More bills from 2016 Legislative Session due to be signed Wednesday

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Another day, another bill-signing deadline.

Gov. Rick Scott has until Wednesday to act on 20 bills, all from the Senate, “including a bill that would expand courtroom protections for victims of abuse, and another that would repeal the prohibition on cohabitation,” according to LobbyTools Legislative IQ.

If signed by Scott, “couples shacking up together would no longer be breaking the law,” the Associated Press explained. The prohibition is essentially unenforced, however; Florida is among a few states that still criminalizes cohabitation.

“Under a law that has been on the books since 1868, a man and woman living together could be fined $500 and locked up in jail for 60 days,” the AP said.

There are almost 438,000 “unmarried male-female couples” in the state, according to 2014 census data.

Still other bills would establish a Florida Holocaust Memorial on the grounds of the Capitol, allow All Aboard Florida to sell beer at its train stations, and offers discounts on park entrance fees to surviving family of military service members and first responders who die in the line of duty.

Scott’s last bill deadline for 2016 is April 19 for state Sen. Kelli Stargel‘s alimony overhaul measure.

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