New Laws In Effect
Should school board members have final say in student-led prayer?
Approximately 150 new laws are now in effect throughout the Sunshine State.
The new laws took effect Sunday, July 1, but some of them could be tied up in legal battles and constitutional challenges.
One of the more controversial measures revolves around religion in public schools.
The law authoritizes school districts to allow students to deliver an "inspirational message" during an assembly.
That includes prayers, and that's why some groups are threatening to sue. But it may not be necessary.
The law is in the same situation states are finding themselves in with the Medicaid expansion in President Barack Obama's health care reform. Although the state passed the law, local school boards can choose whether or not to implement it.
When the law was adopted, the American Civil Liberties Union warned it would open the door for "prolonged litigation," and would cost school boards a lot in legal fees.
Regardless, the law's prime sponsor, state Sen. Gary Siplin (D-Orlando), said he is confident the law is constitutional.
Meanwhile, the state's new, $69.9 billion budget also goes into effect, along with restoring tax credits for renewable energy, giving new tax breaks for businesses and expanding online learning opportunities for elementary school students, which is expected to benefit home-schooled children.
A law requiring student athletes who suffer head injuries to be pulled from competition until they’re cleared by a doctor will also take effect.