New Florida Laws That Go into Effect as of July 2020 (Part 2)

Governor Ron DeSantis has signed a bill into law that will allow Florida college athletes to make money from their name, image and likeness on June 12, 2020 in Miami, Florida, USA. Photo: Yes Market Media/

House Bill 7067 – School Choice

The “School Choice” bill modifies provisions in the Family Empowerment Scholarship (FES), the Florida Tax Credit (FTC) Scholarship Program, and the Hope Scholarship Program (HSP). The bill modifies the Family Empowerment Scholarship Program to establish a priority order for the awarding of the scholarship to the student. It will no longer be on a first-come, first-serve basis as it was before. The bill modifies the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program to specify that a student who receives an FTC scholarship remains eligible until high school graduation or age 21, regardless of the student’s household income level.

The bill modifies the Hope Scholarship Program to specify that an SFO that uses excess contributions to the HSP to fund FTC scholarships must prioritize renewal scholarships before awarding any initial scholarships. The bill also establishes a dual enrollment funding incentive for school districts. Please visit the Florida Senate website to learn more.

House Bill 1213 – Holocaust Education

The bill forbids anti-Semitism in the teaching in public schools of the Holocaust. 

The bill designates the second week in November as “Holocaust Education Week” in recognition of the anniversary of Kristallnacht, a precipitating event that led to the Holocaust. 

Another provision of the bill directs the Commissioner of Education’s African American History Task Force to examine ways in which the history of the 1920 Ocoee Election Day Riots (riots). Its recommendations are due to the Commissioner of Education and the State Board of Education by March 1, 2021. More information is available on the Florida Senate website.

CS (Committee Substitute)/House Bill 7011 – Student Athletes

The “Zachary Martin Act” requires each public school that is a member of the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) to make available heat monitors at all athletic practices, workouts and contests, even outside of the school year. The bill is named after Zachary Martin, a 16-year-old high school football player who died in the summer of 2018 after he suffered a heat stroke from running sprints with his teammates under the hot South Florida sun.

In addition, starting June 1, 2021, an automated external defibrillator (AED)-trained school employee or volunteer must be present at each athletic event during and outside of the school year. Please read more about the law on the Florida Senate website.

CS/CS(Committee Substitute for Committee Substitute)/House Bill 971 – Electric Bikes

The definition of what an electric bicycle (e-bike) is will be defined in this new bill. The operation of said e-bike is also defined in the bill. It comprises a three-tiered classification system. E-bikes are authorized to operate where bicycles are allowed, including, but not limited to, streets, highways, roadways, shoulders, bicycle lanes, and bicycle or multi-use paths.

 Local governments still maintain authority to limit their use. Learn more about it on the Florida Senate website.

State Bill 172 – Florida Drug and Cosmetic Act

The bill gives the local governments the power to regulate certain drugs and cosmetics, such as sunscreen. This comes after Key West limited the sale of certain types of sunscreen after it was feared it was destroying coral reefs in the area.