Home » Blog » New Florida Laws in Effect July 1, 2023 and Their Impact on Florida Businesses

New Florida Laws in Effect July 1, 2023 and Their Impact on Florida Businesses

Feb 29, 2024

I. Immigration

SB 1718 cracks down on businesses that hire undocumented immigrants and provides $12 million for Gov. Ron DeSantis’ migrant relocation program. Hospitals that accept Medicaid must also ask patients about their immigration status on intake forms, which critics say could deter migrants from seeking care.

Community IDs

  • SB 1718 bars local government from providing funding to issue community IDs to persons who do not prove lawful presence in the U.S
  • SB 1718 does not invalidate persons’ community IDs issued by local government.
  • SB 1718 does not prevent issuance of community IDs if the government does not fund them.
  • SB 1718 does not make it a crime to possess a community ID.

Drivers Licenses

  • SB 1718 invalidates out-of-state driver licenses that are issued without being required to show proof of lawful presence in the U.S. (i.e. driver licenses that are issued to individuals who are undocumented or who cannot prove lawful presence).
  • SB 1718 makes it a crime to drive in Florida with this type of license.
  • SB 1718 does not have any effect on an individual’s Florida driver license.


  • SB 1718 requires hospitals and emergency departments that receive Medicaid to ask patients their immigration status.
  • SB 1718 does not allow doctors, clinics, hospitals or any medical care providers to report undocumented patients or individualized patient information to immigration authorities.
  • SB 1718 does not allow medical care providers to deny care based on a patients’ immigration status.
  • SB 1718 does not permit or encourage immigration enforcement at hospitals or emergency departments.

Employment & E-Verify

  • SB 1718 penalizes employers for failing to verify employment authorization and criminalize
    noncitizens who use false identification documents to obtain work.

  • SB 1718 requires all employers to verify new employees’ work authorization and require private employers who employ 25 or more employees to use E-Verify to confirm new employees’ work authorization.

  • SB 1718 does not require employers to re- check the employment authorization of
    persons they already employ using E-Verify.


DACA holders can’t be attorneys

  • Beginning on November 1, 2028, SB 1718 prevents DACA holders from being admitted by the Supreme Court of Florida to practice law in Florida.
  • SB 1718 does not have any effect on DACA holders who are already members of the state bar in Florida.
  • SB 1718 does not have any effect on DACA holders who will become members of the state bar in Florida prior to November 1, 2028.


“Human Smuggling”

  • SB 1718 makes it a felony to transport into the state of Florida a person who you know or reasonably should know (1) entered the U.S. unlawfully; and (2) has not been inspected by the federal government.
  • SB 1718 does not make it illegal to transport anyone regardless of their immigration status- within the state of Florida.
  • SB 1718 does not make it illegal to provide housing to or share housing with a person who lacks lawful immigration status.
  • SB 1718 does not make it illegal to do day-to-day things like take your kids to school, go to church, carpool, etc. no matter what your immigration status is (as long as you aren’t crossing state lines into Florida, it is fine to do these activities).


State cooperation with federal immigration enforcement

  • SB 1718 expands Florida’s on-going interagency counter- terrorism enforcement coordination and preparation efforts to include assisting federal immigration enforcement officials.
  • SB 1718 does not give the police any new authority to detain or arrest individuals.

DNA Collection

  • SB 1718 authorizes the collection of DNA from individuals, including juveniles, who have been issued a detainer by immigration authorities in state criminal custody.

  • SB 1718 does not allow law enforcement to collect DNA based upon immigration status from individuals who are not in criminal custody.

Unauthorized Alien Transport Program

  • SB 1718 appropriates $12 Million for the “Unauthorized Alien Transport Program.”

  • SB 1718 does not change the “Unauthorized Alien Transport Program”, which was created by a separate state law on February 15, 2023, SB 6-

Effect of SB 1718 on Florida Businesses

SB 1718 will have a significant impact on Florida employers with more than 25 employees or those employers who are engaged in agricultural or other industries known to hire immigrant workers. The penalties of noncompliance are severe. The Florida Policy Institute opines that the E-Verify system could cost Florida’s economy $12.6 billion in one year, which would have widespread impacts throughout the state. Florida HB 1617/SB 1718: Potential Economic and Fiscal Impact (

II. Insurer Accountability:

SB 7052 puts more restrictions on property insurance companies to hold them more accountable for mishandling claims. Insurance providers will face more oversight and regulations as well as larger fines for any wrongdoing.

Regarding insurance coverage, the bill:

  • Prohibits authorized insurers from cancelling a property insurance policy during any pending claim until the earlier of when the property has been repaired or 1 year after the insurer issues the final claim payment. The bill expands upon current law which prohibits authorized insurers from cancelling a residential property insurance policy until 90 days after repairs are complete for damage resulting from a hurricane or wind loss that is the subject of a state of emergency declared by the Governor and for which the Office of Insurance Regulation has issued an emergency order.
  • Protects policyholders whose property insurance company becomes insolvent by requiring Citizens Property Insurance Corporation cover property with open claims handled by the Florida Insurance Guaranty Association.
  • Clarifies that if a roof deductible is applied, the prohibition on applying any other deductible under the policy encompasses any other loss to the property caused by the same covered peril.
  • Tolls the time period for filing a property insurance claim during a named insured’s term of deployment to a combat zone or combat support posting.

