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Florida Bill on Unauthorized DNA Analysis Passes

A bill in Florida making unauthorized DNA analysis a felony has been passed by both the State House and Senate and is heading toward the governor's desk, Florida Politics reports.

The bill, sponsored by State Senator Ray Rodrigues (R-Estero) and State Representative Josie Tomkow (R-Polk City), builds on the state's passage last year of a genetic privacy law. That law, itself an extension of the federal Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, prohibits long-term care, and disability insurers from using genetic information in their coverage decisions. GINA bars health insurance companies from doing so, but not the other insurers

This new Florida bill makes it a felony to analyze someone else's DNA or submit someone else's DNA for analysis without consent and a felony to disclose someone's genetic testing results without authorization. It additionally makes it a misdemeanor to collect someone's DNA for analysis without authorization.

According to Florida Politics, the bill passed the State House in an 85-to-28 vote and the State Senate in a 22-to-18 vote. State Senator Jeff Brandes (R-Tampa Bay), who voted against the bill, tells Florida Politics he was concerned that it could penalize people who did not have criminal intent.