This year’s Florida legislative session was filled with hostility and drama. The standard 60-day session ended three days early due to contention between the House and Senate on Medicaid Expansion. Without a state budget passed, a Special Session was called June 1 -20. An early end to the session, along with a stalemate, doomed many bills. This year there were many proposal casualties.
PASSED – NEW LAWS
- Ticket quotas cannot be used to generate revenue for police departments.
- States, counties and cities can only buy American made flags- a patriotic move
- Attention craft beer lovers, 64 ounces of beer, known as “growlers” can finally be sold in Florida.
- Drones cannot take pictures on private property; violators will not be arrested but can be sued.
- Gay people can adopt children.
- Florida school districts can start the school year as early as August 10.
- Scale back testing in public schools
- Tax cuts-about $400 million in tax cuts with sales tax holidays and a tax cut to cable, TV and cellphone services.
- Comprehensive state water policy
- Medicaid Expansion
- Prison Reform
- Texting while driving considered a primary offense
- Abolishment of the death penalty
- Equal pay for women on state contracts
- Education– school choice, eliminating sales tax on student textbooks, mandatory uniforms for K-8, a minimum $50,000 salary for new teachers, concealed weapons to be carried by designated employees on school property in K-12 schools, ban on concealed weapons on college campuses
- Undocumented immigrants to obtain a driver’s license.
- Tupelo honey designated as the official state honey
- Expansion of gambling- a victory for Disney and other’s wanting to maintain a family friendly state environment
- Legalization of medical marijuana
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