Regarding rates charged for insurance, the bill:

  • Requires property insurance and motor vehicle rate filings to include, and the OIR must consider in reviewing rates, the combined effect of recent legislative reforms.

  • Appropriates $500,000 from the Insurance Regulatory Trust Fund for the OIR to obtain an actuarial study to implement this requirement.

  • Requires property insurance mitigation discounts be updated at least every 5 years and requires insurers to provide consumer- friendly information on their website describing hurricane mitigation discounts available to policyholders.

Regarding insurer claims handling, the bill:

  • Requires liability insurers to follow proper claims handling practices on behalf of their insureds and provides that insurers engaging in a pattern or practice of violations are subject to enhanced enforcement penalties including a 2.0 multiplier of fines.
  • Requires residential property insurers to create and use claims- handling manuals that comply with the Insurance Code and, at a minimum, comport to industry standards. The OIR may request a claims handling manual at any time and requires each property insurer to attest that their claims manuals comply with Florida law and the insurer is able to properly implement their manual.
  • Strengthens the Unfair Insurance Trade Practices Act by:
    • Prohibiting alteration or amendment of an adjuster’s report without providing a detailed explanation as to why any change that has the effect of reducing the estimate of the loss was made. The insurer must also either create a list of changes and who made the change or retain all versions of the report.
    • Prohibiting officers and directors of impaired or insolvent insurers from receiving a bonus from that insurer or other entity under common ownership with that insurer.

Regarding regulatory oversight of insurers, the bill:

  • Creates a statutory requirement that the OIR refer suspected criminal activity to the Department of Financial Services (DFS) or other appropriate law enforcement or prosecutorial entities.
  • Requires the OIR to develop a risk- based selection methodology for scheduling examinations of insurers.

Effect of SB 7052 on Florida Businesses:

The Florida insurance bar has commented that SB 7052 will reduce the effectiveness of the earlier reforms and moderate capital providers’ interest in returning to the Florida property market. Time will tell whether SB 7052 strikes the proper balance between maintaining the attractiveness of Florida to investors and mandating better compliance with the insurance code.


III. Parental Rights in Education (‘Don’t Say Gay’ expansion):

The legislation, HB 1069, expands the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law to ban classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in all grades.

Instructional Material

  • The bill also clarifies that the requirement for elementary schools to publish a list of  materials in the school library, includes classroom libraries in the school
  • The bill requires that district school board policies regarding objections to specific materials include objection on the basis that the material depicts or describes sexual conduct, as defined in law.
  • The bill provides for an exception to this objection for material used in instruction on HIV/AIDS, child sexual abuse prevention, abstinence and the impacts of teenage pregnancy, or any other course identified by the DOE.
  • The bill requires that specific materials subject to an objection on the basis that the materials are pornographic, are harmful to minors, or describe or depict sexual activity must be removed from circulation at the school.
  • The bill requires that the DOE adopt an objection form for use by school districts.
  • The bill requires that school districts must also adopt and implement a process for parents to limit their child’s access to school and classroom library materials which must be published on the school district’s website.

Protections for the Rights of Parents

  • The bill expands the existing prohibition on instruction relating to sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through grade 3 to include prekindergarten through grade 8 and expressly states that charter schools must comply with this requirement.
  • The bill creates an exception to this prohibition for required instruction in abstinence and HIV/AIDS.
  • The bill requires a school district to publish on its website its policies for notifying parents of the appeals process regarding concerns with the school district’s implementation of requirements regarding a parent’s involvement in changes to services provided by the school district to his or her student, instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity, or school district health services.

Effect of HB 1069 on Florida Businesses:

HB 1069 has no direct impact on Florida businesses. However, CNN Business and other news outlets report that “the new bills signed into law by Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis have draped the Sunshine State in controversy, spurring protests, lawsuits and travel advisories warning the state is “openly hostile” toward people of color, immigrants, women and LGBTQ+ community members.” Retrieved on January 31. 2024 from If the effects reported come to light, then that could impact whether residents and businesses remain in Florida or decide to move their businesses outside of Florida. Research by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law found that more than half of all the LGBTQ+ parents surveyed considered moving out of Florida because of the bill.

IV. Permit-less Carry:

Under HB 543, Floridians who can legally own a gun will no longer need training or a permit to be able to carry concealed firearms.

