TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed into law on Friday dozens of measures covering everything from flood insurance, late-term abortions, electronic cigarettes to regulating charities.
The Republican governor, who has been holding re-election campaign events for most of this month, did the bill signings privately. Scott and previous governors usually hold public bill signings during the summer, but he has spent little time in the Capitol since the end of the annual legislative session.
Scott signed nearly 100 bills into law, including a measure that redefines that state's current third trimester abortion ban. Current law prohibits abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy unless the mother's life is at risk. The new law (HB 1047) will require women to have a doctor determine whether a fetus is viable before having an abortion.
Some of the other bills signed by Scott include one (SB 542) that is designed to make it easier for private companies to sell flood insurance in the state. Florida is home to 37 percent of the federal flood insurance policies. The push for the bill came in the wake of skyrocketing premiums in the federal program although Congress did roll back some of those amid an outcry from coastal homeowners.
The governor also signed a measure (SB 224) that prohibits the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors.
Charities in the state would be subject to stricter regulations (HB 629) under another bill approved by Scott. The legislation was a top priority of Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, whose office regulates charities, and came in the wake of articles by the Tampa Bay Times examining fraudulent charities.
"Recent reports of fraud and deception among charities in Florida severely damaged our state's reputation of goodwill," Putnam said in a statement. "This law will weed out the bad actors who are defrauding generous givers and thus bring integrity back to Florida's network of reputable charities."
Scott also signed a bill (SB 708) that would prohibit insurers from using credit information to deny a claim or cancel a policy. The new law would also create a "homeowner claims bill of rights" that requires insurers to spell out to homeowners what they can expect when they file a claim.
The legislation was a top priority of Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater.
"When someone is dealing with the unexpected loss of their property, they need to know they will be treated fairly by their insurance company and the contractors who are providing services," Atwater said in a statement.
Scott also signed a bill that moves the starting date of the 2016 legislative session to January.
(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)