ESA Weekly News Report March: New ESA Bills Proposed in Florida and Minnesota

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This week in the latest ESA news, a bill to alter laws pertaining to emotional support animals (ESAs) could have effects on the southern states, with a radical new change to the way in which individuals can ESAs obtain them proposed.

In the Midwest, it appears that the University of Minnesota will ban emotional support animals from classrooms and other school spaces, which could alter campus life for many students completely. Could other universities be next? Read on to find out the details of the latest ESA news.

Florida Introduces Bill to Alter Emotional Support Animal Laws

Florida could see a tightening of rules surrounding ESAs with a new bill submitted to change the laws this week. Sen. Manny Diaz Jr. (R-Hialeah) has sponsored a bill that clarifies the rules for bringing emotional support animals into pet-free communities.

The proposed bill is claimed by senators in favor to be aimed at having an effect on those that obtain false emotional support animals, taking advantage of the lack of laws around the popular therapy aids.

Under the new proposed law, emotional support animals would only be able to be prescribed by an individual’s regular doctor, rather than through online services. The bill also prohibits the “falsification of written documentation or other misrepresentation regarding the use of an emotional support animal.”

The bill has a focus on tightening the rules to discourage people from falsely obtaining an ESA in order to obtain access to housing that has a no pet policy. Lying about an emotional support animal is a misdemeanor crime.

emotional support dog lying with head on student's lap

University of Minnesota Bans ESAs from Classrooms, Offices Under New Policy

In another potential change for those using emotional support animals in a public setting, the University of Minnesota has said that they will be moving to ban ESAs from classrooms, labs and office buildings.

Support animals will remain able to be admitted to residential housing on campus, however, support pets will not be able to accompany their owners inside the aforementioned public buildings, a move the university says will help to ensure comfort and safety for all students and employees at the institution.

Emotional support animals will still be permitted in university housing facilities, but they must first be approved by the disability resource center. 40 animals were approved last year.

Service animals, animals that are receiving medical treatment on campus and animals serving as official NCAA mascots or who are participating in patriotic ceremonies will still be permitted in public areas and buildings of the university.

University Services Chief of Staff, Paige Rohan, said animals can cause a disturbance if they bark, lunge or go to the bathroom on campus. He also stated that the animals can be problematic for people with allergies or those of the Muslim faith who view dog saliva as unclean.

black and red no dogs allowed sign

CertaPet’s Comments on These Proposed Bills

There are countless “agencies” online offering ESA letters which are worthless. An ESA can only be prescribed by a licensed mental health professional (LMHP) in your state. What sets CertaPet (a world apart) from these fraudsters is that our goal is to help people get their legitimate ESA letter by connecting them with a LMHP in an easy and efficient manner.

If you’re thinking of getting an ESA, there’s still time. It’s simple to take our free online 5-minute pre-screening, and if your answers indicate that you may qualify for an ESA, we will connect you with a licensed mental health professional (LMHP).

You could then have your ESA letter in as little as 48 hrs, with no fuss.

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