Firearms and Concealed Carry

  • The bill substantially amends s. 790.01, F.S., to provide that a person is authorized to carry a concealed weapon or concealed firearm if he or she is licensed, or is not licensed but otherwise satisfies the criteria for receiving and maintaining such a license.
  • The bill further amends s. 790.01, F.S., by providing that in a prosecution for the unlawful carrying of a concealed weapon or concealed firearm, the state bears the burden of proving, as an element of the offense, both that a person is not licensed under. 790.06, F.S., and that he or she is ineligible to receive and maintain such a license under the criteria listed in s. 790.06(2)(a)-(f) and (i)-(n), (3), and (10), F.S.
  • The bill amends s. 790.053, F.S., the prohibition against openly carrying a firearm, to provide that it is not a violation for a person who is authorized to carry and a person who is licensed to carry a concealed weapon or concealed firearm, to briefly and openly display the firearm to the ordinary sight of another person, unless the firearm is intentionally displayed in an angry or threatening manner, not in necessary self-defense.


  • The bill amends s. 1002.42, F.S., to provide that a private school may partner with a law enforcement agency or a security agency to establish or assign one or more safe- school officers. Safe-school officers are established or assigned for the protection and safety of school personnel, property, students, and visitors of a school. School guardians are considered one type of school-safe officer. A private school that establishes a safe-school officer must comply with the requirements of s. 1006.12, F.S.
  • Currently, only public and charter schools may establish guardian programs. The billamends s. 30.15, F.S., to add private schools to the entities that may request the sheriff in the school’s county to establish a guardian program for the purpose of training the private school employees.
  • The bill provides that the training required for the guardian program is a standardized statewide curriculum.
  • The bill further amends s. 30.15, F.S., to increase the hours of instruction on active shooter or assailant scenarios to sixteen, rather than eight.

Active Assailant Response Policy

  • The bill creates s. 943.6873, F.S., to direct each law enforcement agency to create and maintain an active assailant response policy.
  • The bill creates s. 943.6873, F.S., to direct each law enforcement agency to create and maintain an active assailant response policy.
  • All sworn personnel of each agency must be trained on the agency’s existing active assailant response policy or must be trained within 180 days after enacting a new or revised policy. Sworn personnel must receive at minimum annual training on the policy.

Office of Safe Schools

  • The billamends s. 1001.212, F.S., relating to the Office of Safe Schools (OSS). The bill provides that the OSS must develop a statewide behavioral threat management operational process, a Florida-specific behavioral threat assessment instrument, and a threat management portal.
  • The billamendss. 1003.25, F.S., to specify that records including corresponding documentation and any other information required by the Florida-specific behavioral threat assessment instrument which contains the evaluation, intervention, and management of the threat assessment evaluation and intervention services, must be transferred within 3 school days if a student transfers from school to school.

Effect of HB 543 on Florida Businesses:

In the 2023 legislative session, Florida lawmakers planned to reduce bad faith lawsuits and protect businesses, among other goals. Compromises were made on both ends. Time will tell whether HB 543 strikes the proper balance between civil liberties and corporate rights.

V. Bathrooms:

The legislation, HB 1521, makes it a crime for a person to use a bathroom intended for the sex opposite of what they’re assigned at birth.

Notice of Inappropriate Entry

  • Establishes a procedure for individuals to notify authorized persons for the public sector entities subject to the bill (the covered entities described below), that a person of the opposite sex has entered a restroom or changing facility designated for exclusive use for females or males. The bill does not apply to persons born with a medically verifiable genetic disorder of sexual development under treatment by a physician, with specified conditions.

Covered Entities

  • Means state adult correctional institutions, educational facilities (K-12 to university level), juvenile correctional facilities and secure detention centers, county and city detention facilities (jails), and public buildings that are owned or leased by the state, a state agency, or a county, city, or special district.
  • Specifies by type of covered entity, the persons who are authorized to request another person depart from restrooms or changing facilities designated for the opposite sex on the premises of a covered entity.

Appropriate Entry

  • To accompany a person of the opposite sex to assist or chaperone a child under 12 years of age, an elderly person, or a person with a disability or developmental disability;
  • For law enforcement or governmental regulatory purposes;
  • Emergency medical assistance or intervening for the health or safety of another person is at risk;
  • For custodial, maintenance, or inspection purposes, provided that the restroom or changing facility is not in use.

Disciplinary Procedures

  • Requires each educational institution to establish in its code of student conduct disciplinary procedures for any student who willfully enters a restroom or changing facility designated for the opposite sex on the premises of the educational institution, for a purpose other than the authorized uses listed in the bill, and refuses to depart when asked to do so by an authorized person.


  • Requires covered entities to submit documentation regarding compliance with the minimum requirements for restrooms and changing facilities, if applicable, within one year after being established or, if the institution or facility was established before July 1, 2023, no later than April 1, 2024, to the Board of Governors, the Department of Corrections, the Department of Juvenile Justice, or the State Board of Education, as applicable.

Effect of HB 1521 on Florida Businesses:

HB 1521 will not require restaurants, hotels, retail establishments and other private businesses to make any changes to their policies or otherwise criminalize conduct in the private business setting.

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