July 1, 2015: 130 New Florida Laws Take Effect - Law Offices of Helana Balkin, P.A.
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July 1, 2015: 130 New Florida Laws Take Effect

21 Jul July 1, 2015: 130 New Florida Laws Take Effect

Below, we will explore some of the most interesting new laws in the State of Florida.

Tax cuts

-There are tax cuts on the cost of gun club memberships, college textbooks, luxury boat repairs, certain agricultural supplies and services, school extracurricular fundraisers, aviation fuel at select flight-training academies, and on motor vehicles purchased overseas by internationally deployed service members from Florida.

-There will be a reduction in the communications-services tax on cell-phone and cable-TV bills.

-10-day sales-tax holiday starting Aug. 7 on clothing under $100, school supplies that cost $15 or less and the first $750 of personal computers purchased for non-commercial use.

Adoption

-HB 7013, provides $5,000 payments to government workers who adopt foster children, with the payments increasing to $10,000 for adoptions of children with special needs. The measure also repeals the state’s ban on gay adoption.

Patriotism

-HB 225, the “All-American Flag Act.” While the law goes into effect July 1, the law requires U.S. and Florida flags purchased by governments in Florida after Jan. 1, 2016, to be made from materials grown, produced and manufactured in the United States.

Education

-HB 41, known as “Gabby’s Law for Student Safety,” revises how “hazardous walking conditions” are identified and handled. The law allows school district superintendents to make formal requests to the government agencies with jurisdiction over roads to correct the hazards.

Drones

-SB 766, prohibits the use of aerial drones to capture images that could infringe on the privacy of property owners or occupants. The law allows people to initiate a civil action against a person, state agency or political subdivision that violates the prohibitions. The prohibition does not include agencies countering the risk of terrorist attacks, police who obtain search warrants that authorize the use of drones, property appraisers making tax assessments, and utilities maintaining their facilities.

Entertainment

-HB 641, clears up confusion created by a 2013 law that shut down Internet cafes. This year’s law is intended to make it clear that amusement games can continue operating at businesses such as Dave & Buster’s and Chuck E. Cheese’s.

-HB 239, regulates the use of certain drugs in racing horses and greyhound dogs. The law also hikes the maximum fine when a racing animal tests positive for a prohibited substance from $5,000 to $10,000, or the amount of the purse if it’s greater.

Alcohol

-SB 186, ends the state’s prohibition on brewers being able to fill 64-ounce beer containers known as “growlers” for off-site consumption. The law limits cup sizes to 3.5 ounces for beer tastings and caps the number of vendor licenses that can be issued to a brewer.

Medical

-HB 269, allows terminally ill patients to access certain experimental drugs. Dubbed the “Right to Try Act,” the law focuses on drugs that have been through what is known as “phase 1” of a clinical trial but have not been approved for general use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The law also provides liability protections to doctors and drug manufacturers.

Public records

-SB 7040, provides an exemption to email addresses that the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles collects related to driver’s licenses and motor-vehicle records.

-SB 200, exempts taxpayers’ email addresses obtained by tax collectors in the process of sending tax notices.

-SB 248, creates a public-records exemption for certain videos made by police body cameras. The exemption would apply to videos made on private property without the approval of a property owner or individual.

 

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