Week three of the Legislative Session was a busy one. I enjoyed meeting from the many groups who visited my office from around the district and state. On Tuesday, we celebrated Military Day in the Capitol and I was honored to lead the Pledge of Allegiance alongside my fellow Senators who have served in the Armed Forces. In addition, 9 of my bills were heard in committee and one on the Senate floor.

Status Updates on some of Steube's Sponsored Legislation

CS/SB 80: Public Records - This legislation requires an individual to send a written notice of a public records request at least five business days before filing a lawsuit to be entitled to any attorney fees and costs. This legislation will prevent frivolous lawsuits from being filed in bad faith. This bill was placed on the Special Order Calendar, and heard on it's second reading on Thursday. For more information on CS/SB 80, click here.

 SB 188: Vacation Rentals - This bill prohibits a local law, ordinance, or regulation on vacation rentals that restricts the use, prohibits, or regulates vacation rentals based solely on their classification, use, or occupancy. Current law prohibits local laws, ordinances, or regulations that prohibit vacation rentals or regulate the duration or frequency of rental of vacation rentals. The bill retains the grandfather provision in current law that exempts from the prohibition any local law, ordinance, or regulation that was enacted by a local government on or before June 1, 2011. This bill passed the Senate Regulated Industries committee, and has 2 more stops in Community Affairs and Rules before it can be heard on the Senate Floor. For more information on SB 188, click here. 

 SB 278: Local Tax Referenda - This bill ends the practice of putting taxing questions on special election ballots and primary ballots and forces governments to place the question only on a general election ballot (requiring a 50% threshold). This bill passed the Ethics and Elections committee on Wednesday and has two more committee stops in Community Affairs and Appropriations, before it can heard on the Senate floor. For more information on SB 278, click here.  

SB 286 - Human Trafficking Education in Schools - This bill adds information on the dangers and signs of human trafficking to the instructional requirements for middle and high school students in the state's public school system. This legislation was written and submitted to my office by Natalie Macaire King, a Senior from Riverview High School. On Tuesday, this bill passed the Senate Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee, and has 3 more stops before it can be heard on the Senate Floor. For more information on SB 286, click here.

 SB 330: Local Business Taxes - This bill prohibits the governing bodies of counties and municipalities from levying a local business tax that was not adopted before January 1, 2017. Counties and municipalities that levied a local business tax that was adopted prior to January 1, 2017, may continue to do so, but the tax may not exceed $25 for any taxpayer. The bill also limits the amount that counties and municipalities may charge for the transfer of receipts for the local business tax. The bill provides an exemption from the local business tax for specified veterans, spouses of veterans, the spouse of active service members, and low-income individuals if the individual completes and signs a Request for Fee Exemption. This bill passed the Senate Community Affairs Committee on Wednesday, and has two more committee stops before it can be heard on the Senate floor. For more information on SB 330, click here.

 SB 524: Sales and Use Tax on Investigation and Detective Services - This bill exempts sales and use tax on fingerprint services that are part of the application to obtain a concealed weapons and concealed firearms license. This bill passed the first committee of reference on Tuesday, and has now moved to Appropriations, before the final stop on the Senate floor. For more information on SB 524, click here.

 SB 616: Concealed Weapons or Firearms - This bill authorizes a person who has a concealed weapons and firearms license to carry a concealed weapon or firearm into a courthouse for as long as it takes him or her to report to courthouse security or management. Then, the licensee must follow security or management personnel's instructions for removing, securing, and storing the item, or the licensee must surrender the item until the licensee is leaving the courthouse. This bill has passed the first two committee stops and has one remaining stop in Rules before it can be heard on the Senate Floor. For more information on SB 616, click here.

 CS/SB 624: Body Cameras - The bill authorizes a law enforcement officer using a body camera to review the body camera footage before:

  • · Writing a report; or
  • · Providing a statement regarding an event arising within the scope of his or her official duties.

