2013 session: Which bills passed, which bills failed

Published May 6, 2013

Some bills that passed and failed in the 2013 Legislative session. Bills must be approved by Gov. Rick Scott.


WINE KEGS (PASSED): Allows wine to be sold in five-gallon containers, repealing current limit of one gallon. (SB 658/HB 623)

CAR DEALERS (PASSED): Requires consumers to submit demand letter prior to filing lawsuit against car dealer. (SB 292/HB 55)

Criminal, civil justice

MASSAGE ESTABLISHMENTS (PASSED): Adds regulations to curb businesses that could be a front for human trafficking. (SB 500/HB 7005)

FOREIGN LAW (FAILED): Bans use of foreign law in family court cases; critics said it was rooted in legislation against Sharia or Islamic law. (SB 58/HB 351)

LANDLORDS, TENANTS (PASSED): Allows landlords to evict tenants after accepting partial rent payments and makes other changes to landlord-tenant law. (SB 490/HB 77)

WAGE THEFT (FAILED): Prohibits local governments from setting up wage theft prevention programs. Requires unpaid workers to sue their bosses in civil court. (SB 1216/HB 1125)

ANIMAL CRUELTY (PASSED): Prohibits dyeing or artificially coloring of animals, the sale of certain animals and boosts animal cruelty penalties. (HB 851)

NURSING HOME LITIGATION (FAILED): Makes it tougher to sue a nursing home for punitive damages. (SB 1384/HB 869)

ALIMONY (VETOED): Ends permanent alimony, places caps on alimony payments based on payer's income. Requires judges to give equal custody to newly divorced parents, unless one parent can make a convincing case otherwise. (SB 718)

PERSONAL RECORDS (PASSED): Makes it illegal to possess other people's personal information such as Social Security numbers and credit cards. (HB 691)

DEATH PENALTY (FAILED): Repeals Florida's death penalty for capital cases. (HB 4005)

EXPERT WITNESS (PASSED): Requires courts to adhere to a modified Daubert standard to determine the admissibility of expert witness testimony, patterned after standard used in most other states and the federal government. (HB 7015)

SEXUAL BATTERY (PASSED): Severs paternal rights of a rapist when a child is conceived during the assault. (SB 964 /HB 887)

DRONES (SIGNED INTO LAW): Limits law enforcement use of unmanned drones for surveillance; bans local law enforcement officials from using drones without a warrant or threat of a terrorist attack and prohibits information collected by drones to be used as evidence in court. (SB 92)

JUVENILE INMATES (FAILED): Makes juvenile inmates sentenced to life imprisonment for non-homicides eligible for resentencing after 25 years. (SB 1350/HB 963)

DEATH PENALTY (PASSED): Limits the legal arguments used by inmates sentenced to death and awaiting execution in an effort to accelerate the death penalty process. (HB 7083)

SEX OFFENSES (FAILED): Increases the age when out-of-court tape can be used in child abuse cases; adds more restrictions on sex offenders. Part of bill passed in HB 1325. (HB 7031)

MEDICAL LIABILITY (PASSED): Makes it more difficult to sue doctors in medical malpractice lawsuits by allowing their lawyers to consult with the doctors of plaintiffs without another lawyer present; limits which expert witnesses can testify. (SB 1792)

SCALPING (FAILED): Establishes penalties for creating counterfeit tickets and for improperly selling or reusing certain types of tickets. (SB 394/HB 163)

CELLPHONE PRIVACY (FAILED): Requires police to obtain a search warrant before seizing a personal electronic device during an arrest. (SB 846/HB 797)

DRUG PARAPHERNALIA (PASSED): Makes it illegal for stores to sell pipes used to smoke marijuana and other drugs. (HB 49)

DRUG OFFENDERS (FAILED): Relaxes minimum mandatory prison sentences for people who abuse prescription painkillers and removes oxycodone and hydrocodone from the list of trafficking substances. (HB 159)

Driving and roads

MINORS AND TEXTING (FAILED): Bans teen drivers under age 18 from talking or texting on cellphones and other wireless devices. (SB 396 /HB 61)

TEXTING (PASSED): Makes texting while driving a secondary offense; an officer has to see another violation, like weaving or speeding, to stop a driver for typing or reading text messages. The driver then gets two tickets, one for the original offense, one for texting. (SB 52/HB 13)

