by David Chapman
The first day of July means more than the changing of the guard in Jacksonville’s City Council leadership.
More than 140 new state laws also took effect.
Here’s a brief look at a few:
• Eliminated buy-in limits at sanctioned poker rooms across the state, including two in Northeast Florida, effectively making “no-limit” games legal. The old buy-in was capped at $100. The measure was part of the larger gambling deal with the Seminole Indian Tribe. (CS/SB 622)
• Each school board district will adopt policies and procedures that provide for an annual “Academic Scholarship Signing Day” similar to National Signing Day for high school football players signing academic scholarships. The intent is to recognize student academic achievement. (CS/SB 206)
• The establishment of a Florida Civil Rights Hall of Fame, located in the Capital, with members to be selected by the governor after recommendations by the Florida Commission on Human Relations. (CS/HB 523)
• Establishment and funding of the Northeast Florida Regional Transportation Study, with the Jacksonville Transportation Authority to staff the commission. This will continue JTA’s study that concluded earlier this year on the creation, funding and format of a potential regional transportation authority for Northeast Florida. (CS/SB 2470)
• Officially marks the first day of several roadways within Northeast Florida to be renamed after former State Sen. Jim King and former State Rep. Don Davis along with former Jacksonville Mayor Hans Tanzler. (CS/SB 176)
• The “Justice Sandra Day O’Conner Civic Education Act” provides a requirement that the reading portion of the language arts curriculum for middle schoolers also includes civics education that must be successfully completed. (CS/HB 105)