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What Laws Failed in the 2018 Florida Legislature?

Posted in News on July 14, 2018

Governor Rick Scott signed over 100 bills into law over the course of the 2018 legislative session. While many of these laws represent important steps forward for public safety and conservation – for example, by mandating plans to control invasive species and assess threats to schools – many proposed bills did not pass the legislative process this session. Consider this information about bills that failed to pass in 2018 and what they might mean for the future. If you have any questions about these statues, please contact a personal injury lawyer in Florida as soon as you can.

HB 669/ SB296

This proposed alcohol and beverage law would have repealed old limits on the size of a wine container. Under the current law, a wine container may not hold more than a gallon unless the container holds less than 5.16 gallons and is also reusable. Some people think that the restriction on alcohol use containers is archaic and harkens back to the days of Prohibition.

HB 347/ SB 66

Seen as a large failure for civil justice by LGBTQ rights activists, HB 346/SB 66 would have made it illegal to deny employment, promotions, public housing, or food service on the basis of sexual identity or gender expression. It aimed to revise Florida’s current civil rights statute, which does not explicitly mention gender identity or expression within the law. Different versions of this bill will likely reappear in later legislative sessions.

HB 167/SB 1044

Under this proposed law, victims of human trafficking would have been free to sue companies who profited from their exploitation. Examples include motels and hotels that allow prostitution to occur on their properties.

HB 47

House Bill 47 would have barred food stamp recipients from buying sugary soft drinks. It failed to achieve a House majority and never made it to a Senate vote.

HB 971/ SB 1368

Under the proposed law, the state would have required cable and trash providers to reimburse customers when it failed to provide the service customers pay for. Since the law did not pass, customers will have to continue to ask for reimbursement.

SB 1218

Senate Bill 1218 included a criminal justice reform package that had several aims. First, it would create the Florida Correctional Operations Oversight Council, which would have helped assure safe living conditions and basic needs for people serving time in the Florida criminal justice system. Additionally, each judicial circuit would be required to create driver’s license reinstatement programs for anyone who has a license suspension. Under the package, judges would also have more discretion in sentencing people for nonviolent drug trafficking, a response to Florida’s stringent and unforgiving drug laws. Finally, the bill would have revised the kinds of property that qualify as felony theft under Florida law.

HB 6031/ SB 880

Under the proposed law, the death penalty would no longer exist in Florida. The maximum sentence for any crime would be life in prison without the possibility of parole.

HB 1421/ SB 792

The proposed bill would have established the creation of a state chief financial officer, which would be an elected Cabinet position. The person in the role would provide revenue casting panels and economic consensus for various proposed actions.

HB 1299/ SB 188

Under this bill, buses would have to be available to any student who resided more than 1.5 miles from a school. The current law states that busing must be available to those who live 2 miles away. The bill also would have expanded busing options to children who live in dangerous neighborhoods.

Many proposed bills from the last legislative session did not pass. However, we may see more of them appear in later sessions in different versions to assure public safety and civil justice.