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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Scott signs 26 bills into law



Gov. Rick Scott today signed 26 bills into law, including protections for pastors that refuse to marry gay couples and the replacement of one of Florida's statues in the U.S. Capitol. 

The Pastor Protection Act, which Scott already said he planned to sign, will give churches and pastors immunity from litigation if they deny a marriage they don't support on religious grounds. The measure was pushed by religious groups in the wake of same-sex marriage being legalized statewide. 

Florida will also move forward in the process to replace a statue of Edmund Kirby Smith, a confederate general, one of just two representing the state in National Statuary Hall. 

Other new laws will open up professional guardians of the elderly to greater regulation, and will allow minors to have their criminal records sealed earlier, part of a broader push in the Legislature to "decriminalize adolescence," in the words of Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart. 

SB 86: Prohibiting the State Board of Administration from investing in companies that boycott Israel.

SB 80: Family Trust Companies – This bill revises requirements under the Family Trust Company Act.

SB 112: Absentee Voting – This bill replaces the term “absentee ballot” with the term “vote-by-mail ballot” in Florida Statutes.

SB 196: Public Records – This bill relates to public records and the Department of Transportation (protects companies’ financial information).

SB 222: Parking for Disabled Veterans – This bill grants free parking at public airports to vehicles with a Disabled Veterans or a Paralyzed Veterans of America designation.

SB 232: Guardianship – This bill expands oversight by the Department of Elder Affairs and provides for the regulation of professional guardians.

SB 310: National Statuary Hall – This bill relates to the National Statuary Hall Collection at the U.S. Capitol.

SB 386: Expunction of Records of Minors – This bill relates to the criminal records of minors.

SB 396: Nonresident Plaintiffs in Civil Actions – This bill removes a bond requirement in certain civil cases.

SB 416: The Location of Utilities – This bill relates to the relocation of utilities for certain projects. 

SB 458: Transfer of Structured Settlement Payment Rights – This bill revises court procedures relating to structured settlement agreements.

SB 494: Digital Assets – This bill designates access and control of an individual’s digital assets.

SB 7002: A Review under the Open Government Sunset Review Act – This bill reenacts a public records exemption related to local government audits.

SB 7024: A Review under the Open Government Sunset Review Act – This bill reenacts a public records exemption for the Florida Center for Brain Tumor Research.

SB 7030: A Review under the Open Government Sunset Review Act – This bill reenacts an existing public records exemption for certain governmental processes.

HB 43: Churches or Religious Organizations – This bill specifies that clergy are not required to perform marriages if in violation of sincerely held religious beliefs.

HB 103: Transactions in Fresh Produce Markets – This bill allows SNAP to be used to buy fresh food.

HB 111: Jury Service – This bill allows individuals unable to perform jury duty for physical reasons to be permanently excluded upon request.

HB 145: Financial Transactions – This bill makes revisions to statutes related to financial transactions.

HB 173: Medical Faculty Certification – This bill allows certain medical school faculty physicians at Florida Atlantic University to practice medicine in Florida.

HB 525: The Small Community Sewer Construction Assistance Act – This bill expands program eligibility to include additional small counties and special districts.

HB 613: Workers’ Compensation System Administration – This bill revises various components of Workers’ Compensation System Administration.

HB 695: Title Insurance – This bill revises certain requirements related to title insurance.

HB 719: Education Personnel – This bill revises certain requirements related to the Department of Education and provides additional training for principals. 

HB 739: Secondhand Dealers – This bill helps secondhand dealers identify and return stolen items.

HB 875: Motor Vehicle Service Agreement Companies – This bill allows motor vehicle service agreements to expand coverage.

[Last modified: Thursday, March 10, 2016 1:20pm]


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