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More than 180 new laws went into effect in July in Florida

Clay Today staff
Posted 7/4/24

CLAY COUNTY – Gov. Ron DeSantis signed so many bills in the past few months that it was easy to forget they went into effect on July 1. Some of the highlights are:

A ban on squatters. …

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More than 180 new laws went into effect in July in Florida


Posted

CLAY COUNTY – Gov. Ron DeSantis signed so many bills in the past few months that it was easy to forget they went into effect on July 1. Some of the highlights are:

  • A ban on squatters. Floridians can call a sheriff to remove squatters if the following conditions are met: the individual(s) unlawfully entered and remained on the property, they were told to leave and refused, and they are a current or former tenant in a legal dispute with the landlord. The bill also creates penalties for squatters and anyone who teaches squatting.
  • Homeowners can apply for a grant for as much as $10,000 for a free home inspection and upgrades to strengthen windows, roofs, exterior and garage doors for hurricane season.
  • It is now illegal to intentionally release balloons unless done inside or by a government agency. The bill doesn’t apply to a child 6 or younger. A violation would be considered littering.
  • School districts can allow volunteer chaplains if they meet background screening requirements and students have written permission from parents. Also, “Satanism” was not defined as a religion and was not allowed to participate.
  • Patriotic organizations are allowed to speak at schools and distribute materials. Patriotic organizations include “youth membership organizations serving any younger than 21, including the Boy Scouts of America, Boys and Girls Club of America, Civil Air Patrol, Future Farmers of America, Girl Scouts of the United States of America, Little League Baseball, Marine Corps League and Naval Sea Cadet Corps. Parents are to be notified before their appearances.
  • The state blocked cities and counties from requiring laws with extra water or breaks to protect outdoor workers from heat beyond federal requirements.
  • “Age-appropriate and developmentally appropriate” history of communism should be taught in all grades, including kindergarten.
  • Citizen oversight boards to investigate police departments are to be made of three to seven people appointed by a sheriff or police chief, with at least one retired law enforcement officer. The bill aims to keep localities from using boards with “anti-police agendas.”
  • “Climate change” is virtually eliminated from state laws. The state will boost its expansion of natural gas, reduce regulation on gas pipelines and increase protections against bans on gas appliances.
  • Although lab-grown meat isn’t available in Florida, the state banned future use.
  • Law enforcement is now required to take additional training to asses whether a domestic violence victim is at a higher risk of harm by asking a series of further questions. The bill is known as “The Gabby Petito Act.”
  • Restricts HOAs from fining residents for leaving trash cans on the street within 24 hours before or after collection days or for leaving holiday decorations up longer than indicated unless removed within a week of a written notice being issued. Also, HOAs can’t ban residents from parking personal or work vehicles that aren’t commercial vehicles, and HOAs aren’t allowed to set requirements for inside the home for things that can’t be seen from the outside or a neighboring house.
  • Homeowners can apply for a $10,000 grant for a free home inspection and upgrades to strengthen windows, roofs, exterior and garage doors for hurricane season.
  • New mothers who’ve delivered babies within the past six months are exempt from jury duty.