A handful of new Florida laws begin in 2021

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. The new year will bring a handful of new laws into the Sunshine States. It includes higher non-stop fines for school buses, an official end to betting on greyhound racing and a slightly higher minimum wage.

Legislators passed and the governor signed more than 200 bills in the last legislative session, which ended in March. Most of these new laws then came into force on the first day of July or October.

Below are some of the few remaining laws that begin on December 31 or January 1.


This bill was unanimously approved by House and Senate lawmakers last session, and this bill increases the fines for drivers who illegally drive buses past and drop off children. Drivers who do not stop receive a minimum fine of $ 200, compared to $ 100. The minimum amount for the illegal transport of a bus on the side of children entering and leaving is now $ 400, which is the current violation of $ 200 doubled.


Another bill with unanimous approval last session, HB 1005, allows election and excavation board supervisors to use automatic table equipment, which is not part of the voting system, to do machine and hand recordings.

The policy also requires accuracy testing of voting systems at least 25 days before the start of early voting in the state. This is a correction of the current law in which systems are tested after in some cases starting to start ballots by mail.


SB 292 requires an insurer to provide a loss statement to the insured within 15 days of receiving a request. The statements are a report generated by an insurance company that shows the claim history of an insured.

The new policy also prohibits the carrier from charging a fee for preparing or providing the reports.


This is known as an Implementation Bill, a piece of legislation that implements an approved constitutional amendment. HB 7009, which begins on December 31, lays the legal foundation for Amendment 12. Floridians overwhelmingly approved the voting initiative in 2018 to prevent public employees and officials from ‘abusing their positions to gain an’ excessive benefit ‘for themselves or others. specified persons or entities. “

Further legislative action is needed to implement other provisions of the amendment coming into force at the end of 2022. This includes provisions prohibiting public officials from working for remuneration during their term of office and six years after their departure.


December 31 will be the last day to bet on live greyhound or other dog racing in the state of Florida. Voters approved Amendment 13 in 2018 with nearly 70% of the vote.

The amendment added the following language to the state constitution:

” After 31 December 2020, a person authorized to gamble or perform a pari-mutuel operation may not greyhound or any member of the Canis Familiaris subspecies in connection with money or any other valuable thing in this state, and persons, do not race. in this condition no money or any other valuable thing may be paid on the outcome of a live dog race occurring in this condition. ”


The state’s minimum wage rose Jan. 1 by nine cents to $ 8.65. Workers earning tips will receive at least $ 5.63 per hour. The tariffs are tied to a 2004 constitutional amendment that requires the state to increase wages to reimburse the cost of living.

Floridians are expected to see a much larger minimum wage push up to $ 10 per hour in September after voters approved the amendment in November. Rates will increase incrementally each year until reaching $ 15 in 2026. In the following years, the minimum wage will be adjusted annually based on the increases to the consumer price index for urban wage earners and clerical staff (CPI-W).