Legislative Bill Summaries

The 2019 regular Legislative Session commenced Tuesday, March 5 and ended on May 3.

What is below represents summaries of all the bills with municipal impact that have been filed as of March 15, 2019, for the current regular session. For the most current legislative bill summaries, click here to view the 2019 Final Report. 

If you have any questions on a specific bill, please contact the lobbyist tracking the bill. This is indicated by the last name in parenthesis following each bill summary. Links to the House and Senate are located at the bottom of the page.

 

1-PREEMPTIONS

Community Redevelopment Agencies (Oppose – Preemption) 

CS/CS/SB 1054 (Lee) and CS/HB 9 (LaMarca) increase audit, ethics, reporting and accountability measures for community redevelopment agencies. The bills require CRAs to annually submit additional reporting information to the state, including performance data for each CRA plan, number of projects started, total number of projects completed, commercial property vacancy rates, amount expended on affordable housing, etc. The bills require CRA procurement to comport with city and county procurement procedures. The bills provide that a CRA that has no financial activity can be declared inactive by the Department of Economic Opportunity. The House and Senate bill differ on ...

Community Redevelopment Agencies (Oppose – Preemption)  CS/CS/SB 1054 (Lee) and CS/HB 9 (LaMarca) increase audit, ethics, reporting and accountability measures for community redevelopment agencies. The bills require CRAs to annually submit additional reporting information to the state, including performance data for each CRA plan, number of projects started, total number of projects completed, commercial property vacancy rates, amount expended on affordable housing, etc. The bills require CRA procurement to comport with city and county procurement procedures. The bills provide that a CRA that has no financial activity can be declared inactive by the Department of Economic Opportunity. The House and Senate bill differ on several key points. CS/HB 9 specifies that after October 1, 2019, a new CRA can be created only by a countywide referendum in a primary or general election that requires the approval of two-thirds of the electors' votes to pass. The bill outlines a process by which all CRAs will be terminated by 2039 unless reauthorized by the body that created the CRA by a two-thirds vote. CS/SB 1054 was amended with language supported by the League to remove provisions capping administrative expenditures to 18 percent. The amendment also removed a provision that required the creation a lobbying registration program for CRAs. Additionally, the amendment removed a prohibition on the expenditure of Tax Increment Financing funds on festivals, grants to promote tourism and grants to socially beneficial nonprofit entities. The bill retains existing provisions of law that require a simple majority vote of the governing body that created the CRA if the CRA expiration date is beyond September 30, 2039. CS/SB 1054 does not contain any provisions related to the creation of new CRAs. (Cruz)

Short-Term Rentals (Oppose – Preemption)

SB 824 (Diaz) and CS/CS/HB 987 (Grant, J.) do the following: ...

Short-Term Rentals (Oppose – Preemption) SB 824 (Diaz) and CS/CS/HB 987 (Grant, J.) do the following: •Preempt to the state the regulation of short-term rentals (STRs)/vacation rentals. •Require that any ordinances (noise, parking, trash, etc.) apply to all residential properties, regardless of how the property is being used.  •State that local governments cannot prohibit rentals (not just STRs), impose occupancy limits on rental properties or require inspections or licensing of rentals (specific to STRs). •Require that a city must prove by clear and convincing evidence that its ordinance or regulation complies with this section. •Remove the grandfather clause.  •Require applicants for STR license to provide name, address, phone number and email to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), which must make this available to the public on the division’s website.  CS/CS/HB 987 also contains language clarifying that existing homeowners association and condo association regulations will continue to be in effect. The amended bill requires that operators of STRs must maintain liability insurance coverage equal to the insurance requirements for long-term rentals. Finally, the bill requires that sex offenders must register at the sheriff’s office in the county where the sex offender is temporarily residing, regardless of the length of stay, at any public lodging establishment including vacation rentals. The property owner or operator who has been notified that a sexual offender is staying at his or her property or is staying within 1,000 feet of his or her property must notify all other guests staying at the property. Every internet ad or online posting must prominently display the complete physical address of the public lodging establishment along with a link to a website created by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to notify the public of any information regarding sexual predators. (Cook)

Telecommunications Services and Small Cell Deployment (Oppose – Preemption)

CS/CS/CS/SB 1000 (Hutson) and CS/CS/CS/HB 693 (Fischer) were substantially amended to include changes to the law on the use of public rights-of-way, including provisions on small wireless infrastructure. Current law contains a statement of legislative intent that local governments treat providers of communications services in a nondiscriminatory and competitively neutral manner. In direct contrast to this “nondiscrimination language,” the bills require local governments to take into account factors, such as distinct engineering or construction and operation, when imposing rules or regulations governing the placement or maintenance of communications facilities in the public roads or rights-of-way, thereby asking for ...

Telecommunications Services and Small Cell Deployment (Oppose – Preemption) CS/CS/CS/SB 1000 (Hutson) and CS/CS/CS/HB 693 (Fischer) were substantially amended to include changes to the law on the use of public rights-of-way, including provisions on small wireless infrastructure. Current law contains a statement of legislative intent that local governments treat providers of communications services in a nondiscriminatory and competitively neutral manner. In direct contrast to this “nondiscrimination language,” the bills require local governments to take into account factors, such as distinct engineering or construction and operation, when imposing rules or regulations governing the placement or maintenance of communications facilities in the public roads or rights-of-way, thereby asking for special treatment. The bills also remove many of the provisions that were agreed to by the wireless industry when the Advanced Wireless Deployment Act (the 2017 Act) was passed in 2017. For example, the bills remove the requirement that wireless providers must comply with local government nondiscriminatory utility undergrounding requirements.  Installing a new utility pole in the rights-of-way to support a small wireless facility was dealt with in the 2017 Act in part for spacing, height and permit application review timeframes, but under the 2017 Act a local government could still subject the utility pole to local government “rules and regulations governing the placement of utility poles in the rights of way.” CS/CS/SB 1000 and CS/CS/HB 693 remove this language, meaning that a city or county would have to treat a permit application to put a new utility pole in the right of way exactly the same as a permit application to collocate a small wireless facility onto an existing utility pole. The bills prohibit a local government from requiring wireless providers to submit certain information, such as an inventory of communications facilities, maps, locations of such facilities or other information, as a condition of registration, renewal or for any purpose. The bills do authorize a local government to require, as part of a permit application, that the applicant identify ground-level communications facilities within 50 feet of the proposed installation location for the placement at-grade communications facilities. The bills also prohibit requiring a wireless provider to pay any fee, cost or other charge for registration or renewal; adoption or enforcement of any ordinances, regulations or requirements as to the placement or operation of communications facilities in a right-of-way by a communications services provider; or imposition or collection of any tax or charge for providing communications services over the communications services provider's communications facilities in a right-of-way. The bills delete performance bonds and security funds from the allowable requirements for a communications provider and allow requiring a construction bond limited to no more than one year after the construction is completed. The bills create a cause of action for any person aggrieved by a violation of the right-of-way statute. A party may bring a civil action in a U.S. district court or any other court of competent jurisdiction, and the court may grant temporary or permanent injunctions to prevent or restrain violations and direct the recovery of full costs, including awarding reasonable attorney fees. (Hughes)

Governmental Powers (Oppose – Preemption)

CS/CS/CS/HB 1299 (Roach) The bill includes a wide variety of issues, most of which adversely impact municipalities. A municipality would be prohibited from purchasing real property within another municipality's jurisdictional boundaries without the other municipality's consent. Additionally the bill prohibits a governmental entity from attempting to annex an area within another municipality jurisdiction without the other municipality’s consent.  The bill prohibits levying of taxes on cigarettes, cigars and nicotine products by municipalities after July 1, 2019. Additionally, local governments would be prohibited from regulating single-use plastic straws and over-the-counter proprietary drugs and cosmetics, such as sunscreen. The bill ...

Governmental Powers (Oppose – Preemption) CS/CS/CS/HB 1299 (Roach) The bill includes a wide variety of issues, most of which adversely impact municipalities. A municipality would be prohibited from purchasing real property within another municipality's jurisdictional boundaries without the other municipality's consent. Additionally the bill prohibits a governmental entity from attempting to annex an area within another municipality jurisdiction without the other municipality’s consent.  The bill prohibits levying of taxes on cigarettes, cigars and nicotine products by municipalities after July 1, 2019. Additionally, local governments would be prohibited from regulating single-use plastic straws and over-the-counter proprietary drugs and cosmetics, such as sunscreen. The bill preempts alternate generated power sources for motor fuel dispensing facilities to the state and the Florida Division of Emergency Management. The bill establishes that the minimum age for the sale of tobacco products and nicotine products is preempted to the state. (Cruz)

Growth Management (Oppose – Preemption)

CS/CS/CS/SB 1730 (Lee) and CS/CS/HB 7103 (Commerce Committee) amend various statutes relating to growth management. CS/CS/CS/SB 1730 allows a municipality to continue its inclusionary housing ordinance that mandate developers make affordable housing contributions but requires a municipality to provide incentives to fully offset all costs to developers for their affordable housing contributions. CS/CS/HB 7103 prohibits a municipality from requiring a developer to provide any affordable housing contribution. Both bills reduce the timeframe a county and municipality has to review the application for completeness and issue a response. The bills require local governments to credit certain contributions, constructions, expansions ...

Growth Management (Oppose – Preemption) CS/CS/CS/SB 1730 (Lee) and CS/CS/HB 7103 (Commerce Committee) amend various statutes relating to growth management. CS/CS/CS/SB 1730 allows a municipality to continue its inclusionary housing ordinance that mandate developers make affordable housing contributions but requires a municipality to provide incentives to fully offset all costs to developers for their affordable housing contributions. CS/CS/HB 7103 prohibits a municipality from requiring a developer to provide any affordable housing contribution. Both bills reduce the timeframe a county and municipality has to review the application for completeness and issue a response. The bills require local governments to credit certain contributions, constructions, expansions or payments toward any other impact fee or exaction imposed by local ordinance for public educational facilities. The bills also require the collection of an impact fee to occur no earlier than the issuance of builder permit for the property. Additionally, the House bill expands the scope of a private building code provider by allowing services involving the review of site plans and site work engineering plans. The House added an amendment that would prohibit local governments from charging fees for building inspections if the owner or contractor hires a private provider. This amendment would also allow owners and contractors to pay no fees related to building permitting requirements when using a private provider. The House bill is in Senate Messages. (Branch/Cruz)

Private Property Rights (Oppose – Preemption)

CS/HB 1159 (La Rosa) imposes restrictions on enforcement of local government tree ordinances and impose notice requirements on county property appraisers. CS/HB 1159 provides that a local government may not enforce its tree requirements against a residential property owner for the trimming or removal of a tree if the owner obtains documentation from an arborist or a licensed landscape architect that the tree presents a danger to persons or property. The bill specifically prohibits a local government from requiring the property owner to replant a tree that was removed under such circumstances. In addition, the bill requires each ...

Private Property Rights (Oppose – Preemption) CS/HB 1159 (La Rosa) imposes restrictions on enforcement of local government tree ordinances and impose notice requirements on county property appraisers. CS/HB 1159 provides that a local government may not enforce its tree requirements against a residential property owner for the trimming or removal of a tree if the owner obtains documentation from an arborist or a licensed landscape architect that the tree presents a danger to persons or property. The bill specifically prohibits a local government from requiring the property owner to replant a tree that was removed under such circumstances. In addition, the bill requires each county property appraiser office to post on its website a “property owner bill of rights” to identify certain existing rights afforded to property owners. The bill specifies the required contents for the bill of rights and specifies the bill of rights does not create a civil cause of action. CS/HB 1159 passed the House and Senate and has been enrolled. (O’Hara)

Single Use Plastic Straws (Oppose – Preemption)

CS/CS/SB 588 (Hutson) and CS/HB 603 (Sabatini) provide for a five-year moratorium on the adoption and enforcement of any local regulation of single-use plastic straws. During the five-year period, the bills direct the Department of Environmental Protection to conduct a study and report to the Legislature on the environmental impacts of plastic straws. If the Legislature fails to adopt legislation at the end of the five-year period, the moratorium on local regulation is lifted. A local government that violates the moratorium may be subject to a $25,000 fine, along with attorney fees and costs of any prevailing party ...

Single Use Plastic Straws (Oppose – Preemption) CS/CS/SB 588 (Hutson) and CS/HB 603 (Sabatini) provide for a five-year moratorium on the adoption and enforcement of any local regulation of single-use plastic straws. During the five-year period, the bills direct the Department of Environmental Protection to conduct a study and report to the Legislature on the environmental impacts of plastic straws. If the Legislature fails to adopt legislation at the end of the five-year period, the moratorium on local regulation is lifted. A local government that violates the moratorium may be subject to a $25,000 fine, along with attorney fees and costs of any prevailing party that files an action to enforce the moratorium. In addition, CS/CS/SB 588 preempts the regulation of over-the-counter drugs and cosmetics to the state. CS/CS/SB 588 was amended to remove provisions relating to plastic straws. The amended bill now provides only for a moratorium, until July 2021, on local regulations of over-the-counter proprietary drugs and cosmetics. Local governments that attempt to enforce or adopt regulations in violation of the moratorium are subject to a $25,000 fine. (O’Hara)

Impact Fees (Oppose – Preemption) 

SB 144 (Gruters) and CS/HB 207 (Donalds) prohibit local governments from collecting impact fees prior to the issuance of a building permit for the property that is subject to the fee. In addition, the dual rational nexus test is codified in the bills. The dual rational nexus test is the legal standard used by courts to require the expenditures of funds collected by an impact fee, and the benefits that are accrued to the new construction (both residential and commercial) should be reasonably connected to the need for additional capital used for a major facility and should be ...

