Mar 11, 2024 - News

Here are some of the bills Florida lawmakers just passed

Illustration of a hand in a suit holding a paper airplane legislative bill

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Florida lawmakers passed a flurry of bills this session that ban hemp products, crack down on slow left lane drivers and raise the legal age to become a stripper, among other things.

Why it matters: These bills and many more now head to the desk of Gov. Ron DeSantis, who can approve or veto them, after Florida's 60-day legislative session ended Friday.

πŸ“„ What passed

πŸš— The interstate safety bill would ban drivers from using the left lane on a highway for anything other than passing another vehicle, exiting the highway or obeying traffic commands, USA Today reports.

  • Florida law already says that drivers should be in the right lane unless they are passing another vehicle, among a few other exceptions.
  • DeSantis has said he would consult with police about how they would enforce the proposed law before deciding whether to approve it.

⛺️ A bill targeting homelessness β€” which DeSantis is expected to sign β€” would ban local governments from allowing unhoused people to camp or sleep on public property.

  • The bill does not include penalties for living on the street, but allows local cities and counties to be sued for not following the new restrictions, USA Today reports.
  • It encourages local governments to set up homeless encampments with security, sanitation and access to mental health care, according to the outlet.

🚰 Heat protections: Lawmakers approved a bill that blocks any county's ability to create their own rules and regulations to address extreme heat, including Miami-Dade, per the Miami Herald.

  • Last year, Miami-Dade introduced a first-of-its-kind policy requiring employers to provide water, rest and shade to outdoor workers on hot days, but it was eventually delayed.
  • Lawmakers introduced two bills to preempt Miami-Dade's heat exposure policy. The final version passed in the last week of session.

Local ethics boards will be weakened by legislation that prevents boards from investigating complaints based on secondhand information, per USA Today.

  • Only complaints based on the "personal knowledge" of the complainant can go forward. Local boards would also no longer be able to initiate investigations themselves.
  • The arrest of former Miami Commissioner Alex Diaz de la Portilla stemmed from a self-initiated investigation by the Miami-Dade Ethics Board, the outlet reports.

What else: Lawmakers also approved a package of health-related bills that aims to grow Florida's health care workforce and demand more price transparency in medical care.

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