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. Carlton: A moment of sanity when citizens finally said no

    Courts

    If you were looking for some small sign of sanity in the world, here's one courtesy of the people of Tampa and Hillsborough County.

    The Confederate memorial statue outside the old Hillsborough courthouse is now boxed up in plywood to prevent vandalism. Private donors have ponied up money to have the statue relocated to a cemetery. [JIM DAMASKE  |  Times]
  2. Review: Jason Aldean fires up a country-dude party at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre

    Blogs

    Country music has a dude problem.

    I’m not talking about the proliferation of mindless bro country over the past half-decade, nor am I referring to the fact that most of Nashville’s best music these days comes not from said bros, from female singers and songwriters.

    Jason Aldean performed at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa on Aug. 18, 2018.
  3. President Trump offers prayers for Kissimmee police

    Blogs

    President Donald Trump reacted to the police shooting in Kissimmee:

  4. Kissimmee police officer dies, one gravely wounded; Jacksonville officers shot

    News

    KISSIMMEE — A Kissimmee police officer died and a second was gravely wounded Friday night, police Chief Jeff O'Dell said.

    Two police officers have been shot and killed in Kissimmee, authorities say. The shooting happened in the area of Palmway and Cypress around 9:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 18, 2017. Photo courtesy of WESH.com