What passed, what failed in the 2016 Florida legislative session

Sen. Tom Lee, R- Brandon, left, applauds with other Sens. Rob Bradley, R- Fleming Island, Audrey Gibson, D- Jacksonville, and David Simmons, R- Altamonte Springs, after the Florida Senate passed the state budget Friday in Tallahassee. Lee is the appropriations chairman for the Senate. (SCOTT KEELER   |   Times)
Sen. Tom Lee, R- Brandon, left, applauds with other Sens. Rob Bradley, R- Fleming Island, Audrey Gibson, D- Jacksonville, and David Simmons, R- Altamonte Springs, after the Florida Senate passed the state budget Friday in Tallahassee. Lee is the appropriations chairman for the Senate. (SCOTT KEELER | Times)
Published March 12, 2016

Bills that passed and failed in the 2016 legislative session. To become law, bills must not be vetoed by Gov. Rick Scott.

Budget and Taxes

BUDGET (PASSED): Appropriates $82,348,890,392 budget for fiscal year that begins July 1. (HB 5001)

TAX CUTS (PASSED): Establishes a $129 million tax cut package that includes a shortened, three-day back-to-school sales tax holiday. (HB 7099)

TAX TRANSPARENCY: (FAILED) Requires Legislature and school districts to use term "tax increase" in ads telling taxpayers annual increase in property taxes to fund public schools. (HB 751/SB 1332)

Criminal Justice

ALTERNATE SENTENCING (PASSED): Creates a new program to allow defendants to avoid prison time for technical violations of probation. (HB 1149)

BODY CAMERAS (PASSED): Requires law enforcement agencies that use body cameras to have policies and proper training for their use. (HB 93)

BOOKING PHOTOS (FAILED): Prohibits companies from charging fees to remove arrest booking photos from private web sites and prohibits police from publishing mug shots of people who are not convicted of a crime. (HB 905/SB 1072)

DEATH PENALTY (SIGNED INTO LAW): Requires at least 10 of 12 jurors to agree on recommendation of death sentence. (HB 7101)

DIRECT FILE (FAILED): Requires prosecutors to seek court approval to try juveniles as adults unless juveniles are charged from list of most serious offenses. (HB 129/SB 314)

GAIN TIME (FAILED): Reduce requirement that all inmates serve at least 85 percent of sentences to 65 percent for certain nonviolent offenders. (SB 7066)

JUVENILE DETENTION (PASSED): Requires a 50-50 split of juvenile detention costs between counties and the state and requires counties to drop previous legal claims against the state. (SB 1322)

MANDATORY SENTENCES (SIGNED INTO LAW): Removes aggravated assault with firearm from list of crimes subject to 20-year sentence under "10-20-Life" law. (SB 228)

COHABITATION (PASSED): Abolishes criminal penalty prohibiting unmarried men and women from living together. (SB 498)

RAPE KITS (PASSED): Requires local law enforcement agencies to submit rape kits to a statewide crime lab within 30 days of a reported sexual assault. Testing of the kits would have to be completed within 120 by crime labs. (HB 179)

SANCTUARY CITIES (FAILED): Bans "sanctuary" policies which police use to release some undocumented migrants who aren't likely to be picked up by federal immigration officials. (HB 675/SB 872)

ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION (FAILED): Makes it a felony to re-enter Florida after being deported by immigration officials. (HB 9/SB 118)


INCENTIVES (FAILED): Changes oversight system for spending tax money for various incentive programs used to attract jobs to Florida. (HB 1325/SB 1646)


SCHOOL CHOICE (PASSED): Changes capital funding eligibility for charter schools and spending limits for traditional schools; allows public school students to attend any school in the state that has space available; increases financial transparency of charter schools; allows high school athletes to transfer schools and have immediate eligibility; codifies in law performance funding for state colleges and universities; among other provisions. (HB 7029)

TEACHER BONUSES (FAILED): Enacts in state law the policy of the "Best & Brightest" teacher bonus plan that rewards "highly effective" teachers based on high school SAT and ACT scores. (HB 7043/SB 978)

STANDARDIZED TESTING (FAILED): Allows districts and parents to choose alternative standardized tests for their students in lieu of the Florida Standards Assessments (SB 1360)

CHARTER SCHOOL AUTHORIZER (FAILED): Would have put on 2016 statewide ballot a constitutional amendment seeking to create a statewide body to authorize, operate, control and supervise all charter schools. (HJR 759/SJR 976)