Impact Fees (Oppose – Preemption)  SB 144 (Gruters) and CS/HB 207 (Donalds) prohibit local governments from collecting impact fees prior to the issuance of a building permit for the property that is subject to the fee. In addition, the dual rational nexus test is codified in the bills. The dual rational nexus test is the legal standard used by courts to require the expenditures of funds collected by an impact fee, and the benefits that are accrued to the new construction (both residential and commercial) should be reasonably connected to the need for additional capital used for a major facility and should be connected to the increased impact caused by the new construction. The legislation requires that impact fees be connected to (have a rational nexus with) the money spent from the funds collected and be connected to the benefits of the new residential or commercial construction. The bills require local governments to specifically earmark funds collected by the impact fees for use in acquiring, constructing or improving capital facilities to benefit the “new users.” The legislation prohibits the use of impact fee revenues to pay existing debt or for prior approved projects, unless the expenditure is reasonably connected to, or has a rational nexus with, the increased impact generated by the new residential or commercial construction.  Lastly, the bills exempt water and sewer connection fees from the provisions of the legislation. SB 144 was substituted for CS/HB 207. CS/HB 207 passed both the House and the Senate, and is awaiting action by the Governor. (Cruz)

Vegetable Gardens (Oppose – Preemption)

CS/SB 82 (Bradley) and CS/HB 145 (Fetterhoff) preempt any local ordinance or regulation of vegetable gardens on residential property. Some cities have adopted ordinances that regulate the size or use of vegetable gardens in the front yard of homes. While local governments would be preempted from prohibiting vegetable gardens, the bills allow for local ordinances to regulate the use of water during droughts, fertilizer use or invasive species control. The bill was filed in response to a recent appellate court decision that upheld the local regulation of vegetable gardens on residential property. The bills would not apply to ...

Vegetable Gardens (Oppose – Preemption) CS/SB 82 (Bradley) and CS/HB 145 (Fetterhoff) preempt any local ordinance or regulation of vegetable gardens on residential property. Some cities have adopted ordinances that regulate the size or use of vegetable gardens in the front yard of homes. While local governments would be preempted from prohibiting vegetable gardens, the bills allow for local ordinances to regulate the use of water during droughts, fertilizer use or invasive species control. The bill was filed in response to a recent appellate court decision that upheld the local regulation of vegetable gardens on residential property. The bills would not apply to homeowners association regulations or deed-restricted communities. (Cruz)

Public Records (Oppose – Preemption)

HB 407 (Rodrigues, R.) prohibits a city receiving a public record request from seeking clarification from the court as to whether the record is exempt or confidential.  ...

Public Records (Oppose – Preemption) HB 407 (Rodrigues, R.) prohibits a city receiving a public record request from seeking clarification from the court as to whether the record is exempt or confidential.  CS/SB 602 (Perry) was amended to clarify that if a city files an action for declaratory judgment for a declaration that certain public records are exempt, or confidential and exempt, and the court determines that the records are either not exempt, or not confidential or exempt, the court must assess reasonable costs of enforcement, including attorney fees, against the city for the benefit of the named respondent. (Cook)

Preemption of Local Regulations (Oppose – Mandate and Preemption)

As originally filed, CS/CS/CS/HB 3 (Grant, M.) and SB 1748 (Perry) expressly preempt the regulation and licensing of occupations and professions to the state and prohibits the enforcement of any regulation of a business unless the regulation is either expressly authorized by general law or adopted pursuant to the new requirements imposed by the bills. “Business” is defined broadly to include any activity regularly engaged in by any person for public or private gain, benefit or advantage, including good and services and business entities. “Regulation” is defined broadly to include virtually any action taken by local government, including ...

Preemption of Local Regulations (Oppose – Mandate and Preemption) As originally filed, CS/CS/CS/HB 3 (Grant, M.) and SB 1748 (Perry) expressly preempt the regulation and licensing of occupations and professions to the state and prohibits the enforcement of any regulation of a business unless the regulation is either expressly authorized by general law or adopted pursuant to the new requirements imposed by the bills. “Business” is defined broadly to include any activity regularly engaged in by any person for public or private gain, benefit or advantage, including good and services and business entities. “Regulation” is defined broadly to include virtually any action taken by local government, including even “fees,” “pronouncements” and “guidelines.” The term appears to include regulations directed specifically at business activity (e.g., adult entertainment ordinances) as well as regulations that are directed at all persons generally (e.g., noise ordinances). Contracts, permits, approvals and Home Rule revenue sources appear to fall within the definition of “regulation” as defined in the bills.  The bills prohibit local governments from taking “new” actions affecting business after July 1, 2019, unless the local government has: •Made public findings that: the action is necessary to protect public health, safety and welfare; the action is performed in a manner that does not unnecessarily restrict entry into the business and the action is performed in the least restrictive and cost-effective manner. •Required the action sunset in two years. •Passed the action by two-thirds vote of its membership except for zoning regulations, regulations that increase building costs by less than $750, nuisance ordinances and ordinances related to alcohol and tobacco. •Published a “Statement of Estimated Regulatory Costs” 14 days prior to any vote on the action and determined the regulatory costs on business could not be reduced by adoption of a less costly alternative. Regulations expressly authorized by general law are exempt from these new requirements. The Statements of Estimated Regulatory Costs required by the bill must contain a detailed analyses of a regulation’s anticipated impacts to business and consumers, including the anticipated costs, methods of financing, resources needed for implementation and enforcement, fees needed to cover anticipated costs, impacts to small business, impacts on business competitiveness (including the ability of affected persons to compete with persons doing business in other markets), impacts on economic growth and job creation, and transactional costs likely to be incurred by businesses required to comply.  The bills sunset existing regulations affecting business in July 2021. Such regulations may be readopted only upon meeting the requirements of the bills.  CS/CS/CS/HB 3 has been amended to significantly narrow the scope and impact of the bill. As of March 21, 2019, the bill now applies only to occupational licensing, and most of the previous language about business regulation has been removed from the bill. The amended CS/CS/CS/HB 3 expressly preempts the licensing of occupations to the state. It defines occupation to include a paid job, work, trade, employment or profession and defines licensing to include any training, education, test, certification, registration, procedure or license that is required for a person to perform an occupation. The bill provides limited exceptions for specified local licenses and any local government licensing of occupations that is expressly authorized by general law. The bill prohibits a local government from requiring a person to obtain a license for a job scope that does not substantially correspond to the job scope of certain contractor categories set forth in Chapter 489. In addition, the bill authorizes local governments to issue journeyman licenses in specified trades. CS/CS/CS/HB 3 passed the House 88-24 on April 11. The Senate companion, SB 1748, has not been heard in a committee. (O’Hara/Cruz)

Towing and Immobilizing of Vehicles and Vessels (Oppose – Preemption)

CS/HB 1237 (McClain) and CS/CS/SB 1792 (Gruters) require counties and municipalities to establish maximum rates for the towing and immobilization of vessels and prohibit a county or municipality from enacting a rule or ordinance that imposes a fee or charge on authorized wrecker operators. The bills provide that an authorized wrecker operator may impose and collect the administrative fee and is only required to remit the fee to the county or municipality after it has been collected. The bills prohibit counties and municipalities from adopting or enforcing ordinances or rules that impose fees on the registered owner or ...

Towing and Immobilizing of Vehicles and Vessels (Oppose – Preemption) CS/HB 1237 (McClain) and CS/CS/SB 1792 (Gruters) require counties and municipalities to establish maximum rates for the towing and immobilization of vessels and prohibit a county or municipality from enacting a rule or ordinance that imposes a fee or charge on authorized wrecker operators. The bills provide that an authorized wrecker operator may impose and collect the administrative fee and is only required to remit the fee to the county or municipality after it has been collected. The bills prohibit counties and municipalities from adopting or enforcing ordinances or rules that impose fees on the registered owner or lienholder of a vehicle or vessel removed and impounded by an authorized wrecker operator. The bills provide that a wrecker operator who recovers, removes or stores a vehicle or vessel shall have a lien on the vehicle or vessel that includes the value of the reasonable administrative fee or charge imposed by a county or municipality.  The bills exempt a county with an existing towing license program as of January 1, 2019, from the prohibition on imposing a fee or charge on an authorized wrecker operator or on a towing business. However, the county would not be authorized to levy a business tax or impose and collect an administrative fee or charge.  The bills prohibit a municipality or county from enacting an ordinance or rule requiring an authorized wrecker operator to accept checks as a form of payment, and from authorizing attorney fees or court costs in connection with the towing of vehicles or vessels from private property. The bills expressly preempt the regulation of attorney fees and court costs in connection with the towing of vehicles or vessels from private property to the state and supersedes any municipal or county ordinance on the subject. (Cook)

Discrimination in Employment Screening (Oppose – Preemption)

SB 394 (Farmer) and HB 667 (Alexander) prohibit a public employer from inquiring into or considering an applicant’s criminal history on an initial employment application, unless otherwise required by law. A public employer could inquire into or consider an applicant’s criminal history only after the applicant’s qualifications have been screened and the employer has determined the applicant meets the minimum employment requirements for the position. (Hughes) ...

Discrimination in Employment Screening (Oppose – Preemption) SB 394 (Farmer) and HB 667 (Alexander) prohibit a public employer from inquiring into or considering an applicant’s criminal history on an initial employment application, unless otherwise required by law. A public employer could inquire into or consider an applicant’s criminal history only after the applicant’s qualifications have been screened and the employer has determined the applicant meets the minimum employment requirements for the position. (Hughes)

Firefighters’ Bill of Rights (Oppose – Preemption)

HB 161 (Casello) and CS/CS/SB 494 (Hooper) revise the current process that must be followed for the interrogation of firefighters. The bills revise the definition of “interrogation” to include questioning related to informal inquiries. The bills require all witnesses to be interviewed prior to beginning the interrogation of the firefighter when possible. The bills also require that the firefighter be provided the complaint, all witness statements and all other existing evidence before the interrogation. A firefighter being interrogated may not be threatened with transfer, dismissal or disciplinary action. The bills also set a timeline for certain information to ...

Firefighters’ Bill of Rights (Oppose – Preemption) HB 161 (Casello) and CS/CS/SB 494 (Hooper) revise the current process that must be followed for the interrogation of firefighters. The bills revise the definition of “interrogation” to include questioning related to informal inquiries. The bills require all witnesses to be interviewed prior to beginning the interrogation of the firefighter when possible. The bills also require that the firefighter be provided the complaint, all witness statements and all other existing evidence before the interrogation. A firefighter being interrogated may not be threatened with transfer, dismissal or disciplinary action. The bills also set a timeline for certain information to be provided to the firefighter and prohibit any retaliatory action against the firefighter for exercising his or her rights. HB 161 requires certain information be kept confidential until the employing agency makes a final determination of the complaint. CS/CS/SB 494 was amended to clarify that the complaint and other investigative information is confidential and exempt pursuant to the current law and that “informal inquiry” does not include discussions such as safety sessions, normal operations fire debriefings and routine work-related discussions. (Hughes)

Employment Conditions (Oppose – Preemption)

SB 432 (Gruters) and CS/HB 847 (Rommel) prohibit a political subdivision, including a municipality, from establishing, mandating or otherwise requiring an employer to offer conditions of employment not otherwise required by state or federal law. An “employer” is defined as any person who is engaged in any activity, enterprise or business in this state and employs at least one employee. The bills expressly preempt the regulation of minimum wage and other conditions of employment to the state. The bills do not limit the authority of a political subdivision to regulate minimum wage or to require conditions of employment ...

Employment Conditions (Oppose – Preemption) SB 432 (Gruters) and CS/HB 847 (Rommel) prohibit a political subdivision, including a municipality, from establishing, mandating or otherwise requiring an employer to offer conditions of employment not otherwise required by state or federal law. An “employer” is defined as any person who is engaged in any activity, enterprise or business in this state and employs at least one employee. The bills expressly preempt the regulation of minimum wage and other conditions of employment to the state. The bills do not limit the authority of a political subdivision to regulate minimum wage or to require conditions of employment for employees of the political subdivision, employees of a contractor or subcontractor that provides goods or services to the political subdivision and employees of an employer receiving a direct tax abatement or subsidy from the political subdivision as a condition of the direct tax abatement or subsidy. Any ordinance, regulation or policy of a political subdivision that is preempted by the bills and which existed before or on the effective date of this act is void. CS/HB 847 was amended to exclude from the preemption any valid ordinances that 1) prohibit discrimination on the basis of a prospective or actual employee’s race, religion, sexual orientation and any other discriminatory practices or 2) establish an alternative dispute resolution mechanism to resolve an employee’s claim against an employer for unpaid wages, if it was adopted before January 1, 2019. (Hughes)

Monuments and Memorials (Oppose – Preemption)

HB 97 (Hill) and SB 288 (Baxley) preempt the ability of local governments to remove, alter, rename or otherwise disturb a memorial or monument on public property placed in memory of a veteran or war. This preemption includes the removal of Civil War memorials made to honor or commemorate the war, soldiers or government officials that aided the war effort. The legislation specifies that a remembrance erected, named or dedicated on or after March 22, 1822, on public property may be relocated, removed, altered, renamed, rededicated or otherwise disturbed only if necessary to accommodate construction, repair or improvements ...

Monuments and Memorials (Oppose – Preemption) HB 97 (Hill) and SB 288 (Baxley) preempt the ability of local governments to remove, alter, rename or otherwise disturb a memorial or monument on public property placed in memory of a veteran or war. This preemption includes the removal of Civil War memorials made to honor or commemorate the war, soldiers or government officials that aided the war effort. The legislation specifies that a remembrance erected, named or dedicated on or after March 22, 1822, on public property may be relocated, removed, altered, renamed, rededicated or otherwise disturbed only if necessary to accommodate construction, repair or improvements to the remembrance or to the surrounding property on which the remembrance is located. Additionally, the bills require that a remembrance on public property that is sold or repurposed must be relocated to a location of equal prominence as the original location. (Cruz)

Displacement of Private Waste Companies (Oppose – Preemption)

CS/HB 1169 (McClure) and SB 1572 (Albritton) would substantially amend the “Fair Competition Act”, which imposes restrictions and requirements on local governments intending to displace private waste companies in the provision of solid waste and recycling services. The bills provide that a local government may displace a private company that provides collection service only by adopting an ordinance or resolution. Before adopting an ordinance or resolution, the bills require a local government to do all of the following: (1) adopt a resolution of intent at least 180 days prior that: includes stated goals and justification for any franchise ...

