On Tuesday, Florida’s record-setting, $77 billion election-year budget goes into effect, along with 157 other bills approved by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Rick Scott.
The laws range from the “Florida GI Bill,” which is intended to make Florida the most military-friendly state in the nation, to lowering college costs and banning the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors.
Also, starting July 1, private information about people involved with animal research at public facilities will no longer be public, insurance companies will be prohibited from denying coverage or increasing rates based on a customer’s gun ownership, and the state’s unpaid poet laureate position will no longer be a lifetime appointment.
A measure to reduce the cost of motor vehicle registration fees goes into effect Sept. 1, while 34 other bills — including one that creates new penalties for those who harm an unborn child at any stage of development — will become law Oct. 1.
For the year, lawmakers sent 255 bills to Scott, who vetoed just one: A measure that would have allowed the Florida Department of Transportation to raise the speed limits on some highways by 5 mph.
Here are highlights of the laws taking effect July 1:
The spending plan, the largest in state history, spreads around a hefty surplus, adding new money to public schools, state colleges and universities, environmental projects and child welfare while leaving room for about $500 million in tax and fee cuts that are already being used as a centerpiece for Scott’s reelection campaign.
CHARITIES AND MARKETING
ON THE ROAD
PUBLIC RECORDS EXEMPTIONS
Lawmakers provided shade over a number of areas. Among the items removed from public access: