Lawmakers began to comb through hundreds of bills Tuesday at the 2018 Florida Legislative Session.
A proposal to make texting while driving a “primary” offense in Florida received unanimous support from the House Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee as the 60-day session opened.
The proposed bill (HB 33), which must still go before two more panels, would allow law-enforcement officers to stop vehicles when they see motorists texting behind the wheel.
“This will prevent the actual behavior of texting behind the wheel,” said Rep. Emily Slosberg, a Boca Raton Democrat who is co-sponsoring the bill with Rep. Jackie Toledo, R-Tampa. “Because right now, it’s completely unenforceable as a secondary offense.”
Currently, motorists can only be charged with texting and driving if they are stopped for other offenses, such as speeding.
Another proposed bill would dedicate $100 million to the Florida Forever Program. The bill would help with efforts to restore the Everglades.
In addition, Gov. Rick Scott already committed $50 million in his budget this year to help repair the Herbert Hoover Dike around Lake Okeechobee.
Other bills are aimed at health as lawmakers attempt to battle the opioid epidemic. Senate Rules Chairwoman Lizbeth Benacquisto, R-Fort Myers introduced SB 8 to regulate prescriptions.
Scott also proposed $53 million in his budget for substance abuse treatment.
*Information in this report was used from the News Service of Florida