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DeSantis signs final group of bills to wrap up 2024 legislative session

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(The Center Square) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently signed some of the last bills to wrap up the 2024 legislative session.

House Bill 1347 allows consumer finance companies to increase annual interest rates, of which they can charge up to 36% on the first $10,000 of principal amounts; 30% on amounts that exceed $10,000 up to $20,000; and 24% on amounts between $20,000 and $30,000.

DeSantis vetoed a bill in 2023 that would have implemented the same changes. The bill went into effect on Monday.

Senate Bill 1600 streamlines the Florida licensure process for people who have licensed professions in other states or territories.

New laws would require boards in the Florida Department of Professional Regulation, or the department itself if no board exists, to allow licensure by endorsement for any applicant who meets the specified criteria.

The Florida Department of Health would be required to issue a license by endorsement to a qualified applicant within seven days of receipt of required documents for specific health care professions, including certified nursing assistants, registered nurses, radiation technicians, midwives, occupational therapists and pharmacists.

SB 770 amends the Property Assessed Clean Energy program, which allows property owners to make qualifying improvements, such as enhanced energy efficiency, wind resistance and sustainable building improvements, to their properties and finance the cost through annual non-ad valorem tax assessments.

The bill restructures the program to enhance protection for consumers entering into program contracts, ensuring oversight for contractors installing improvements, and expands the list of improvements this financing could be used for installing improvements.

SB 736 changes various services and programs administered by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Specifically, it revises the requirement for a rightful heir to transfer ownership of a motor vehicle or mobile home if the previous owner died with a legal will. DHSMV or tax collectors would also be unable to charge an additional fee for reissuing a certificate of title if it is lost.

HB 619 revised statutes that treat contractors providing monitoring and inspecting services for the state as agents of the state for the purpose of sovereign immunity protections.

Under the bill, liability protections are extended from consultants to contractors performing monitoring and inspection services for the Florida Department of Transportation that are required for state road and infrastructure projects.

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