Looking back at 2021’s new Florida laws

Published: December 30, 2021 8:39 AM EST

From education to sports betting, the Florida state legislature was busy in 2021. However, many issues it discussed received pushback.

State leaders proposed changing the Bright Futures scholarship program

Every year, Bright Futures awards tens of thousands of scholarships to students. Florida senate Republicans wanted to grant scholarship money to students who get college credit in high school and reduce money for students who pursue majors the state decides don’t lead directly to employment. However, those who opposed the changes say they wouldn’t allow students to study what they want.

Vaccine mandates unable to cost people their jobs

In a special session, states leaders approved legislation that will protect Floridians from losing their jobs due to non-compliance with COVID-19 vaccine mandates and allow parents to choose not to get their children vaccinated even when sending them to school.

Sports betting became legal and got challenged this year.

In April, Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe of Florida signed a deal giving the tribe exclusivity over sports betting. Right away, several lawsuits were filed arguing part of the compact violates federal law.

However, the tribe’s sports betting mobile app went live on Nov. 1. The Tribe shut down the app on Dec. 4 after a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit followed a lower court’s decision to block the deal.

The next legislative session begins on Jan. 11.