Five Things to Know in Florida for March 24

HOUSE PASSES BILL THAT GIVES TERRORISM VICTIMS RIGHT TO SUE

The House unanimously approved the measure (HB 65) on Thursday. It would allow victims of terrorist attacks, such as the Orlando Nightclub massacre, to recover damages of at least $1,000 and attorney’s fees. Current law only allows victims of specific criminal activity to do so, and many acts of terrorism don’t fall under the legal umbrella.

FLORIDA MOVES AHEAD WITH FIX TO VOTE-BY-MAIL BALLOT LAW

The Florida House on Thursday unanimously passed a bill (HB 105) that requires county election offices to notify voters if their signatures on their ballot and voter registration forms don’t match. Voters would then be given a chance to fix the problem before the election. A similar measure is moving in the Senate. Rep. Janet Cruz, a Tampa Democrat, said the change would make sure that voters are not disenfranchised.

FLORIDA HOUSE SIGNS OFF ON PLAN TO HAND OUT DEEPWATER HORIZON OIL SPILL MONEY

The Florida House on Thursday voted unanimously for a bill that would guarantee that $300 million be distributed to eight Panhandle counties that were hardest hit by the spill. Legislators previously passed a law that created a non-profit corporation to administer any economic damages awarded to the state. But House Republicans have pushed to place new limits on how the money can be spent.

FLORIDA HOUSE VOTES AGAIN TO REPEAL RED LIGHT CAMERAS

The House on Thursday voted 91-22 in favor of a bill that would ban the use of cameras starting in July 2020. The legislation heads to the Florida Senate, where a similar proposal was rejected in a Senate committee by a tie vote. Rep. Bryan Avila, a Hialeah Republican, said that red light cameras are being used by cities and counties as a way to make money.

FLORIDA BILL WILL HELP FOSTER CHILDREN GET DRIVER’S LICENSES

The bill passed Thursday would make permanent a pilot program that began in 2014. The program reimburses foster parents or children for driver’s education, license fees and insurance. The idea is to help children in state care become more independent. The cost of the program is $800,000. A House bill has cleared three committees with unanimous votes and is ready for a vote by the full chamber.

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