However, these policies and procedures need not authorize a law enforcement officer to review body camera footage before providing information at the scene of an incident to identify and preserve the crime scene and identify suspects and witnesses. This bill has passed the first two committees of reference, Criminal Justice and Judiciary, and has one remaining stop in Rules before it can be heard on the Senate Floor. For more information on SB 624, click here.

 SB 1634: Residential Elevators - This bill alters some of the requirements for Residential Elevators in homes. The purpose of this legislation is to  assist Residential Elevator Manufacturers in implementing the Max Grablin Act, passed last legislative session. This bill passed the Community Affairs Committee on Wednesday and has one remaining stop in the Rules Committee before it can be heard on the Senate Floor. For more information on SB 1634, click here.

 For more information on my sponsored legislation, please Visit My Website. If you would like to receive updates on my legislation, I highly recommend utilizing the Senate Bill Tracker System, where you can get updates right to your email. To sign up, please click here

 On the Senate Floor

In these first two weeks the Senate passed some very significant pieces of legislation. The following bills have been passed by the Senate.

CS/SB 60: Children Obtaining Driver Licenses - This bill expands the program that provides motor vehicle insurance and driver licenses to children in out-of-home care who are in relative and non-relative placements. It also provides assistance to children who have reached permanency or turned 18 under certain circumstances. The program is authorized to pay for a child in out-of-home care to complete a driver education program and obtain a driver license or the related costs of licensure under certain circumstances. The bill continues the program beyond the 3-year pilot period. The bill requires the child's transition plan and the court to address the issue of a child in care being able to obtain a driver license.

The bill also provides that a guardian ad litem authorized by a minor's caregiver may sign for the minor's learner's driver license and not assume any obligation or liability for damages caused by the minor. This bill passed the Senate on Thursday. For more information on SB 60, click here.

CS/SB 352: Legislative Redistricting and Congressional Reapportionment -

This bill provides clarity to courts and candidates when redistricting challenges are unresolved and elections are approaching. If a redistricting challenge is pending 71 days before a primary election, the district boundaries in place on the 71st day before the primary election will control for the upcoming election cycle. If revisions are ordered after that point, the revised district boundaries will control beginning with future primary and general elections. If congressional district boundaries are revised after federal qualifying ends on the 116th day before a primary election, then a congressional candidate must requalify in accordance with the revised districts during the qualifying period for state candidates that runs between the 71st and 67th days before the primary election. Additionally, courts are encouraged to follow certain enumerated procedures to maintain public oversight when drafting a remedial redistricting plan. The bill states that its provisions do not supersede or impair the State Constitutional provisions governing the judicial review of apportionment. This bill passed the Senate on Tuesday and has now been sent to the House of Representatives. For more information on SB 352, click here.

 SB 436: Religious Expression in Public School - This bill creates the "Florida Student and School Personnel Religious Liberties Act," protecting K-12 public school students, their parents, and school personnel from discrimination based on their religious belief and expression. The bill protects students from discrimination based on their religion in several ways. Regarding coursework, the bill requires that students' work be graded according to the expected academic standards, without regard for any religious content. Also, if students in a given school setting are permitted to wear clothing, jewelry, or accessories that display a secular message or symbol, then students may also wear items displaying religious messages or symbols. Moreover, the bill authorizes students to express themselves in a religious manner, and to engage in and organize religious activities to the same extent as secular expressions and activities are permitted. For more information on SB 436, click here.

 SB 7004: OGSR/Peer Review Panels/Department of Health - This bill continues existing public records and public meetings exemptions for:

  • · Biomedical research grant applications provided to a peer review panel for the James and Esther King Biomedical Research Program (King Program) and the William G. "Bill" Bankhead, Jr., and David Coley Cancer Research Program (Bankhead-Coley Program);
  • · Records generated by a peer review panel relating to the review of a biomedical research grant application; and
  • That portion of a meeting of a peer review panel in which biomedical research grant applications are discussed

For more information on SB 7004, click here.



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