State Politics

Florida Gov. Rick Scott signs 44 bills into law, including concealed carry, body camera legislation

Gov. Rick Scott signed 44 bills into law Thursday afternoon, including one allowing concealed weapons to be carried without a permit during emergency evacuations and another that will shield police body camera videos from public record laws.

The concealed carry bill is a favorite project of Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, who says the change in law will allow lawful gun owners to avoid criminal citations for simply carrying their belongings with them while evacuating from a hurricane or other disaster.

Opponents have said there should be fewer guns on the streets during emergencies, not more.

The body camera legislation, sponsored by Sen. Chris Smith, R-Ft. Lauderdale, is intended to protect people’s privacy when police officers enter homes, hospitals, mental health institutions and anywhere else where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Open-government advocates say that law enforcement agencies can use the language to shield video that is in the public interest, particularly now that video is being used more frequently in broader debates over the role of police in society.

But supporters argue that privacy protections will encourage more agencies to use body cameras.

Here's the full list, courtesy of Scott's office:

SB 144 -- Public Records/Impaired Practitioner Consultants - This bill provides an exemption from public records requirements for certain personal identifying information related to impaired practitioner consultants, their families and employees. SB 158 -- Civil Liability of Farmers - This bill expands an exemption from certain civil liabilities for farmers. SB 172 -- Local Government Pension Reform - This bill makes several reforms regarding local firefighter and police pension requirements. SB 184 -- Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot - This bill expands the permitted uses of federal write-in absentee ballots.

SB 248 -- Public Records/Body Camera Recording Made by a Law Enforcement Officer - This bill provides an exemption from public records requirements for a body camera recording made by a law enforcement officer in certain situations. SB 252: -- Insurance - This bill provides that the absence of a countersignature does not affect the validity of a policy or contract of insurance. SB 278 -- Downtown Development Districts - This bill relates to the Miami Downtown Development District. SB 290 -- Carrying a Concealed Weapon or a Concealed Firearm - This bill allows a concealed weapon or firearm to be carried for 48 hours during a mandatory evacuation order declared during a state of emergency. SB 296 -- Diabetes Advisory Council - This bill relates to the Diabetes Advisory Council membership and a report on the impact of diabetes-related activities. HB 361 -- Relating to Military Housing Ad Valorem Tax Exemptions - This bill provides for an ad valorem tax exemption for property used to house military personnel. SB 378 -- Juvenile Justice - This bill increases the number of times a law enforcement officer may issue a civil citation. SB 396 -- Florida Historic Capitol - This bill creates the Florida Historic Capitol Museum Council.

SB 408 -- Designated Areas for Skateboarding, Inline Skating, Paintball, or Freestyle or Mountain and Off-Roading Bicycling - This bill removes the requirement for government entities to obtain written consent from parents or legal guardians before a child under the age of 17 can engage in skateboarding, inline skating or freestyle bicycling in designated areas operated by that government entity. SB 450 -- Pain Management Clinics - This bill requires the Department of Health to continue to regulate the registration and inspection of pain management clinics. SB 466 -- Low-voltage Alarm Systems - This bill provides that no permit is needed to install, maintain, inspect, replace, or service a wireless alarm system. SB 570 -- Service of Process of Witness Subpoenas - This bill allows service of a subpoena on a witness in a civil traffic case to be made by US mail. SB 596 -- Craft Distilleries - This bill allows craft distilleries to sell an increased number of branded bottles directly to consumers.

SB 604 -- Consumer Protection - This bill creates the “True Origin of Digital Goods Act,” which requires website owners posting certain content to provide identifying information on their website. Read letter from Attorney General Pam Bondi HERE.

SB 608 -- Real Estate Brokers and Appraisers - This bill provides greater flexibility to real estate brokers and agents and removes current requirement that there must be a written agreement between Florida and other states for the reciprocal licensing of out-of-state appraisers.