Displacement of Private Waste Companies (Oppose – Preemption) CS/HB 1169 (McClure) and SB 1572 (Albritton) would substantially amend the “Fair Competition Act”, which imposes restrictions and requirements on local governments intending to displace private waste companies in the provision of solid waste and recycling services. The bills provide that a local government may displace a private company that provides collection service only by adopting an ordinance or resolution. Before adopting an ordinance or resolution, the bills require a local government to do all of the following: (1) adopt a resolution of intent at least 180 days prior that: includes stated goals and justification for any franchise fees, is published at least once, is subject to public hearing, and invites service providers to participate in the planning and establishment of the collection service; (2) within 90 days of adopting the resolution of intent, develop a plan for organized collection service with the assistance and participation of existing service providers within the jurisdiction; and (3) provide 30 days’ notice before a public hearing on the proposed plan to all existing service providers in the jurisdiction. The bills specify requirements for the local government’s plan for organized collection service, including efforts to minimize displacement and economic impact to current collectors and justification for any proposed tax, franchise or similar fee. The bills prohibit a local government from commencing collection service for at least 5 years after adoption of an ordinance or resolution establishing such service. If the local government does not commence service within 1 year of adoption of a resolution of intent, the local government must reinitiate the notice and planning processes required by the bills.  CS/HB 1169 was amended with a “strike all” amendment that eliminates the notice and planning requirements contained in the original bill. Instead, the amended bill now would require a local government that displaces an existing solid waste provider to, in addition to the procedural and 3-year notice requirements in current law, pay the provider an amount equal to the company’s preceding 18 months’ gross receipts for the service in the displaced area. (O’Hara/Cook)

Fertilizers (Oppose – Preemption and Mandate)

SB 1716 (Bracy) and HB 157 (Thompson) require all municipalities and counties to adopt and enforce the Model Ordinance for Florida-Friendly Fertilizer Use on Urban Landscapes. Local governments would be permitted to adopt ordinances more stringent than the model ordinance upon demonstrating the additional requirements are necessary to address nutrient impairment. The bills appear to eliminate current law provisions that “grandfather” local government fertilizer ordinances adopted prior to 2009. The bills further mandate all municipalities and counties to require the use of fertilizers that contain a slow-release nitrogen component for residential lawn use. The bills require municipalities and ...

Fertilizers (Oppose – Preemption and Mandate) SB 1716 (Bracy) and HB 157 (Thompson) require all municipalities and counties to adopt and enforce the Model Ordinance for Florida-Friendly Fertilizer Use on Urban Landscapes. Local governments would be permitted to adopt ordinances more stringent than the model ordinance upon demonstrating the additional requirements are necessary to address nutrient impairment. The bills appear to eliminate current law provisions that “grandfather” local government fertilizer ordinances adopted prior to 2009. The bills further mandate all municipalities and counties to require the use of fertilizers that contain a slow-release nitrogen component for residential lawn use. The bills require municipalities and counties located within an area where stormwater runoff flows to an estuary to implement and enforce a residential fertilizer ban from June 1 to September 30. In addition, municipalities and counties within such areas would be required to identify setbacks from water bodies and prohibit the application of fertilizer on residential lawns within those setbacks. (O’Hara)

Emergency Management Planning for Assisted Living Facilities (Watch – Preemption)  

SB 1364 (Gruters) preempts the regulation of comprehensive emergency management planning for assisted living facilities (ALFs) to the state. The bill requires an ALF to plan and respond to a disaster in a reasonable manner that provides for the protection and welfare of its residents. The bill also requires it to submit a comprehensive emergency management plan to the county emergency management agency before a facility is issued a license. (Branch) ...

Emergency Management Planning for Assisted Living Facilities (Watch – Preemption)   SB 1364 (Gruters) preempts the regulation of comprehensive emergency management planning for assisted living facilities (ALFs) to the state. The bill requires an ALF to plan and respond to a disaster in a reasonable manner that provides for the protection and welfare of its residents. The bill also requires it to submit a comprehensive emergency management plan to the county emergency management agency before a facility is issued a license. (Branch)

2-MANDATES

Attorney Fees and Costs (Oppose – Mandate)

CS/CS/CS/SB 1140 (Hutson) and CS/CS/CS/HB 829 (Sabatini) create a new section of law providing for a mandatory award of attorney fees, costs and damages against a local government in a civil action in which a local government ordinance is determined to have been expressly preempted by the state Constitution or by state law. CS/CS/CS/HB 829 provides that fees and costs may not be awarded if the local government withdraws or repeals the ordinance: within 21 days after receiving a written claim the ordinance is preempted. Except for section 553.79(20), ordinances relating to “growth management” are exempted from the ...

Attorney Fees and Costs (Oppose – Mandate) CS/CS/CS/SB 1140 (Hutson) and CS/CS/CS/HB 829 (Sabatini) create a new section of law providing for a mandatory award of attorney fees, costs and damages against a local government in a civil action in which a local government ordinance is determined to have been expressly preempted by the state Constitution or by state law. CS/CS/CS/HB 829 provides that fees and costs may not be awarded if the local government withdraws or repeals the ordinance: within 21 days after receiving a written claim the ordinance is preempted. Except for section 553.79(20), ordinances relating to “growth management” are exempted from the bill’s provisions. CS/CS/CS/SB 1140 provides that fees and costs shall be awarded to the prevailing party in such actions but shall not be awarded if the local government withdraws or repeals the ordinance within 60 days of receiving a written notice the ordinance is preempted.  CS/CS/CS/SB 1140 specifies it is remedial in nature and applies retroactively to all cases pending or commenced on or after July 1, 2019.  The bill exempts ordinances adopted pursuant to part II of chapter 163, s. 553.73, or s. 633.202. (O’Hara/Cruz)

Firefighter Cancer Benefit (Oppose – Mandate)

CS/CS/SB 426 (Flores) entitles firefighters who receive a diagnosis of certain cancers to a package of mandated benefits. These benefits include coverage under a group health or self-insurance policy and a lump sum cash payout of $25,000. The bills require the employer to reimburse the firefighter for any out-of-pocket deductibles, co-payments or coinsurance relating to cancer treatment. In order for the firefighter to get the lump sum payout and reimbursements of out-of-pocket cost for 10 years post-employment, the firefighter must elect to continue coverage in an employer-sponsored health plan or group health insurance trust. If the firefighter participates ...

Firefighter Cancer Benefit (Oppose – Mandate) CS/CS/SB 426 (Flores) entitles firefighters who receive a diagnosis of certain cancers to a package of mandated benefits. These benefits include coverage under a group health or self-insurance policy and a lump sum cash payout of $25,000. The bills require the employer to reimburse the firefighter for any out-of-pocket deductibles, co-payments or coinsurance relating to cancer treatment. In order for the firefighter to get the lump sum payout and reimbursements of out-of-pocket cost for 10 years post-employment, the firefighter must elect to continue coverage in an employer-sponsored health plan or group health insurance trust. If the firefighter participates in an employer-sponsored retirement plan, the plan must qualify the firefighter as totally and permanently disabled if he or she is prevented from rendering useful and effective service as a firefighter and is likely to remain disabled continuously and permanently due to the diagnosis or treatment of cancer. The retirement plan must qualify the firefighter as “died in the line-of-duty” if he or she dies as a result of the cancer or treatment of cancer. If the firefighter did not participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan, the employer must provide a disability retirement plan that provides at least 42 percent of annual salary until the firefighter’s death. The employer must provide a death benefit to the firefighter’s beneficiary for at least 10 years totaling at least 42 percent of the firefighter’s most recent annual salary. Additionally, firefighters who die as a result of cancer or cancer treatment are considered to have died in the manner described in statutes, for purposes of statutorily required death benefits. The cost to provide the reimbursements, lump sum payments, disability retirement benefits and line-of-duty death benefits if the firefighter does not participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan must be borne solely by the employer. For employer-sponsored retirement plans, the contributions necessary to fund the increased actuarial cost associated with the benefits mandated in this bill must be borne solely by the employer. To qualify for these benefits, the firefighter must be employed by the employer for at least five continuous years, may not have used tobacco products in the preceding five years and may not have been employed in any other position that is proven to create a higher risk for any cancer in the preceding years. The bill requires a firefighter’s cancer diagnosis be considered an “injury or illness incurred in the line-of-duty” for determining employer policies and the provision of benefits. The bill specifies that a firefighter’s cancer diagnosis must be considered an “injury or illness incurred in the line-of-duty” for the purposes of determining leave time and employment retention policies. The bill also requires the Division of State Fire Marshal within the Florida Department of Financial Services to adopt rules to establish employer best practices for preventing or reducing the incidence of cancer among firefighters. The bill is effective July 1, 2019. CS/CS/SB 426 passed both chambers and is awaiting action by the governor. (Hughes)

Local Government Fiscal Transparency (Oppose – Mandate)

CS/CS/HB 15 (Burton) and SB 1350 (Hutson) amend multiple provisions related to local government financial transparency. The bills expand public notice and public hearing requirements for local option tax increases, other than property taxes and taxes adopted by referendum, and new long-term tax-supported debt issuances. Each local government would be required to prominently post on its website the voting records on any action taken by its governing board related to tax increases and new tax-supported debt issuance. The bills impose requirements on county property appraisers and local governments relating to Truth in Millage (TRIM) notices, millage rate history ...

Local Government Fiscal Transparency (Oppose – Mandate) CS/CS/HB 15 (Burton) and SB 1350 (Hutson) amend multiple provisions related to local government financial transparency. The bills expand public notice and public hearing requirements for local option tax increases, other than property taxes and taxes adopted by referendum, and new long-term tax-supported debt issuances. Each local government would be required to prominently post on its website the voting records on any action taken by its governing board related to tax increases and new tax-supported debt issuance. The bills impose requirements on county property appraisers and local governments relating to Truth in Millage (TRIM) notices, millage rate history and the amount of tax levied by each taxing authority on each parcel. The bill specifies the timeframe that cities must follow in keeping certain budget documents on the website. Additionally, local governments are required to conduct a debt affordability analysis prior to approving the issuance of new long-term tax-supported debt. The analysis would, at a minimum, calculate a debt affordability ratio to gauge the effects of the new debt issuance on the government’s debt service to revenue profile. The debt affordability ratio is the annual debt service for outstanding tax-supported debt divided by total annual revenues available to pay debt service on outstanding debt. The bills require the local government annual audit reports to include information regarding compliance with the requirements of this newly created section of law. Failure to comply could ultimately result in the withholding of state-shared revenues.  The bills revise the local government reporting requirements for economic development incentives. They require each municipality to report to the Office of Economic and Demographic Research whether the incentive was provided directly to an individual business or by another entity on behalf of the local government and the source of dollars obligated for the incentive (including local, state and federal). The bills also revise the statutory classes of economic development incentives. (Hughes)

Local Business Tax (Oppose – Mandate)

SB 868 (Hutson) and HB 1387 (Donalds) amend the statues that authorize municipalities to levy the local business tax. SB 868 caps the local business tax at $25 per taxpayer per year and does not allow a municipality to levy the local business tax if the ordinance or resolution was not adopted prior to January 1, 2019. HB 1387 allows municipalities that adopted a resolution or ordinance prior to January 1, 2019, to continue to levy the tax. For all other municipalities, HB 1387 caps the local business tax at $25 per taxpayer per year. (Hughes) ...

Local Business Tax (Oppose – Mandate) SB 868 (Hutson) and HB 1387 (Donalds) amend the statues that authorize municipalities to levy the local business tax. SB 868 caps the local business tax at $25 per taxpayer per year and does not allow a municipality to levy the local business tax if the ordinance or resolution was not adopted prior to January 1, 2019. HB 1387 allows municipalities that adopted a resolution or ordinance prior to January 1, 2019, to continue to levy the tax. For all other municipalities, HB 1387 caps the local business tax at $25 per taxpayer per year. (Hughes)

Tax on Commercial Real Property (Oppose – Mandate)

SB 618 (Perry) exempts a portion of the rent or license fee that is subject to sales tax on commercial real property. Beginning January 1, 2020, the exemption will be $10,000 and increases annually until the sales tax on commercial leases is repealed on January 1, 2029. (Hughes) ...

Tax on Commercial Real Property (Oppose – Mandate) SB 618 (Perry) exempts a portion of the rent or license fee that is subject to sales tax on commercial real property. Beginning January 1, 2020, the exemption will be $10,000 and increases annually until the sales tax on commercial leases is repealed on January 1, 2029. (Hughes)

Local Tax Referenda (Oppose – Mandate)

CS/CS/HB 5 (DiCeglie) limits the timing of when a local government may put a local discretionary surtax ballot initiative before the voters. The bill requires that a referendum to adopt or amend a local discretionary surtax be held only at a state general election. The bill also requires a two-thirds vote of the county governing board to place a local discretionary surtax referendum on the ballot and requires approval of two-thirds of voters for passage. CS/CS/HB 5 also requires a petition sponsor of an initiative to adopt a charter county and regional transportation system surtax to comply with ...

