Parents of stillborn children will be able to get a certificate of the child's birth under a bill Gov. Jeb Bush signed (2006).
Florida is now the 14th state to offer certificates of stillbirths to mothers who carry their children at least 20 weeks and deliver them.
The bill was pushed in the Legislature by Daryl and Beth Logullo of Vero Beach, whose child Katherine was stillborn last year. The measure is named "Katherine's Law."
The Logullos and other backers of the bill said it's not fair for the parents of stillborn children to only get a death certificate with no official acknowledgment to memorialize that the baby was born.
"We're just very excited that the state is recognizing our children by issuing birth certificates to them that were born still. It's a wonderful day," Daryl Logullo said. "Any woman in the state of Florida going back to the 1930s that has ever had a still born child can get what they deserve and that's their child's birth certificate."
Bush also signed a bill repealing Florida's tax on alcoholic drinks. The measure does away with the last of the per-drink tax, which has long been a bane of restaurants and bars, because owners say it costs them more to collect and remit than it brings in for the state.
"Today marks the beginning of the end — ensuring that a large and unfair burden will finally be lifted off the backs of Florida's restaurants and hotels," said Carol Dover, president of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association.
The tax is 3.3 cents per ounce of spirits or 4 ounces of wine, 1.3 cents per 12 ounces of beer and 2 cents per 12 ounces of cider.
Bush also signed a bill outlawing the sale of consumer telephone records, including those for cell phones. Violators would face a maximum penalty of a year in jail for a first offense and five years in prison for repeat offenses.
Another bill Bush made law makes it a crime to intentionally give false information to police conducting a felony or missing person investigation with the intent to mislead or impede. The maximum penalty would be a year in jail. Rep. Michael Grant, R-Port Charlotte, introduced the bill and Sen. Lee
Atwater, R-North Palm Beach, filed similar legislation in response to misleading statements allegedly made to police while they were investigating the abduction and murder of 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford.
Sexual predators are now prohibited from possessing prescription drugs such
as Viagra for treating erectile dysfunction under another bill Bush signed.
Sexual predators who violate the ban could face a maximum sentence of 60
days in jail for a first offense and a year for a second.
Bush signed a bill requiring state agencies to justify their own existence to lawmakers over the next decade or be abolished.
Bush also signed a bill that football legend Dan Marino came to the Capitol
during the legislative session to help push through. The measure requires swim instructors who teach children affected with developmental disorders, like autism, to be specially certified.
Bush also signed a bill to ban machines that mix alcohol with gas or oxygen so people can inhale the alcohol without having to actually drink it.
The practice of using alcohol vaporizers is known as AWOL, or Alcohol Without Liquid.
And the Holy Land Experience biblical theme park near Orlando won't have to
pay property tax under a bill Bush signed.
Park officials describe the five year old Holy Land Experience as more of a
Bible-based history museum aimed at religious education. Visitors can enter
a replica of Jesus' tomb, or see Jesus heal a blind man, climb the stairs of
a faux Herod's Temple and travel down a re-creation of the Via Dolorosa.
The park has been in a battle with tax officials in Orange County over whether it is required to pay local taxes. The Internal Revenue Service considers the park exempt from federal taxes as a religious institution.
The bill clarifies that the nonprofit park, is exempt from local property taxes as well, said its sponsor, Rep. Fred Brummer, R-Apopka.
The bill was drawn narrowly to specifically apply to the Holy Land Experience to clarify its status, Brummer said. If another biblical theme park with similar characteristics were to open, it also would be exempt from taxes because of the bill.
One bill became law without Bush's signature. The measure creates 66 new judgeships. In a letter addressed to Secretary of State Sue Cobb, Bush wrote he believed Florida needs more judges but wouldn't sign the bill because
provisions prohibiting the Governor from filling the vacancies by appointment concerned him.
[Andrea Fanta, The Associated Press
Posted June 9, 2006, TALLAHASSEE,