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Over 150 new Florida laws go into effect July 1

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

Over 150 new Florida laws go into effect July 1st

As of today, July 1st, 2024, most of the 150-plus new state laws Governor Ron DeSantis signed over the last few weeks are now in effect.

A new law of note as summer bakes the Sunshine State is SB-1492, which stops cities and counties from making laws that would protect outside workers from heat.

Mark Dorosin is a law professor at Florida A&M University’s law school in Orlando.

He explains the circumstances under which the bill was first proposed in the Florida Legislature.

“Miami was actually in the process of passing some local legislation designed to guarantee that outdoor workers would get water breaks and cooling breaks. Then this bill came along. It was strongly endorsed by the Florida Chamber of Commerce,” says Dorosin.

Dorosin explains the reason behind the law. “The proffered justification is there shouldn’t be different regulations for businesses in different parts of the state,” he says, adding, “It’s interesting to note that buried in this bill was a restriction on local governments setting a higher minimum wage than the state, based on the same justification.”

Another one of the new laws offers a new way to stop domestic violence (SB 1224). It came about after the high-profile murder of 22-year-old Floridian Gabby Petito by her boyfriend in 2021.

“The new law, which was lobbied for in part by her family, creates a specialized domestic violence training for law enforcement, and it’s very detailed,” says Dorosin of the new lethality assessment. “It includes a series of questions that officers are required to ask in any kind of suspected domestic violence scenario.” This bill passed unanimously through the Florida Legislature before going to DeSantis’ desk.

A law also taking effect today allows volunteer chaplains to be in schools and counsel students (HB 931).

“The proponents of the bill and the governor talked about the dearth of guidance counselors in schools,” explains Dorosin. “But the misfit with this bill, however, is the chaplains that are going to be welcomed into the school are not…required to have any kind of experience counseling students.” Only a criminal background check is required.

“This is a bill that raises some serious constitutional questions around the First Amendment,” Dorosin adds.

A law already in the books is seeing an expansion today – the My Safe Florida Home program (HB 7028). It allows homeowners to apply for grants to harden their homes against anticipated natural disasters, like hurricanes.

“This bill includes more funding, and it also expands it so that it will now include condos. The original bill did not include condominiums,” explains Dorosin. This bill was also passed unanimously by the legislature.

Nicole came to Central Florida to attend Rollins College and started working for Orlando’s ABC News Radio affiliate shortly after graduation. She joined Central Florida Public Media in 2010. As a field reporter, news anchor and radio show host in the City Beautiful, she has covered everything from local arts to national elections, from extraordinary hurricanes to historic space flights, from the people and procedures of Florida’s justice system to the changing face of the state’s economy.
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