TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — New year, new Florida laws.
Jan. 1 brings a number of changes to the Sunshine State.
The Child Safety Alarm Act also takes full effect in the new year.
Child care facilities, like day cares, will need to have alarms in vehicles to remind drivers to check for kids before walking away, especially during hot days when heatstroke is a risk.
Sen. Linda Stewart, D-Orlando, sponsored the policy in 2021 and said it took nearly five years to finally cross the finish line.
"I think that the parents themselves feel probably a lot more comfortable knowing that these they will have this equipment them and it will be less of a worry for them," Stewart said.
Employers can also expect to pay less for workers' compensation insurance following a November order by the state's commissioner.
Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier signed off on a 4.9% decrease for both new and renewed policies effective Jan. 1.
Also, there are new rules for ridesharing vehicles.
Among them are provisions that a vehicle is up to date on safety recalls and both owner and driver meet minimum state insurance levels.
Sponsors call it a move toward safety and fairness.
"We are mirroring what is required by Enterprise, or Alamo, or any of the other ones, or what you have as requirements for any person driving a car in the state of Florida. It mirrors that," said Sen. Keith Perry, R, Gainesville.
But one thing not happening is a repeal of Florida's personal injury protection requirement for car insurance.
It would have begun in the new year, but Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed the bill saying he was worried it would increase rates.
"[The bill] may have untended consequences that would negatively impact both the market and consumers," DeSantis said.
Lawmakers return to mull new laws for 2022 in just a few weeks.
The next legislative session begins on Jan. 11.