New legislative bills proposed
Gary Pinnell | Highlands TodaySEBRING - They'll throw a hissy, but most children under 7 will have to ride in a booster seat or other safety seat under legislation filed in the Florida Legislature.
Published: January 13, 2013
Published: January 13, 2013
At least Mom and Pop can tell them, "It's the law."
The proposal, which the feds have been pushing Florida to pass for several years, would avoid injuries to children too small to be adequately protected by an adult seatbelt, even if they're too big for infant car seats. Advocates say children with smaller bodies don't fit properly in seat belts, which is why some are injured worse in crashes.
Children over 4 feet 9 inches tall would be exempt from SB 66, filed by Sen. Thad Altman, R-Viera. The same bill failed to pass last year.
Florida is one of three states that don't require kids to ride in a booster seat after age 4. The requirement passed in 2001, but Gov. Jeb Bush was concerned the bill might hurt low-income families, and vetoed it.
"We must place some trust in parents and recognize that almost every parent in our state, more so than government, wants their child to lead healthy, safe lives," he said at the time.
Rep. Cary Pigman, R-Avon Park, filed his first bill, "Newborn Screening for Critical Congenital Heart Disease."
It requires physicians or midwifes to screen newborns for congenital heart disease. The Department of Health would also be authorized by DOH to adopt rules for its own screening program.
HB 1 allows "family and child-friendly" school bus advertising. Ads for alcohol, tobacco and prescription drugs would be prohibited.
HB 5 bans open-house parties.
HB 9 allows involuntary mental illness examinations under the Baker Act.
HB 19 authorizes grandparents to petition courts to visit minor children, authorizes appointment of a guardian ad litem, and mediation if harm is proven.
HB 23 requires that the public be given a "reasonable opportunity to be heard before a board or commission takes official action."
HB 25 fixes election laws regarding third parties, voters who have moved, constitutional amendments, the Attorney General's authority to revise ballot titles or summaries, the list and number of early voting sites, and the number of days and hours for early voting.
HB 35 requires the Bright Futures scholarship program to reimburse students.
HB 37 requires study on career-technical education, workforce development, and a high school graduation option that would lead to a career-technical education diploma.
HB 49 bans the retail sale of smoking pipes, carburetion tubes and chillers that are really drug paraphernalia.
HB 51 requires schools to notify the local county health department if food is to be prepared and served at events.
HB 55 protects car dealers from the Deceptive and Unfair Business Practices. "A claimant may not initiate civil litigation against a dealer… if, within 30 business days after receipt of the demand letter, the dealer pays the claimant the amount sought in the demand letter." The law has been applied in the past over deceiving a consumer into believing that a used car was new, defective fishing boats, grossly overcharging a hospital patient for medical treatments, and collecting condo association dues.
HM 59 urges Congress to replace the federal incomes tax with a national retail sales tax.
HB 97 by Palm Beach Democrat Bobby Powell and Broward Democrat Elaine Schwartz allows state agencies or local governments to prohibit possession of concealed firearms and ammunition at events conducted in public venues.
Two senate bills by Nancy Detert would require a mobile home park owner who receives a bona fide purchase offer to notify the homeowners' association. Additional information must be provided if the land use is changed.
And finally, Democratic Sens. Arthenia Joyner and Gwen Margolis want the Florida Legislature to pass the Equal Rights Amendment.
That's the proposed 1972 amendment to the U.S. Constitution that awards equal rights for men and women.
Thirty-eight state legislatures must vote for the amendment to be ratified, but only 35 have. The 15 remaining states — mostly Southern — are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah and Virginia.
The News Service of Florida contributed to this story firstname.lastname@example.org (863) 386-5828