Here's What Legislators Have Passed So Far During 2022 Legislative Session

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TAMPA, FL — With the 2022 Florida legislative session scheduled to closed in five days, legislators are frantically reviewing and voting on priority bills they’d hope to pass this year.

More than 990 bills have been introduced to the Florida Legislature that are now in varying stages of review. Some are still in committee; some have gone to the House and Senate floors; but only a fraction have been passed and signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

  • Among the bills passed last week is the controversial GOP bill to ban abortions in Florida after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

On March 3, the Florida Senate passed House Bill 5, “Reducing Fetal and Infant Mortality,” sponsored by Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, that prohibits abortion after a woman has reached 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Find out what’s happening in Tampawith free, real-time updates from Patch.

The bill defines the term “gestation” as the first day of the last menstrual period rather than from fertilization.

Related: 15-Week Abortion Ban Passed By FL House Wednesday: Report

Find out what’s happening in Tampawith free, real-time updates from Patch.

The bill allows exceptions if the mother’s life is threatened, but does not include exemptions for victims of rape, incest and human trafficking.

  • High school students throughout Florida staged walkouts on Thursday following the passage of House Bill 1557, the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

The Florida House passed the bill in a 69 to 47 vote.

Related: Hundreds Of Students Walk Out To Protest ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill

The legislation would restrict certain conversations about gender identity and sexual orientation in public school classrooms.

The bill would limit how the LGBTQ community is discussed in public school classrooms by restricting conversations, considered “instruction,” particularly related to the youngest elementary children. But those limitations could be felt in higher grades.

The legislation says that classroom “instruction” on “sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade three or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.”

The bill allows parents to sue school districts if they are not privy to situations related to their children or if their students are encouraged to have discussions on sexual orientation and gender identity.

  • Also on Thursday, in a 74 to 41 vote, the House passed the Individual Freedom Bill (House Bill 7 and Senate Bill 148), dubbed by Desantis as the “Stop Woke Act.”

It would block any schooling or workplace training from including ideology that teaches a person’s race, sex or nationality are “morally superior.”

  • On Wednesday, the Florida Legislature passed House Bill 105 and Senate Bill 224 to empower cities and counties to regulate cigarettes in parks, including beaches.

Currently, only the state can prohibit smoking. The bills would allow cities and counties to make this decision as well.

  • On Thursday, the Senate also passed Senate Bill 1728 with a vote of 28-11. The bill aimed to reduce property insurers’ costs related to claims and halt the rate increases for homeowners.

However, the bill has yet to pass the House. House Speaker Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor, said he wasn’t sure another insurance reform bill was needed after the passage of Senate Bill 76 last year, which reduced attorneys’ fees.

  • The Florida Senate unanimously passed House Bill 173, Care of Students with Epilepsy or Seizure Disorders. The bill provides for the creation of an individualized seizure action plan for a student with epilepsy or seizure disorders to receive health care at school. The bill also requires training for school employees that are in regular contact with students who have submitted an individualized seizure action plan to their school.
  • Senate Bill 868, sponsored by Sen. Linda Stewart, D-Orlando, unanimously passed a Senate floor vote.

The bill clarifies and creates consistency in statutes on what constitutes sexual battery upon a person impaired by drugs or alcohol. An offender could be charged with first-degree felony if the offender knows the victim is mentally incapacitated due to drugs and or alcohol.

  • The Florida Senate passed Senate Bill 7034, Child Welfare, increasing protections and consistency for children in out-of-home care and address critical gaps in investigations and information transparency.

The bill also expands benefits for foster families and relatives willing to take on the responsibility of raising children who cannot live with their parents, and expands college tuition waivers for foster children.

  • The Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 898, known as “Miya’s Law.” The bill, sponsored by Sen. Linda Stewart, D – Orlando, would improve tenant safety in apartment buildings through required background screenings of employees.

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