Legislative Updates: Governor DeSantis Signs Bear Defense Bill, Vetoes Left-Lane Crackdown

Bear Defense Bill Signed on June 21, 2024

On June 21, 2024, Governor Ron DeSantis signed HB 87 into law, a bill that allows individuals to kill bears under specific conditions. This legislation provides a framework similar to Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ defense, enabling people to kill a bear if they believe their life, their pet’s life, or their property is threatened.

Key provisions of HB 87 include:

  • Allowing the killing of bears in self-defense, defense of pets, or to protect property.
  • Requiring anyone who kills a bear to notify the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) within 24 hours so the bear can be properly disposed of.
  • Maintaining the prohibition against provoking or luring bears.

Left-Lane Driving Bill Vetoed on June 21, 2024

Governor DeSantis also vetoed HB 317 on June 21, 2024, a bill designed to restrict slow driving in the left lane. The bill proposed that drivers should only use the left lane for passing and imposed a $158 fine for non-compliance. The bill had passed with overwhelming support in both the Florida Senate and House, with proponents arguing it would enhance highway safety.

However, in his veto letter, Governor DeSantis expressed concerns that the law might result in drivers being pulled over even if they were not obstructing traffic. He also suggested that the law could potentially lead to increased congestion in the right lane.

Other Legislative Actions on June 21, 2024

In addition to HB 87 and HB 317, Governor DeSantis addressed a number of other bills from this year’s legislative session on June 21, 2024, signing 14 into law and vetoing three. One notable bill that was signed allows veterinarians to treat pets remotely, similar to telehealth services for humans.

Stay informed with these updates to understand how new laws and vetoed bills may impact life in Florida.

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