There are continuously new laws being put into action to better the community — and with the start of July came several new laws and regulations in Florida. So let’s take a look at a few of the new laws and regulations Floridians should be aware of from this month forward.
Red Tide research initiative: The Red Tide has been a major problem in Florida over the past several years. And while there are been numerous efforts to research the problem and try to clean up this year, the state is taking big action. The Red Tide Mitigation and Technology Development Initiative will have a $3 million budget over the next six years. This funding will allow the initiative to conduct research on combating the algae and determining how to prevent it from spreading in the future.
Decreased prescription prices: Over the past few years, prescription prices have significantly increased nationwide. But Florida is now going to import U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs from other countries, like Canada, to lower costs. With the average desk being home to 10 million bacteria, there are a lot of sick people who will benefit from lowered prescription prices.
Increased privacy for law enforcement: Under current state law, police officers do not have their personal addresses listed on public records for safety and privacy purposes. And starting this month, civilians who also work in law enforcement position will be given the same privacy privilege. There are plenty of laws in place to protect people and businesses, like the 2016 Defend Trade Secrets Act, and this law aims to increase the safety for those in law enforcement.
Gardens allowed in front yards: Homeowners often put a lot of effort into making their property look nice, like pouring smoother pavement to expand pavement life. But up until this month, Florida residents could be fined by local governments for growing fruit and vegetables in their front yards. Now, the law allows front yard gardens with no fines.
Ban on vaping: While vaping is allowed in many indoor facilities since it’s technically not smoke, Florida residents will no longer be allowed to vape inside indoor workplaces. The state’s indoor smoking ban now includes vaping after the law was amended.
Feminine hygiene products for inmates: Millions of women throughout the country buy feminine hygiene products, especially those that are affected by premenstrual syndrome. A new law was put into place that now requires correctional facilities to provide these products to female inmates.
New teacher testing standards: Back in 2015, stricter standards were set for testing to receive teacher certification. But after this increased demand was followed by a 30% failure rate, the testing standards are now being lowered again to provide a more fair chance at passing.
Firefighter benefits: Firefighter benefits have been adjusted to provide increased benefits to those battling cancer. Any firefighter who has been diagnosed with cancer will receive coverage for the entire cost of their treatment, disability pay, a $25,000 payout, as well as death benefits for any beneficiaries. Unlike before, cancer and cancer-related deaths will now be treated like on-the-job injuries.
Allowing autonomous vehicles: Many auto manufacturers have been working on autonomous vehicles over the past few years. And now those in Florida can legally develop these self-driving vehicles. Additionally, the legislation that previously did not allow autonomous vehicles to drive on the Turnpike has been removed.
Stricter texting and driving laws: Following many of the other states in the country, Florida has now made texting behind the wheel a primary traffic offense. There is a $30 fine for a first offense with a $60 fine for a second offense. But until January, only warnings will be issued.
All of these laws were put into place to better Floridians and the surrounding communities. So if you live in Florida, keep these legal changes in mind.