CITY SCHOOL DISTRICTS (FAILED): Would have put on 2016 statewide ballot a constitutional amendment seeking to allow cities set up their own school districts, breaking away from the countywide district. (HJR 539/SJR 734)

SCHOOL RECESS (FAILED): Requires elementary schools to offer 20 minutes of recess each school day. (HB 833/SB 1002)

COMPUTER CODING (FAILED): Requires high schools to allow students to count computer-coding classes toward foreign language credits. (HB 887/SB 468)

PRINCIPAL AUTONOMY (PASSED): Creates pilot program for select Florida counties that would give principals in low-performing schools discretion in overseeing their schools to improve student achievement and school management (HB 287)

SCHOOL BOARDS ASSOCIATION (FAILED): Prohibits certain "membership associations" receiving taxpayer funding -- only the Florida School Boards Association -- from using taxpayer funding to sue the state. (HB 1155/SB 1426)

SCHOOL GRADES (FAILED): Redefines what "learning gains" are in calculating school grades and requires school grades be "incomplete" for 2014-15 so schools aren't negatively impacted by inaugural Florida Standards Assessments (HB 1135/SB 1124)

COMPETENCY-BASED EDUCATION (PASSED): Sets up a five-year pilot program starting in 2016-17 for Pinellas, Palm Beach, Lake and Seminole counties to let students advance through school if they can prove they've mastered lessons. (HB 1365)

READING INSTRUCTION (FAILED): Improves instruction and early-intervention strategies for elementary school students who struggle to read, such as those with dyslexia. (HB 7021)

SPECIAL NEEDS STUDENTS (SIGNED INTO LAW): Expands education opportunities for children with special needs, including the Personal Learning Scholarship Program. (SB 672)

WORKERS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS (SIGNED INTO LAW): Creates financial literacy and workforce training programs for people with disabilities. (HB 7003)

FOR-PROFIT COLLEGES (FAILED) Establish a framework to protect students from fraudulent practices, improve graduation and accreditation rates and impose a follow-up plan when schools close. (HB1053/SB 800)

EDUCATION COMMISSIONER (FAILED): Changes statewide education policymaker from appointed to elected, subject to voter approval. (HB 767/SB 942)


ABSENTEE REPEAL (SIGNED INTO LAW): Removes term "absentee ballot" from state laws and replaces it with "vote by mail ballot." (SB 112)

DISABLED RESPONDERS (PASSED): Asks voters to amend state Constitution on Nov. 8 to give permanent property tax break to permanently disabled first responders (HB 1009)

SENIORS (PASSED): Asks voters to amend state Constitution on Nov. 8 to provide lock in place the property tax break for seniors who own homes valued at less than $250,000 who meet residency and income requirements. (HJR 275)

SOLAR TAX BREAK (PASSED): Asks voters to amend state Constitution on Aug. 30 primary ballot to give businesses tax breaks for solar and renewable energy devices. (HJR 193)

OPEN PRIMARIES (FAILED): Allows voters with no party affiliation to vote in party primaries, including races with write-in candidates. (HB 1307/SB 1698)

PHOTO ID (PASSED): Adds state-issued concealed weapons permit ID and federal-issued veteran health ID to list of legal voter IDs at polls (SB 666)

SUPERVISORS' RAISES (PASSED): Raises pay of county supervisors of election to levels equal to other constitutional officers (SB 514 /HB 355)

TEEN VOTERS (FAILED): Creates new public records exemption for information on teens who pre-register as voters before they turn 18. (HB 647/SB 702)


WATER POLICY (SIGNED INTO LAW): Overhauls state water policy to focus on best management practices for agricultural businesses and heavy water users. (SB 552)

FRACKING (FAILED): Establish a temporary ban and then a state permitting process for the method of drilling that involves injecting water, sand and chemicals underground to create fractures in rock formations to release natural gas and oil. (SB 318/HB 191)

STYROFOAM PREEMPTION (PASSED) Local governments will be prohibited from imposing bans on Styrofoam and polystyrene products. (HB 7007/SB 1010)

EVERGLADES FUNDING (PASSED) Creates the "Legacy Florida Act", a dedicated funding source dedicating up to $200 million a year for the Everglades restoration and $25 million springs repair from the money earmarked by Amendment 1, the Land Acquisition Trust Fund. (HB 989/SB 1168)


