Twenty-one new Florida laws signed by Governor Rick Scott recently went into effect in October. These laws affect a variety of fields and industries. For example, first responders who suffer from PTSD now receive added benefits. Additionally, the government will implement harsher penalties against animal abusers.
Ordinarily, a physical injury has to be associated with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. The Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 376 and eliminated the need for a physical symptom. First responders will now have greater benefits under their workers' compensation claims.
New Requirements for Gun Purchases
A new Florida law regulates the sale of firearms. The new law adds additional payment options for importers, licensed firearm dealers, and manufacturers when paying for criminal history background checks. This new law permits electronic means to pay for these checks (such as credit cards or wire transfers) to the traditional methods in place (personal checks, money order, etc).
Animal Abuse Laws Become Stricter
This new law labeled “Ponce’s Law” takes its name after a beaten-to-death Labrador Retriever puppy. This bill specifically requires written procedures and policies when animal shelters take in animals that are lost and/or stray. Additionally, courts can now take away the rights and liberties of certain individuals from owning animals.
Year-Round Day Light Savings
Florida Legislature was the first state in the nation to pass a law that changed the need to have to move the clocks back in the fall and forward in the spring. The legislature aimed to have year-round daylight savings, which they named the “Sunshine Protection Act.” This bill has yet to take effect. It currently is waiting for a vote in Congress, so we may still be setting our clocks back this fall.
Third Degree Felony for Airport Trespass
It’s now a third-degree felony for those who trespass on to an airport property with the intent to injury other people, cause damage to property, or interfere with the operations of planes. The legislature passed this bill in response to past situations where people have trespassed onto Orlando, Miami, and Tampa international airports.
Voluntary Identification of Impaired Hearing
A new bill now makes it legal to identify oneself as deaf when registering a motor vehicle. This aims at avoiding potential confrontation with police officers due to the impaired hearing status of the driver. A Tallahassee police officer with a deaf son inspired the legislature to create this bill.
When Are New Laws Implemented
This year the state of Florida had an $88.7 billion budget. Most new Florida laws go into effect on July 01, after the spring legislative session in Tallahassee. However, each year new Florida laws go into effect in October. If you have any questions about the current laws or recently implemented laws, it would be wise to seek the counsel of an attorney. Our firm has been advising clients for over 30 years. Call (772) 774-7771 today to speak to an attorney or click here to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.