New Laws in Florida You Need to Know

Did you know that more than 100 new laws went into effect in Florida on July 1?

Summertime in Florida brings with it more than just oppressive heat, humidity and the official start of hurricane season. It also ushers in a wave of brand new laws for the books. And this year, the governor was very busy applying his signature.

Starting July 1, a whole list of new statutes — more than 100 of them in fact — went into effect for the Sunshine State. Here are a few noteworthy selections you might have missed.

Jordan’s Law (HB-43)This piece of legislation attempts to make a number of changes to laws related to the over-worked child welfare system. It was created to address issues that were identified in the case of Jordan Belliveau, a two-year old boy from Pinellas County who was admittedly killed by his mother in 2018.

The new law will reduce the number of cases a welfare worker can have at a time. This will hopefully ensure each child can get more attention. It also lets caseworkers and law enforcement share valuable data. 

Parental Consent (CS/CS/SB 404): This is one of delicate nature. The topic of abortion has been and continues to be one of the most hotly contested. The new law states girls under the age of 18 will need a parent’s consent before having an abortion. Previous law only required minors to inform a parent or legal guardian of their decision.

Clean Waterways Act (CS/CS/SB 712): Water quality and quantity are huge issues for Florida. Problems with toxic blue algae and red tides are just drops in the bucket, too. Here are a few ways this new law dives into the problem:

  • Regulation of septic tanks as a source of nutrients and transfer of oversight from the Department of Health to Department of Environmental Protection
  • Detailed documentation of fertilizer use by agricultural operations to ensure compliance with Best Management Practices and aid in evaluation of their effectiveness
  • Updated stormwater rules and design criteria to improve the performance of stormwater systems statewide to specifically address nutrients

Domestic Violence Injunctions (SB 1082): When it comes to matters of domestic violence, people are normally at the center of the issue. This new law authorizes a court to take certain actions regarding the care, possession, or control of a pet(s) in temporary restraining orders.

Emotional Support Animals (SB 1084): Emotional support animals are vital for individuals who truly need them. This measure amends Florida’s Fair Housing Act by prohibiting a housing provider to deny housing to a person with a disability or a disability-related need who has an animal that is required as support.

The above is just a sampling. There are plenty of other new Florida laws worth a Google search, including interesting entries on Drones, Electric Bikes, Fireworks, Illegal Possession and Sale of Bears, etc. That’s Florida for you. We have it all. Click here to scan the entire list.

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