FANTASY SPORTS (FAILED): Legalizes daily fantasy sports contests in Florida and requires companies to pay the state $500,000 registration fee (SB 832/HB 707)

GAMING COMPACT (FAILED): Ratifies $3 billion, 20-year agreement between Gov. Rick Scott and the Seminole Tribe of Florida. (SB 7074/HB 7111)

GAMING EXPANSION (FAILED): Authorizes expansion of slot machines at dog tracks in Palm Beach, Brevard, Gadsden, Lee and Washington counties and the addition of player-banked card games at parimutuels across the state.(SB 7072/HB 7109)

DOG INJURIES (PASSED): Requires owners and trainers of racing greyhounds to report race-related injuries or face penalties. A bill (HB 1187) failed, but the policy was tucked into budget language, requiring state regulators to develop rules.


GAS STATION SKIMMERS (PASSED): Requires gas pumps to have certain security measures to prevent criminals from installing devices that steal credit and debit card information, and also increases penalties for the criminals. (SB 912)

DISABLED VETS (SIGNED INTO LAW): Requires all airports to give free parking for drivers with state-issued disabled veterans specialty license tags. (SB 222)

LIFE INSURANCE (PASSED): Requires insurers to use federal death registry records from 1992 to the present to locate surviving beneficiaries of life insurance policies (SB 966)

HILLSBOROUGH RIDESHARING (FAILED): Subjects companies like Uber to regulation in Hillsborough County but prevents county from banning ridesharing apps. (HB 1439)

HIGHWAY TOLLS (FAILED): Requires toll authorities to post signs warning drivers that they can't pay tolls with cash; allows rental car firms to continue charging fees for unpaid tolls. (HB 1119/SB 1392)

RED LIGHT CAMERAS (FAILED): Bans local governments from using red-light cameras at intersections. (SB 168/HB 4027)

RIDESHARING COMPANIES (FAILED): Prevents local governments from regulating or banning ridesharing apps like Uber and sets insurance requirements. (HB 509) -ma

RIDESHARING INSURANCE (FAILED): Sets insurance requirements for ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft but allows local governments to continue regulating them. (SB 1118)

SEIZED PROPERTY (PASSED): Requires criminal conviction before police can permanently confiscate personal property used in committing a crime. (SB 1044)

SINKHOLE INSURANCE (PASSED): Creates a limited sinkhole damage line of insurance coverage that would cover repairs to stabilize a building but not necessarily cover contents of a home. The bill aims to entice companies to offer private sinkhole insurance in areas where it has been unavailable or too costly. (SB 1274)

CITIZENS INSURANCE (PASSED): Revamps the policy-takeout process for Citizens Property Insurance customers. Lawmakers rejected an attempt to cap how much policyholders can be charged. (HB 931)


OPEN CARRY (FAILED): Allows more than 1.5 million people with concealed weapons licenses in Florida to carry those weapons openly in public areas or private businesses that allow it. (HB 163/SB 300)

GUNS ON CAMPUS (FAILED): Allows people with concealed weapons licenses to carry concealed weapons on state collegecollege and university campuses. (HB 4001/SB 68)

STAND YOUR GROUND (FAILED): Shifts burden of proof in self-defense cases to prosecutors, who must prove why defendants could not use "stand your ground" law as defense. (HB 169/SB 344)

CONCEAL-CARRY IN AIRPORTS (FAILED): Allows concealed-weapons permit-holders to carry concealed in airport terminals or other non-"sterile" areas that aren't controlled by the federal Transportation Security Administration. (HB 4051/SB 1500)

RECREATIONAL SHOOTING (SIGNED INTO LAW): Makes it a misdemeanor crime to fire a gun outdoors recreationally, including target shooting, in primarily residential areas. (SB 130)

Health care

KIDCARE (PASSED): A bill to allow lawfully residing immigrants who have been living in the United States less than five years to be insured under the state and federal KidCare program failed (HB 89) but the measure is included in the budget implementation bill.