TEXTING PENALTY (FAILED): Makes vehicular homicide the standard penalty for causing a death due to texting while driving. (SB 708/HB 849)

LOUD STEREOS (FAILED): Restores ban on excessively loud car stereos after original law was struck down by Florida Supreme Court. (SB 634/HB 1019)

TRAFFIC SAFETY (PASSED): Prohibits truck drivers from texting and establishes fines. First time offenders will be fined $500. Waives certain fines for motorists who turn right on red. (HB 7125)

RED LIGHT CAMERAS (FAILED): Reduces fines and gives people more time to pay them. (SB 1342)

HANDHELD DEVICES (FAILED): Prohibits texting and talking on cellphones. (SB 74)

FOREIGN DRIVER PERMIT (SIGNED INTO LAW): Repeals international driver permit requirement that frustrated Canadian tourists. (HB 7059)

HOMELESS DONATIONS (PASSED): Allows people applying for or renewing driver's licenses or motor vehicle registrations to make $1 donations to homeless outreach programs. (SB 402/HB 93)

Environment, energy

FRACKING (FAILED): Companies must disclose what chemicals they use when they explore for oil and gas using an extraction process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. (HB 743)

EVERGLADES (PASSED): Ratifies the settlement between the state and the federal government and the sugar industry to spend $32 million annually to help improve the quality of water flowing into the Everglades. (SB 768/HB 7065)

ENERGY (PASSED): Implements a 2008 constitutional amendment that exempts renewable energy improvements made after Jan. 1, 2013; a similar measure has passed the House three previous years but never made it through the Senate. (SB 1064/HB 277)

WASTEWATER (SIGNED INTO LAW): Eases the restrictions on flushing treated waste water into the ocean during "peak flow events" like hurricanes. (SB 444)

WETLANDS (PASSED): Modifies a series of wetlands-related rules and ratifies the governor and Cabinet's approval of 30-year leases of public lands in the Everglades to sugar companies. (HB 999)

SPRINGS (FAILED): Requires water management district to identify certain springs for protection. (SB 978)

WATER SUPPLY (PASSED): Places the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services on par with utilities in water supply planning as water use among utilities and urban areas surpasses agriculture. (SB 948)

NUCLEAR COSTS (PASSED): Imposes new hurdles on electric companies before they can collect fees for pre-construction costs of nuclear power plants. (SB 1472)

Ethics, elections

ELECTIONS (PASSED): Expands early voting sites, requires eight days of early voting for eight hours each day and allows counties to expand early voting to 14 days for 12 hours each day, including Sunday before election. (HB 7013)

ETHICS (SIGNED INTO LAW): Bans legislators from working as lobbyists for two years after leaving office; limits patronage jobs for elected officials while in office; allows ethics commission to garnish pay of officials who refuse to pay fines. (SB 2)

GIFT BAN (FAILED) Relaxes provisions of 2006 law that banned lobbyists from giving free drinks and meals to legislators. (SB 1634)

CAMPAIGN FINANCE (SIGNED INTO LAW): Expands the powers of candidate political committees and eliminates Committees of Continuous Existence; raises the cap on individual contributions from $500 to $1,000 per election for most offices except statewide offices and Supreme Court candidates, who can raise up to $3,000 per election. (HB 569)

General government

BUDGET (PASSED): A $74.5 billion budget. Provides raises for state workers and additional money for teachers. Increases tuition for state colleges, universities and workforce education by 3 percent. (SB 1500)

PUBLIC RECORDS (PASSED): Keeps voters' email addresses confidential. (HB 249)

DISABILITIES (PASSED): Replaces term "mental retardation" with the "intellectual disabilities" in state law. (SB 142/HB 1119)

PENSIONS (FAILED): Prohibits new state employees, teachers and county workers from enrolling in Florida Retirement system, steering them instead toward private investment plans. (HB 7011)

PENSIONS (FAILED): Encourages new state employees, teachers and county workers to enroll in private investment plans. (SB 1392)

PENSIONS: (FAILED): Allows cities more revenue from insurance premium taxes now being used for extra pension benefits for police and firefighters. (SB 458)

PENSION REPORTING (PASSED): Requires local pensions to downgrade investment projections by applying conservative benchmarks to returns. (SB 534)

MORTGAGE SETTLEMENT (PASSED): Allocates $200 million from the foreclosure fraud settlement, mostly on affordable housing programs. (SB 1852)


