TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The state's record-setting budget goes into effect on Wednesday, along with 130 other new laws that were produced by the Legislature this year in the regular and special sessions and signed by Gov. Rick Scott.
Starting Wednesday, the state will no long collect sales tax on gun club memberships, people with 64-ounce beer containers known as "growlers" can get them filled at breweries, and governments in Florida will have to start looking to buy American-made U.S. flags.
Lawmakers also decided that, as of Wednesday, the state's decades-old ban on gay adoption will no longer be in statutes, children can secretly record sexual abusers and law enforcement agencies can't require officers to issue any preset number of tickets.
At least one of the new laws has an uncertain future.
The requirement of a 24-hour waiting period for women seeking abortions, approved largely along party lines, faces a legal challenge from the American Civil Liberties Union, which also wants the law put on hold while the lawsuit proceeds.
For the year, lawmakers sent 239 bills to Scott during the regular and special sessions. He vetoed seven and signed the rest.
A number of the new laws make technical changes to state statutes or have ties to the $78.2 billion spending plan.
Sixty-three of the laws approved by the Legislature went into effect immediately upon Scott's signature. Among those proposals, people without conceal-carry permits can now pocket their weapons when forced to leave home because of hurricanes and other disasters (SB 290); current and past members of the U.S. armed forces, reserves or National Guard since Sept. 11, 2001 can ask to have their home and personal information exempt from state public record (HB 185); rural letter carriers can drive without a seat belt while working their route (SB 160); and there will be fewer tests given to public-school students (HB 7069).
Here are highlights of the laws taking effect July 1:
--- SB 2500A, the spending plan for the fiscal year, at $78.2 billion the largest in state history. It was approved in a June special session after lawmakers failed to come together on health-care spending during the regular session.
The package includes boosts in funding for public schools, universities and colleges, and the Agency of Persons with Disabilities, and will cover repairs to 94 bridges and the replacement of 16 others. The budget also includes $38.5 million for the protection of the state's natural springs and $15 million for Florida Forever. TheÂ land-buying and natural resource protectionÂ funding amounts are far below what was desired by backers of the 2014 voter-approved measure thatÂ set aside a portion of revenue from a real-estate tax for land acquisitions and maintenance.
--- HB 33A, another product that required the special session to fully snap together.
The wide-ranging package came in lower than what the House and Gov. Rick Scott wanted, but still clocks in at $372.4 million in the next fiscal year.
There are tax cuts on the cost of gun club memberships, college textbooks, luxury boat repairs, certain agricultural supplies and services, school extracurricular fundraisers, aviation fuel at select flight-training academies, and on motor vehicles purchased overseas by internationally deployed service members from Florida.
For many Floridians, the most noticeable item will be a reduction in the communications-services tax on cell-phone and cable-TV bills. The savings are projected at $20 a year for people paying $100 a month for the services.
Another notable feature is the 10-day sales-tax holiday starting Aug. 7 on clothing under $100, school supplies that cost $15 or less and the first $750 of personal computers purchased for non-commercial use.
--- HB 633, requires a 24-hour waiting period before women can have abortions. Under the law, information about abortions must be provided in person to the women at least 24 hours before a procedure is performed. There are exceptions for victims of rape, incest, domestic violence or human trafficking --- but those victims can waive the 24-hour wait only if they can produce police reports, restraining orders, medical records or other documentation.
--- HB 7013, provides $5,000 payments to government workers who adopt foster children, with the payments increasing to $10,000 for adoptions of children with special needs. The measure also repeals the state's decades-old ban on gay adoption.
--- HB 27, requires the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to accept a military personnel identification card as proof of a social security card number during the application process to acquire a driver license or identification card.
--- HB 277, ensures young service