2024 Florida Legislative Session Bill Tracker

[updated 2/18/2024]

 

Election Integrity

HB 671 by Rep. Borrero/SB 190 by Sen. Garcia. Ballot Boxes. Requires a law enforcement officer to transport ballot boxes or ballot transfer containers from a supervisor of elections to a precinct and requires that all ballot boxes and ballot transfer containers be always supervised by a law enforcement officer.

RLCFL SUPPORTS.

Note: We support these bills as positive steps for ballot integrity, but we are concerned about the fiscal impact.

 

HB 359 by Rep. Jacques. Voting Systems. Gives the Board of county commissioners the option to count ballots by hand at the precinct level. Also requires the Department of State to not approve voting systems from foreign countries and voting systems programs, software, etc. must be made available to the public 3 months before use in elections.

RLCFL SUPPORTS

 

HB 135 by Rep. Gossett-Seidman & Rep. Caruso/SB 1256 by Sen. Martin. Voting Registration Applications. Prevents party affiliation changes from occurring without the knowledge of the voter and places special emphasis on registration or update of registration at the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

RLCFL SUPPORTS

 

HB 965 by Rep. Daniels/SB 782 by Sen. Yarborough. Election Board Composition. These bills would require Election Boards to be comprised of at least one member from each of the two major political parties.

RLCFL SUPPORTS

 

HB 919 by Rep. Rizo/SB 850 by Sen. Nick DiCeglie. Use of Artificial Intelligence in Political Advertising. These bills mandate that any political advertisements, including electioneering communications that utilize generative AI to create content, must prominently include a disclaimer stating it was created using AI. The bill would also authorize the filing of complaints regarding violations with the Florida Elections Commission and would require expedited hearing procedures for such complaints.

RLCFL SUPPORTS

 

SB 1752 by Sen. Ingoglia. Elections. This bill would bar Florida from using any foreign voting system and require the county canvassing board to conduct a manual count in certain precincts before certification of certain elections. SB 1752 changes the eligibility of people who want to vote by mail in the state of Florida and request a mail-in ballot.

RLCFL SUPPORTS

 

HB 1101 by Rep. Melo/SB 1168 by Sen. Gruters. Forms of Identification. These bills would expand the acceptable forms of ID to register to vote, including; passport card, identification card issued by a federally recognized tribal nation or Indian tribe, United States Merchant Mariner Credential.

These bills would also require licenses issued to individuals who submitted any of the documents required must include “NC” to denote that such an individual is a noncitizen.

RLCFL SUPPORTS

 

SB 1602 by Sen. Gruters. Elections. This bill revises the information that the uniform statewide voter registration application must be designed to elicit from an applicant and must contain. SB 1602 requires the Department of State and supervisors of elections to verify certain information relating to citizenship status and requires certain voter registration applicants who have not previously voted in the state to provide certain identification before voting.

RLCFL SUPPORTS

 

HB 1669 by Rep. Roth. Elections. This bill requires the Department of State to adopt rules relating to election security and to create certain manuals. The bill authorizes PACs & political committees to have poll watchers and authorizes designated watchers for absentee vote processing locations.

This bill provides requirements for printed ballots & voter certificate envelopes and requires retention of materials, and audits. HB 1669 also provides requirements for transportation & chain of custody for ballots; revises storage, identification, and signature verification requirements; provides requirements for absentee vote processing workers; revises county canvassing board composition, authorizes removal from office of supervisor of elections; revises requirements for recounts; provides criminal penalties.

RLCFL SUPPORTS

 

HB 721 by Rep. Casello/SB 562 by Sen. Ingoglia. Harassment of Election Workers. These bills prohibit a person from intimidating, threatening, coercing, harassing, or attempting to intimidate, threaten, coerce, or harass an election worker with specified intent; providing criminal penalties. These bills lack clear and concise language for what actions qualify as intimidation, threats, or harassment. Abuse of vague language may result in censorship of citizen voices with legitimate concerns regarding election processes.

RLCFL OPPOSES

 

 

2nd Amendment

HB 365 by Rep. Sirois/SB 1034 by Sen. Ingoglia. Representation by Counsel in Hearings on Petitions for Risk Protection Orders. The current Risk Protection Order (Red Flag) statute allows a respondent to be represented by a lawyer but denies a right to a court appointed lawyer if the respondent cannot afford one. This forces low-income people to have to represent themselves when faced with losing their second amendment rights. This bill provides for a court appointed counsel for an indigent respondent.

