Bill would ban pets in restaurants, bars, lounges in Florida

Posted at 1:50 PM, Nov 25, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A new plan would ban people from taking their pets inside restaurants in Florida to protect the "welfare of the public."

State Rep. Bruce Antone, a Democrat who represents parts of Orange County, filed H.B. 243 back in September.

If passed, the measure would ban non-service animals from "traveling through or remaining in indoor portions of a public food service establishment" in order to "protect the health, safety, and general welfare of the public."

The ban would apply to restaurants, bars, and lounges.

If a person lies and pretends their pet is a service animal to get access to a restaurant, they would be issued a warning on the first offense, fined $100 for the second offense, and charged with a misdemeanor for the third offense.

The bill is scheduled to be taken up by the Business and Professions Subcommittee, Government Operations and Technology Appropriations Subcommittee, and Commerce Committee once Florida's 2020 Legislative Session starts in January.

If passed, the law would take effect on July 1, 2020.