GUN CONTROL (FAILED): Mandates that only licensed dealers can sell guns at gun shows. (SB 1272/HB 1051)

DOCS VS. GLOCKS (FAILED): Repeals the 2011 "docs vs. glocks" law that banned doctors from asking patients about guns. (SB 314/HB 4017)

GUN CONTROL (PASSED): Prevents people voluntarily admitted to a mental institution from possessing a firearm. (SB 1000/HB 1355)

GUN CONTROL (FAILED): Gives local governments the ability to regulate firearms in public locations. (SB 374/HB 97)

GUN CONTROL (FAILED): Creates firearms sales tax, uses revenue for school safety. (SB 1208/HB 325)

GUN CONTROL (FAILED): Allows counties and cities to regulate firearms. (SB 1018/HB 993)

GUN CONTROL (FAILED): Creates a 4 percent tax on gun sales, using the funds to support mental health treatment. (SB 1234/HB 1209)

BULLET CONTROL (FAILED): Requires people to take anger management classes before purchasing ammunition. (SB 1678/HB 1229)

GUNS IN SCHOOLS (FAILED): Allows principals to designate certain schools employees to carry concealed weapons in schools. (SB 1418/HB 1097)

BACKGROUND CHECKS (FAILED): Requires universal background checks for all gun sales. (SB 1640/HB 1343)

STAND YOUR GROUND (FAILED): Repeals controversial Stand Your Ground law, which provides immunity to people who use deadly force in self-defense. (SB 622/HB 4009)

STAND YOUR GROUND (FAILED): Limits Stand Your Ground law, clarifying that does not apply when innocent bystanders are hurt or killed. (SB 362/HB 123)

STAND YOUR GROUND (FAILED): Expands Stand Your Ground protection to people who fire warning shots in self-defense. (SB 1446/HB 1047)

STAND YOUR GROUND (FAILED): Limits Stand Your Ground law, clarifying that police can detain a suspect and mandating law enforcement to track all Stand Your Ground cases. (SB 136/HB 331)

STAND YOUR GROUND (FAILED): Clarifies that Stand Your Ground defense does not apply to "aggressors" in an altercation. (SB 930)

Health care

DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIPS (FAILED): Sets up a domestic registry; allows basic rights primarily related to health care, visitation and property for unmarried couples. (SB 196/HB 259)

SMOKING (FAILED): Prohibits smoking at government-owned beaches, parks and playgrounds and at entrances to private workplaces. (SB 258/HB 141)

CUBA-TRAINED DOCTORS (FAILED): Bans some doctors who voluntarily trained in Cuba from receiving a medical license in Florida. (SB 456/HB 517)

SICK LEAVE (PASSED): Bans local governments from requiring employers to provide sick-leave benefits for their workers. Does not affect "living wage" ordinances. (SB 726/HB 655)

MEDICAID EXPANSION (FAILED): The House and Senate could not reach agreement on how to expand coverages for the uninsured without expanding Medicaid, each rejecting a plan championed by the other chamber. (HB 7169)

TRAUMA CENTERS (PASSED): Sets new rules allowing hospitals in a handful of rural counties in the Panhandle and Central Florida to build a trauma center. Creates an expedited review process to allow a nursing home to be built in high-density retirement communities. Allows a 10-bed labor and delivery ward at Miami Children's Hospital. (HB 1159)

COUNTY MEDICAID (PASSED): Sets a new formula for billing counties for Medicaid that factors in the percentage of enrollees that live in a county and the state's rising Medicaid costs. (SB 1520)

FAMILY CONTRACTS (FAILED): Reins in the use of "personal services contracts'' to redistribute a person's assets so they can qualify for Medicaid long-term care coverage. (HB 1323)

DRUG REPACKAGING (PASSED): Caps the cost of repackaged drugs some doctors prescribe to patients on workers compensation. (SB 662)

BAKER ACT (FAILED): Allows nurse practitioners and physician's assistants to Baker Act a person who is suicidal or homicidal. (HB 9)

EYE DOCTORS (SIGNED INTO LAW): Allows optometrists to prescribe pills and other medications to treat eye diseases. (HB 239)

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. (SB 646/HB 1319)

DRUG DATABASE (FAILED): Requires that doctors enter new prescriptions into a state database within two days and allows drug companies to help fund the program. (HB 831)

MEDICAL MARIJUANA (FAILED): Legalizes use of marijuana for medical reasons. (SB 1250/HB 1139)