RLCFL SUPPORTS

 

HB 485 by Rep. Brackett/SB 1286 by Sen. Collins. Return of Weapons and Arms Following an Arrest. Amends s. 790.08, F.S., to delete the requirement for a sheriff or chief of police to retain custody of all weapons or firearms seized incident to an arrest until after the trial of the person arrested. Instead, the bill requires a law enforcement agency to return any weapons or firearms that are taken from a person following an arrest, but that are not seized as evidence, upon request of the person arrested if her or she has been released from detention. If requesting the return of firearm, the person must successfully complete a criminal history background check confirming the person is not prohibited from possessing a firearm under state or federal law.

RLCFL SUPPORTS

 

HB 17 by Rep. Rudman. Expiration of the Mandatory Waiting Period for Firearms Purchases. This bill would shorten the mandatory waiting period for gun buyers to acquire a firearm from a licensed seller. Currently, gun buyers are required to wait a minimum of three days, excluding weekends and holidays, or for the completion of a records check, before acquiring a firearm. The law states buyer must wait for “whichever occurs later.”

HB 17 would reverse that law to “whichever occurs first”. That would mean if the background check has not come back within the 3-day period, the gun shop would have to sell the gun without the background check. Or, if the background check came back before the three-day period ended, the gun shop would have to sell the gun.

RLCFL SUPPORTS

 

SB 1124 by Sen. Martin. Mandatory Waiting Period for Handgun Purchases. Revises the mandatory 3-day waiting period to apply only to handguns, rather than to firearms.

RLCFL SUPPORTS

 

HB 1223 by Rep. Payne. Minimum Age for Firearm Purchase or Transfer. This bill restores the minimum age from 21 to 18 for people to buy rifles and other long guns in Florida.

RLCFL SUPPORTS

 

HB 1619 by Rep. Beltran. Carrying and Possession of Weapons and Firearms. This bill will allow citizens to conceal carry or open carry without a permit. This bill also repeals the following gun-free zones: College or university facility; any school, college, or professional athletic event; any career center.

HB 1619 also repeals the “Temporary Ex Parte Risk Protection Order contained in Florida Statute 790.401 Risk Protection Orders. HB 1619 also tightens the criteria for the Court to issue a Risk Protection Order and provides for a court-appointed counsel for an indigent person.

RLCFL SUPPORTS

 

HB 1615 by Rep. Gregory. Restrictions on Firearms and Ammunition During Emergencies. This bill restores our gun rights during a public emergency. This bill repeals Florida Statute 870.044 which prohibited; the sale of, or offer to sell, with or without consideration, any ammunition or gun or other firearm of any size or description; the intentional display, after the emergency is declared, by or in any store or shop of any ammunition or gun or other firearm of any size or description; the intentional possession in a public place of a firearm by any person, except a duly authorized law enforcement official or person in military service acting in the official performance of her or his duty.

RLCFL SUPPORTS

 

 

Public Health

HB 459 by Rep. Rudman/SB 402 by Sen. Yarborough. Declarations of a Public Health Emergency. Currently, Florida law (Florida Statute 381.00315) allows the state Health Officer to order an individual to be examined, tested, vaccinated, treated, isolated, or quarantined during public health emergencies.

These bills attempt to reduce some of the government overreach contained in this statute, such as HB 459 prohibits the State Health Officer from issuing a blanket closure on government buildings and services, churches, and altering election procedures and protocols. These bills also provide that the administration of vaccines is not included in the terms “treat”, “treated” or “treatment”.

RLCFL SUPPORTS          

 

SB 636 by Sen. Garcia. Exemptions from Immunization Requirements. This bill would allow all Floridians to claim an exemption from any vaccine requirement if certain safety criteria are not met. The bill targets vaccines required in both the public and private sector, such as a condition for employment, school attendance or any licensure, if the vaccine doesn’t meet the following:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration trial must continue for at least one year after the vaccine was tested against a control group, which must receive a placebo or other FDA-approved vaccine. The Florida Department of Health must post all injuries potentially caused by the vaccine, and their occurrence rates. The risk of “permanent disability or death” must be proven to be less than the disease it’s designed to fight against. The manufacturer must assume liability for death or injury caused by the vaccine, and any “design defect claims.”

This bill allows for the continuation of immunization exemptions for medical reasons and for exemptions due to religious tenets or practices.

RLCFL SUPPORTS

 

SB 1094 by Sen. Martin. Immunization Requirements. This bill requires the Department of Health to obtain approval of the Legislature to add any new immunizations to those required for school attendance. This bill authorizes persons to claim an exemption from any immunization requirement if a vaccine fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration is not available to fulfill the requirement. This bill authorizes a person to claim the exemption on one’s own behalf or on behalf of one’s child or dependent and prohibits employers, school districts, the department, and certain public entities from requiring a person to meet any other conditions to claim the exemption.