Local Tax Referenda (Oppose – Mandate) CS/CS/HB 5 (DiCeglie) limits the timing of when a local government may put a local discretionary surtax ballot initiative before the voters. The bill requires that a referendum to adopt or amend a local discretionary surtax be held only at a state general election. The bill also requires a two-thirds vote of the county governing board to place a local discretionary surtax referendum on the ballot and requires approval of two-thirds of voters for passage. CS/CS/HB 5 also requires a petition sponsor of an initiative to adopt a charter county and regional transportation system surtax to comply with certain requirements within a specified timeframe before the proposed referendum. The county must make the proposed referendum and a specified legal opinion available on its official website. The bill also requires the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability to procure a certified public accountant for a performance audit. (Hughes)

Department of Financial Services (Oppose – Mandate)

CS/CS/CS/HB 1393 (Clemons) and CS/CS/SB 1704 (Wright) amend multiple provisions related to the Department of Financial Services. Of interest to cities, the bills require the Division of State Fire Marshall to adopt rules to establish employers' cancer prevention best practices related to personal protective equipment, decontamination, fire suppression equipment, and fire stations. (Hughes) ...

Department of Financial Services (Oppose – Mandate) CS/CS/CS/HB 1393 (Clemons) and CS/CS/SB 1704 (Wright) amend multiple provisions related to the Department of Financial Services. Of interest to cities, the bills require the Division of State Fire Marshall to adopt rules to establish employers' cancer prevention best practices related to personal protective equipment, decontamination, fire suppression equipment, and fire stations. (Hughes)

Water Quality Improvements (Oppose – Mandate)

CS/CS/SB 1758 (Mayfield) and HB 1395 (Raschein) make substantial changes to current law relating to water quality, wastewater treatment facilities, septic systems, and basin management action plans required under the total maximum daily load (TMDL) program, as well as impose significant mandates on local governments. The bills transfer responsibility for the onsite sewage treatment and disposal (septic tank) program from the Department of Health to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). ...

Water Quality Improvements (Oppose – Mandate) CS/CS/SB 1758 (Mayfield) and HB 1395 (Raschein) make substantial changes to current law relating to water quality, wastewater treatment facilities, septic systems, and basin management action plans required under the total maximum daily load (TMDL) program, as well as impose significant mandates on local governments. The bills transfer responsibility for the onsite sewage treatment and disposal (septic tank) program from the Department of Health to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Outstanding Florida Springs: The bills revise required components for basin management action plans (BMAPs) associated with Outstanding Florida Springs (OFS) to include additional information and implementation deadlines on nutrient loading reduction projects and submission of required plans from local governments for wastewater treatment plant projects and septic tank remediation. For these BMAPs, the bills also require the estimated nutrient load reductions in each plan exceed the total load reductions needed to meet the required total maximum daily load. The bills require local governments within these springsheds to adopt DEP’s model fertilizer ordinance by July 2020 or be subject to daily fines and be prohibited from approving any building permits for new construction. The bills require development of agricultural remediation plans within these springsheds if agricultural nonpoint sources are determined to contribute at least 20 percent of nonpoint source nutrient pollution. Wastewater Grant Program Established (Not Funded): The bills establish a wastewater grant program and authorize the DEP to provide grants for projects that will reduce nutrient pollution within a BMAP. Eligible projects may include: septic system retrofits, advanced waste treatment system construction or upgrades, and septic to sewer conversions. Priority is given to projects that subsidize the connection septic systems to wastewater treatment facilities or that subsidize septic tank inspections. Program grants will require a minimum of 50 percent local matching funds, which may be waived in whole or part for local governments within areas designated as rural areas of opportunity. The bills require DEP to provide an annual report of projects funded to the governor and Legislature. Basin Management Action Plans: The bills revise required components for BMAPs to include additional detailed information and timelines on projects, anticipated nutrient reductions, and identification of each point source or category of nonpoint sources, and an estimated allocation of pollutant load for each source. The BMAP must provide detailed information for improvement projects, including descriptions and timelines for completion. The estimated nutrient load reductions in each BMAP must exceed the total load reductions needed to meet the required TMDL.  Wastewater Treatment Facilities in a BMAP: As part of a BMAP, the bills would require each local government to develop a plan to implement advanced wastewater treatment. In addition, the bills would require BMAPs to provide for upgrades necessary to any applicable septic tank remediation plan. The bills would require local governments to submit to DEP for approval a detailed plan for achieving advanced waste treatment, including methods of funding or financing. The bills authorize the DEP to provide technical support to local governments in developing the plan. The bills require each wastewater treatment plant to comply with the requirements and dates in the BMAP no later than the next five-year renewal date of the plant’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. If a local government fails to meet the requirements and deadlines, the local government would not be eligible for funding under the wastewater grant program and could be subject to civil penalties from DEP.  Septic Systems in a BMAP: The bills require each local government, as part of a BMAP, to develop a septic system remediation plan if septic systems are determined as contributing at least 20 percent of nonpoint source nutrient pollution or if necessary to meet the TMDL. The remediation plan must identify projects necessary to reduce nutrient impacts from septic systems. The plan must be approved by DEP and adopted as part of the BMAP no later than the first five-year milestone assessment for the BMAP. The bills require each local government to prepare a plan, approved by DEP no later than the first five-year milestone assessment date, for connecting each septic system to a central wastewater treatment plant or replacing the system with one that has a discharge monitoring system. DEP may provide technical assistance to the local governments in developing the plan, which must include detailed timelines and design information as well as methods of financing and funding. A local government that fails to meet the deadlines for construction improvements or operations that were approved pursuant to the BMAP and its associated plans would not be eligible for funding under the wastewater grant program and could be subject to penalties assessed by DEP. Sanitary Sewer Overflows: The bills require a wastewater treatment plant that unlawfully discharges raw or partially treated sewage into any waterway or aquifer to notify its customers within 24 hours of discovery of the discharge. A local government would be ineligible for funding under the wastewater grant program until any required maintenance, repair or improvement has been implemented to reduce or eliminate the overflows. The bills authorize the DEP to impose daily penalties for overflows, which may be reduced based on the plant’s investment in activities to identify and address conditions that may cause overflows.  Mandatory Model Fertilizer Ordinance: The bills require all local governments to adopt and implement an ordinance consistent with the state Model Ordinance for Florida-Friendly Fertilizer Use on Urban Landscapes or be ineligible for funding under the wastewater grant program. (O’Hara)

State Shared Revenues (Oppose – Mandate)

SB 594 (Hutson) creates procedures and penalties for counties and municipalities taking actions alleged to impact commerce and alleged to violate state law or the state constitution. The bill authorizes a member of the Legislature to request the attorney general to investigate any official action adopted or taken by a county or municipality that impacts “commerce” and which the member alleges violates state law or the state constitution. The bill directs the attorney general to make a written report of findings to the governor, the Legislature and the secretary of state. If the attorney general finds a violation ...

State Shared Revenues (Oppose – Mandate) SB 594 (Hutson) creates procedures and penalties for counties and municipalities taking actions alleged to impact commerce and alleged to violate state law or the state constitution. The bill authorizes a member of the Legislature to request the attorney general to investigate any official action adopted or taken by a county or municipality that impacts “commerce” and which the member alleges violates state law or the state constitution. The bill directs the attorney general to make a written report of findings to the governor, the Legislature and the secretary of state. If the attorney general finds a violation occurred or likely occurred, the bill directs the attorney general to initiate a circuit court action for declaratory or injunctive relief. If the circuit court issues an order finding a violation, the bill specifies the governing body of the local government must remedy the violation within 30 days or appeal the order. If the governing body fails to timely remedy the violation or timely appeal the order, the bill provides for the Department of Revenue to withhold state-shared revenues to the county or municipality (except for revenues obligated to pay debt service) until such time the local government complies with the court order. The bill provides for the municipality or county to petition for restoration of revenue sharing upon a showing of compliance with the court’s order. (O’Hara/Cruz)

Discharge of Domestic Wastewater (Oppose – Mandate)

SB 1568 (Rodriguez, J.) prohibits the construction of new deep injection wells for domestic wastewater discharge or the expansion of existing wells. It limits the discharge capacity of domestic wastewater deep well injection and requires current ocean outfall and deep well injection permitholders to install a functioning reuse system by specified dates. The bill prohibits the discharge of domestic wastewater through ocean outfalls and deep injection wells after specified dates and requires current deep injection well permitholders to submit a plan with specified requirements and annual progress reports to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. (O’Hara) ...

Discharge of Domestic Wastewater (Oppose – Mandate) SB 1568 (Rodriguez, J.) prohibits the construction of new deep injection wells for domestic wastewater discharge or the expansion of existing wells. It limits the discharge capacity of domestic wastewater deep well injection and requires current ocean outfall and deep well injection permitholders to install a functioning reuse system by specified dates. The bill prohibits the discharge of domestic wastewater through ocean outfalls and deep injection wells after specified dates and requires current deep injection well permitholders to submit a plan with specified requirements and annual progress reports to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. (O’Hara)

Public Meetings (Oppose – Mandate)

HB 265 (Newton) and SB 518 (Rader) add new requirements relating to how municipal meetings are conducted. The bills require that meeting materials, including the agenda and any supporting documents, be available at least three days before the meeting occurs, unless emergency circumstances occur. The bills require that at least two copies of the agenda and supporting materials be available for public inspection at the meeting location on the day of the meeting. The bills mandate that public comment be offered as either the first or last item on the agenda and requires that each member of the ...

Public Meetings (Oppose – Mandate) HB 265 (Newton) and SB 518 (Rader) add new requirements relating to how municipal meetings are conducted. The bills require that meeting materials, including the agenda and any supporting documents, be available at least three days before the meeting occurs, unless emergency circumstances occur. The bills require that at least two copies of the agenda and supporting materials be available for public inspection at the meeting location on the day of the meeting. The bills mandate that public comment be offered as either the first or last item on the agenda and requires that each member of the public has the right to speak for at least three minutes. If 20 or more members of the public wish to speak on a specific item, the presiding officer may restrict the time allotted for each speaker to one minute. The bills also require the commission to respond, either publicly at the meeting or through written correspondence, to any and all questions made by a member of the public; any written response must be provided within 10 days after the meeting and be incorporated into the minutes of the meeting. (Cook)

Private Property Comprehensive Plan Element (Oppose – Unfunded Mandate) 

CS/CS/HB 291 (McClain) and CS/SB 428 (Perry) require local governments to adopt a new mandatory element in their comprehensive plans that addresses the protection of private property. CS/CS/HB 291 will tie the hands of any future cities incorporated in Florida from adopting a comprehensive plan that differs from the development orders a county had previously issued. CS/CS/HB 291 was amended to extend the mandatory date of adoption of the property rights element from July 1, 2020, to July 1, 2022. (Cruz) ...

Private Property Comprehensive Plan Element (Oppose – Unfunded Mandate)  CS/CS/HB 291 (McClain) and CS/SB 428 (Perry) require local governments to adopt a new mandatory element in their comprehensive plans that addresses the protection of private property. CS/CS/HB 291 will tie the hands of any future cities incorporated in Florida from adopting a comprehensive plan that differs from the development orders a county had previously issued. CS/CS/HB 291 was amended to extend the mandatory date of adoption of the property rights element from July 1, 2020, to July 1, 2022. (Cruz)

Preemption of Local Regulations (Oppose – Mandate and Preemption)

As originally filed, CS/CS/CS/HB 3 (Grant, M.) and SB 1748 (Perry) expressly preempt the regulation and licensing of occupations and professions to the state and prohibits the enforcement of any regulation of a business unless the regulation is either expressly authorized by general law or adopted pursuant to the new requirements imposed by the bills. “Business” is defined broadly to include any activity regularly engaged in by any person for public or private gain, benefit or advantage, including good and services and business entities. “Regulation” is defined broadly to include virtually any action taken by local government, including ...

Preemption of Local Regulations (Oppose – Mandate and Preemption) As originally filed, CS/CS/CS/HB 3 (Grant, M.) and SB 1748 (Perry) expressly preempt the regulation and licensing of occupations and professions to the state and prohibits the enforcement of any regulation of a business unless the regulation is either expressly authorized by general law or adopted pursuant to the new requirements imposed by the bills. “Business” is defined broadly to include any activity regularly engaged in by any person for public or private gain, benefit or advantage, including good and services and business entities. “Regulation” is defined broadly to include virtually any action taken by local government, including even “fees,” “pronouncements” and “guidelines.” The term appears to include regulations directed specifically at business activity (e.g., adult entertainment ordinances) as well as regulations that are directed at all persons generally (e.g., noise ordinances). Contracts, permits, approvals and Home Rule revenue sources appear to fall within the definition of “regulation” as defined in the bills.  The bills prohibit local governments from taking “new” actions affecting business after July 1, 2019, unless the local government has: •Made public findings that: the action is necessary to protect public health, safety and welfare; the action is performed in a manner that does not unnecessarily restrict entry into the business and the action is performed in the least restrictive and cost-effective manner. •Required the action sunset in two years. •Passed the action by two-thirds vote of its membership except for zoning regulations, regulations that increase building costs by less than $750, nuisance ordinances and ordinances related to alcohol and tobacco. •Published a “Statement of Estimated Regulatory Costs” 14 days prior to any vote on the action and determined the regulatory costs on business could not be reduced by adoption of a less costly alternative. Regulations expressly authorized by general law are exempt from these new requirements. The Statements of Estimated Regulatory Costs required by the bill must contain a detailed analyses of a regulation’s anticipated impacts to business and consumers, including the anticipated costs, methods of financing, resources needed for implementation and enforcement, fees needed to cover anticipated costs, impacts to small business, impacts on business competitiveness (including the ability of affected persons to compete with persons doing business in other markets), impacts on economic growth and job creation, and transactional costs likely to be incurred by businesses required to comply.  The bills sunset existing regulations affecting business in July 2021. Such regulations may be readopted only upon meeting the requirements of the bills.  CS/CS/CS/HB 3 has been amended to significantly narrow the scope and impact of the bill. As of March 21, 2019, the bill now applies only to occupational licensing, and most of the previous language about business regulation has been removed from the bill. The amended CS/CS/CS/HB 3 expressly preempts the licensing of occupations to the state. It defines occupation to include a paid job, work, trade, employment or profession and defines licensing to include any training, education, test, certification, registration, procedure or license that is required for a person to perform an occupation. The bill provides limited exceptions for specified local licenses and any local government licensing of occupations that is expressly authorized by general law. The bill prohibits a local government from requiring a person to obtain a license for a job scope that does not substantially correspond to the job scope of certain contractor categories set forth in Chapter 489. In addition, the bill authorizes local governments to issue journeyman licenses in specified trades. CS/CS/CS/HB 3 passed the House 88-24 on April 11. The Senate companion, SB 1748, has not been heard in a committee. (O’Hara/Cruz)

Private Property Rights (Oppose – Mandate)

SB 222 (Rodriguez, J.) exempts certain entities from the definition of “public utility” when the entity provides or sells renewable solar energy to users located on the site of a renewable energy production facility with a capacity of 2.5 megawatts or less. (O’Hara) ...

