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  1. Florida Politics

Florida Legislature 2014: What passed and what failed

Published May 3, 2014

Some of the bills that passed and failed in the 2014 session. Bills must be approved by Gov. Rick Scott.

BEER GROWLERS (FAILED): Authorizes the sale of malt beverages in 64-ounce containers known as growlers. (HB 283/SB 406)

CRAFT BEER (FAILED): Eases container restrictions for craft breweries, but requires larger breweries to use established distributorships to sell beer for home consumption. (SB 1714)

BEER TASTINGS (FAILED): Allows a manufacturer, distributor, importer or contracted third-party agent to conduct beer tastings on their premises. (HB 387/SB 470)

GREYHOUND RACING (FAILED): Requires greyhound tracks to report racing injuries. (HB 933/SB 742)

AMUSEMENT ARCADES (FAILED): Allows amusement machines at entertainment arcades to accept tokens or "swipe cards," would raise the value of prizes from 75 cents to $5.75. (HB 688/SB 945)

GAMBLING (FAILED): An attempt to streamline the state's gambling laws and allow for the creation of a state Gaming Commission. (HB 1383)

UNEMPLOYMENT (PASSED): Ends skills test requirement for Floridians applying for unemployment benefits. (HB 7023)

TANNING SALONS (FAILED): Prohibits minors from using tanning salons except for treatments prescribed by physicians. (HB 499/SB 572)

SMALL BUSINESSES (FAILED): Standardizes and reduces the annual corporate filing fees small business owners pay to the state. (HB 767/SB 776)

WAGE THEFT (FAILED): Pre-empts counties from regulating wage theft and outlines how claims can be resolved. (HB 957/SB 926)

SEXUAL BATTERY (SIGNED INTO LAW): Increases penalties for sexual battery and lewd or lascivious offenses against children and increases the minimum mandatory sentence for dangerous sexual felony offenders to 50 years. (SB 526)

SEXUAL PREDATORS (SIGNED INTO LAW): Creates a process for the potential civil commitment of sexual predators sentenced to jail time. (SB 522)

SEXUAL PREDATORS (SIGNED INTO LAW): Creates enhanced standards and training for multidisciplinary teams that determine whether a convicted sexual offender is a sexually violent predator. (SB 524)

SEXUAL PREDATORS (SIGNED INTO LAW): Requires sexual predators and offenders to provide a wide range of identifying information when they register for monitoring. (SB 528)

DRUG CRIMES (PASSED): Increases the amount of certain painkillers it takes to receive a mandatory prison sentence and fine for trafficking. (SB 360)

JUVENILE SENTENCING (PASSED): Changes juvenile-sentencing laws in cases of murder and other serious crimes. (HB 7035)

PEDESTRIAN SAFETY (PASSED): Increases penalties for drivers who leave the scene of a crash involving pedestrian injury or death. (SB 102)

WRONGFUL INCARCERATION (PASSED): Allows compensation for wrongfully incarcerated James Joseph Richardson Jr., who spent 21 years in prison before being cleared of the poisoning death of his seven children. (HB 227)

HUMAN TRAFFICKING (PASSED): Provides new guidelines for assessing victims, a statewide safe house network and specialized treatment of victims. (HB 7141)

HUMAN TRAFFICKING (PASSED): Prohibits the employment of minors in adult theaters and eliminates the statute of limitations for prosecutions under a specified human trafficking provision. (HB 989)

INMATE RE-ENTRY (PASSED): Requires state prison system to provide state identification cards to inmates upon release. (HB 53)

JUVENILE JUSTICE (FAILED): Revises the cost-share billing formula between counties and the state for juvenile detention costs. (HB 5305/SB 1532)

SOLAR ENERGY (FAILED): Proposed constitutional amendment allowing tax breaks to businesses that install solar panels. (HB 825/SB 916)

SPRINGS (FAILED): Requires water management district to identify certain springs for protection and toughens standards. (HB 1313/SB 1576)

CITIZEN SUPPORT GROUPS (PASSED): Establishes reporting requirements for citizen support organizations and direct support organizations, such as Friends of Florida State Parks. (SB 1194)

SHARKS (FAILED): Increases penalties for fishermen caught in possession of fins cut off sharks. (HB 449/SB 540)

REGIONAL PLANNING (FAILED): Large projects would no longer be reviewed by state officials if proposed for counties with a population of more than 300,000, expanding an exemption now in place for counties with over 900,000 residents. (SB 372)

ENERGY POLICY (PASSED): A series of energy proposals by Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, including elimination of the Solar Energy Rebate Program, which has not been funded since 2010. (HB 7147)

ELECTIONS (FAILED): Creates online voter registration system by 2015. (HB 667/SB 784)

ETHICS (PASSED): Allows Commission on Ethics to initiate some cases, requires lobbyists at water management districts to register and disclose fees, requires ethics training for local officials. (SB 846)

