Florida had 159 new laws go into effect Tuesday. Here are a few of note for the greater Tampa area:
♦ Civil Service Board: A new law (HB 683) allows the 21 Hillsborough County agencies covered by the board to opt out of their services, which most – if not all – are expected to do.
Those agencies would be allowed to conduct human-resource services now done by the board, such as recruitment and testing.
The idea behind the board’s creation in the 1950s was to insulate hiring and firing from politics. But the sheriff, clerk of court and others complained that the organization is slow and cumbersome.
♦ Florida G.I. Bill: National Guard members and veterans returning to civilian life in Florida will get a break on college tuition.
The Florida G.I. Bill (HB 7015) creates the “Congressman C. W. Bill Young Veteran Tuition Waiver Program,” which requires a state university or college to waive out-of-state charges for honorably discharged veterans returning to or settling in the state.
♦ Guns and insurance: A new law (SB 424) prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage or increasing rates because of a policyholder’s ownership of guns or ammo.
The measure, supported by the National Rifle Association, was sponsored by state Sen. Tom Lee, R-Brandon. He said constituents told him their homeowners’ coverage was denied after their insurance company learned they owned guns.