Private Property Rights (Oppose – Mandate) SB 222 (Rodriguez, J.) exempts certain entities from the definition of “public utility” when the entity provides or sells renewable solar energy to users located on the site of a renewable energy production facility with a capacity of 2.5 megawatts or less. (O’Hara)

BUILDING CODES/CONSTRUCTION

Permit Fees (Oppose – Unfunded Mandate) 

CS/SB 142 (Perry) and CS/HB 127 (Williamson) require local governments to publish permit and inspection fee schedules and reports on their websites. The bills also require the building permit and inspection report to include direct and indirect costs incurred by the local government to implement the Florida Building Code. Both bills passed their respective chambers. CS/HB 127 passed both chambers and now awaits action by the governor. (Branch) ...

Permit Fees (Oppose – Unfunded Mandate)  CS/SB 142 (Perry) and CS/HB 127 (Williamson) require local governments to publish permit and inspection fee schedules and reports on their websites. The bills also require the building permit and inspection report to include direct and indirect costs incurred by the local government to implement the Florida Building Code. Both bills passed their respective chambers. CS/HB 127 passed both chambers and now awaits action by the governor. (Branch)

Retainage (Oppose – Preemption) 

CS/CS/SB 246 (Hooper) and CS/CS/HB 101 (Andrade) would reduce by half the amount of retainage a municipality can withhold from a general contractor for public construction projects. Currently, municipalities can withhold up to 10 percent of retainage for the first half of the project and up to 5 percent on the last half. Retainage serves as a safeguard against possible overpayment to the general contractor when the estimated percentage of project completion, used for periodic payments, exceeds the actual percentage completed. CS/CS/HB 101 was amended on the House floor to allow municipalities to retain up to 5 percent ...

Retainage (Oppose – Preemption)  CS/CS/SB 246 (Hooper) and CS/CS/HB 101 (Andrade) would reduce by half the amount of retainage a municipality can withhold from a general contractor for public construction projects. Currently, municipalities can withhold up to 10 percent of retainage for the first half of the project and up to 5 percent on the last half. Retainage serves as a safeguard against possible overpayment to the general contractor when the estimated percentage of project completion, used for periodic payments, exceeds the actual percentage completed. CS/CS/HB 101 was amended on the House floor to allow municipalities to retain up to 5 percent across the entire project. CS/CS/HB 101 passed the House 104-10 on April 11. (Branch)

Florida Building Code Enforcement (Oppose – Preemption)

CS/SB 1036 (Gruters) and CS/HB 715 (Robinson) limit the amount of revenue generated from enforcing the Florida Building Code that a local government may carry forward from one fiscal year to the next. The bills also require local governments to use any excess funds for specific purposes. (Branch) ...

Florida Building Code Enforcement (Oppose – Preemption) CS/SB 1036 (Gruters) and CS/HB 715 (Robinson) limit the amount of revenue generated from enforcing the Florida Building Code that a local government may carry forward from one fiscal year to the next. The bills also require local governments to use any excess funds for specific purposes. (Branch)

School Choice (Oppose – Preemption)

CS/HB 7095 (PreK-12 Innovation Subcommittee) is a comprehensive education package dealing with charter schools. Of concern to cities is language allowing entities such as churches, libraries and community service organizations the ability to provide space or land to a charter school within their property or facility under their preexisting zoning and land use designations without obtaining a special exception, rezoning or a land use change. CS/HB 7095 was amended in committee attempting to clarify the locations on which land charter schools could be expanded under this proposed bill. (Branch) ...

School Choice (Oppose – Preemption) CS/HB 7095 (PreK-12 Innovation Subcommittee) is a comprehensive education package dealing with charter schools. Of concern to cities is language allowing entities such as churches, libraries and community service organizations the ability to provide space or land to a charter school within their property or facility under their preexisting zoning and land use designations without obtaining a special exception, rezoning or a land use change. CS/HB 7095 was amended in committee attempting to clarify the locations on which land charter schools could be expanded under this proposed bill. (Branch)

Deregulation of Professions and Occupations (Oppose – Preemption)

CS/SB 1640 (Albritton) and CS/CS/HB 27 (Ingoglia) deal with the deregulation of certain professions and occupations. Of concern to cities, the bills also delete the ability of the Florida League of Cities (FLC) and the Florida Association of Counties (FAC) to recommend a list of candidates for consideration to the Florida Building Commission. Under current law, FLC and FAC have a joint representative on the commission. The bills revise the membership of the Florida Building Commission from 27 members to 20. (Branch) ...

Deregulation of Professions and Occupations (Oppose – Preemption) CS/SB 1640 (Albritton) and CS/CS/HB 27 (Ingoglia) deal with the deregulation of certain professions and occupations. Of concern to cities, the bills also delete the ability of the Florida League of Cities (FLC) and the Florida Association of Counties (FAC) to recommend a list of candidates for consideration to the Florida Building Commission. Under current law, FLC and FAC have a joint representative on the commission. The bills revise the membership of the Florida Building Commission from 27 members to 20. (Branch)

Inspections and Permits (Oppose – Mandate)

CS/SB 1752 (Perry) and HB 1139 (Plakon) require local governments that impose inspection fees as a result of enforcing the Florida Building and Fire Prevention Code to establish an expedited inspection process. The bills allow a local government to charge an additional fee for the expedited inspection. CS/SB 1752 was amended in committee, giving municipalities the option to create such a process. (Branch) ...

Inspections and Permits (Oppose – Mandate) CS/SB 1752 (Perry) and HB 1139 (Plakon) require local governments that impose inspection fees as a result of enforcing the Florida Building and Fire Prevention Code to establish an expedited inspection process. The bills allow a local government to charge an additional fee for the expedited inspection. CS/SB 1752 was amended in committee, giving municipalities the option to create such a process. (Branch)

Engineering (Oppose – Mandate)

CS/CS/SB 616 (Perry) and CS/CS/HB 827 (Toledo) authorize the Florida Board of Professional Engineers to establish minimum standards of practice and rules for the profession of engineering. Of concern to cities, the bills reduce the number of days a local building official has to review a private provider permit application from 30 business days to 20 business days. The bills also change the number of days an owner who decides to use a private inspector is required to notify a local building official from seven business days before the first scheduled inspection to two business day. (Branch) ...

Engineering (Oppose – Mandate) CS/CS/SB 616 (Perry) and CS/CS/HB 827 (Toledo) authorize the Florida Board of Professional Engineers to establish minimum standards of practice and rules for the profession of engineering. Of concern to cities, the bills reduce the number of days a local building official has to review a private provider permit application from 30 business days to 20 business days. The bills also change the number of days an owner who decides to use a private inspector is required to notify a local building official from seven business days before the first scheduled inspection to two business day. (Branch)

Local Government Public Construction Works (Oppose – Mandate)

CS/SB 806 (Perry) and CS/HB 167 (Andrade) require the governing board, in deciding whether it is in the public’s best interest for the local government to perform a public building construction project using its own services, to consider the estimated costs of the project using generally accepted cost-accounting principles. This requirement includes all costs associated with performing and completing the work, including employee compensation and benefits and other determining factors. ...

Local Government Public Construction Works (Oppose – Mandate) CS/SB 806 (Perry) and CS/HB 167 (Andrade) require the governing board, in deciding whether it is in the public’s best interest for the local government to perform a public building construction project using its own services, to consider the estimated costs of the project using generally accepted cost-accounting principles. This requirement includes all costs associated with performing and completing the work, including employee compensation and benefits and other determining factors. The bills also require a local government that performs a public building construction project using its own services to disclose the actual costs of the project after completion to the auditor general. (Branch)

Building Construction Procedures (Oppose – Preemption)

CS/HB 1333 (Payne) revises the process by which the Florida Building Code is updated. Of concerns to cities, HB 1333 limits the amount of revenue generated from enforcing the FBC that a local government may carry forward from one fiscal year to the next. The bill also requires a local government to use any excess funds for specific purposes. (Branch) ...

Building Construction Procedures (Oppose – Preemption) CS/HB 1333 (Payne) revises the process by which the Florida Building Code is updated. Of concerns to cities, HB 1333 limits the amount of revenue generated from enforcing the FBC that a local government may carry forward from one fiscal year to the next. The bill also requires a local government to use any excess funds for specific purposes. (Branch)

Professional Regulation (Oppose) 

CS/CS/SB 334 (Brandes) and CS/CS/CS/HB 397 (Plakon) deal with construction licensing and the makeup of the Construction Industry Licensing Board (CILB). Of concern to cities, CS/CS/CS/HB 397 reduces the membership makeup of the CILB by removing one of the municipal or county building officials. CS/CS/SB 334 removes the local government official from the CILB, leaving no representation from local governments. (Branch) ...

Professional Regulation (Oppose)  CS/CS/SB 334 (Brandes) and CS/CS/CS/HB 397 (Plakon) deal with construction licensing and the makeup of the Construction Industry Licensing Board (CILB). Of concern to cities, CS/CS/CS/HB 397 reduces the membership makeup of the CILB by removing one of the municipal or county building officials. CS/CS/SB 334 removes the local government official from the CILB, leaving no representation from local governments. (Branch)

Fees for Enforcing the Florida Building Code (Support)

SB 1512 (Diaz) mandates that all fees and investment earnings related to the enforcement of the Florida Building Code must be used solely for carrying out the local government’s responsibilities in enforcing the Florida Building Code (FBC). The bill adds allowable activities for which local governments may charge reasonable fees when enforcing the FBC. (Branch) ...

Fees for Enforcing the Florida Building Code (Support) SB 1512 (Diaz) mandates that all fees and investment earnings related to the enforcement of the Florida Building Code must be used solely for carrying out the local government’s responsibilities in enforcing the Florida Building Code (FBC). The bill adds allowable activities for which local governments may charge reasonable fees when enforcing the FBC. (Branch)

Fire-Safety and Prevention (Watch)

CS/SB 498 (Powell) and HB 433 (Jacquet) prohibit individuals from influencing fire-safety inspectors by threatening, coercing, persuading or compensating to interfere with an inspection. The bills also provide criminal penalties for these violations. (Branch) ...

Fire-Safety and Prevention (Watch) CS/SB 498 (Powell) and HB 433 (Jacquet) prohibit individuals from influencing fire-safety inspectors by threatening, coercing, persuading or compensating to interfere with an inspection. The bills also provide criminal penalties for these violations. (Branch)

Electrical Contractors (Watch)

SB 730 (Gibson) and HB 6027 (Mercado) allow a city or county to require an electric journeyman to be present to supervise or perform work on an industrial or commercial new construction site when electrical work in excess of 77 volts is being performed. Under current law, they may be required only on a worksite with a facility of 50,000 gross square feet or more. (Branch) ...

Electrical Contractors (Watch) SB 730 (Gibson) and HB 6027 (Mercado) allow a city or county to require an electric journeyman to be present to supervise or perform work on an industrial or commercial new construction site when electrical work in excess of 77 volts is being performed. Under current law, they may be required only on a worksite with a facility of 50,000 gross square feet or more. (Branch)

Open and Expired Building Permits (Watch)

CS/SB 902 (Perry) and CS/CS/HB 447 (Diamond) deal with open and expired building permits. The bills: ...

Open and Expired Building Permits (Watch) CS/SB 902 (Perry) and CS/CS/HB 447 (Diamond) deal with open and expired building permits. The bills: •Allow local governments to send a notice to an owner and contractor that a building permit is about to expire instead of requiring such notice.  •Clarify that a building department may close an expired permit six years after the permit is issued instead of six years after the permit expires. •Clarify that the search fee for identifying building permits for units or sub-units that are assigned to one parcel of property must be commensurate with the research and time costs incurred by the local government. (Branch)

Other Bills of Interest 

SB 830 (Braynon) and HB 459 (Pritchett) – Emergency Power for Facilities Providing Dialysis Services  ...

Other Bills of Interest  SB 830 (Braynon) and HB 459 (Pritchett) – Emergency Power for Facilities Providing Dialysis Services  SB 1800 (Gibson) – Florida Building Code

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Community Redevelopment Agencies (Oppose – Preemption) 

CS/CS/SB 1054 (Lee) and CS/HB 9 (LaMarca) increase audit, ethics, reporting and accountability measures for community redevelopment agencies. The bills require CRAs to annually submit additional reporting information to the state, including performance data for each CRA plan, number of projects started, total number of projects completed, commercial property vacancy rates, amount expended on affordable housing, etc. The bills require CRA procurement to comport with city and county procurement procedures. The bills provide that a CRA that has no financial activity can be declared inactive by the Department of Economic Opportunity. The House and Senate bill differ on ...