SB 620 -- Emergency Management - This bill allows Florida government employees providing assistance under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact to be reimbursed for expenses by the state requesting assistance at that state’s authorized rates. SB 642 -- Individuals with Disabilities - This bill creates the Florida ABLE program for individuals with disabilities to save money in a tax-free savings account for future services without losing their eligibility for state and federal benefits. SB 644 -- Florida ABLE Trust Fund/State Board of Administration - This bill creates the Florida ABLE Trust Fund, which will hold appropriations and moneys for the Florida ABLE program. SB 646 -- Public Records/Information Held by the Florida Prepaid College Board, Florida ABLE, Inc., and the Florida ABLE Program - This bill provides exemptions from public records requirements for certain personal financial and health information held by the Florida Prepaid College Board, Florida ABLE, Inc., the Florida ABLE program, or an agent or service provider. SB 672 -- Service of Process - This bill allows service of a criminal witness subpoena requiring the witness to appear for a deposition to be posted to his or her residence if one attempt to personally serve the subpoena has failed. SB 676 -- Voluntary Contributions to End Breast Cancer – This bill requires the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to include language on vehicle registration, driver license, and identification card applications for a voluntary contribution of one dollar or more to be distributed to the Florida Breast Cancer Coalition Research Foundation, Inc. SB 694 -- Florida State Employees' Charitable Campaign - This bill makes revisions to the Florida State Employee Charitable Campaign. SB 716 -- Public Records/Animal Medical Records - This bill provides an exemption from public records requirements for certain animal medical records held by a state college of veterinary medicine. SB 778 -- Local Government Construction Preferences - This bill prohibits local regulations from restricting competition for the award of a construction contract in which 50 percent or more of the cost will be paid from state funds. SB 806 -- Regulation of Financial Institutions - This bill streamlines several Office of Financial Regulation regulatory processes. SB 836 -- Florida Insurance Guaranty Association - This bill revises the levy of assessments on insurers by the Florida Insurance Guaranty Association. SB 904 -- Home Health Services - This bill revises the requirements for main and satellite offices for home health agencies and nurse registries.

SB 954 -- Notification of Involuntary Examinations of Minors - This bill requires immediate notification to a student’s parent if the student is removed from school, school transportation, or a school-sponsored activity for an involuntary examination under the Baker Act. SB 982 -- Florida Civil Rights Act - This bill prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy in public lodging and food service establishments and prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of pregnancy. SB 1094 -- Relating to Flood Insurance - This bill allows insurers flexible flood insurance coverage for the peril of flood that may include water intrusion coverage and differs from standard or preferred coverage. SB 1312 -- Relating to Restricting Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation - This bill expands restrictions on lawsuits that are filed in retaliation against a party engaged in otherwise free speech to include suits filed by a person. SB 7008 -- OGSR/Licensure Examination Questions/Board of Funeral, Cemetery, and Consumer Services - This bill provides an exemption from public meeting requirements for portions of meetings of the Board of Funeral, Cemetery, and Consumer Services during which licensure examination questions or answers are discussed. SB 7010 -- OGSR/Examination Techniques or Procedures/Office of Financial Regulation - This bill provides an exemption from public records requirements for information that would reveal examination techniques or procedures used by the Office of Financial Regulation under the Florida Securities and Investor Protection Act. SB 7012 -- OGSR/Credit History Information and Credit Scores/Office of Financial Regulation - This bill provides a public records exemption for credit history information and credit scores obtained for the purposes of licensing loan originators, mortgage brokers, and mortgage lenders. SB 7016 -- Open Government Sunshine Review Act/Minor Identifying Information - This bill reenacts an existing public record exemption that protects identifying information held by the Office of Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsel or the Justice Administrative Commission pertaining to records identifying minors waiving parental notice requirements. SB 7024 -- State Board of Administration - This bill repeals restrictions on investments in institutions conducting business with Northern Ireland and establishes conditions for the transfer of any balance in the Fund B Surplus Funds Trust Fund. SB 7028 -- Educational Opportunities for Veterans - This bill provides out-of-state tuition fee waivers to eligible spouses and dependents of veterans who live in Florida. SB 7032 -- Public Records/Reports of a Deceased Child - This bill amends an existing public records exemption of certain identifying information collected during the investigation of a deceased child held by the State Child Abuse Death Review Committee or a local committee from the public record and meeting disclosure requirements. SB 7034 -- Open Government Sunshine Review Act/Stalking Victims Identifying Information - This bill reenacts an existing public record exemption for personal identifying information of stalking victims held by the Attorney General or in election records. SB 7078 -- Child Welfare - This bill amends and clarifies the investigation of and response to allegations of abuse and neglect of children related to last year’s child welfare bill, SB 1666.