DeSantis Signs Nearly 3 Dozen Bills Including Smoking Ban and Giving Grandparents More Rights

Republican administration Ron DeSantis on Friday signed 35 bills, including a law that would allow local governments to ban smoking on beaches and parks, and vetoed five, including legislation that would have made it easier for companies to sue local governments for regulations.

Here’s a look at what some of the new laws will do:

— Require the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to issue, replace or renew an ID card free of charge to anyone with a valid voter registration card in Florida who is in financial difficulty. It will also enable people aged 80 and over to obtain an ID card if they lose driving licenses as a result of a failed vision test.

— In some cases, allow religious institutions to hold services during a state-declared emergency.

— Make it a crime to buy, sell, or trade stolen sexually explicit images from someone’s phone or other digital devices. It will also make the distribution of altered or created sexually explicit images known as deepfakes a crime, and enforce child pornography, revenge porn and bestiality laws.

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— Require local governments to hold referendums on tax issues on the same day as general elections.

— Make it easier for grandparents to obtain visitation rights to spend time with grandchildren.

— Prohibit government agencies and local authorities from making payments as a result of ransomware incidents.

— Require newly hired government employees to be trained in cybersecurity.

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Among bills that have been vetoed are measures that would have:

— Made significant changes to state alimony laws, including abolishing lifelong alimony, prohibiting granting alimony to a person who earns more than their spouse, and creating a rebuttable presumption that shared custody is in the best interests of the child.

— Allows companies that have been in existence for at least three years to sue local governments for ordinances if they cause a loss of profit of 15% or more. If a company had sued a city or county, the ordinance would have been suspended until the matter is settled. Judges would have had the option of requiring governments to pay the company’s legal costs if the court issues an ordinance.

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The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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