Community Redevelopment Agencies (Oppose – Preemption)  CS/CS/SB 1054 (Lee) and CS/HB 9 (LaMarca) increase audit, ethics, reporting and accountability measures for community redevelopment agencies. The bills require CRAs to annually submit additional reporting information to the state, including performance data for each CRA plan, number of projects started, total number of projects completed, commercial property vacancy rates, amount expended on affordable housing, etc. The bills require CRA procurement to comport with city and county procurement procedures. The bills provide that a CRA that has no financial activity can be declared inactive by the Department of Economic Opportunity. The House and Senate bill differ on several key points. CS/HB 9 specifies that after October 1, 2019, a new CRA can be created only by a countywide referendum in a primary or general election that requires the approval of two-thirds of the electors' votes to pass. The bill outlines a process by which all CRAs will be terminated by 2039 unless reauthorized by the body that created the CRA by a two-thirds vote. CS/SB 1054 was amended with language supported by the League to remove provisions capping administrative expenditures to 18 percent. The amendment also removed a provision that required the creation a lobbying registration program for CRAs. Additionally, the amendment removed a prohibition on the expenditure of Tax Increment Financing funds on festivals, grants to promote tourism and grants to socially beneficial nonprofit entities. The bill retains existing provisions of law that require a simple majority vote of the governing body that created the CRA if the CRA expiration date is beyond September 30, 2039. CS/SB 1054 does not contain any provisions related to the creation of new CRAs. (Cruz)

Northwest Florida Rural Inland Affected Counties Recovery Fund (Support)

HB 191 (Drake) and SB 1162 (Gainer) create the Northwest Florida Rural Inland Affected Counties Recovery Fund within the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) to provide a long-term source of funding for economic recovery and enhancement efforts of the rural, inland counties affected by the BP Deepwater Horizon Disaster. The bills require DEO to develop an application and selection criteria for awarding grants to local governments for infrastructure projects and workforce programs meeting certain requirements. Funds available for these grants would come from a portion of the Deepwater Horizon settlement with BP. (Cook) ...

Northwest Florida Rural Inland Affected Counties Recovery Fund (Support) HB 191 (Drake) and SB 1162 (Gainer) create the Northwest Florida Rural Inland Affected Counties Recovery Fund within the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) to provide a long-term source of funding for economic recovery and enhancement efforts of the rural, inland counties affected by the BP Deepwater Horizon Disaster. The bills require DEO to develop an application and selection criteria for awarding grants to local governments for infrastructure projects and workforce programs meeting certain requirements. Funds available for these grants would come from a portion of the Deepwater Horizon settlement with BP. (Cook)

Sports Facility Development (Watch)

HB 233 (Beltran), HB 791 (Avila) and SB 414 (Lee) repeal provisions relating to state funding for the purpose of constructing, reconstructing, renovating or improving facilities primarily used for sporting events.   ...

Sports Facility Development (Watch) HB 233 (Beltran), HB 791 (Avila) and SB 414 (Lee) repeal provisions relating to state funding for the purpose of constructing, reconstructing, renovating or improving facilities primarily used for sporting events.   HB 233 and SB 414 repeal the Sports Development program in current law that provides an avenue for sports facilities to apply for a distribution from the state to fund the construction or improvements to a professional sports franchise facility. Since the program was enacted in 2014, no application has been approved by the Legislature. The bills also make conforming changes to other statutes, related to Sports Development program distributions and reporting requirements. HB 791 prohibits the use of Tourist Development Tax or Convention Development Tax revenues to finance or construct any aspect of a facility that is or will be used by a sports franchise after July 1, 2019. The bill specifies that lawful contracts entered into before July 1, 2019, will not be affected and that the provisions of the bill will not be construed to impair existing contracts. Additionally, HB 791: • Prohibits a sports franchise from constructing or improving a facility on land that is    leased from the state or local government. • Requires that the lease or sale of public land to a sports franchise for a sports facility must be at fair market value.  • Specifies that a facility that is owned, operated or leased by a sports franchise is not tax-exempt.  • Provides that any new or amended contract include a provision requiring the sports franchise to pay off any outstanding governmental debt in the event that the sports franchise stops using the facility. (Cook)

Opportunity Zones (Watch)

HB 481 (Omphroy) and SB 1408 (Powell) deal with Opportunity Zones (OZs). Of note to cities, the bills create a process whereby cities can apply to the Department of Economic Opportunity for approval for the designated OZ to receive state incentives. The bills require local governments to provide relevant information relating to the designated OZ, including: a resolution adopted by the governing body approving the creation of the OZ; a copy of the adopted strategic plan for that city; a description of how the city plans to implement and develop the plan; and a listing of the other ...

Opportunity Zones (Watch) HB 481 (Omphroy) and SB 1408 (Powell) deal with Opportunity Zones (OZs). Of note to cities, the bills create a process whereby cities can apply to the Department of Economic Opportunity for approval for the designated OZ to receive state incentives. The bills require local governments to provide relevant information relating to the designated OZ, including: a resolution adopted by the governing body approving the creation of the OZ; a copy of the adopted strategic plan for that city; a description of how the city plans to implement and develop the plan; and a listing of the other stakeholders involved in the plan development. (Cook)

Regional Rural Development Grants (Watch)

SB 596 (Albritton) and HB 671 (Clemons) make changes to how the Regional Rural Development Grant program and the Rural Infrastructure Fund operate. Specifically, the bills amend the Regional Rural Development Grant Program to: ...

Regional Rural Development Grants (Watch) SB 596 (Albritton) and HB 671 (Clemons) make changes to how the Regional Rural Development Grant program and the Rural Infrastructure Fund operate. Specifically, the bills amend the Regional Rural Development Grant Program to: • Increase the maximum annual grant amount to $250,000 from $150,000 that three regional economic development organizations that serve an entire specified region of a rural area of opportunity may receive  • Increase the amount of funds the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) may expend for the program to up to $1 million annually (from $750,000 annually)  • Reduce the required match the regional economic development organizations must contribute in non-state resources from 100 percent to 25 percent of the state’s contribution • Allow the use of grant funds to build the professional capacity of regional economic development organizations.  The bills amend the Rural Infrastructure Fund program to:  • Increase the grant awards to 50 percent of infrastructure project costs (up from 30 percent) • Clarify that eligible infrastructure projects include access to broadband internet service, and projects that improve service and access must be provided through a partnership that was publicly noticed and competitively bid • Require the DEO to review the grant program application and award procedures by September 1, 2020. (Cook)

Community Development Districts (Watch)

CS/SB 728 (Lee) and CS/CS/HB 437 (Buchanan) allow a petitioner that is establishing a new community development district (CDD) of less than 2,500 acres to include a list of adjacent parcels that the petitioner expects within the next 10 years to include in the district boundaries. The bills provide a process for expanding the boundaries of the CDD to include parcels identified for annexation. (Branch) ...

Community Development Districts (Watch) CS/SB 728 (Lee) and CS/CS/HB 437 (Buchanan) allow a petitioner that is establishing a new community development district (CDD) of less than 2,500 acres to include a list of adjacent parcels that the petitioner expects within the next 10 years to include in the district boundaries. The bills provide a process for expanding the boundaries of the CDD to include parcels identified for annexation. (Branch)

Other Bills of Interest

SB 112 (Rodriguez) and HB 61 (Duran) – Small Business Roadway Construction Mitigation Grant Program ...

Other Bills of Interest SB 112 (Rodriguez) and HB 61 (Duran) – Small Business Roadway Construction Mitigation Grant Program HB 739 (Hill) – Rural Communities

EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

Emergency Mitigation and Response (Support)

CS/SB 1610 (Montford) creates the Hurricane Michael Recovery Task Force under the Division of Emergency Management. The purpose of the task force is to make recommendations to the Legislature regarding additional assistance needed from the effects of Hurricane Michael. The bill also: ...

Emergency Mitigation and Response (Support) CS/SB 1610 (Montford) creates the Hurricane Michael Recovery Task Force under the Division of Emergency Management. The purpose of the task force is to make recommendations to the Legislature regarding additional assistance needed from the effects of Hurricane Michael. The bill also: •Creates the Hurricane Housing Recovery Program within the Florida Housing Finance Corp. to address the needs of affordable housing for those impacted by Hurricane Michael and to prepare for future housing needs.  •Requires the Florida Building Commission to lead a review of the effects of Hurricane Michael and provide recommendations to the Legislature regarding enhanced building zones. •Expands the Agricultural Economic Development Program to include timber as an eligible crop for the emergency loan program. (Branch)

Disaster Recovery (Support) 

HB 645 (Trumbull) expands the criteria for levying a discretionary sales surtax to include: a county with a population of 200,000 or fewer, which is contiguous to three or more counties, each with a population of 50,000 or fewer, that has been named in a major disaster declared by the President of the United States. The bill authorizes counties to remove debris from private roads and gated communities during a declared state or local emergency. (Branch) ...

Disaster Recovery (Support)  HB 645 (Trumbull) expands the criteria for levying a discretionary sales surtax to include: a county with a population of 200,000 or fewer, which is contiguous to three or more counties, each with a population of 50,000 or fewer, that has been named in a major disaster declared by the President of the United States. The bill authorizes counties to remove debris from private roads and gated communities during a declared state or local emergency. (Branch)

Federal Disaster Relief and Recovery (Support)

SB 1844 (Montford) is a resolution urging members of Congress to pass a federal supplemental appropriations package for disaster relief and recovery to assist those attempting to rebuild their lives in the wake of Hurricane Michael. (Branch) ...

Federal Disaster Relief and Recovery (Support) SB 1844 (Montford) is a resolution urging members of Congress to pass a federal supplemental appropriations package for disaster relief and recovery to assist those attempting to rebuild their lives in the wake of Hurricane Michael. (Branch)

Emergency Management Planning for Assisted Living Facilities (Watch – Preemption)  

SB 1364 (Gruters) preempts the regulation of comprehensive emergency management planning for assisted living facilities (ALFs) to the state. The bill requires an ALF to plan and respond to a disaster in a reasonable manner that provides for the protection and welfare of its residents. The bill also requires it to submit a comprehensive emergency management plan to the county emergency management agency before a facility is issued a license. (Branch) ...

Emergency Management Planning for Assisted Living Facilities (Watch – Preemption)   SB 1364 (Gruters) preempts the regulation of comprehensive emergency management planning for assisted living facilities (ALFs) to the state. The bill requires an ALF to plan and respond to a disaster in a reasonable manner that provides for the protection and welfare of its residents. The bill also requires it to submit a comprehensive emergency management plan to the county emergency management agency before a facility is issued a license. (Branch)

Other Bills of Interest 

SB 404 (Farmer) and HB 573 (Casello) – Strategic Fuel Reserve  ...

Other Bills of Interest  SB 404 (Farmer) and HB 573 (Casello) – Strategic Fuel Reserve

ETHICS & ELECTIONS

Ethics Reform (Watch)

SB 1702 (Baxley) and CS/HB 1 (Sabatini) would prohibit the use of an elected official’s name, image, or symbol of office in a public service announcement while the official is a candidate for reelection or election to public office if such announcement is paid for with public funds or donated media. The term “public service announcement” is defined as any message that “promotes or announces an issue of public importance, concern, or welfare.” In addition, the bills would amend various provisions relating to public officer and employee conduct regarding solicitation and negotiating of conflicting relationships. Specifically, the bills ...

Ethics Reform (Watch) SB 1702 (Baxley) and CS/HB 1 (Sabatini) would prohibit the use of an elected official’s name, image, or symbol of office in a public service announcement while the official is a candidate for reelection or election to public office if such announcement is paid for with public funds or donated media. The term “public service announcement” is defined as any message that “promotes or announces an issue of public importance, concern, or welfare.” In addition, the bills would amend various provisions relating to public officer and employee conduct regarding solicitation and negotiating of conflicting relationships. Specifically, the bills would prohibit any public officer or employee from soliciting any employment or contractual relationship from entities with whom they are prohibited from entering conflicting relationships under the state Code of Ethics. The bills also impose restrictions and disclosure requirements on statewide elected officers and legislators relating to solicitation and acceptance of employment offers, acceptance of investment advice, business relationships with lobbyists or their principals, and specified changes in employment and compensation. The bills impose additional post-employment restrictions on specified state officers and agency employees. The bills also amend various provisions relating to executive branch lobbyist registration. They clarify that the current lobbyist registration process for the executive branch does not require an officer or employee of a political subdivision, including a municipality, to register if the officer or employee is acting in the normal course of his or her duties. (O’Hara)

Ethics (Watch)

SB 1008 (Rodriguez, J.) amends the voting conflicts requirements and attorney fees provisions of the state Code of Ethics for public officers and employees. It would prohibit a state, county, municipal or other public officer from voting on any measure that would inure to his or her special private gain or loss, or special gain or loss to his or her principal, relative or business associate. The bill would modify law by making legislators and state officers subject to the same voting conflict requirements and disclosures as county and municipal officers. The bill limits the recovery of attorney ...

Ethics (Watch) SB 1008 (Rodriguez, J.) amends the voting conflicts requirements and attorney fees provisions of the state Code of Ethics for public officers and employees. It would prohibit a state, county, municipal or other public officer from voting on any measure that would inure to his or her special private gain or loss, or special gain or loss to his or her principal, relative or business associate. The bill would modify law by making legislators and state officers subject to the same voting conflict requirements and disclosures as county and municipal officers. The bill limits the recovery of attorney fees by a respondent against a complainant in an ethics proceeding to those costs and fees incurred in defense of the respondent in the original proceeding plus fees and costs incurred in proving entitlement to costs and fees. In addition, it would authorize a complainant to recover attorney fees from a respondent if the complainant prevails against a respondent in an action by the complainant to recover attorney fees following disposition of an ethics complaint. (O’Hara)

Ethics – 2 (Watch)

HB 1403 (Drake) prohibits a person, including a member of the Legislature, from engaging in disorderly or contemptuous conduct before a committee of the Legislature. Disorderly conduct would include knowingly making a materially false statement before a legislative committee. It provides a procedure for investigating and punishing disorderly or contemptuous conduct while the Legislature is in session. The bill provides for penalties, including civil fines and imprisonment. The bill revises the form of oath required for candidates to include an affirmation to speak the truth during the candidate’s campaign for office and prohibit a candidate from knowingly making ...

