery stores in communities of low and moderate incomes would be able to finance construction and rehabilitation of their facilities  should this legislation pass.

GOOD SAMARITAN LAW  In a bill strengthening Florida’s “Good Samaritan Law,” a person would not be held liable for damage to a vehicle if that person is rescuing a child or pet from a hot car. Twenty-three children and elderly Floridians have died since 2010 from being trapped in a hot car.

DANGEROUS DOGS Dogs labeled as “dangerous” for causing serious injury may not be automatically euthanized under a bill moving through committees. The bill allows exceptions if the person injured was unlawfully on the property or abusing the dog or its owner, or the dog was defending a human.

RECESS Kids in elementary school need time to play. If legislation passes, students in grades K-5 would be required to have one hundred minutes of supervised free play per week in twenty minute increments.

BIG ORANGE A one ton, thirty-five foot diameter LED-lighted icon from Miami could be the official state symbol of New Year’s Eve celebrations in Florida if this legislation passes.

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