Spring 2014 Florida Legal Changes

Thu, Apr 10, 2014

General Legal Issues

Some rights reserved by alisonpavlosSpring 2014 has seen a host of legal changes in Florida. Here’s a roundup of them:

  • If you own a car, you’ll be pleased to hear that next year it should cost you less to renew your tag. That’s because Governor Scott just signed a new law changing the costs to register and renew tags in Florida. The Tampa Bay Times reports The typical Florida motorist will save about $25 a year per vehicle registration when the lower fees take effect Sept. 1.” This fee structure will replace one developed in 2009 by Charlie Crist.
  • Another new law that Governor Scott recently signed impacts sexually violent predators. According to the MiamiHerald.com, these new laws will help keep these individuals off the street longer. Many have been outraged to find that since 1999, nearly 600 sexual predators had been released only to be convicted of new sex offenses — including more than 460 child molestations, 121 rapes and 14 murders.”
  • Governor Rick Scott also recently signed the Florida G.I. Bill. It will allow honorably discharged veterans to have their out of state tuition fees waived. In addition, it contains many other provisions like continuing education, residency requirement changes, and additional funding for armories. According to MiamiHerald.com, Governor Scott said he hoped the legislation would make Florida “the most military-friendly state” in the nation.”
  • In January 2014, a sex trafficking law was created that allows some sex crimes to be expunged in certain instances.
  • SB 1300 changed some rules for LLCs in Florida.
  • The foster care system is also allowed to keep children past 18, in some cases.

 

And while these remarks below are not changes to the law, they are up for potential change or are relevant to the law:

  • Marijuana is a hot topic throughout the U.S. Florida is no exception, as the idea of medical marijuana is up for a vote on the November ballot.
  • Now this one isn’t a legal change, but does affect a decision Governor Rick Scott made in 2012. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta ruled a voter purge Governor Scott did in an effort to remove noncitizens from the Florida voter rolls was done too close to the 2012 presidential election. You can read more in the Tampa Bay Times.
  • While it is not a law yet, both the Senate and the House have now approved a bill that would allow warning shots. We wrote about this previously on our blog.
  • Florida’s minimum wage increased slightly this January, by 14 cents.
  • Local Senator Greg Steube’s idea of teachers having guns is moving through the Senate and the House. More information on this potential law can be found here.
  • A controversial alimony law wasn’t changed last year, and apparently we won’t be seeing any legal changes to alimony this year either—according to the Miami Herald.
  • Heard of telemedicine? Well, the Florida house and senate is considering legislation that would affect it. More about these laws can be found here, on WFSU’s website. According to americantelemed.org, “formally defined, telemedicine is the use of medical information exchanged from one site to another via electronic communications to improve a patient’s clinical health status. Telemedicine includes a growing variety of applications and services using two-way video, email, smart phones, wireless tools and other forms of telecommunications technology.”

Attorney Christopher D. Smith is a Lakewood Ranch, Florida attorney with SmithLaw Attorneys. He concentrates in bankruptcy, civil litigation, probate, estate planning, and elder exploitation cases in the Sarasota and Bradenton area. Call 941-907-4774 to learn more and to ask about our free consultations. 

Image: Some rights reserved by alisonpavlos

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