Ethics – 2 (Watch) HB 1403 (Drake) prohibits a person, including a member of the Legislature, from engaging in disorderly or contemptuous conduct before a committee of the Legislature. Disorderly conduct would include knowingly making a materially false statement before a legislative committee. It provides a procedure for investigating and punishing disorderly or contemptuous conduct while the Legislature is in session. The bill provides for penalties, including civil fines and imprisonment. The bill revises the form of oath required for candidates to include an affirmation to speak the truth during the candidate’s campaign for office and prohibit a candidate from knowingly making or causing to be made a materially false statement about an opposing candidate. The bill provides penalties of up to $1,000 to be assessed against candidate found by the Florida Commission on Ethics to have violated the new requirement. (O’Hara)

Financial Disclosure (Watch)

CS/CS/SB 7040 (Ethics & Elections Committee) and HB 7021 (Public Integrity & Ethics Committee) provide for the mandatory electronic filing of Form 1 and Form 6 financial disclosures by specified state officers and employees. The bills require the Commission on Ethics to procure and test an electronic disclosure filing system by January 2022. The bills require disclosures to be completed and submitted online and to be accessible and searchable online by the public. Form 6 filers would be required to file their forms electronically beginning January 1, 2022. Form 1 filers would be required to file their forms ...

Financial Disclosure (Watch) CS/CS/SB 7040 (Ethics & Elections Committee) and HB 7021 (Public Integrity & Ethics Committee) provide for the mandatory electronic filing of Form 1 and Form 6 financial disclosures by specified state officers and employees. The bills require the Commission on Ethics to procure and test an electronic disclosure filing system by January 2022. The bills require disclosures to be completed and submitted online and to be accessible and searchable online by the public. Form 6 filers would be required to file their forms electronically beginning January 1, 2022. Form 1 filers would be required to file their forms electronically beginning January 1, 2023. The bills provide for the filing of a receipt or verification of the filing with local qualifying officers and provide for the filing of candidate statements with local qualifying officers. The bills require Form 6 filers to identify each separate source of income that exceeds $1,000. The bills prohibit filers from submitting, and prohibit the Commission on Ethics from accepting, specified information such as federal income tax forms, social security numbers and other confidential financial information. HB 7021 was substituted for CS/CS/SB 7040. HB 7021 is awaiting action by the governor.  (O’Hara)

Government Integrity (Watch)

SB 1542 (Hutson) and HB 1047 (Tomkow) establish various provisions to promote integrity in government and to prevent fraud, waste and abuse relating to the expenditure of public funds. The bills create the Florida Accountability Office and the position of Florida Accountability Officer within the Office of the Auditor General. The bills authorize the Florida Accountability Officer to investigate complaints alleging waste, fraud, abuse, misconduct or gross mismanagement (as defined in the bills) in connection with the expenditure of public funds within and by state and local government. The bills authorize the Accountability Officer to refer a matter ...

Government Integrity (Watch) SB 1542 (Hutson) and HB 1047 (Tomkow) establish various provisions to promote integrity in government and to prevent fraud, waste and abuse relating to the expenditure of public funds. The bills create the Florida Accountability Office and the position of Florida Accountability Officer within the Office of the Auditor General. The bills authorize the Florida Accountability Officer to investigate complaints alleging waste, fraud, abuse, misconduct or gross mismanagement (as defined in the bills) in connection with the expenditure of public funds within and by state and local government. The bills authorize the Accountability Officer to refer a matter to the auditor general, the appropriate law enforcement agency, the Commission on Ethics, the chief financial officer, the Office of the Chief Inspector General or the appropriate agency inspector general. The bills direct the Auditor General and the Accountability Officer to conduct random audits and inspections of appropriations projects appropriated in the prior year. The audit will include an evaluation of the performance of the recipient of the appropriations project and the effect and public value produced by the appropriations project. The bills amend the state “Whistleblower Act,” which protects public employees that report various acts of wrong-doing by an employee, agent or independent contractor of a public agency. The bills define “mismanagement” in the Whistleblower Act and broadens the category of complaints that may be covered by the act. Specifically, the bills cover complaints alleging “mismanagement,” “waste of public funds” and “neglect of duty” as opposed to “gross mismanagement,” "gross waste of public funds” and “gross neglect of duty” as under current law. (O’Hara)

Primary Elections (Watch)

SB 556 (Rader) establishes a universal (also known as a “jungle”) primary system in the State of Florida for all state, county and municipal elections. In each year in which a general election is held, the bill would require a universal primary election to be held for candidates for state, county and municipal elections on the Tuesday 10 weeks before the general election. The bill specifies all candidates for these offices, regardless of party affiliation, must appear on a single ballot, and the two candidates receiving the highest and next highest number of votes for that office, regardless ...

Primary Elections (Watch) SB 556 (Rader) establishes a universal (also known as a “jungle”) primary system in the State of Florida for all state, county and municipal elections. In each year in which a general election is held, the bill would require a universal primary election to be held for candidates for state, county and municipal elections on the Tuesday 10 weeks before the general election. The bill specifies all candidates for these offices, regardless of party affiliation, must appear on a single ballot, and the two candidates receiving the highest and next highest number of votes for that office, regardless of party affiliation, shall advance to the general election. The bill would permit all qualified electors, regardless of their party affiliation, to vote in the primary election for those offices. In the event of a tie for second place, the bill specifies the candidates tying for second shall draw lots to determine which candidate advances to the general election. The bill could be construed to impact current law regarding the dates of municipal election. (O’Hara)

Public Records/Commission on Ethics (Watch)

CS/SB 7042 (Ethics and Elections) and HB 7023 (Public Integrity & Ethics Committee) would provide exemptions from the public records law requirements for certain passwords held by the Commission on Ethics and certain information entered into the electronic filing system for financial disclosure forms. HB 7023 was substituted for CS/SB 7042. HB 7023 is awaiting signature by the governor. (O’Hara) ...

Public Records/Commission on Ethics (Watch) CS/SB 7042 (Ethics and Elections) and HB 7023 (Public Integrity & Ethics Committee) would provide exemptions from the public records law requirements for certain passwords held by the Commission on Ethics and certain information entered into the electronic filing system for financial disclosure forms. HB 7023 was substituted for CS/SB 7042. HB 7023 is awaiting signature by the governor. (O’Hara)

Public Records/Probable Cause Finding (Watch)

SB 228 (Gruters) and HB 439 (Buchanan) amend provisions of the Florida Elections Code and the Florida Code of Ethics to address the potential misuse of the complaint process against candidates to influence elections. Current law provides that if a finding of probable cause is entered by the Elections Commission 30 days before the election, the finding may not become public until the day after the election. The bills extend this timeframe from 30 days to 60 days. Similarly, current law provides that an ethics complaint and all related documents become public only when the Commission on Ethics ...

Public Records/Probable Cause Finding (Watch) SB 228 (Gruters) and HB 439 (Buchanan) amend provisions of the Florida Elections Code and the Florida Code of Ethics to address the potential misuse of the complaint process against candidates to influence elections. Current law provides that if a finding of probable cause is entered by the Elections Commission 30 days before the election, the finding may not become public until the day after the election. The bills extend this timeframe from 30 days to 60 days. Similarly, current law provides that an ethics complaint and all related documents become public only when the Commission on Ethics makes a finding of probable cause. The bills specify that if the complaint is made against a candidate in a general, primary or special election and the finding of probable cause is made within 60 days before the election, that the complaint and related documents may not become public until the day after the election. (O’Hara)

Sexual Harassment (Watch)

SB 240 (Book) amends the Florida Code of Ethics to address sexual harassment by public officers, public employees, candidates for office, and state executive and legislative branch lobbyists. The bill defines sexual harassment and prohibits a public officer, public employee, candidate or lobbyist from sexually harassing any individual, regardless of whether an employment relationship exists. The bill specifies penalties for lobbyists who are found to have violated provisions of the law, including public censure and reprimand, civil penalties not to exceed $10,000 and a prohibition from lobbying for a specified period. Public officers, employees and candidates found to ...

Sexual Harassment (Watch) SB 240 (Book) amends the Florida Code of Ethics to address sexual harassment by public officers, public employees, candidates for office, and state executive and legislative branch lobbyists. The bill defines sexual harassment and prohibits a public officer, public employee, candidate or lobbyist from sexually harassing any individual, regardless of whether an employment relationship exists. The bill specifies penalties for lobbyists who are found to have violated provisions of the law, including public censure and reprimand, civil penalties not to exceed $10,000 and a prohibition from lobbying for a specified period. Public officers, employees and candidates found to have violated the law would be subject to existing penalties as specified in the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees, Chapter 112, Florida Statutes. (O’Hara)

Workplace Sexual Harassment (Watch)

SB 1580 (Book) and HB 417 (Eskamani) require the Florida Commission on Human Relations to develop a model sexual harassment prevention policy. The bills specify the minimum requirements and contents of the policy. The bills require every employer in the state to adopt the model policy or to establish a policy that equals or exceeds the minimum standards provided in the model policy. The bills require employers to provide a written copy of the policy to employees and post the policy in a conspicuous location. The bills direct the commission to produce a model sexual harassment training program ...

Workplace Sexual Harassment (Watch) SB 1580 (Book) and HB 417 (Eskamani) require the Florida Commission on Human Relations to develop a model sexual harassment prevention policy. The bills specify the minimum requirements and contents of the policy. The bills require every employer in the state to adopt the model policy or to establish a policy that equals or exceeds the minimum standards provided in the model policy. The bills require employers to provide a written copy of the policy to employees and post the policy in a conspicuous location. The bills direct the commission to produce a model sexual harassment training program and specifies the content for such program. The bills require employers to use the model training program or to establish a training program that equals or exceeds the model program. (O’Hara)

Other Bills of Interest

HB 55 (Jenne) – Campaign Finance Requirements for Statewide Elected Officials and Legislators ...

Other Bills of Interest HB 55 (Jenne) – Campaign Finance Requirements for Statewide Elected Officials and Legislators SB 224 (Gruters), HB 181 (Clemons) and SB 396 (Farmer) – Campaign Financing HB 57 (Roth) and SB 232 (Baxley) – Percentage of Elector Votes Required to Approve Constitutional Amendment SJR 74 (Bradley), SJR 86 (Rodriguez, J.) and HJR 53 (Byrd) – Single Subject Requirement for Revisions or Amendments to the Constitution SB 58 (Book) – Legislative Committee Testimony SB 268 (Baxley) and HB 698 (Fitzenhagen) – Voting Methods SJR 270 (Baxley) and HB 615 (Roth) – Repeal of Public Campaign Financing Requirement SB 272 (Baxley) – Campaign Finance HB 221 (Overdorf) and SB 508 (Gruters) – Specifications for Ballots SB 460 (Gibson) and HB 967 (Davis) – Elections SB 1386 (Rodriquez, J.) – Elections  SB 690 (Rodriguez, J.) – Single Subject Requirement for Taxation and Budget Reform Commission SB 1048 (Torres) – Elect President by National Popular Vote HB 881 (Jenne) – Voting Systems SB 7066 (Baxley) – Ballot Processes SB 1802 (Stewart) and HB 1365 (Thompson) – Elections SB 1670 (Mayfield) and HB 7063 (Oversight, Transparency & Public Mgmt Subcommittee) – Administrative Procedures Act HB 7101 (State Affairs Committee) – Elections

FINANCE & TAXATION

Telecommunications Services and Small Cell Deployment (Oppose – Preemption)

CS/CS/CS/SB 1000 (Hutson) and CS/CS/CS/HB 693 (Fischer) were substantially amended to include changes to the law on the use of public rights-of-way, including provisions on small wireless infrastructure. Current law contains a statement of legislative intent that local governments treat providers of communications services in a nondiscriminatory and competitively neutral manner. In direct contrast to this “nondiscrimination language,” the bills require local governments to take into account factors, such as distinct engineering or construction and operation, when imposing rules or regulations governing the placement or maintenance of communications facilities in the public roads or rights-of-way, thereby asking for ...

Telecommunications Services and Small Cell Deployment (Oppose – Preemption) CS/CS/CS/SB 1000 (Hutson) and CS/CS/CS/HB 693 (Fischer) were substantially amended to include changes to the law on the use of public rights-of-way, including provisions on small wireless infrastructure. Current law contains a statement of legislative intent that local governments treat providers of communications services in a nondiscriminatory and competitively neutral manner. In direct contrast to this “nondiscrimination language,” the bills require local governments to take into account factors, such as distinct engineering or construction and operation, when imposing rules or regulations governing the placement or maintenance of communications facilities in the public roads or rights-of-way, thereby asking for special treatment. The bills also remove many of the provisions that were agreed to by the wireless industry when the Advanced Wireless Deployment Act (the 2017 Act) was passed in 2017. For example, the bills remove the requirement that wireless providers must comply with local government nondiscriminatory utility undergrounding requirements.  Installing a new utility pole in the rights-of-way to support a small wireless facility was dealt with in the 2017 Act in part for spacing, height and permit application review timeframes, but under the 2017 Act a local government could still subject the utility pole to local government “rules and regulations governing the placement of utility poles in the rights of way.” CS/CS/SB 1000 and CS/CS/HB 693 remove this language, meaning that a city or county would have to treat a permit application to put a new utility pole in the right of way exactly the same as a permit application to collocate a small wireless facility onto an existing utility pole. The bills prohibit a local government from requiring wireless providers to submit certain information, such as an inventory of communications facilities, maps, locations of such facilities or other information, as a condition of registration, renewal or for any purpose. The bills do authorize a local government to require, as part of a permit application, that the applicant identify ground-level communications facilities within 50 feet of the proposed installation location for the placement at-grade communications facilities. The bills also prohibit requiring a wireless provider to pay any fee, cost or other charge for registration or renewal; adoption or enforcement of any ordinances, regulations or requirements as to the placement or operation of communications facilities in a right-of-way by a communications services provider; or imposition or collection of any tax or charge for providing communications services over the communications services provider's communications facilities in a right-of-way. The bills delete performance bonds and security funds from the allowable requirements for a communications provider and allow requiring a construction bond limited to no more than one year after the construction is completed. The bills create a cause of action for any person aggrieved by a violation of the right-of-way statute. A party may bring a civil action in a U.S. district court or any other court of competent jurisdiction, and the court may grant temporary or permanent injunctions to prevent or restrain violations and direct the recovery of full costs, including awarding reasonable attorney fees. (Hughes)

Local Government Fiscal Transparency (Oppose – Mandate)

CS/CS/HB 15 (Burton) and SB 1350 (Hutson) amend multiple provisions related to local government financial transparency. The bills expand public notice and public hearing requirements for local option tax increases, other than property taxes and taxes adopted by referendum, and new long-term tax-supported debt issuances. Each local government would be required to prominently post on its website the voting records on any action taken by its governing board related to tax increases and new tax-supported debt issuance. The bills impose requirements on county property appraisers and local governments relating to Truth in Millage (TRIM) notices, millage rate history ...

