Governor DeSantis Has Signed Almost 150 New Laws That Take Effect in Florida on July 1 – Which Will Affect You?

Toby Hazlewood

Some may be more popular than others

Since the end of Florida's legislative season, Governor Ron DeSantis has been steadily signing those bills that were approved into state law. From July 1, these new laws will take effect and it's likely that each and every Floridian will be affected by at least some of them.

Some have very little about them to cause grievances - for example the decree by Gov. DeSantis that from July 1, Strawberry Shortcake is to be recognized as the state's official dessert!

Other bills that made it into Florida law are likely to be more contentious for some, depending on their political allegiance and their stage of life.

Schools and education

Two significant laws that come into effect are the 'Stop WOKE' act and the Parental Rights in Education Bill - often referred to as the 'Don't Say Gay' bill.

Governor DeSantis has been vocal about declaring that Florida is "where woke goes to die" and these laws will seek to remove discussion of woke politics, topics such as critical race theory, and discussions of sexuality and gender identity from many of Florida's classrooms.

It's not all controversy though - teachers will receive a pay-rise and receive $1000 bonus payments. This financial boost is likely to be welcomed at a time when many Floridians are struggling to make financial ends meet. Police officers and other first responders are also set to benefit financially from recent changes to Florida's law.

There are also a number of new laws that will broaden access to education and training for under-privileged teenagers and homeless families, as well as a revision to the Brighter Futures scholarship scheme that favors teenagers who have to work part-time to support their families.

Restrictions on freedoms?

Floridians love the freedoms afforded to them by the state's leaders - but not all of these will remain unaffected. From July 1, local governments have the power to ban smoking and vaping on state-owned beaches and in parks.

There are also updates to Florida statutes, including a restriction on playing loud music in cars. If your music is loud enough that it can be clearly heard 25 feet away, you may get a ticket from the police.

One freedom that remains constrained for now, is the constitutional carry of handguns in the state. While proposals to allow permit-less ownership and carrying of guns failed to be approved by state legislators, Governor DeSantis has reaffirmed his intention to push this through before the end of his term.

Health and wealth

Finally, many Floridians will be most interested in changes to the law that might benefit their health or which help them weather the current cost-of-living crisis.

Governor DeSantis has pledged large sums of state money to address Alzheimer's disease and benefit sufferers and their families. He and his wife - Casey DeSantis - also announced funding to be directed to cancer research and treatments.

While many Floridians would have welcomed a cash stimulus payment, the governor also recently announced a series of sales tax holidays throughout the year which should help citizens to save a few dollars at least.

With the new laws reaching across so many aspects of life, it seems likely that most will be affected in one way or another.

Are you in favor of most of the legal changes that come into effect on July 1? Are there any laws that you would like to have seen changed which remain the same? Let me know in the comments section below.

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