1. District school boards are now permitted to adopt policies that permit a student to deliver an inspirational message at a student assembly. The law reads that students retain control over the whether to make an inspirational message as well as who makes that message. The content is left up to the student volunteer. It specifically prohibits school district personnel from being involved in whether the message will be delivered, selecting the student to deliver it and having any hand in the content of the message.
2. Another increases the number of individuals who can participate in misdemeanor pretrial substance abuse programs. The law will expand to allow minors found in possession of alcohol, those in possession of controlled substances without a prescription and those who have previously participated in a program to do so again.
3. Have you ever seen someone get out of a car with a handicapped sticker and wonder what their disability was? A new Florida law will provide for random reviews of handicapped parking permit holders.
4. A new Florida law will get Alzhiemer’s disease patients access to “specialized Alzheimer’s services adult day care centers.” The facilities licensed under the act must meet certain education and experience requirements as well as keep a practical nurse on site for at least 75 percent of the time the center is open, daily. Patients must require ongoing supervision and may not demonstrate aggressive behavior.
5. With all the discussions of concussions in football, the Florida legislature passed a law requiring that coaches, officials, athletes and their parents be educated about the risk of head injury. Also, head-injured athletes must be removed from play and not allowed to return until they are cleared by a doctor.
6. Vehicle owners will now be able to return their tags within up to three months after their registration period begins for a full refund.
7. Can’t find a place to buy a lottery ticket? The Department of the Lottery may now sell tickets in more types of vending machines and sell all types of tickets in machines, including instant tickets and online ones.
8. Veterans can now pay a $2 fee to have a capital “V” placed on their driver’s license or ID which designates them as an honorably discharged veteran before their normal renewal time, without having to pay the normal renewal fee.
9. Employees in drug-free state agency workplaces can now be tested at random every three months. A third-party agency must choose those to be tested using a random sampling by a computer but may not choose more than 10 percent of the workplace. Employees can be disciplined or fired after their first offense.
10. A new Florida law adds $1 contribution check-offs to vehicle registration, driver’s license or ID card applications that allow applicants to contribute to the Autism Services fund or to Support our Troops, Inc.
11. A new law limits Medicaid recipients (non-pregnant adults) to six emergency room visits.
These are just a few of the approximately 150 new laws that went into effect yesterday. Remember, ignorance of the law is not an excuse for breaking it!
Stay tuned to later blog articles having to do with the new Personal Injury Protection (PIP) law that will rip away your insurance benefits after a car accident if you are not careful!