Check out new Florida laws going into effect July 1


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – After reviewing more than 3,500 proposed bills during the 2019 legislative session, about 200 bills made the cut through both the House and Senate before the end of the legislative session at the beginning of May.

Of those 200 new laws, many have already taken effect, but nearly 20 of those take effect on July 1. Here are some highlights of those bills and what to be aware of.

Texting and drivingSending messages on your phone while driving will now be a primary offense. Law enforcement can pull texting drivers without another reason.
Autonomous vehiclesAllows self-driving vehicles to be to be developed and be able to use the Florida Turnpike without many of the current legislative hurdles that are in place now.
Address privacyExpands the law to allow civilians who work in law enforcement to not have their addresses listed as public record like all other civilians.
Red tideThis mitigation program will allocate $3 million per year to the efforts for the next six years.
Cheaper prescriptionsAs long as they’re approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, less expensive drugs can be imported from Canada and other countries to Florida.
Sanctuary cities banThis law prohibits state and local governments from having sanctuary policies for undocumented immigrants. Enforcement begins October 1 .
Front yard gardensThis allows Floridians to grow fruit and vegetables in their front yards without fines by local governments.

Female inmatesThis law requires state correctional facilities to provide incarcerated women with feminine hygiene products.
Growing hempThis law allows an agricultural hemp program to be developed in Florida.
Firefighter health benefitsThis law allows firefighters with cancer, and the families of firefighters who’ve died from it, get access to certain benefits as long as certain provisions are met.
Bright futuresRequirements for Bright Futures scholarships are more stringent. The “Academic” scholarship, covering tuition and fees entirely at state colleges and universities, will require a student’s SAT to be near 1330 instead of 1290. The “Medallion,” which covers 75 percent of the costs, would move to about 1200 from 1170.
Private school scholarshipsFamilies of four, making $77,000 or less each year, will gain access to public funded scholarships for private schools.
Schools of hopeThis allows the expansion of the “Schools of Hope” program, allowing to open near public schools that regularly underperform.
Technical trainingThe testing requirements for teachers to get certified get easier.
Testing teachersThis lowers the standard of testing requirements for teachers to get certified.
Toll roadsOutlines the expansion of The SunCoast Parkway from Tampa Bay to Georgia. The Florida Turnpike will connect to the SunCoast in the west.
TelehealthCreates restrictions and oversight of the Florida telehealth program.
VapingThis law prohibits vaping in an enclosed indoor workplace, unless otherwise stated.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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