By Brian T. Coughlin, Bedell Firm Director
2024 New Florida Laws
Florida has already witnessed significant legal changes as the new year unfolds. The state has approved several new Florida laws during the 2023 regular legislative session and special sessions. Here are some notable changes that recently took effect in January 2024.
HB 425: Florida’s “Move Over” Law Expansion
One of the most visible changes is the expansion of Florida’s “move over” law, requiring drivers to change lanes away from stopped vehicles like police cars, ambulances, and utility trucks.
Starting this year, motorists must also provide space for disabled vehicles with visible people or warning lights, with violations carrying fines of up to $158 for noncriminal traffic infractions.
HB 5C: Stricter Rules on Investments Related to Iran
As of January 10, a law has been implemented to support Israel during the conflict with Iran-backed Hamas. The law expands the list of companies where state investments are prohibited due to ties with Iran.
Companies with over 10% of total revenues or assets linked to Iran and involving sectors like energy, manufacturing, or shipping will be added to the list. Exclusion from the list is possible for companies that take action to address the flagged issues.
Other Changes in January 2024
Enhanced Financial Disclosure for Elected Municipal Officials
Mayors and elected municipal officials must now provide more detailed financial information, covering incomes, assets, and liabilities.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rate Decrease
Florida businesses will witness an overall 15.1% decrease in workers’ compensation insurance rates, with individual businesses experiencing varying rate changes.
Advanced Campsite Reservations
Floridians can now secure campsites and cabins at state parks 11 months in advance, while non-Floridians can make reservations 10 months ahead.
County Courthouse Lactation Spaces
County courthouses are now mandated to provide lactation spaces, with certain exceptions.
Expansion of KidCare Subsidized Health-Insurance Program
The KidCare subsidized health insurance program expands eligibility, and the Florida Healthy Kids Corp. will establish premium tiers based on household incomes.
End of Frequent Toll-Road User Credits Program
The year-long program offering credits to frequent toll-road users concludes, ending the 50% credit for motorists making 35 or more toll-road trips in a month.
About Brian T. Coughlin
Brian Coughlin is a director at Bedell. He is a former chairperson of The Florida Bar Professional Ethics Committee and a current member of the Board of Governors of the Jacksonville Bar Association. His practice focuses on matters of criminal justice. He is ranked by his peers at the highest level of professional excellence for legal knowledge, communication skills, and ethical standards.