News outlets are reporting that Governor Rick Scott signed 94 new bills into law in Florida on June 13th. The bills that were made law cover a wide range of topics, ranging from abortion to charities. While not all of the laws may have an effect on every citizen of Florida, it is possible that a significant portion of the new laws will have an effect on a large number of people in one way or another.
Notable New Laws
A number of the bills signed into law were more controversial or otherwise more talked about than others. Some of the more notable new laws include the following:
House Bill 1047 – Bans the abortion of a viable fetus, which is generally considered after the 23rd week of a woman’s pregnancy. The new law replaced Florida’s former law banning abortion in the third trimester, with the new law applying about 2 weeks earlier in gestation, making the time to obtain a legal abortion in the state of Florida shorter overall. The practical impact of the law is likely to be little, however, with 90 percent of abortions occurring in the first trimester and 10 percent in the second, since the law only affects the very end of a woman’s second trimester.
House Bill 629 – Bans charitable groups who have violated certain laws in other states from doing business in Florida. The new law will require paid telemarketers hired by charities to submit to background checks, as well as more detailed reports from charities collecting more than $1 million each year but spending less than 25 percent of that money on their cause.
Senate Bill 224 – Bans the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. This law is in accord with others already in effect in the state that restrict the sale of other tobacco products to young people. The signing of the bill indicated the Governor likely sided with those who believe that electronic cigarettes lead to tobacco addiction. There is ongoing debate over whether they are safer than conventional cigarettes and whether that means they are actually harmless, especially for youths.
Senate Bill 320 – This new law requires commercial parasail operators to have $1 million in liability insurance and be licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard before carrying passengers. The law is aimed at better regulating the parasailing industry, which has been responsible for hundreds of injuries and more than 70 deaths nationwide over the last thirty years.
Senate Bill 670 and House Bill 287 – The former shields those who invest in nursing homes from liability when residents are abused or neglected, also making it more difficult for plaintiffs to collect punitive damages. The latter repealed a moratorium made effective in 2001 regarding adding nursing home beds to control Medicaid costs.
An experienced attorney will not only be able to advise you based on the facts of your case, but also in light of the latest developments in the law and relevant procedure. At Hoffman, Larin & Agnetti, P.A., we have successful experience helping clients in matters that include personal injury, bankruptcy, civil litigation, and divorce and family law, among other practice areas. Contact us today for a consultation to discuss your matter. Our offices are located in Dade, Broward, and Monroe Counties.