RESIDENCY (FAILED): Requires state and local candidates for public office to adhere to new residency requirements. (HB 571/SB 602)

INSPECTORS GENERAL (PASSED): Inspectors general in charge of investigating state agencies must report to the chief inspector general appointed by the governor. (HB 1385)

ABSENTEE BALLOTS (FAILED): Allows eligible voters in federal, state and local elections to use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot, making it easier for military overseas personnel to vote. (HB 215/SB 486)

BUDGET (PASSED): A $77.1 billion budget, providing an $11 million pay increase for law enforcement and $10.9 million increase for assistant state attorneys and public defenders. Also $20 billion in education funding, including $6,937.23 spending per K-12 student, $10.1 billion Department of Transportation budget and no tuition increases for university students. (HB 5001)

PENSION REFORM (FAILED) Steers new public employees away from defined benefit pension plan and toward private investment plans. (HB 7181/SB 1114).

LOCAL PENSION REFORM (FAILED): Changes how insurance premium tax revenues must be used in the funding of police and firefighter pension plans. (HB 509/SB 246)

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (PASSED): Consolidates the governance of most agencies' information technology functions and creates the Agency for State Technology. (HB 7073)

WARNING SHOT (PASSED): Provides "stand your ground" immunity to people who fire a warning shot or threaten force; allows for expunging of court records for those who have charges dropped in "stand your ground" cases. (HB 89)

POP TART (PASSED): Prevents children who play with simulated weapons in school from facing suspension or expulsion. (HB 7029)

OPEN CARRY (FAILED): Allows people without concealed weapons permits to carry guns in declared state of emergency. (HB 209/SB 296)

GUNS IN SCHOOLS (FAILED): Enables superintendents or principals to designate school employees who can carry concealed weapons on school campuses. (HB 753/SB 968)

GUN PERMITS (PASSED): Allows county tax collectors to accept gun permit applications. (HB 523)

STAND YOUR GROUND (FAILED): Requires local law enforcement agencies to issue guidelines for neighborhood crime watch programs; revises state standards regarding use of deadly force. (HB 33/SB 130)

MEDICAL MARIJUANA (PASSED): Legalizes use of a non-euphoric strain of marijuana for medical purposes. Use would be limited to registered patients with doctor's approval for chronic seizures, muscle spasms and cancer. (SB 1030)

ABORTION (PASSED): Bans abortions if a doctor has determined a fetus is viable, replacing the state's existing ban on third-trimester elective abortions. (HB 1047)

FETAL INJURY (PASSED): Makes it a separate crime to kill or injure a fetus at any stage of development. (HB 59)

TRAUMA CENTERS (FAILED): Protects three disputed centers from legal action while limiting trauma access fees and placing one-year moratorium on new centers. (HB 7105/SB 1276)

ASSISTED LIVING FACILITIES (FAILED): Tightens ALF oversight, standardizes fines and sets up rating system for homes. Requires special license if one or more residents have mental health issues. (HB 573/SB 248)

E-CIGARETTES (PASSED): Bans the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors and allows local governments to keep ordinances restricting sales. (SB 224)

TELEMEDICINE (FAILED): Requires insurance companies to reimburse health care providers for virtual health care services. (HB 751/SB 1646)

NURSE PRACTITIONERS (FAILED): Allows highly trained nurses to prescribe controlled substances, sign death certificates, authorize involuntary mental health holds and practice independently. (HB 7071/SB 1352)

DENTAL PLAN (FAILED): Creates a statewide Medicaid prepaid dental health program. (HB 27/SB 340)

MEDICAL TOURISM (FAILED): Directs state agencies to create a marketing plan to promote Florida's health care industry to potential patients around the world. (HB 1223/SB 1150)

NURSING EDUCATION (PASSED): Updates accrediting standards for nursing programs and revises treatment of programs on probation. (SB 1036)

NEEDLE EXCHANGE (FAILED): Allows for creation of a needle exchange pilot program in Miami-Dade County. (HB 491/SB 408)

KIDCARE (FAILED): Enables immigrants who came to the United States legally to receive subsidized health insurance for their children without having to wait five years. (HB 7/SB 282)

EPI PENS (PASSED): Allows emergency use and more public placement of epi-pens. (HB 1131)

PRESCRIPTION DRUG MONITORING (PASSED): New requirements for law enforcement wishing to access the state's Prescription Drug Monitoring Program in the wake of concerns about patient privacy. (HB 7177)

MEDICAID EXPANSION (FAILED): Provides health insurance to poor Floridians using federal Medicaid expansion dollars under the Affordable Care Act. (HB 869/SB 710)

IMMIGRANT TUITION (PASSED): Allows undocumented students who attended high school in Florida to pay in-state tuition rates at state colleges and universities. (HB 851)

