New laws will go into effect in Florida on Friday October first.
Topping the list is a bill that regulates the sale of electronic cigarettes and raises the state’s legal age to vape and smoke tobacco to 21 to mirror federal law.
Other new laws taking effect Friday:
Child welfare (SB 80): The measure makes wide-ranging changes in the child-welfare system on issues such as out-of-home placement, steps for reinstatement of parental rights and the process for transitioning youths out of foster care.
Child safety (SB 252): The bill creates the “Child Safety Alarm Act,” which requires vehicles used by child-care facilities to be equipped with alarm systems that prompt drivers to ensure no children remain on board when the vehicles are parked.
Crime Stoppers (HB 363): The bill makes it a third-degree felony to disclose protected communications provided to a Crime Stoppers organization.
Specialty tags (SB 676): The measure makes a series of changes involving specialty license plates, including establishing an “Army of Occupation” design for veterans who served overseas in wars between May 9, 1945, and October 2, 1990.
DNA (HB 833): The measure, in part, defines DNA samples as “exclusive property” of people submitting the samples and limits the use of the DNA for criminal databases unless people provide “express consent” for analysis.
Written threats (HB 921): The bill expands and updates laws about written threats and cyberstalking, including threats involving mass shootings or terrorism.
Corporate espionage (HB 1523): The measure, in part, creates second-degree felony charges for “trafficking in trade secrets,” with the charges bumped to first-degree felonies if the trafficking is aimed at benefiting foreign governments.
Florida lawmakers are also considering passing another law in honor of the little girl who was hit and killed while trying to board her school bus on the Treasure coast. The new law would require that all school buses be equipped with a go-pro camera on the side mounted stop sign to capture drivers who disregard the sign and drive right by.
This week Representative Thad Altman (R-Indian Harbour Beach) and Representative Emily Slosberg (D–Boca Raton) filed HB 179, authorizing school districts to install cameras on stop signs of school buses to capture whether cars stop when approaching.
It would allow law enforcement agencies to use the footage to enforce traffic laws increasing the safety of students.
10-year-old Yaceny Berenice Rodriguez-Gonzalez was crossing the street in Fort Pierce, Florida, to catch a school bus when she was killed in what police are considering a hit-and-run. Police say the offending vehicle was located and a person of interest has been identified, but no arrests have been made.