Wide-ranging tax package teed up for Gov. DeSantis

A wide-ranging tax package topped by sales-tax "holidays" and a gas-tax break was one of 17 bills that the Legislature formally sent to Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday. The package includes holiday periods when people will not have to pay sales taxes on such things as hurricane supplies and back-to-school items. Also, it includes suspending state gasoline taxes for one month in October. 

Speaking in Clearwater on Wednesday, DeSantis appeared to tease that he will sign the bill (HB 7071). The governor said he expected to "announce some tax cuts on Friday," before quickly saying "or maybe next week." Additional sales-tax breaks would be offered through the bill on baby clothes; diapers; children’s books; Energy Star refrigerators, washers, dryers, and water heaters; impact-resistant windows, doors, and garage doors; new mobile homes and admissions to Formula One Grand Prix races. 

Among the other bills that went to DeSantis was a measure that would more broadly shield from release information related to people and businesses involved in executions. The bill (HB 873) deals primarily with drugs used for lethal injection. The bill would cloak the identities of anyone involved in "administering, compounding, dispensing, distributing, maintaining, manufacturing, ordering, preparing, prescribing, providing, purchasing or supplying drugs, chemicals, supplies or equipment" needed to carry out executions. 

Current law includes a public-records exemption to shield information about people such as executioners and the prescribers of drugs for lethal injections. 

Also, DeSantis received a bill that would expand minors’ ability to have certain arrest records expunged if they have completed diversion programs. Under current law, minors who have completed diversion programs can only be granted records expunctions for misdemeanor offenses. The bill (HB 195) would expand that to felony offenses, except for forcible felonies and felonies that involve the manufacture, sale, purchase, transport, possession or use of firearms.