TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — “Miya’s Law,” a bill aimed at making apartment complexes safer in Florida, is making its way through the state legislature. A hearing is being held Thursday to discuss the House of Representatives’ version of the bill, HB 577. 

What You Need To Know

  • There are two bills named for Miya Marcano that aim to make apartments safer

  • The House version of “Miya’s Law” is up for consideration in a hearing Thursday, after undergoing some changes its supporters feel weakens it

  • The Senate version unanimously passed its initial hearing earlier this week

Miya Marcano, 19, was a Valencia College student who lived at the Arden Villas apartment complex near the University of Central Florida’s campus in Orlando.

Miya went missing in September of 2021 and her body was found eight days later. Orange County Sheriff John Mina said the sole suspect was the apartment complex maintenance man, Armando Caballero. Deputies found him dead by apparent suicide before they found Marcano’s body. They believe he used an apartment staff master key to access her apartment and get to her.

Both bills, HB 577 and its identical twin SB 898, were filed to:

  • Make background checks for apartment employees mandatory for their employment
  • Allow complexes to disqualify candidates from being hired, for past criminal charges like felonies and first-degree misdemeanors
  • Give 24 hours’ notice to residents before staff can enter their apartment instead of 12 hours
  • Keep a log of who has keys to the apartments and has used them

However, the House version was stripped of some of these provisions; sponsors call it “watered down,” as the background check requirement and key log mandate were removed.

Sen. Linda Stewart (D- Orlando), the sponsor of the Senate’s version, said members are working furiously to add some amendments that put these things back into the legislation before Thursday’s meeting.

A Marcano family spokesperson said Wednesday, that if the “watered down” version were to pass, it would be “whole-heartedly disappointing to the family.” But they are hopeful the changes they want to see happen to make apartments safer can still be passed by the legislature this year.