LISTEN LIVE

New Florida Laws: Marriage Age, Opioids, Criminal Records

Jul 2, 2018
Originally published on July 2, 2018 4:42 pm

Most new laws approved during Florida's recent legislative session took effect Sunday with the start of the state's fiscal year.

The new statutes have an effect on Floridians of all ages, from bullying in schools to providing further protections against seniors.

Here are some highlights of these 105 new laws:

2018-19 Budget: Nearly $90 billion worth of spending that includes money for schools, universities and colleges, health care programs, the state's prison system, and roads takes effect.

___

Opioids: Physicians will be limited to prescribing a three-day supply for acute pain, unless strict conditions are met for a seven-day supply. Physicians and pharmacists will also be required to consult the state's database to review a patient's history. Health care professionals also will need to take some courses on responsibly prescribing opioids.

___

Criminal Records: A person may request the removal of their arrest booking photo from a website or anywhere else where it can be publicly accessible. The request must be sent via registered mail and include proof of identification. This was approved during the 2017 session.

___

School Vouchers: The nation's first private school voucher program for bullied students takes effect. It allows students who are victims of bullying or other violence to transfer to a different public school or receive a private school voucher through the Hope Scholarship program. The vouchers will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

___

Marriage: Anyone under 17 will not be allowed to marry. Anyone marrying a 17-year-old must be no more than two years older, while minors will need parental consent. The old law allowed 16- and 17-year-olds to marry with the consent of both sets of parents. There was no minimum age if a judge approved and a pregnancy was involved.

___

Sunshine Protection Act: Florida endorsed a plan to remain on Daylight Saving Time year 'round, but it needs Congress to amend existing federal law to allow the change. While the rest of the Eastern United States would set their clocks back in the fall, Florida wouldn't, leaving it with more sunshine in the evening during the winter.

___

Financial Protections: An injunction is being created for protection against exploitation of vulnerable adults. It was created mainly to prevent seniors from being financially exploited but also covers their guardian or anyone acting on behalf of them with their permission.

___

Veterans Benefits: The state will expand the reduction or waiving of professional licensing fees for military members, veterans, and their spouses. It also provides some regulatory waivers for certain military-related professional licensees.

___

Foreign Business: State agencies and local governments will be prohibited from entering into contract with companies that boycott Israel. State agencies are also banned from investing with those doing business with the government of Venezuela.

___

Incarcerated Parents: The Department of Children and Families will be required to involve the incarcerated parent of a child who receives child welfare services in their case planning and progress.

___

State Symbols: The Loggerhead Turtle permanently becomes the official state saltwater reptile and the Florida Cracker Horse (Marshtackie) the official state horse. Florida Cracker Cattle has also been designated as the official state heritage cattle breed.

___

Statuary Hall: The state's request to replace the statue of Confederate Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith with civil rights leader Mary McLeod Bethune in Washington, D.C., becomes official.

Copyright 2018 Health News Florida. To see more, visit Health News Florida.