By Steve Miller
Florida Center for Investigative Reporting
The Associated Press has a good story on the 150 new laws that take effect in Florida today. Among them, the story notes:
An abortion measure will require medical care for newborns who survive botched procedures. It penalizes providers who don’t have medical care for infants born alive despite attempted abortions.
An attempt to snuff out bongs also becomes law, although there are questions as to how effective it will be. The measure will make it illegal for shops to “knowingly and willfully” sell the pipes for use to consume illegal drugs.
New high school graduation standards will revise requirements put in place just three years earlier. The new law removes requirements to pass Algebra II and end-of-course exams in geometry and biology to earn diploma. Students instead will be allowed to take career education courses or enroll in work-related internships to earn a diploma.
Floridians who rent will also be subject to changes that could make it easier for landlords to evict them. Under the new law, a tenant could pay partial rent and still be evicted within days if they fail to turn over the rest of the money. The measure also allows a landlord to evict a tenant if a person breaks rules twice in one year. Those rules can include parking in the wrong spot or having an unauthorized pet.
Other bills that made it through include the extension of parole interview dates from two to seven years for inmates convicted of certain crimes, including kidnapping or attempted kidnapping, robbery, burglary of dwelling, burglary of a structure or conveyance and breaking and entering. Murderers and such are already addressed under current law. Their parole interview dates are adjusted to their sentences by statute.
Animal cruelty laws have also been strengthened. Persons convicted of multiple acts of cruelty may be charged with a separate act for each animal that was abused.
Still another bill creates licensing guidelines and requirements for private security, private investigations, and repo men. As noted by the legislative analysis, “The bill creates first, second, and third degree felony offenses, but they are likely low volume offenses.” In the wake of the George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin tragedy, it was welcomed by special interests connected to the security industry.
We have the full list of bills here.