RLCFL SUPPORTS

 

HB 1623 by Rep. Beltran. Emergencies. This bill limits the length of time for an executive or emergency order issued by the Governor to not more than 60 days, requiring legislative approval for renewal of emergencies for no more than an additional 30 days at a time.  This bill provides just compensation where applicable to commandeered property during any such proclaimed health emergency.  This bill seeks to limit any infringement on individual rights and liberties to the greatest extent possible as per Art. 1 of the State Constitution including in educational and business settings.

This bill removes the mandate to use the method and procedures of the Federal Government during any public health emergency and removes the ability to quarantine, isolate, or otherwise treat an individual without a due process hearing and must adopt rules for imposing and releasing an isolation or a quarantine. This bill limits the powers of F.S. 381.00315 as provided in Art.1 of the State Constitution.

RLCFL SUPPORTS

 

HB 1535 by Rep. Plakon/SB 680 by Sen. Gruters. Protection of Medical Freedom. These bills prohibit the Department of Health from requiring enrollment in the state’s immunization registry or otherwise requiring persons to submit to immunization tracking. These bills prohibit business entities from requiring individuals to provide proof of vaccination or post-infection recovery from any communicable disease to gain access to, entry upon, or service from such entities as well as adding a person’s vaccination and immunity status to the prohibited forms of discrimination by local housing assistance plans.  These bills prohibit employers from refusing employment to, or discharging, disciplining, demoting, or otherwise discriminating against, an individual solely on the basis of vaccination or immunity status. These bills prohibit places of public accommodation from discriminating on the basis of vaccination or immunity status and prohibits the Department of Health from requiring, as a school-entry requirement, that children receive immunizations approved only for emergency use.

RLCFL SUPPORTS

 

 

Taxes

HB 609 by Rep. Botana/SB 1144 by Sen. DiCeglie. Local Business Taxes. Repeals Chapter 205 Florida Statute that allows local governments to levy business taxes.

RLCFL SUPPORTS

 

 

Constitutional Amendments

HJR 335 by Rep. Roth. Requiring Broader Public Support for Constitutional Amendments or Revisions. Requires 66.67 percent of voters on a constitutional ballot amendment to pass. Currently it takes a minimum of 60 percent of voters to pass. If the Legislature passes this bill, it would be on the 2024 ballot to be approved by the voters.

RLCFL SUPPORTS

 

HJR 805 by Rep. Borrero/SJR 1042 by Sen. Garcia. Traffic Infraction Detectors. These bills propose an amendment to the State Constitution to prohibit the use of red-light cameras within this state. If passed by the Florida Legislature, it would be placed on the November 2024 general election ballot as a proposed state constitutional amendment and would require 60% of voters to pass.

RLCFL SUPPORTS

 

SJR 1114 by Sen. Hutson. Public Financing for Campaigns of Candidates for Elective Statewide Office. Proposes the repeal of Section 7 of Article VI of the State Constitution which requires the availability of public financing for campaigns of candidates for elective statewide office who agree to campaign spending limits. If passed by the Florida Legislature, it would be placed on the November 2024 general election ballot as a proposed state constitutional amendment and would require 60% of voters to pass.

RLCFL SUPPORTS

 

 

Pro-Life

HB 415 by Rep. Jacques/SB 436 by Sen. Grall. Pregnancy and Parenting Resources Website. Requires the Florida Department of Health in consultation with Department of Children and Families (DCF) and Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), to maintain website that provides pregnancy & parenting resources & provide clear & conspicuous link to such website on official website of respective departments & agency. The online resources will include “evidence-based” information on prenatal care, child development, parenting techniques, and mental health services for mothers.

RLCFL SUPPORTS

 

 

Term Limits

HB 57 by Rep. Salzman/ SB 438 by Sen. Ingoglia. County Commissioner Term Limits.  These bills create 8-year term limits for county commissioners in any county in which term limits are not imposed by a county charter.

RLCFL SUPPORTS

 

 

Protection of Historical Monuments

HB 395 by Rep. Dean Black/SB 1122 by Sen. Martin. Protection of Historical Monuments and Memorials. This bill would hold any person or entity including local officials that destroy, deface, or remove any historical monument displayed on publicly owned property liable for their actions. The bill provides standing to bring civil actions and provides for removal of officials violating this law.

RLCFL SUPPORTS

 

HB 901 by Rep. Borrero/SB 1120 by Sen. Martin. Display of Flags by Government Entities. This bill would prohibit any governmental entity from flying a flag depicting a political viewpoint. They include but are not limited to, flags representing racial or sexual orientation, political ideology, and political partisans.

