ORLANDO, Fla. – Twelve days ago, the Florida House approved an amended bill from their counterparts in the Senate to make texting and driving a primary offense, toughening the current secondary offense status and bringing Florida up to the same standards as 44 other states.
So, with the bill passed, when is Gov. Ron DeSantis going to sign it, if he signs it all?
When HB 107 passed the House a second time -- the first version was amended by the Senate -- News 6 originally reported DeSantis would have seven days to sign the bill or it would automatically become a law. Although that was true then, almost two weeks later, things have changed slightly.
In Florida, as stated, the governor does have seven days to sign a bill or veto it, otherwise the bill automatically becomes a law. The clock starts ticking on the seven days, however, when the bill is sent to the governor, not when it was passed by the last legislative branch, meaning the House or Senate.
Leaders of both branches want to make sure all the details are finalized before any piece of legislation makes its way to the governor.
And if a lot of bills went through in the final days of the session, that could take some time.
The seven-day rule for a signature or a veto also has a caveat: it actually turns into 15 days, excluding Sundays, once the legislative session ends. And again, the countdown doesn’t start until the bill is formally sent from the legislature to the governor.
So far, we have not heard of the bill hitting his desk, which means we wait.
If you want to find out more about the whole process, read and click the excerpts below from the Florida Senate’s website:
What is the deadline for the Governor to sign a bill?
- While the legislature is in session, the constitution allows a 7-day period following presentation of a bill to the Governor within which to sign or veto the bill. If the legislature adjourns sine die before an act is presented to the Governor or while an act is in the Governor’s possession, the Governor has 15 days from the date of presentation in which to take action. For more information, go to Article III, section 8 of the Florida Constitution.