Waiting Game Surrounding Florida’s TCPA Bill Continues

A lot of eyes that worry about autodialers and telephone calls are fixed firmly on The Sunshine State, wondering if its version of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act will go into effect next week or not.

The state legislature in April passed CS/SB 1120, but Gov. Ron DeSantis has still not yet indicated whether he will sign the bill into law or veto it. Published reports have indicated that even if the governor vetoes the bill, the legislature has enough votes — the bill passed unanimously — to override the veto. The bill has not yet been officially presented to the governor’s office, even though it was passed nearly two months ago. Once it is presented to the governor’s office, he has 15 days to sign it or veto it. If he chooses to do neither option, the bill becomes law once the 15-day signing period is over.

The provisions of the law would go into effect on July 1, if it is signed or if the legislature opts to override a veto from the governor.

Under the provisions of the law, using automatic telephone dialing systems to make calls, send text messages, or leave voicemails when making solicitations for sales of consumer goods or services, including an extension of credit, would be prohibited without the prior express consent of the recipient.

One wrinkle is how the bill defines an ATDS — it includes systems that permit the selection or dialing of telephone numbers. This broader definition would include many predictive dialers and other ATDS’s that are exempt from the ATDS definition within the TCPA, following the Supreme Court’s ruling in Facebook v. Duguid.

The bill also includes a private right of action that mimics the TCPA in allowing damages to the tune of $500 per call, with penalties set three times higher for willful violations.

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