- Governor Ron DeSantis signed six new bills into law, furthering initiatives around housing, infrastructure, law enforcement, local government regulation, and support for children and families.
- Two of the signed bills set a framework for law enforcement interaction with individuals with disabilities through the use of a tracking database that is exempted from public record disclosure laws.
- Facing a July 1 deadline to decide on all legislation, DeSantis is expected to wrap up his review and act upon the remaining bills before midnight on Friday.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed six new bills into law on Thursday, ranging from legislation that overrules local regulations on landlord-tenant relationships to the establishment of a Persons with Disabilities Registry.
HB 1417, effective July 1, 2023, preempts the regulation of residential tenancies and the landlord-tenant relationship to the state. This law surpasses local government regulations on matters including rental agreements, security deposits, and landlord and tenant rights. It also amends existing laws to shorten the notice period for ending a month-to-month tenancy from 30 to 15 days.
DeSantis also signed HB 1191, a bill directing the Florida Department of Transportation to study the potential use of phosphogypsum, a by-product of phosphate deposits, in road construction. With about a billion tons of phosphogypsum stored in Florida, and 30 million additional tons generated annually, the bill seeks to find more productive uses for this material.
The Governor approved HB 1275, also known as the “Protect Our Loved Ones Act,” which enables local law enforcement agencies to establish a “Persons with Disabilities Registry.” This registry is designed to enhance the safety of individuals with confirmed disabilities during interactions with law enforcement. The Act is set to take effect on January 1, 2024.
A companion to the above bill, HB 1277, creates a public records exemption for the Persons with Disabilities Registry, further safeguarding the privacy of those enrolled.
Also signed was SB 170, a measure aimed at curbing overregulation by local governments that might harm local businesses. The bill allows courts to award attorney fees, costs, and damages in civil actions against local governments, and mandates impact estimates for proposed ordinances. This bill takes effect on October 1, 2023.
Lastly, DeSantis signed SB 1278, which authorizes the Department of Children and families to establish direct-support organizations. The bill specifically directs the creation of an organization to support the Children and Youth Cabinet and allows district school boards to contract with such organizations.
Only a handful of outstanding legislation remains to be signed or vetoed by DeSantis before the looming July 1 deadline on Saturday.