Higher education

PRE-EMINENCE (SIGNED INTO LAW): Provides additional funding for the state's two highest-ranking universities, University of Florida and Florida State University. (SB 1076)

IMMIGRANT TUITION (FAILED): Extends in-state tuition to the U.S.-born children of undocumented immigrants. (SB 180/HB 7051)

MIAMI DADE COLLEGE (FAILED): Allows Miami-Dade County to levy a voter-approved half-penny sales tax to support capital projects at Miami Dade College. (SB 1718/HB 1295)

FINISH IN FOUR (FAILED): Guarantees in-state students who enroll in a state university and maintain a full-time schedule that their tuition and fees would not change for four years. (SB 920)


CITIZENS (FAILED): Creates an inspector general for Citizens Property Insurance. Proposal passed in a different bill. (SB 386/HB 433)

CAT FUND (FAILED): Reduces the size and liability of the $17 billion Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund. (SB 1262/HB 1107)

CITIZENS INSURANCE (FAILED): Clarifies that 10 percent cap on rate hikes applied to both new and renewal policies. (SB 96/HB 107)

PROPERTY INSURANCE (PASSED): Creates "clearinghouse" to steer Citizens Property Insurance homeowners into private insurance and adds accountability measures for state-run insurer. (SB 1770)

AUTO INSURANCE (FAILED): Repeals the state's "no-fault" Personal Injury Protection law, replacing it with a Bodily Injury liability coverage system. (SB 7152)


PERSONAL RECORDS (PASSED): Makes it illegal to possess without authorization other people's personal information such as Social Security numbers and credit cards. (HB 691)

ABORTION (FAILED): Provides for felony charges if a fetus dies during an assault on a pregnant woman. (SB 876/HB 759)

ABORTION (FAILED): Prohibits abortion in most circumstances. (SB 1056 /HB 395)

ABORTION (FAILED): Requires doctors to sign an affidavit stating an abortion was not performed based on sex or race. (SB 1072/HB 845)

ABORTION (PASSED): Requires health providers to provide emergency medical care to an infant who survives a failed abortion or face criminal charges. (SB 1636/HB 1129)

FORECLOSURES (PASSED): Speeds up the foreclosure process but imposes more requirements on banks and lenders to prove they own a loan for the property before foreclosing on it. (SB 1666/HB 87)

CHILDREN'S HOMES (PASSED): Increases regulations of boarding schools and the group that oversees religious homes that have chosen to take a religious exemption from licensing. (HB 7129)

FERAL CATS (FAILED): States that someone who spays or neuters a feral cat and releases it is not breaking the law. Allows counties and cities to adopt ordinances to curtail the feral cat population. (SB 1320/HB 1121)

ANIMAL SHELTERS (SIGNED INTO LAW): Requires animal shelters and control agencies that accept public money to keep records of cats and dogs they take in and what happens to them. (SB 674)

INTERNET CAFES (SIGNED INTO LAW) Outlaws the use of electronic slot machines at Internet cafe and adult arcades in the wake of a federal and state investigations. (HB 155)

PreK-12 education

CLASS SIZE (FAILED): Eases the monetary penalty school systems face for not meeting the state's class size requirements. (SB 1370/HB 189)

COMMON CORE (FAILED): Pushes back the timetable for implementing the new Common Core curriculum. (SB 524/HB 377)

CYBERBULLYING (PASSED): Prohibits cyberbullying in public schools. (SB 626/HB 609)

ARTS EDUCATION (FAILED): Factors participation in arts courses into school grading formula. (SB 428/HB 283)

EPIPENS (PASSED): Allows schools to stock a supply of EpiPens to give to students who don't already have a prescription. (SB 284/SB 369)

GRADUATION (SIGNED INTO LAW): Revamps graduation requirements so that passing certain end-of-course exams is no longer required. Creates two new diploma designations, one for students taking industry-certification courses, and one for students enrolled in college-level courses. (SB 1076)

CHARTER FACILITIES (FAILED): Creates a recurring revenue stream for charter school facilities out of the Florida Education Finance Program. (SB 1396/HB 1267)

DATA (FAILED): Allows the state Department of Education to create a searchable online data warehouse for education information. (SB 878/HB 7027)

LOCKDOWNS (FAILED): Requires schools to hold lockdown drills as often as fire and other emergency evacuation drills. (SB 790/HB 989)