VETERAN TUITION (SIGNED INTO LAW): Allows veterans from anywhere to pay in-state tuition if they attend a Florida college or university. (HB 7015)

UNIVERSITY TUITION (PASSED): No automatic tuition increases tied to inflation. Only Florida State University and University of Florida can request additional tuition increases, up to 6 percent, from the Board of Governors. (HB 851)

PREPAID TUITION (PASSED): Changes to the Florida Prepaid College Program reduces the cost of new plans and may result in refunds to families already in the program. (HB 851)

MIAMI DADE COLLEGE (FAILED): Allows a voter-approved half-penny sales tax in Miami-Dade County to support building projects at Miami Dade College and Florida International University. (HB 113/SB 66)

COMMUNITY COLLEGES (PASSED): Creates a one-year moratorium on new bachelor's degrees at the state's 28 community colleges. (HB 5101)

FLOOD INSURANCE (PASSED): Expands the state's private flood-insurance market by allowing homeowners to buy smaller policies in an effort to find lower-cost options than the National Flood Insurance Program. (SB 542)

SINKHOLE REPAIRS (FAILED): Requires Citizens Property Insurance customers to adhere to a mandatory sinkhole repair program. (HB 375/SB 870)

SURPLUS LINES (FAILED): Allows Citizens Property Insurance customers to select an unregulated "surplus lines carrier" when their policy is up for renewal. (HB 1109/SB 1672)

ACCESS TO RECORDS (FAILED): Improves public access by, among other things, clarifying that records requests need not be in writing; allows attorneys seeking records to be paid for time spent negotiating for fees. (HB 1151/SB 1648)

UNIVERSITY FUNDRAISING (PASSED): Allows state university direct-support organizations to have conversations in private about prospective donors, funding proposals or research programs. (HB 115)

TAX NOTICES (FAILED): Exempts from disclosure email addresses of taxpayers used by tax collectors to send tax notices. (HB 421/SB 538)

TRAFFIC RECORDS (FAILED): Provides public records exemption for images obtained by red light cameras. (HB 555/SB 1476)

PRESIDENTIAL SEARCHES (FAILED): Allows state universities to conduct searches for presidents and other top administrators in secret until finalists are named. (HB 135/SB 728)

SCHOOL GRADES (PASSED): Simplifies school grading formula. (SB 1642)

CONSTRUCTION (PASSED): Shifts a portion of the sales tax on energy into the Public Education Capital Outlay trust fund, which supports school maintenance and construction. (HB 5601)

VOUCHERS (PASSED): Expands the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program by creating partial scholarships for children from higher-income families and removing some barriers to participation. (SB 850)

SAVINGS ACCOUNTS (PASSED): Establishes "personal learning scholarship accounts" which can be used to reimburse the parents of special-needs students for education expenses. (SB 850)

CHARTER SCHOOLS (FAILED): Changes the way school districts enter into contracts with charter schools, requires school districts to share unused facilities with charter schools. (HB 7083/SB 1528)

BIOMETRICS (PASSED): Prohibits schools from collecting the biometric data of students or parents. (SB 188)

ACCELERATED LEARNING (PASSED): Requires school districts and state colleges to create a program for high school students to earn a year of college credits by graduation. (SB 850)

COMMON CORE (FAILED): Blocks Florida from moving forward with the Common Core State Standards. (HB 25/SB 1316)

TEXTBOOKS (PASSED): Creates a process for parents to contest textbooks. (SB 864)

EARLY LEARNING (PASSED): Creates new health and safety requirements for school readiness and Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten programs. (HB 7069)

MIDDLE SCHOOLS (PASSED): Requires public schools to identify middle school students at risk of dropping out, expands anti-hazing provisions to the middle grades. (SB 850)

SINGLE GENDER (PASSED): Creates new accountability and teacher training requirements for gender-specific classrooms. (HB 313)

SPORTS (FAILED): Allows students in homeschool programs, charter schools and magnet schools to participate in athletic and extracurricular programs at the public school of their choosing. (HB 533/SB 284)

CHILD WELFARE (PASSED): Requires protection of children as paramount concern of state, requires immediate investigations of child deaths, emphasizes keeping siblings together, seeks to improve the quality of child abuse investigations, creates a consortium of social work schools to advise the state and creates a new criminal offense for the unlawful desertion of a child. (SB 1666)

NURSING HOME SUITS (PASSED): Helps shield nursing home investors from lawsuits in cases of abuse or neglect. (SB 670)

NURSING HOME BEDS (PASSED): Repeals a moratorium on adding nursing home beds put in place in 2001 to control Medicaid costs. (HB 287)

VULNERABLE PERSONS (PASSED): Protects elderly and disabled people by broadening the statutory definition of exploitation of vulnerable adults; enhances penalties for identity theft of seniors and holds caregivers accountable for negligence. (HB 409)

