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Immigration, Monorail Bills Go to DeSantis

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Dozens of bills from the 2023 legislative session landed on Gov. Ron DeSantis’ desk Tuesday, including controversial measures about immigration and state oversight of Walt Disney World’s monorail system. DeSantis formally received 41 bills from the Legislature, according to his office. They included an immigration bill (SB 1718) that, in part, would increase requirements for employers to check the immigration status of workers and for hospitals to collect data about whether patients are in the country legally. The measure also would toughen criminal penalties for transporting undocumented immigrants into Florida and provide $12 million to the Division of Emergency Management to transport undocumented immigrants to other states. DeSantis also received a bill (HB 1305) that would require the state Department of Transportation to inspect Disney’s monorail system. The bill comes amid a feud between DeSantis and Disney over the company’s opposition to a 2022 law that restricts instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity in schools. Disney and other large theme parks currently conduct their own safety inspections because of a carve-out from oversight by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. DeSantis also will consider bills that would lead to later start times for many high schools (HB 733), set a minimum age of 15 to operate golf carts on public roads (HB 949) and allow winning sides in a comprehensive growth-management plan challenges to recover attorney fees (SB 540). Among other bills that went to DeSantis were measures that would require school districts to share local property-tax revenues with charter schools (HB 1259), create a year-round school pilot program at a limited number of elementary schools (HB 891) and seek to bolster safety of amusement-park rides (SB 902). The amusement-park bill is named after 14-year-old Tyre Sampson, who was killed when he fell from a ride last year in Orlando. DeSantis has until May 24 to act on the bills.

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