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New Laws in Florida That Go Into Effect July 2018

Posted in News on July 15, 2018

Statutes throughout the state continually evolve to accommodate public opinion, assure public safety, and improve the life of Floridians across the state. If you’re not continually monitoring the news, you might miss notification of some of the new laws going into effect this summer. Speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney in Fort Lauderdale could help answer any questions you may have. Here’s what you need to know about statutes becoming active this month and how they might affect your life.

Governor Rick Scott signed over 100 bills into law during the 2018 legislative session. Due to the nature of state law, many go into effect on July 1. Some of the most important include:

  1. New Restrictions for Controlled Substances

The opioid epidemic continues to have a profound effect on Florida residents as well as the rest of the country. To limit access to these drugs and control risk of abuse, the controlled substance bill limits painkiller prescriptions to a three-day supply in most circumstances.

  1. Anti-Bullying Measures

Bullying, especially online, has become a large problem everywhere. Many children still feel unsafe in their schools and have difficulty succeeding in their academic careers and extracurricular activities as the result of bullying. A new law aims to change that – if your child has a problem with bullying at school, you may be able to send your child to private school using a voucher program. Some parents saw this law as a Band-Aid over a bullet hole fix, but it does remain an important avenue of recourse for the families affected by bullying.

  1. Changes to the Marriage License Law

Florida tightened its limitations on issuing marriage licenses recently. As of July 1, only people over the age of 18 may apply for and receive a marriage license, except for limited circumstances. For example, two 17-year olds may marry with the approval of both parents or appointed guardians.

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act

In light of the atrocities at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Gov. Scott signed a measure that requires sworn law enforcement officers to occupy all state schools. In addition, each school must participate in active shooter drills once a semester, school boards must create threat assessment teams, and administrators must work to identify people who have acted in a way that could prove hazardous to the safety of a school’s students and faculty.

Restriction of Beach Access

This one may affect you as a beachgoer immediately: under HB 631, businesses and homeowners now have an option of sharing or restricting the use of a beach on their property. This only applies, however, to dry sand from the high-water tide line and up. Wet sand will remain public property.

The Florida Call Blocking Act

This Act will likely come as a relief to you if you dislike phone solicitation: it allows telecommunication providers to block certain calls from solicitors and allows these services to use caller identification technology to determine the origin of these calls for the purpose of blocking them.

New Rules for Non-Native Animals

Invasive species remain a large problem for the ecosystem of Florida. Under a new law, the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission must establish a trial program that will outline a plan for addressing and eliminating all invasive species throughout the state. Though it applies to all invasive species, the primary concern right now is for red lionfish, tegu lizards, and devil firefish.

New laws taking effect this July 1 will affect Florida public safety, beach visits, and even rules for soliciting business by phone. You should be aware of these changes and make any adjustments to remain in compliance with new state statutes.