Gov. Rick Scott signs 36 bills into law
Gov. Rick Scott signed 36 mostly non-controversial bills into law Thursday dealing with a wide variety of issues, from homesteaded property to helping the homeless in Florida. The Republican governor put his signature on new laws that will:
* Require the Department of Education to create a single uniform ID badge for contractors working on school grounds (HB 21, by Rep. Keith Perry, R-Gainesville);
* Allow motorists who renew car registrations to make a voluntary $1 annual contribution to homeless assistance programs (HB 93, by Rep. Betty Reed, D-Tampa);
* Make it a third-degree felony for an adult to knowingly distribute materials harmful to minors on public or private school grounds (HB 113 by Rep. Manny Diaz, R-Hialeah);
* Allow homeowners to rent homesteaded properties for up to 30 days in a calendar year (SB 342 by Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine);
* Create a new Freemasonry specialty license plate at an annual cost of $25 (HB 487 by Rep. Charlie Stone, R-Ocala);
* Prohibit the use of electronic benefits transfer (EBT) cards to buy liquor or to use at strip clubs, gambling facilities and bingo halls (HB 701 by Rep. Jimmie Smith, R-Inverness).
* Pre-empt a lawsuit by environmental groups seeking to block Everglades land leases by sugar growers (HB 999 by Rep. Jimmy Patronis, R-Panama City). That bill was the most controversial of the bills Scott approved.