FOSTER CHILDREN (PASSED): Pays for training and fees associated with foster children getting driver's licenses and auto insurance. (HB 977)

STATE OMBUDSMAN PROGRAM (FAILED): Eliminates local district councils and monthly public meetings; revises powers of ombudsman to investigate complaints. (HB 91/SB 508)

TAX CUTS (PASSED): Gives tax breaks for school supplies, hurricane supplies, youth bike helmets, medicinal pet food and college meal plans that next year will cost the state $105 million and local governments $27 million. (HB 5601)

STADIUM FUNDING (PASSED): Enables professional sports franchises to compete for new sales tax subsidies to help fund stadium construction and renovations. (HB 7095)

FILM INCENTIVES (FAILED): Expands the entertainment industry incentive program, which provides tax credits to film and television projects based in Florida. (HB 983/SB 1640)

TAG FEES (SIGNED INTO LAW): Reduces some car and truck tag fees to pre-2009 levels, saving typical motorist $25 a year. (SB 156)

SPEED LIMITS (PASSED): Allows state to increase speed limit from 70 mph to 75 mph on interstate highways. (SB 392)

RED LIGHT CAMERAS (FAILED): Repeals state laws authorizing the use of red light cameras in intersections. (HB 4009/SB 144)

TEXTING WHILE DRIVING (FAILED): Revises Florida's texting ban to allow law enforcement to stop violators as a primary instead of secondary offense. (HB 539/SB 322)

CHILD RESTRAINTS (PASSED): Requires children age 5 and younger to ride in a car seat or booster seat. (HB 225)

CAR-FOR-HIRE (FAILED): Allows Web-based luxury car dispatching services like Uber to circumvent municipalities and win approval from the state. (HB 1389/SB 1618)

SPECIALTY TAGS (PASSED): Creates specialty license tags for fallen police officers, Florida sheriffs, Moffitt Cancer Center and Keiser University. (SB 132)

MIAMI-DADE EXPRESSWAY AUTHORITY (FAILED): An effort to reshape the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority and require the county commission to sign off on toll hikes. (HB 353/SB 772)

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (PASSED): Dissolves state rail commission; allows commercial signs on state trails; authorizes the factoring of revenue from leases with wireless communications facilities for funding future road construction. (HB 7175)

MOTORIST POLICY (PASSED): Reduces driver's license suspensions for minor offenses; requires motorists on left-hand lane to move to the right when overtaken from the rear; requires motorists to move over when approaching a parked utility or sanitation vehicle. (HB 7005)

CHARITIES (PASSED): Creates stricter reporting requirements for groups that solicit charitable donations and requires criminal background checks for telemarketers employed by them. (HB 629)

IMMIGRANT LAWYER (PASSED): Allows noncitizen with a Florida law degree to practice law in the state for the first time. (HB 755)

FOREIGN LAW (PASSED): Asserts that foreign law can't be applied in family courts if the foreign law goes against Florida and U.S. public policy. (SB 386)

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY (PASSED): Allows Hillsborough County agencies to opt out of using the 63-year-old Civil Service Board for certain services. (HB 683)

PARASAILING (PASSED): Requires boat operators to carry liability insurance of $1 million to $2 million and restricts weather conditions for taking clients aloft. (SB 320)

MINORS MARRIAGE (FAILED): Makes it illegal for anyone under 16 to get married. (HB 1279/SB 1498)

LIFEGUARDS (FAILED): Requires state parks to have lifeguards on duty at designated swimming areas open on state holidays or other peak days. (HB 1309/SB 1484)

CLAIMS (FAILED): Compensates Monica Cantillo Acosta and Luis Alberto Cantillo Acosta, surviving children of Nhora Acosta, for wrongful death of mother due to injuries sustained as result of negligence of Miami-Dade County bus driver. (HB 3519/SB 52)

CLAIMS (FAILED): Compensates Carl Abbott for injuries sustained as the result of negligence of a Palm Beach County School bus driver. (HB 3529/SB 56)

CLAIMS (FAILED): Compensates Ronald Miller for injuries sustained as the result of negligence of an employee of the city of Hollywood. (HB 3531/SB 54)

SOCIAL MEDIA (FAILED): Prohibits an employer from requesting or requiring access to a social media account of an employee or prospective employee. (HB 527/SB 198)

LEGISLATIVE SESSION (PASSED): Changes the start date of the 2016 legislative session from March to January. (HB 9)

HISTORIC SITES (FAILED): Requires the Division of State Lands to publicize any decision to erect monuments at sites of historic interest and creates an appeals process. (HB 672/SB 493)

Times/Herald staff writers Steve Bousquet, Mary Ellen Klas, Rochelle Koff, Kathleen McGrory, Tia Mitchell and Michael Van Sickler contributed to this report.

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