Lawmakers comb through hundreds of bills at 2018 Florida Legislative Session

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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.

More: Lawmakers renew push to toughen texting and driving law in Florida

“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.

More: Trump joins Scott in push for speedy repair of Lake O dike

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.

More: Florida bill seeks to rein in prescription painkillers

Scott also proposed $53 million in his budget for substance abuse treatment.

*Information in this report was used from the News Service of Florida

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