The record setting $77 billion budget, which includes 157 approved bills, such as the ban on e-cigarettes, will go into effect July 1.
Some of these bills focus on lowering costs of college tuition, banning the sales of e-cigarettes to minors and implementing efforts to make Florida more military veteran friendly, Local 6 news partner Florida Today reports.
The college tuition cost cutting bills aim to reduce costs by revamping the system used to determine the amount families must pay for the Florida Prepaid College Program. They also allow students who have attended three years of secondary school in-state to qualify for in-state tuition.
E-cigarettes bans will be implemented, involving a ban to sell to minors in accordance with the ban of cigarettes and other tobacco products.
Also, a bill called the "Florida GI Bill" will provide a variety of benefits for military veterans including university tuition wavers and funding for military guard base improvements in hopes to increase employment opportunities for veterans.
Highlights of the laws taking effect July 1:
HB 5001, the spending plan, the largest in state history, spreads around a hefty surplus, adding new money to public schools, state colleges and universities, environmental projects and child welfare while leaving room for about $500 million in tax and fee cuts that are already being used as a centerpiece for Scott's re-election campaign.
HB 7015, called the "Florida GI Bill," provides university tuition waivers for veterans, pays for military and guard base improvements, is expected to help increase employment opportunities for veterans. The more than $30 million package requires Visit Florida to spend $1 million a year on marketing aimed at veterans and allocate another $300,000 to a new nonprofit corporation, Florida Is For Veterans, Inc. that would be used to encourage veterans to move to Florida and promote the hiring of veterans.
HB 559 redesigns 11 military-related specialty license plates and adds a new special use plate — the Combat Medical Badge plate — to the inventory. The law also changes all references of the Korean Conflict to the Korean War and the Vietnam Era to the Vietnam War.
SB 864, requires school districts to set up a process through which parents can contest the selection of certain textbooks and classroom materials.
SB 1642, related to the new tests from American Institutes for Research, being instituted in the 2014-15 school year. That plan, modeled on a blueprint developed by Education Commissioner Pam Stewart, would simplify the formula for grading schools. It would also do away with the penalties schools could currently receive for the grades assigned in the 2014-15 school year — a plan meant to provide a transition year as schools adjust to the new standards and tests.
HB 732 aims to reduce the cost of college by revamping the formula that determines how much families pay for the Florida Prepaid College Program.
HB 851 allows students who attend secondary school in Florida for at least three years prior to graduation to qualify for in-state tuition, regardless of their immigration status. The law also rolls back the ability of state universities to increase tuition without the approval of the Legislature.
HB 313 establishes a pilot program that would lead to some public elementary-school students being separated into boys-only and girls-only classes.
SB 224 bans the sales of electronic cigarettes to minors, similar to bans on sales of cigarettes and other tobacco products.
HB 5203 creates the Florida Consortium of National Cancer Institute Centers Program at the Department of Health to distribute about $60 million a year to cancer centers.
HB 709 requires the Division of Emergency Management to develop a shelter program for people with Alzheimer's and other memory-related diseases.
HB 1131 expands the availability of emergency allergy treatment — epinephrine auto-injectors, emergency medication — to more public place, such as restaurants, sports arenas, theme parks, youth sports leagues and camps.
HB 1047 defines viability as the stage of development when the life of a fetus is sustainable outside the womb via standard medical measures. It would require physicians to conduct exams before performing abortions to determine if fetuses are viable, and if so, abortions generally wouldn't be allowed.
SB 424 prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage or increasing rates based on customers owning guns or ammunition.