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Florida bill to repeal ban on shacking up takes first step

Shacking up together could finally become legal again in Florida after 147 years.

The House Criminal Justice Subcommittee voted 10-3 on Wednesday to approve a bill to repeal the prohibition on cohabitation, which has been on the books since 1868. It is a $500 fine and up to 60 days in jail if a man and woman are living together.

Florida, Michigan and Mississippi are the only states that still have a law on the books that makes cohabitation illegal. According to 2010 census data, there are nearly 549,000 unmarried couples among the state’s 7.4 million households.

The bill is sponsored by Democratic Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda of Tallahassee. It will head to the Judiciary Committee next. A similar bill was proposed last year but died in committee.

Republished with permission of the Associated Press.

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