‘Stop W.O.K.E Act,’ 15-week abortion ban among list of 144

There are 144 bills signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis that also take effect Friday, from high-profile, highly contested measures that ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, ban teaching of sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through third grade and prohibit diversity training infused with critical race theory in the workplace to more mundane, smaller changes to the law such as a bill clarifying when a homeowner can cut down a tree in their yard.

Here’s Part 1 in a look at the new laws taking effect Friday (find Part 2 here):

— HB 3: Sets up a bonus program to recruit police officers to Florida, giving $5,000 signing bonus to new officers, up to $1,000 in police education and training expenses; increases base pay for Sheriffs by $5,000 and allows Sheriffs to transfer funds between budget categories after their budget has been approved by the County Commission; allows police officers to get credit at Florida colleges and universities for experience on the job.

— HB 5: Bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, except in cases where the life of the mother is in danger. A judge found the law was unconstitutional on Thursday, though a scheduled injunction has been delayed and could be halted on appeal.. The law is similar to the Mississippi law the U.S. Supreme Court upheld when it overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case establishing a right to an abortion.

— HB 7: Prohibits businesses from requiring employees to attend diversity training that teaches a person is inherently racist, sexist or an “oppressor” by sole virtue of their race or skin color by declaring it is discrimination under Florida’s Civil Rights Act.

— HB 31: Gives firefighters more protection during a formal or informal inquiry.

— HB 45: Waives tuition and fees for disabled military veterans whose disability doesn’t make them eligible for the federal tuition and fee waiver at Florida universities and colleges.

— HB 105: Allows cities and counties to ban smoking cigarettes on public beaches and parks.

— SB 144: Allows a person with financial hardship to receive an identification card from the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles for no charge if they show their voter’s registration card, and allows someone 80 years old or older who has had their drivers license revoked because of a failed vision test to receive an identification card for free.

— SB 160: Names or designates 26 roads and bridges in Florida.

— HB 173: Schools must care for students with epilepsy or other seizure disorder based on an “individualized seizure action plan” signed by a medical professional and the student’s parent or guardian.

— HB 195: Juveniles with a nonjudicial arrest record can have the record expunged after completing a diversion program, except for forcible felonies. Linked to HB 197, which exempts such arrest records from Florida’s public records laws.

— SB 196: Transfers responsibility for determining fiscal sufficiency for issuing bonds for affordable housing projects from the State Board of Administration to the Florida Housing Finance Corporation; clarifies definitions for Florida Housing Finance Corporation’s process for securing a buyer for a housing development.

— SB 222: Lets an unlicensed contractor work on repairing or installing swimming pools if they are under the supervision of someone who is licensed.

— HB 225: Allows charter schools to modify their charter at any time; requires any requests for consolidating charter schools to be approved or denied within 60 days; requires 90 days notification if a charter school’s charter will be terminated, renewed or not renewed and automatically renews a charter if no notification is given.

— SB 226: Establishes a program to care for retired police dogs.

— HB 235: Bans school personnel from using mechanical restraints on students with a disability, with an exception for school resource and safety officers discharging their duties.

— SB 236: Extends the upper age limit in the definition of “developmental delay” from 5 years to 9 years, expanding the eligibility for “exceptional students” to be admitted to special education programs.

— SB 254: Prevents emergency orders from directly or indirectly banning religious services.

— SB 255: Expands eligibility to provide applied behavior analysis services in classrooms to registered behavior technicians with nationally recognized certification employed by a Medicaid provider.

— SB 266: Requires state law enforcement agencies to carry insurance on police vehicles when an officer travels home.

— SB 282: Encourages the use of “peer specialists” — those who have recovered from a substance abuse disorder or mental illness — in treatment for substance abuse or mental illness by setting training, standards, and includes them as an “essential element of a coordinated system of care.”

— SB 288: Adds the words “display or performance” to the definition of “electronic dissemination” under the state’s True Origin of Digital Goods Act, requiring websites showing original commercial recordings to show the name, owner and operator of the website to ensure compliance with copyright laws.

— SB 312: Allows non-Schedule II controlled substances to be prescribed by a telehealth provider.

— SB 350: Increasing the threshold for a utility’s annual sales from 500 to 1,000 gigawatt hours that makes it eligible for a faster rate request review from the Public Service Commission.

— SB 352: Increases the threshold for a contractor repairing or replacing a heating or air-conditioning system to be required to provide a notice of commencement to a homeowner from $7,500 to $15,000.

— HB 357: Moves audit and enforcement powers to ensure pharmacy benefit managers are in compliance with state laws to the Office of Insurance Regulation, and sets up a $10,000 fine for a PBM’s failure to register with the state

— HB 375: Sets up a Structural Engineering Recognition Program for professional engineers.

— HB 381: Requires a bail bonds agent to transport a defendant to the county where the defendant was released on bail, instead of any county in the same judicial circuit, as in current law, and pay the equivalent of the prorated salary of a police officer’s salary for the time they spend transporting the defendant.

— HB 397: Establishes a minimum monthly payment of $25 for court fines and fees for those on a payment plan, with a down payment of $100 or 10% of what is owed, whichever is less.

— SB 418: Makes changes to the makeup of the board for the Florida Assistive Technology Advisory Council by removing the cap on members, requires a single chair to be appointed and includes fundraising among the Council’s duties.

— HB 423: Makes numerous changes to requirements related to the Florida Building Code, including: allowing someone who completes a 4-year internship with a private provider to sit for a building inspector license test; banning local governments from preventing homeowners from destroying single-family buildings in a certain flood zone and limits the review process for demolition permits; and providing a cause of action to enforce a local government’s requirement to use excess building code enforcement funds for lawful purposes.

— SB 438: Changes state laws to include the term “United States Space Force” in mentions of relevant branches of the military throughout the statutes and includes service in the Space Force into the definition of “uniformed service.”

— SB 442: Adds helping a county administer state and federal grants for flood and sea-level rise mitigation projects to the duties of a local land authority agency.

— HB 453: Requires law enforcement agencies and firefighter offices to keep physical examination records of employees for at least five years after they leave the agency.


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