ABORTION RESTRICTIONS (PASSED): Requires abortion clinic doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and prevents state money from going to abortion clinics. (HB 1411)

CERTIFICATE OF NEED (FAILED): Ends the requirement that hospitals gain state approval that there will be sufficient demand before constructing or expanding the number of beds in a facility. (HB 437)

CERTIFICATE OF NEED (FAILED): Exempts health care facilities from a state licensing program if they provide more charity care to uninsured people than the average facility in their area. (SB 1144)

SURGICAL CENTERS (FAILED): Allows ambulatory surgical centers to keep patients for 24 hours and creates recovery care centers to house patients for 72 hours after surgery. (HB 85)

PRIMARY CARE (FAILED): Lets people contract with doctors for primary care, cutting out the middle man of an insurance company. (HB 37)

SCOPE OF PRACTICE (PASSED): Allows nurse practitioners and physician assistants to prescribe narcotics and other drugs. (HB 423)

HOSPITAL PRICE TRANSPARENCY (PASSED): Requires hospitals and insurance companies to publish the cost of common procedures and quality of care information. (HB 1175)

ABORTION BAN (FAILED): Outlaws abortions in Florida. (HB 865/SB 1718)

MEDICAL TOURISM (FAILED): Directs Visit Florida to create a plan for luring visitors to Florida to have medical procedures. (SB 178)

MEDICAL MARIJUANA (PASSED): Legalizes medical marijuana for people who have terminal illnesses, expands the number of licensed growers after customer base reaches 250,000. (HB 307)

CHILDREN'S HEART SURGERY (FAILED): Directs the Department of Health to reinstitute quality standards for pediatric heart surgery through the Children's Medical Services program, which covers most kids' heart surgery in the state. (HB 617/SB 378)

MENTAL HEALTH (PASSED): Pushes for coordination between local agencies offering mental health and substance abuse treatment, including the creation of a "no wrong door" policy. (SB 12)

Social services

IMMIGRANT WELFARE (FAILED): Deducts undocumented immigrants' wages from welfare benefits received by their family members who legally reside in Florida. (HB 563/SB 750)

POVERTY (FAILED): Establishes the Florida Commission on Poverty to serve as an advisory board to the executive and legislative branches on matters relating to poverty. (HB 371/SB 556)


PUBLIC RECORDS (FAILED): Requires anyone who sues a government official for public records law violation to give five days notice and removes the requirement that governments that violate the law pay attorneys fees; requires online disclosure of public records custodians on government web sites. (SB 1220)

2018 SESSION (PASSED): Sets Jan. 9, 2018 as the start of the 2018 legislative session. (HB 7103 / SB 7076)

JUDICIAL TERMS (FAILED): Creates 12-year term limit for Supreme Court and appeals court judges, subject to voter approval (HB 197/SB 322)

SECRETARY OF STATE (FAILED): Changes statewide elections officer from appointed to elected, subject to voter approval (HB 1129/SB 1424)

TERM LIMITS (FAILED): Changes term limits for members of Legislature from eight to 12 years, subject to voter approval (HB 711/SB 902)

SPORTS STADIUMS (FAILED) A proposal that would bar professional sports franchises from building or renovating facilities on land owned by the state or local governments. (HB 1427)

Civil justice

ALIMONY (PASSED): Creates new formulas for calculating alimony and ends lifetime payments; sets premise that children in divorce cases should spend half their time with each parent. (SB 668)

CHILD TIMESHARING (FAILED): Sets a presumption that children in divorce cases should spend half their time with each parent. (SB 250)

LGBT ANTI-DISCRIMINATION (FAILED): Bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in housing, employment and public accommodations. (HB 45/SB 120)

DOZIER BURIALS (PASSED): Requires state to give up to $7,500 each to families to rebury remains of children found in gravesites around state-run Dozier School for Boys.(SB 708)

PASTOR PROTECTION (SIGNED INTO LAW): Protects clergy from lawsuits if they refuse to perform wedding that violates religious beliefs, such as for same-sex couples. (HB 43/SB 110)


UNATTENDED VEHICLES (SIGNED INTO LAW): Allows people to break into locked vehicles to rescue animal or vulnerable persons who are "in imminent danger of suffering harm." (HB 131)

VALUE ADJUSTMENT BOARDS (PASSED): Changes the process by which county value adjustment boards resolve property tax disputes and requires all disputes to be resolved by June 1. (HB 499)

DRONES (FAILED): Allows people to sue if injured by a drone. (HB 459/SB 642)

HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL (PASSED): Creates a Florida Holocaust Memorial on state Capitol grounds. (SB 716)

LEGISLATIVE PAY RAISE (FAILED): Would have given most state lawmakers a 68 percent pay raise, from $29,697 a year to $50,000, starting on July 1, 2017. (SB 712)

Compiled by Times/Herald staff writers Michael Auslen, Steve Bousquet, Kristen M. Clark, Mary Ellen Klas and Jeremy Wallace.