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Two new laws added to state’s books

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

A new year brings two new laws to Florida’s statute books.

Bills passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor often go into effect immediately or on July 1, the start of the state’s fiscal year.

Some, however, go into effect the first day of the next calendar year. This year, only two measures meet that criteria.

The first (HB 369) requires “human trafficking public awareness signs” to be posted at certain locations, including “every rest area, turnpike service plaza, weigh station, primary airport, passenger rail station, and welcome center in the state which is open to the public.”

The signs also must go up in emergency rooms and “strip club(s) or other adult entertainment establishment(s).”

The signs will say in English and Spanish, “If you or someone you know is being forced to engage in an activity and cannot leave — whether it is prostitution, housework, farm work, factory work, retail work, restaurant work, or any other activity — call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888 or text INFO or HELP to 233-733 to access help and services. Victims of slavery and human trafficking are protected under United States and Florida law.”

The bill was filed by state Rep. Dave Kerner, a Lake Worth Democrat and attorney.

The second (HB 541) changes the licensing and regulatory requirements for athletic trainers.

New applicants for licensure will have to undergo a criminal-background check and be “certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the use of automated external defibrillators.”

“The bill removes the requirement for athletic trainers to practice under the written protocol of a physician,” a staff analysis said. “Instead, athletic trainers must practice under the direction of a physician.”

That measure was filed by state Rep. Rene “Coach P” Plasencia, an Orlando Republican and teacher.

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Before joining Florida Politics, journalist and attorney James Rosica was state government reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He attended journalism school in Washington, D.C., working at dailies and weekly papers in Philadelphia after graduation. Rosica joined the Tallahassee Democrat in 1997, later moving to the courts beat, where he reported on the 2000 presidential recount. In 2005, Rosica left journalism to attend law school in Philadelphia, afterwards working part time for a public-interest law firm. Returning to writing, he covered three legislative sessions in Tallahassee for The Associated Press, before joining the Tribune’s re-opened Tallahassee bureau in 2013. He can be reached at jim@floridapolitics.com.

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