2021 Legislative Accomplishments

Prime Sponsor of CS/HB 845: Higher Education. Restores the original effective date of the Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) law to July 1, 2021. Prohibits state funds from being used to join or maintain membership in an association whose decisions or proposed decisions are a result of, or in response to, actions proposed or adopted by the Legislature

Prime Sponsor of HB 1593: Seminole County. Creates an exception to general law to allow the Geneva Cemetery to provide columbarium burial services.

Prime Sponsor of HB 3269: $1,050,000 appropriation for the University of Central Florida Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Clinic of Florida Veterans and First Responders.

Prime Sponsor of HB 2563: $350K appropriation for Best Buddies. A mentoring and assistance initiative to support K-12 students with learning and physical disabilities.

Prime Sponsor of HB2069: $459K appropriation for Seminole State College.  Roof Replacement and Building Envelope Building S (202).

Prime Sponsor of HB 2257: $353K appropriation for Inspire of Central Florida: G.R.O.W. (Giving Real Opportunities to Work) an adults with disabilities work training program.

Prime Sponsor of HB 3215: $260K appropriation for the Seminole County Juvenile Drug Court. Provides diversion and drug/alcohol treatment options for youthful offenders.

HB 1: Combatting Public Disorder. Protects our communities, our neighborhoods, and the police officers who risk their lives for us, by providing law enforcement and prosecutors more tools to prevent violence and property destruction caused by riots. Clarifies the prohibited crimes of rioting and inciting a riot, prohibits destroying, demolishing, damaging, or pulling down a memorial or historic property, and increases penalties for assault or battery when committed in furtherance of a riot.

HB 7045: School Choice.  Expands school choice by allowing the following students to enroll, regardless of program capacity. Allows scholarship students with disabilities to use funds in multiple ways through an Education Savings Account. Benefits families by eliminating the prior public attendance requirement for FES students and removing the need to annually renew their scholarship.

SB 76: Insurance. Makes critical reforms to Florida’s property insurance laws to curb fraud and excessive litigation that continue to increase rates and deter additional insurers from entering the Florida market.         Changes the rate requirements for Citizens so that it functions as intended – to cover those that cannot obtain insurance elsewhere.

SB 90: Elections.   Takes proactive measures to ensure Florida’s ballots remain secure, the election process remains transparent, and that access is maintained for all eligible voters who want to vote.         Requires two-factor identity verification for voter registration changes and VBM requests and requires a voter’s name to appear on a return envelope. Requires drop box locations to be geographically located throughout a county to provide equal opportunity to cast a ballot 30 days before an election and requires drop boxes to be physically monitored by an employee of the SOE.

HB 3: Home Book Delivery for Elementary Students. For nine months out of the year, eligible K-5 students will receive one book of their choice per month. To be eligible for the free book distribution, students must be in grades K-5, have a substantial reading deficiency, or have scored below a level 3 on the prior year’s statewide, standardized ELA assessment.

HB 241: Parents’ Bill of Rights. Health care practitioners must obtain parental consent before performing health care services on a minor child or face disciplinary action for violating these parental consent requirements. Requires parental consent for the collection of certain identifying information for a minor child and requires parental notification when a state actor suspects a child is the victim of a criminal offense.

HB 259: Safety of Religious Institutions. Protects religious institutions and their congregations by reinforcing private property rights – ultimately giving the property owner the right to choose whether to allow or prohibit firearms on their property.

SB 1028: Education. Creates the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act. Ensures that biological women and girls have the opportunity to play on a level playing field and enjoy the benefits that come with competing in sports. Expands charter schools to meet the growing demand for school choice, close opportunity gaps, and increase student achievement.

HB 7061: Taxation.  Creates three Sales Tax Holidays:

  • 7-day Freedom Week Sales Tax Holiday: July 1- July 7
  • 10-day Back-To-School Sales Tax Holiday: July 31-August 9
  • 10-day Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday: May 28-June 6

HB 1239: Broadband Internet Infrastructure. Requires the Office of Broadband to create annual broadband service maps and incorporate federal broadband activities in its strategic plan. Increases transparency measures for the grant program by requiring the Office of Broadband to publish a list of all grant applications received each year.

HB 1313: Digital Drivers Licenses and Identification Cards: Modernizes the process of updating an ID by making it possible to remotely add endorsements, change classes of driver licenses, suspend licenses, deactivate an ID, or wipe a person’s credentials. Increases security for digital IDs by making manufacturing false digital IDs a third degree felony, and the possession of a false digital ID a second degree misdemeanor.

HB 1463: Department of Economic Opportunity. Replaces the CONNECT system of unemployment benefits for Florida. Requires monthly project status reports to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, OPPAGA, and the Florida Digital Service to complete the modernization quickly and efficiently.

SB 72: Civil Liability for Damages Relating to COVID-19. Protects responsible businesses, health care providers, and long-term care facilities from unnecessary lawsuits that could threaten their livelihood – providing certainty and reducing the fear of overreaching litigation to keep businesses healthy and create jobs.

SB 88: Farming Operation. Protects Florida’s farmers by strengthening the Florida Right to Farm Act’s liability protections and expanding it to cover modern agricultural activities. Limits compensatory damages for nuisance claims to the reduction in a plaintiff’s fair market property value and places limits on the ability to collect punitive damages.

HB 833: Unlawful Use of DNA. Strengthens DNA privacy to protect Floridians from bad actors looking to steal, analyze, or distribute another person’s DNA without consent. Puts bad actors on notice by protecting that information with enhanced authorization requirements and heightened criminal penalties.

HB 7051: Law Enforcement and Correctional Officer Practices. Keeps our communities safe and ensures trust in our law enforcement by standardizing statewide best practices in policing. Enhances the development of basic skills training and requires all law enforcement and correctional agencies to develop standardized policies on the use of force.

HB 9: Protecting Consumers Against Pandemic-Related Fraud. Protects Floridians from fraudsters seeking to capitalize on the uncertainty of COVID-19 by shielding our consumers from deceptive PPE and vaccination schemes.

SB 922: Veterans’ Preference in Employment. Strengthens employment opportunities for active duty service members and veterans by expanding state employment preference guidelines and developing recruitment plans.

HB 1297: Cybersecurity. Requires notification and information sharing of confirmed or suspected cyber threats and upgrades standards for purchasing IT resources. Creates a Cybersecurity Operations Center to serve as a clearinghouse for threat information and to support responses to cybersecurity incidents.

Highlights for 2021 Special Legislative Session

SB 2-A: Implementation of the 2021 Gaming Compact Between the Seminole Tribe of Florida & The State of Florida.  The Compact provides the Seminole Tribe with new exclusivity for craps, roulette, and sports betting (at Casinos and on mobile apps) in Florida – and includes exclusivity for the games included in the 2010 Compact. In return, the Seminole Tribe will make payments based on a percentage of net win, ranging from 12% to 25% (guaranteed payments totaling $1.5 billion in the first three years and $2.5 billion in the first five years).

SB 4-A: Gaming Enforcement. Improves enforcement and helps stop illegal gaming by establishing the statewide Florida Gaming Control Commission.

SB 8-A: Gaming. Ensures consistent regulation of pari-mutuels while limiting gaming expansion statewide by updating racing requirements and stopping future gaming expansion.