Florida Governor Rick Scott will sign a bill doing away with state-required identification badges at Florida's public ports.
Opponents of the badges say they are duplicative and costly because the federal government already required identification badges.
The fight has been nearly a decade in the making, with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement killing the issue during past session. State Sen. Tony Hill, D - Jacksonville, was one of the main supporters of doing away with the state badges.
HB 283 also streamlines security regulations at Florida’s 14 Seaports by eliminating unnecessary state duplication with the comprehensive federal security law that is used across the country.
Florida is the only state subject to both state and federal seaport security requirements, including duplicative background checks and access cards which lawmakers say puts Florida’s ports at a competitive disadvantage and is costly to port users and workers.
Florida Ports Council Chairman and Port Director of Port Everglades Phil Allen indicated that the bill was the “number one legislative priority of the Council” and went on to say that the Legislature “deserved praise for their support for a more effective and more cost efficient approach to port security that recognizes the progress Florida ports have made over the past decade. Florida ports recognize the importance of security and the continued economic value they provide to the state's economy and passage of this key legislation will assist our customers in remaining competitive with other ports in other states."