FLORIDA, USA — Measures related to education, health care, and ... dessert? More than 100 laws will take effect in Florida on Friday, July 1.
This year, lawmakers sent 280 bills to Gov. Ron DeSantis, and 149 are set to become law on Friday — either signed or awaiting signatures as of Monday.
Some of these bills, like ones regarding abortion or the teaching of race-related concepts, have been called controversial and face legal challenges.
Take a look at some of the bills that will become law Friday:
Health and Environment
Abortion: On the back of everyone's minds after the SCOTUS decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, lawmakers passed a measure (HB5), which restricts abortion past 15 weeks. The restriction has exceptions for life endangerment, but not for rape, incest or human trafficking.
Previously, Florida restricted abortion after 24 weeks.
Public smoking restriction: As part of The Florida Clean Air Act, lawmakers passed (HB 105) which gives local governments the authorization to restrict smoking on public Florida beaches and parks. This could include the creation of designated smoking zones and fines, stricter laws on the disposal of cigarette butts and even an outright ban.
Medicaid Managed Care Program: This amendment gives more control to the Agency for Health Care Administration. The measure (SB 1950) requires that the reimbursement method for providers be on a prepaid basis.
Telehealth: Amid increased reliance on telemedicine, lawmakers approved a bill (SB 312), which expands the authority of physicians to prescribe controlled substances through telehealth services.
Flooding and sea-level rise resilience: As Florida faces climate change impacts on rising sea level, lawmakers passed a measure (HB 7053) that creates a resiliency office under the governor and expands the Resilient Florida Grant Program.
Individual Freedom: Referred to as the "Stop WOKE Act" by DeSantis, this bill (HB 7) restricts how race-related concepts are taught in schools and workplace training. It reads that "subjecting individuals to specified concepts under certain circumstances constitutes discrimination based on race, color, sex or national origin." This measure drew on a court challenge.
Parental Rights in Education: The "Don't Say Gay" bill, as it's been dubbed by activists, has drawn on a national debate. This measure (HB 1557) stops classroom instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity for students from Kindergarten to third grade. It extends to all state public schools and allows parents to sue districts over violations.
Financial Literacy in Public Schools: This measure (SB 1054) will require high-school students to take financial literacy courses starting in the 2023-2024 academic year.
Florida Bright Futures: This bill (HB 461) changes the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program Student service requirements to allow paid working hours to count towards the scholarship rather than only volunteer hours.
K-12 Education: Lawmakers signed a measure (HB 1467) to establish 12-year term limits on county schoolboard members, require certain meetings relating to instructional materials to be noticed and public as well as revise district school board requirements for the selection of certain materials.
Postsecondary Education: This measure (SB 7044) requires state colleges and universities to change accreditors at the end of each accreditation cycle. It also authorizes the Board of Governors to regulate post-tenure reviews.
Budget and Taxes
General Appropriations Act: DeSantis signed a record budget (HB 5001) for $109.9 billion for the 2022-23 fiscal year. Some of the most notable measures in this budget include pay raises for state workers, recruitment bonuses for police officers and first responders, money for cancer research and a gas tax suspension before the November election.
Sales tax holidays: This broad tax plan (HB 7071) includes a series of sales-tax breaks or "holidays" on things like back-to-school supplies, work-related items during the week of Labor Day and a one-month suspension of the state gas tax in October.
Youth and Family
Juvenile Diversion Program Erasure: This measure (HB195) expands the ability of minors to have arrest records erased if they complete diversion programs. This includes specified felony offenses rather than only for misdemeanor offenses. The law will not apply to arrests for forcible felonies and felonies that involve the manufacture, sale, purchase, transport, possession or use of firearms.
Child welfare: Within the Department of Children and Families, this bill (HB 7065) creates the Responsible Fatherhood Initiative, and requires the department along with the Department of Juvenile Justice to meet the needs of dually-involved children in a specific timeframe.
Homeless Youth: This bill (HB 1577) addresses the needs of youth who are experiencing homelessness as well as improves access for youth who are currently in, or were formerly in foster care.
Safety and Law Enforcement
School safety: This bill (HB 1421) addresses school safety recommendations made by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission. Not only does this bill improve transparency of security in schools but also addresses student mental health.
Care for retired police dogs: This act (SB 226) called "Care for Retired Police Dogs Program Act." It will provide a reimbursement for up to $1,500 of annual veterinary costs of caring for retired police dogs by the former handler or adopter.
Law enforcement: This bill (HB 3) boosts law enforcement agencies' recruitment efforts by providing tools like financial incentives, enhanced training, expanded educational opportunities and recognition that honors officers' service to Florida.
Miya's Law: Named to honor Miya Marcano, a Florida college student who was murdered after a maintenance worker used a master key to enter her apartment, this bill (SB 898) aims to improve renter safety. It strengthens requirements regarding the accessibility of individual units and increases required notices for maintenance to 24 hours among other things.
Local Governments and Special Districts
Dissolving independent special districts: This bill (SB 4-C) gained national attention as it will dissolve Disney's Independent Reedy Creek District that the Walt Disney World Company currently owns and manages. It also calls for the dissolution of six total special districts in the state one year from Friday. This law comes after the Walt Disney Co.'s public opposition of the "Don't Say Gay" bill.
Cybersecurity: This bill (HB 7055) amends the state's Cybersecurity Act. Among several changes, it bans local governments from making ransom payments when hit with cyber or "ransomware" attacks.
Loud music ordinance: Tired of blaring car stereos? This measure (HB 1435) will prohibit excessive noise from motor vehicles. Officers can now ticket you if your music can be heard 25 feet away from your car.
Strawberry shortcake: Plant city's strawberry industry gets recognition as strawberry shortcake is named the official state dessert for Florida in this bill (SB 1006).
You can view summaries of all the bills passed in the House and Senate during the 2022 session here.