Starting Friday, state workers will get a 5.4% pay increase, and some workers, such as state attorneys, public defenders, prison guards and law enforcement officers will see even higher pay bumps.
It’s part of the $109 billion budget that takes effect Friday, the start of the new fiscal year. It includes $24.3 billion for K-12 schools, $1.7 billion more than last year, or $8,143 per student, about $385 more. That includes $800 million to boost teacher salaries, an increase of $250 million.
Here’s Part 2 of our look at the new laws taking effect Friday (find Part 1 here):
— SB 454: Increases the daily payment for former or retired Commissioners assigned to temporary duty by the Florida Commission on Offender Review from $100 to $200.
— SB 459: Defines the term “step therapy protocol” as the sequence of the use of drugs and other treatments to treat a health condition and requires a process to be exempt from the protocol to be offered by an insurer or HMO.
— HB 469: Expands the scope of tasks certified nursing assistants (CNAs) can conduct in assisted living facilities, including assisting with transdermal patches, insulin syringes and insulin pens.
— SB 474: Changes the definition of “recreational off-highway vehicle” to a vehicle with 3,500 pounds or less, an increase of 1,000 from the current law.
— HB 481: Bars local governments from preventing a utility from installing a temporary underground power panel.
— HB 513: Requires the South Florida Water Management District to issue an annual report on the status of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Central and Southern Florida Project Infrastructure Resiliency Study to the Governor, Legislature, the Department of Environmental Protection and state economists, starting Oct. 1, 2023.
— SB 514: State agencies can substitute work experience for postsecondary educational requirements in hiring decisions.
— SB 518: Clarifies that a homeowner can remove a tree on their property without prior approval by a local government if they get an assessment by an arborist that the tree poses an unacceptable risk.
— SB 534: Allows patients to receive a prescription for a drug to treat schizophrenia without getting prior authorization to be exempt from step-therapy protocols, if the prior authorization was previously given in the last 12 months.
— HB 539: Requires nursing homes to report their audited actual financial experience to the Agency for Health Care Administration.
— SB 542: A person who provided services to a business during a public health emergency but was not classed as a full-time employee can’t use a business’ actions to protect employees’ health, provide benefits or provide compensation in a civil suit to gain compensation because they weren’t classed as an “employee.”
— HB 543: Requires the Department of Health to set up and maintain a database on instances of uterine fibroids — a noncancerous growth of the uterus appearing in childbearing years.
— SB 544: Lets pharmacists order drugs such as naxalone used to prevent opioid overdose deaths.
— SB 562: Requires the Department of Business and Professional Regulation to expedite applications for occupational licenses from spouses of U.S. military members.
— HB 593: Requires 911 operators to receive biennial cardiopulmonary resuscitation training to renew their certification.
— SB 596: Waives the eight-hour guardianship education requirement for Office of Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsel.
— SB 758: Authorizes a lawmaker to visit any public school in their district; sets up the Charter School Review Commission to review charter school applications.
— SB 898: Named ‘Miya’s Law,’ after Miya Marcano, an Orlando student who was murdered in her apartment by a maintenance worker who had access through a master key, the new law requires employees of apartment buildings to undergo a background check. Another provision of the bill prohibits hotels from charging hourly rates.
— SB 921: After a judge struck down the Legislature’s attempt to limit campaign contributions to political committees gathering petitions to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot, lawmakers tweaked the measure to have the $3,000 cap on contributions apply only to non-Florida residents.
— SB 1006: Strawberry shortcake is designated as the official state dessert of Florida.
— SB 1048: Ends the Florida State Assessment end-of-year test and sets up “progress monitoring” which examines students’ progress three times throughout the year.
— HB 1119: Creates a presumption in the courts for giving visitation rights to paternal or maternal grandparents, if a court finds one parent is held criminally or civilly responsible for the death of the other parent.
— HB 1209: Allows pharmacy technicians registered with the state to give immunizations to adults under the supervision of a pharmacist, after completing at least six hours of training approved by the state.
— SB 2510: Removes the requirement that each of the five Commissioners on the Gaming Control Commission be from an appellate court district, allows a lobbyist for a state agency to be appointed to the Commission and requires the Commission to recommend how much a slot machine license fee should be by January 2026.
— HB 5001, HB 5003: The main budget bill, known as the General Appropriations Act, and the budget implementing bill also take effect Friday. The $109 billion spending makes it the largest in state history, with a 5.4% increase in pay for state workers, targeted raises for teachers, prison guards, public defenders, state attorneys and law enforcement officers on top of that and increases for K-12 schools and other parts of the budget. The record budget is thanks largely to federal COVID-19 stimulus payments and a vigorous rebound in the state’s economy from the coronavirus pandemic.
— HB 5301: Places responsibility for placing monuments in the Capitol Complex in the hands of the Governor, Cabinet, House Speaker and Senate President and requiring the Department of Management Services (DMS) to issue a report on the maintenance of the Capitol Complex annually, starting Dec. 1, 2022. Also, DMS must consult with the Governor and Legislative leaders before closing or reopening the Capitol to the public during a state of emergency.
— SB 7044: Authorizes the State University System Board of Governors to pass a rule requiring tenured professors to undergo a review every five years.
— HB 7071: The tax cut package is mostly made up of sales tax holidays for various items throughout the year. Some of the provisions are already in effect, including an exemption on sales taxes on children’s books from May 14-Aug. 14. Sales taxes on children’s diapers, baby clothes, EnergyStar appliances and impact-resistant windows are exempt for one year starting Friday. Sales tax holidays for back-to-school items (July 25-Aug. 7); tools (Sept. 3-7); and sports, cultural events and recreation equipment (July 1-7) are also scattered throughout the year. The main piece of the tax cuts, however, is a month-long elimination of the gas tax, starting in October.