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Rick Scott signs 13 more bills into law

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Gov. Rick Scott on Friday evening announced he had signed another 13 bills from the 2017 Legislative Session into law. Those bills include SB 118, which Scott’s office said would “prevent businesses that publish arrest photos from charging a fee to remove them if requested.” The measure was aimed at the growing number of websites that showcase booking mugshots and charge people who ask for their photos to be taken down. But the bill also includes a section on the “administrative sealing of…

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Governor signs Grieving Families Act, plus four other bills, into law

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Gov. Rick Scott signed five bills into law Wednesday, including legislation providing birth certificates in cases of miscarriage and punishing the desecration of graves. Scott did not explain his reasons in his transmission letter to the secretary of state. HB 101, the Grieving Families Act, would give parents the option of receiving a state-issued certificate if a pregnancy is lost between nine weeks and 20 weeks of gestation. The measure cleared the Senate unanimously and the House over one dissenting…

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New law expands use of therapy animals for children facing court proceedings

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One of 11 bills signed into law Tuesday by Gov. Rick Scott expands use of therapy animals in court proceedings involving child abuse, abandonment, and neglect. “This legislation will help children and individuals with unique abilities in our state as they face some of the most challenging times in their life,” Scott said in a written statement. “I cannot imagine the emotional toll these terrible circumstances place on our state’s most vulnerable populations. The comfort and support provided by therapy…

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With Rick Scott’s blessing, “shacking up” now legal in Florida

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Gov. Rick Scott has approved a repeal of a 148-year-law that criminalizes an unmarried couple living together. The measure legalizing “cohabitation” (SB 498) was one of 20 bills signed into law by the governor on Wednesday. The change is largely a reflection of the times: Though Florida was among a few states that still criminalized cohabitation, its prohibition was essentially unenforced. Technically, a man and woman living together but not married could have been fined $500 and locked up for 60 days. There are almost…

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