REGULATIONS (SIGNED INTO LAW): Repeals education regulations that were unnecessary or cumbersome. (SB 1096)

TESTING (PASSED): Requires districts to approve testing schedules and publish them online. (SB 1664/HB 53)

EARLY LEARNING (PASSED): Establishes the Office of Early Learning under the Department of Education. Reduces the portion of state funding that can be used on overhead and administrative costs. (SB 1722/ HB 7165)

PARENT TRIGGER (FAILED): Allows parents to demand sweeping changes in failing public schools, including a charter-school conversion. (SB 862/HB 867)

SCHOOL SAFETY (FAILED): Funnels tax money collected on firearms and ammunition into a trust fund for school safety initiatives. (SB 1208/HB 325)

SCHOOL SPORTS (FAILED): Eases the rules on student athletes transferring schools and revamps the Florida High School Athletic Association. (SB 1164/HB 1279)

TUTORING (PASSED): Eliminates a requirement to spend 15 percent of federal dollars for poor students on private tutoring services. (SB 1514)

CHARTER SCHOOLS (PASSED): Tightens accountability for charter schools, grants high-performing charter schools additional flexibility. Prevents students from having poor-performing teachers for two consecutive years. (HB 7009)

SCHOOL BOARDS (FAILED): Requires school boards to meet at least once each quarter during the school year. (SB 134/HB 127)

TEACHER PAY (PASSED): Prohibits teachers from being evaluated based on students they've never taught. (SB 1664)

SPECIAL ED (PASSED): Gives parents the final say on individualized education plans drawn up for special-needs students. (SB 1108/ HB 465)

VIRTUAL (PASSED): Allows private virtual learning providers from outside of state to qualify for a larger share of public dollars. Allows students to take classes at virtual schools in other counties. (SB 904/ HB 7029)

TEACHER RECORDS (FAILED): Exempts the data used in teacher performance evaluations from public records laws for three years after the evaluation takes place. (HB 7161)

TAXING DISTRICT (FAILED): Allows municipalities to set up special taxing districts to fund school safety initiatives. (SB 514/HB 873)

Social services

FOSTER CARE (PASSED): Gives teens option of staying in foster care to age 21 instead of "aging out" at 18. (SB 1036/HB 1315)

FOSTER CARE (SIGNED INTO LAW): Empowers foster care parents to make everyday decisions for kids; eases rules so kids can participate in "normal" activities without a court order. (SB 164/HB 215)

INMATE RE-ENTRY (FAILED): Requires state to give inmates state ID or driver's license upon release from prison. (SB 1032/HB 7121)

WELFARE BENEFITS (PASSED) Prevents people from using welfare benefits at certain "adult entertainment" establishments, casinos or in a liquor store. (SB 1048/HB 701)


ECONOMIC INCENTIVES (PASSED): Tightens accountability and reporting requirements for economic incentives and tax breaks used to lure businesses. Eliminates sales taxes for manufacturing and machinery beginning in April 2014 and lasting for three years.(SB 406/HB 7007)

PET TAX (FAILED): Allows local taxpayers to create special taxing districts for the purpose of spaying and neutering animals. (SB 1738/HB 1127)

INTERNET SALES TAX (FAILED): Requires online-only companies like Amazon to collect sales tax on purchases made in Florida. (SB 316/HB 7097)

INSURANCE TAX BREAK (FAILED): Repeals 26-year-old tax credit for insurance industry and uses revenue to reduce motorist car and truck registration fees by $12 a year. (SB 1832)

BUSINESS TAX CUT (FAILED): Increases exemption for the corporate income tax from $50,000 to $75,000. (SB 562/HB 401)

DOLPHINS (FAILED): Allows Miami-Dade County to raise mainland hotel tax to 7 percent to help fund renovation of Miami Dolphins stadium. Also allows sports teams to compete for $13 million pot of annual sales tax breaks. (SB 306/HB 165)

ORLANDO SOCCER (FAILED): Adds Major League Soccer to list of sports eligible for an annual $2 million tax subsidy. (SB 358/HB 219)

JAGUARS STADIUM (FAILED): Provides additional $2 million annual tax subsidy for renovation of EverBank Field in Jacksonville. (SB 922/HB 721)

DAYTONA SPEEDWAY (FAILED): Provides up to $2 million annually in tax breaks for a renovated International Speedway in Daytona. (SB 1394/HB 1049)

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