Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Gov. Scott signs bill easing 'sexting' punishment for minors

TALLAHASSEE — Florida law now has a section on "sexting."

Among 46 proposals Gov. Rick Scott signed into law Tuesday is a measure easing punishments on minors who send sexually explicit text messages, photos or videos via electronic data transmission, like cell phones.

Other additions address "dangerous" dogs and anti-abortion license plates. Scott signed the bills without comment.

Sen. Charlie Dean, R-Inverness, and Rep. Joseph Abruzzo, D-Wellington, sponsored the sexting bill (HB 75) to shield children who send risque texts from being prosecuted for big-time offenses, like child-pornography distribution.

Under the law, first-time violations come with a $60 fine or eight hours of community service. Subsequent violations have harsher penalties. A second offense is a first-degree misdemeanor.

Scott also signed into law a priority of Sen. Jim Norman, R-Tampa. Norman sponsored a bill (SB 722) that protects dogs found as part of animal-fighting rings from being automatically classified as "dangerous."

Those dogs will be evaluated individually to determine eligibility for rehabilitation and adoption, leading supporters to hope the new law will mean fewer euthanizations.

Animal-rights activists backed this idea but vehemently opposed a failed Norman bill that would have banned farm photography without an owner's consent, targeting undercover video investigations by groups like PETA and Mercy for Animals.

Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, also snagged a victory Tuesday. Scott, a self-described "pro-life governor," signed Fasano's bill (HB 501) directing proceeds from Choose Life license plates to Choose Life Inc. instead of counties. Choose Life Inc. would then give the money to not-for-profit groups that help pregnant women planning for adoption.

Gov. Scott signs bill easing 'sexting' punishment for minors 06/21/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 11:25pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Next up in Bucs renovations? A $20 million indoor practice facility

    Bucs

    Renderings of the Bucs' new indoor practice facility (Courtesy of the Bucs)
  2. Want to feel old? It's been 20 years since the first 'Harry Potter' was published

    Books

    He was so cute: Blond hair, blue eyes and a killer smile. He was dressed in a black robe with a fake scar on his forehead and regaling our fifth-grade class with his book report on Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. As a 10-year-old with only the most sophisticated of tastes (give me a Baby-Sitters Club any day), …

    An auctioneer holds a first edition copy of the first Harry Potter book "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" containing annotations and illustrations by author J.K. Rowling. The tale has turned 20,  published in Britain on June 26, 1997. Since then, it has sold more than 450 million copies worldwide and has been translated into 79 languages. (Associated Press [2013])
  3. Dunedin selects Jennifer Bramley as its next city manager

    Local Government

    DUNEDIN — In a unanimous vote Monday, the City Commission chose Jennifer Bramley as the next city manager.

    Jennifer Bramley, 52, was selected Monday as Dunedin's new city manager. She currently works as deputy city manager for the city of Coral Springs. [Photo courtesy of Jennifer Bramley]
  4. People leave the Supreme Court in Washington, Monday, as justices issued their final rulings for the term. The high court is letting a limited version of the Trump administration ban on travel from six mostly Muslim countries to take effect, a victory for President Donald Trump in the biggest legal controversy of his young presidency. [AP photo]
  5. Lightning re-signs Andrej Sustr to one-year, $1.95 million deal

    Blogs

    The Lightning locked up another piece of its blueline Monday, re-signing defenseman Andrej Sustr to a one-year, $1.95 million deal.

    Andrej Sustr 14 points in 80 games last season, a minus-10.