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Friday, Oct 31, 2014

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More bills sent to Gov. Scott Thursday


Published:

The News Service of Florida reports: After drawing heavy debate during the spring legislative session, a measure is now on Gov. Rick Scott’s desk that would allow undocumented-immigrant students to pay in-state tuition rates at Florida colleges and universities.

The proposal (HB 851), which Scott has promised to sign, is one of 105 bills forwarded to the governor Thursday by the Legislature.

Among the other measures is a bill (HB 1047) that would add further restrictions to Florida’s abortion laws, preventing most abortions after fetuses reach “viability.” Also, Scott received two bills (HB 989 and HB 7141) aimed at curbing human-trafficking in the state.

Another bill (SB 1030) now before Scott would legalize a form of medical marijuana that purportedly does not get users high but which alleviates life-threatening seizures. That measure, which Scott has said he will sign, was pushed by parents who say the substance can help their children who suffer from a severe type of epilepsy.

Also among the forwarded legislation is a bill (HB 629) intended to crackdown on charities that may be misusing contributions, a priority issue of Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.

In addition, Scott will consider a bill (HB 9) that would move up the starting date of the 2016 legislative session from March to January. Sessions typically last from early March to early May, except in redistricting years.

And Scott will now decide on a bill (SB 224) that would ban the sales of electronic cigarettes to minors, similar to bans on sales of cigarettes and other tobacco products.

Electronic cigarettes have become increasingly popular as they allow users to inhale vaporized nicotine without all the health risks of smoking regular cigarettes. While supporters point to those health benefits, critics of “e-cigarettes” warn that the devices can hook people on nicotine, which could lead to use of other tobacco products.

Scott has 15 days to sign, veto or let each bill become law without his signature.

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