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More than 100 bills await decisions from DeSantis

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(The Center Square) — Florida lawmakers had a busy 2024 session, passing bills that range from protecting minors from the harms of social media platforms to regulating vacation rentals, with many of those bills awaiting a decision by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

If a bill is approved by both chambers, it is then sent to DeSantis, who has 15 days to veto the bill, sign it into law, or allow it to become law without his signature. If a bill is vetoed, lawmakers can overturn this by a two-thirds vote of both the House and the Senate the next time they meet.

Currently, more than 100 bills are awaiting a decision, including the General Appropriations Act, the state’s 2024-25 fiscal year budget, and House Bill 3, which would restrict children under age 16 from creating a social media account and would require adult websites to ask for age verification before it can be accessed.

Senate Bill 280 by state Sen. Nick DiCeglie, R-St.Petersburg, is a bill that would regulate the state’s booming vacation rental properties, and require advertising platforms or operators listing the vacation property, to collect and remit specified taxes.

HB 87 by state Rep. Jason Shoaf, R-Perry, would remove penalties for those who use lethal force against a bear if they believe it was necessary to avoid an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury to themselves or their pets or if the bear could cause serious damage to a dwelling.

SB 328 by state Sen. Alexis Calatayud, R-Miami, would amend 2023’s Live Local Act’s use of land and zoning provisions for affordable multifamily rental developments. Counties and municipalities would also be authorized to restrict the height of proposed developments under certain circumstances.

SB 968 also by Calatayud, broadens the scope of the strategic space infrastructure investment funding eligibility. The bill would also authorize the Florida Department of Transportation to consult with Space Florida to fund spaceport improvement projects, instead of spaceport launch facilities – with up to 100% of the project’s cost.

SB 1264 by state Sen. Jay Collins, R-Tampa, is a bill designed to teach public school children the history of communism. The bill would create the Institute for Freedom in the Americas at Miami Dade College, as well as consult with stakeholders to provide a recommendation to the legislature by a specified date for the creation of a museum of the history of communism.