Unemployment, Vaping Bills Go To DeSantis


Tallahassee, FL - Bills that would help upgrade the state’s much-maligned online unemployment system and preempt local regulation of vaping and tobacco products were among 12 measures sent Friday to Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The governor will have until May 22 to act on the bills, which were passed during the legislative session that ended last week. After the state’s CONNECT online unemployment system could not handle a crush of claims during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, lawmakers passed a bill (SB 1948) that includes revamping the system.

The bill also includes a series of other changes involving the state Department of Economic Opportunity, including redesignating agency Executive Director Dane Eagle as “secretary of economic opportunity.”

The preemption of local vaping and tobacco regulations is included in a broader bill (SB 1080) that also would raise the state’s age for legal use of tobacco and vaping products from 18 to 21, which would track federal law. The measure has drawn opposition from prominent health groups because of the preemption and because it would exempt people in the military from the age change.

Other bills that went to DeSantis included a measure (SB 1884) involving lawsuits over local gun regulations and a measure (HB 353) that would allow people to ride bicycles without seats if the bikes are designed that way.


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