RLCFL SUPPORTS

 

 

Government Regulation

HB 435 by Rep. Sirois/SB 586 by Sen. Yarborough. Cultivated Meat. Makes it a criminal offense to manufacture, sell, hold, or distribute cultivated meat in Florida. Cultivated meat is the process of growing meat in a laboratory from animal cells chemicals and enzymes that can be formed into nuggets, cutlets, or other shapes. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA)  and the federal Food and Drug Administration are pushing cultivated meat as part of the environmental, social and governance (ESG) movement.

RLCFL SUPPORTS

 

HB 599 by Rep. Chamberlin. Gender Identity Employment Practices. States “the policy of the state that a person’s sex is an immutable biological trait and that it is false to ascribe to a person a pronoun that does not correspond to such person’s sex.” This bill would prevent state and local government agencies from requiring employees and contractors to refer to other people “using that person’s preferred personal title or pronouns if such personal title or pronouns do not correspond to that person’s sex” as determined at birth. Also, the bill would prevent employees of government agencies and contractors from providing to their employers preferred pronouns that “do not correspond to his or her sex” and would prevent employers from asking workers to provide personal pronouns.

RLCFL SUPPORTS

 

HB 401 by Rep. Overdorf/SB 758 by Sen. Martin. Tracking Devices and Applications. These bills prohibit the placement or use of tracking devices or tracking applications to determine the location or movement of another person or another person’s property without that person’s consent.  A parent of a minor child is still allowed to use tracking devices or a caregiver of an elderly person or disabled adult.

RLCFL SUPPORTS

 

HB 697 by Rep. Bankson/SB 750 by Sen. Rodriguez. State Legal Tender and Bullion Depository. These bills would treat “specie legal tender” as money in the state. Specie legal tender is defined as, “Specie coin issued by the Federal Government at any time; and any other specie designated by the Chief Financial Officer as legal tender. Under the proposed law, “Specie legal tender may be recognized to pay private debts, taxes, and fees levied by the state or local government or any subdivision thereof.” These bills would allow Floridians to use gold or silver in both physical and electronic form as money rather than just as mere investment vehicles. In effect, it would put gold and silver on the same footing as Federal Reserve notes.

Provisions in H697/S750 would establish a state-run bullion depository. A depository account holder would be able to purchase, sell, deposit, or withdraw bullion. It would include “electronic systems” for the purchase and sale of bullion for depository account holders who cannot or choose not to travel to the physical location. The bill includes provisions for the creation of an electronic currency backed by gold or silver and made available to the public. This would open the door for people to use precious metals stored in the depository in everyday transactions. These bills would also eliminate all state and local taxes on the sale of gold and silver. Under current law, Florida levies a sales tax on the sale of gold and silver if the total transaction is less than $500. Eliminating all sales taxes would take another step toward treating gold and silver as money instead of commodities.

RLCFL SUPPORTS

 

HB 1135 by Rep. Yarkosky and Rep. Bankson/SB 1238 by Sen. Martin. Lewd or Lascivious Grooming. A person who engages in the process of preparing or encouraging a child to engage in sexual activity through overtly sexually themed communication with the child or in conduct with or observed by the child without permission from the child’s parent or legal guardian commits lewd or lascivious grooming. A person 18 years of age or older who commits lewd or lascivious grooming commits a felony of the second degree.

RLCFL SUPPORTS

 

 

Criminal Justice Reform

HB 133 by Rep. Chambliss & Rep. Plakon/SB 42 by Sen. Stewart. Professional Licensing Requirements for Barbers and Cosmetologists. Provides a period of time when convictions, or any other adjudication for crimes may not be grounds for denial of licensure as barber or cosmetologist.

RLCFL SUPPORTS

 

HB 97 by Rep. David Smith/ SB 54 by Sen. Rodriguez. Expunction of Criminal History Records. These bills revise an eligibility criterion under which a person is eligible to petition a court to expunge a criminal history record if an indictment, information, or other charging document was dismissed by a court and expands an exception to an eligibility requirement for expunction of a criminal history record to allow a prior expunction of a criminal history record granted for an offense committed when the person was a minor.

RLCFL SUPPORTS

 

HB 767 by Rep. Edmonds/SB 62 by Sen. Osgood. Resident Status for Tuition Purposes. These bills would make it easier for those recently released from prison to receive in-state tuition in colleges and universities by providing that individual a specified 12-month period to use expired documentation to establish residency.  We support legislation that can reduce recidivism and allow citizens who have earned it a second chance at living a free and productive life. They can become taxpayers instead of a life of government dependence and a waste of our tax dollars.

RLCFL SUPPORTS

 

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