Local Government Fiscal Transparency (Oppose – Mandate) CS/CS/HB 15 (Burton) and SB 1350 (Hutson) amend multiple provisions related to local government financial transparency. The bills expand public notice and public hearing requirements for local option tax increases, other than property taxes and taxes adopted by referendum, and new long-term tax-supported debt issuances. Each local government would be required to prominently post on its website the voting records on any action taken by its governing board related to tax increases and new tax-supported debt issuance. The bills impose requirements on county property appraisers and local governments relating to Truth in Millage (TRIM) notices, millage rate history and the amount of tax levied by each taxing authority on each parcel. The bill specifies the timeframe that cities must follow in keeping certain budget documents on the website. Additionally, local governments are required to conduct a debt affordability analysis prior to approving the issuance of new long-term tax-supported debt. The analysis would, at a minimum, calculate a debt affordability ratio to gauge the effects of the new debt issuance on the government’s debt service to revenue profile. The debt affordability ratio is the annual debt service for outstanding tax-supported debt divided by total annual revenues available to pay debt service on outstanding debt. The bills require the local government annual audit reports to include information regarding compliance with the requirements of this newly created section of law. Failure to comply could ultimately result in the withholding of state-shared revenues.  The bills revise the local government reporting requirements for economic development incentives. They require each municipality to report to the Office of Economic and Demographic Research whether the incentive was provided directly to an individual business or by another entity on behalf of the local government and the source of dollars obligated for the incentive (including local, state and federal). The bills also revise the statutory classes of economic development incentives. (Hughes)

Local Business Tax (Oppose – Mandate)

SB 868 (Hutson) and HB 1387 (Donalds) amend the statues that authorize municipalities to levy the local business tax. SB 868 caps the local business tax at $25 per taxpayer per year and does not allow a municipality to levy the local business tax if the ordinance or resolution was not adopted prior to January 1, 2019. HB 1387 allows municipalities that adopted a resolution or ordinance prior to January 1, 2019, to continue to levy the tax. For all other municipalities, HB 1387 caps the local business tax at $25 per taxpayer per year. (Hughes) ...

Local Business Tax (Oppose – Mandate) SB 868 (Hutson) and HB 1387 (Donalds) amend the statues that authorize municipalities to levy the local business tax. SB 868 caps the local business tax at $25 per taxpayer per year and does not allow a municipality to levy the local business tax if the ordinance or resolution was not adopted prior to January 1, 2019. HB 1387 allows municipalities that adopted a resolution or ordinance prior to January 1, 2019, to continue to levy the tax. For all other municipalities, HB 1387 caps the local business tax at $25 per taxpayer per year. (Hughes)

Tax on Commercial Real Property (Oppose – Mandate)

SB 618 (Perry) exempts a portion of the rent or license fee that is subject to sales tax on commercial real property. Beginning January 1, 2020, the exemption will be $10,000 and increases annually until the sales tax on commercial leases is repealed on January 1, 2029. (Hughes) ...

Tax on Commercial Real Property (Oppose – Mandate) SB 618 (Perry) exempts a portion of the rent or license fee that is subject to sales tax on commercial real property. Beginning January 1, 2020, the exemption will be $10,000 and increases annually until the sales tax on commercial leases is repealed on January 1, 2029. (Hughes)

Local Tax Referenda (Oppose – Mandate)

CS/CS/HB 5 (DiCeglie) limits the timing of when a local government may put a local discretionary surtax ballot initiative before the voters. The bill requires that a referendum to adopt or amend a local discretionary surtax be held only at a state general election. The bill also requires a two-thirds vote of the county governing board to place a local discretionary surtax referendum on the ballot and requires approval of two-thirds of voters for passage. CS/CS/HB 5 also requires a petition sponsor of an initiative to adopt a charter county and regional transportation system surtax to comply with ...

Local Tax Referenda (Oppose – Mandate) CS/CS/HB 5 (DiCeglie) limits the timing of when a local government may put a local discretionary surtax ballot initiative before the voters. The bill requires that a referendum to adopt or amend a local discretionary surtax be held only at a state general election. The bill also requires a two-thirds vote of the county governing board to place a local discretionary surtax referendum on the ballot and requires approval of two-thirds of voters for passage. CS/CS/HB 5 also requires a petition sponsor of an initiative to adopt a charter county and regional transportation system surtax to comply with certain requirements within a specified timeframe before the proposed referendum. The county must make the proposed referendum and a specified legal opinion available on its official website. The bill also requires the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability to procure a certified public accountant for a performance audit. (Hughes)

Department of Financial Services (Oppose – Mandate)

CS/CS/CS/HB 1393 (Clemons) and CS/CS/SB 1704 (Wright) amend multiple provisions related to the Department of Financial Services. Of interest to cities, the bills require the Division of State Fire Marshall to adopt rules to establish employers' cancer prevention best practices related to personal protective equipment, decontamination, fire suppression equipment, and fire stations. (Hughes) ...

Department of Financial Services (Oppose – Mandate) CS/CS/CS/HB 1393 (Clemons) and CS/CS/SB 1704 (Wright) amend multiple provisions related to the Department of Financial Services. Of interest to cities, the bills require the Division of State Fire Marshall to adopt rules to establish employers' cancer prevention best practices related to personal protective equipment, decontamination, fire suppression equipment, and fire stations. (Hughes)

Millage Notices (Support)

HB 399 (DiCeglie) and CS/SB 564 (Hooper) authorize property appraisers to make proposed property tax notices of proposed property taxes available on their websites in lieu of mailing the notices. CS/SB 564 limits this new authority to a pilot program in Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando counties and expires on December 31, 2023. (Hughes) ...

Millage Notices (Support) HB 399 (DiCeglie) and CS/SB 564 (Hooper) authorize property appraisers to make proposed property tax notices of proposed property taxes available on their websites in lieu of mailing the notices. CS/SB 564 limits this new authority to a pilot program in Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando counties and expires on December 31, 2023. (Hughes)

Public Deposits Act (Support)

HB 335 (Fine) and SB 378 (Hutson) allow the state's chief financial officer to designate credit unions as qualified public depositories if certain conditions are met. (Hughes) ...

Public Deposits Act (Support) HB 335 (Fine) and SB 378 (Hutson) allow the state's chief financial officer to designate credit unions as qualified public depositories if certain conditions are met. (Hughes)

Local Option Surtaxes (Support)

HB 793 (Stone) authorizes a city or a county that receives revenues from the Local Government Infrastructure Surtax to use the proceeds for operating purposes. The bill requires the city or county to reduce its ad valorem levy by the estimated amount of revenue provided by the surtax. The bill excludes the small county surtax from inclusion in the calculation of the rate cap applicable to local governments levying specified surtaxes. (Hughes) ...

Local Option Surtaxes (Support) HB 793 (Stone) authorizes a city or a county that receives revenues from the Local Government Infrastructure Surtax to use the proceeds for operating purposes. The bill requires the city or county to reduce its ad valorem levy by the estimated amount of revenue provided by the surtax. The bill excludes the small county surtax from inclusion in the calculation of the rate cap applicable to local governments levying specified surtaxes. (Hughes)

Taxation (Support)

CS/SB 1112 (Gruters) revises the definition of the term “inventory,” for purposes of ad valorem taxation, to include certain rented construction, earthmoving or industrial equipment. The bill modernizes the sales tax law so that certain marketplace providers, including those operating through an electronic medium, are subject to dealer requirements for the registration, collection and remittance of sales taxes. So that the proposal is revenue neutral, the bill reduces the sales tax on commercial leases from 5.7 to 3.5 percent. The bill also creates a sales tax holiday for disaster preparedness supplies from June 1, 2019, through June 14, ...

Taxation (Support) CS/SB 1112 (Gruters) revises the definition of the term “inventory,” for purposes of ad valorem taxation, to include certain rented construction, earthmoving or industrial equipment. The bill modernizes the sales tax law so that certain marketplace providers, including those operating through an electronic medium, are subject to dealer requirements for the registration, collection and remittance of sales taxes. So that the proposal is revenue neutral, the bill reduces the sales tax on commercial leases from 5.7 to 3.5 percent. The bill also creates a sales tax holiday for disaster preparedness supplies from June 1, 2019, through June 14, 2019. The bill also expands the current affordable housing property tax exemption for certain multifamily projects homes from 50 to 100 percent. (Hughes)

Ad Valorem Taxation (Support)

SB 1318 (Albritton) and HB 6023 (Fine) repeal existing law that prohibits a person from receiving a homestead exemption in this state if the person is receiving ad valorem tax exemption or tax credit in another state that requires permanent residency for eligibility. (Hughes) ...

Ad Valorem Taxation (Support) SB 1318 (Albritton) and HB 6023 (Fine) repeal existing law that prohibits a person from receiving a homestead exemption in this state if the person is receiving ad valorem tax exemption or tax credit in another state that requires permanent residency for eligibility. (Hughes)

Taxation (Watch)

CS/HB 7123 (Ways & Means Committee) provides for several tax reductions and other tax-related modifications designed to directly impact both families and businesses. The bill includes the multiple reductions related to sales tax including a reduction in the tax rate for commercial property rentals from 5.7 to 5.35 percent, a three-day “back-to-school” holiday for certain clothing, school supplies and personal computers, and a seven-day “disaster preparedness” holiday for specified disaster preparedness items. Regarding property taxes, the bill includes changes to the requirements for hospitals to qualify for a charitable tax exemption. The bill also clarifies that certain voter ...

Taxation (Watch) CS/HB 7123 (Ways & Means Committee) provides for several tax reductions and other tax-related modifications designed to directly impact both families and businesses. The bill includes the multiple reductions related to sales tax including a reduction in the tax rate for commercial property rentals from 5.7 to 5.35 percent, a three-day “back-to-school” holiday for certain clothing, school supplies and personal computers, and a seven-day “disaster preparedness” holiday for specified disaster preparedness items. Regarding property taxes, the bill includes changes to the requirements for hospitals to qualify for a charitable tax exemption. The bill also clarifies that certain voter approved school district property taxes must apply proportionately to charter schools in the levying district in the same manner as charter schools are funded under current law. The timing of payments to local governments in fiscally constrained counties and Monroe County to offset property tax refunds granted to homeowners due to hurricanes in 2016 and 2017 would be slightly delayed in fiscal year 2019-20 to allow for the related state appropriation to be based on actual data instead of an estimate. Additional flexibility is granted to the Department of Revenue in conducting in-depth reviews of property assessment rolls in counties affected by natural disasters. Further changes include additional flexibility in the use of tax credits by insurance premium taxpayers under the Florida Scholarship Tax Credit Program. The total state and local government impact of the bill in fiscal year 2019-20 is -$102.4 million, -$114.0 million recurring. (Hughes)

Taxation Transparency (Watch)

CS/CS/HB 7053 (Ways and Means Committee) and SB 7104 (Finance and Tax Committee) rename select state government levies as taxes and would require local governments to rename select local government levies as taxes. The bills require, on a prospective basis, any new or proposed impositions or rate increases for the following by counties, municipalities or special districts to be titled as and represented to the public as “taxes,” new or increased special assessments or non-ad valorem assessments must be titled and represented to the public as a “special benefit tax,” new or increased impact fees or mobility fees ...

Taxation Transparency (Watch) CS/CS/HB 7053 (Ways and Means Committee) and SB 7104 (Finance and Tax Committee) rename select state government levies as taxes and would require local governments to rename select local government levies as taxes. The bills require, on a prospective basis, any new or proposed impositions or rate increases for the following by counties, municipalities or special districts to be titled as and represented to the public as “taxes,” new or increased special assessments or non-ad valorem assessments must be titled and represented to the public as a “special benefit tax,” new or increased impact fees or mobility fees must be titled and represented to the public as a “development impact tax”; new or increased franchise fees must be titled and represented to the public as a “franchise tax” and new or increased charges to pay the cost of regulation must be titled and represented to the public as a tax in a manner reasonably consistent with the type of regulation and charge in question. The bills expressly specify that they do not affect, amend or alter a county or municipality’s Home Rule authority under the state constitution or other provisions of law to impose the affected local government levies. (Hughes)

Local Government Reporting (Watch)

HB 861 (Roach) and SB 1616 (Baxley) require city and county budget officers to annually submit certain information regarding the final budget to the Office of Economic and Demographic Research by October 15. The bills also clarify the time frames required cities and counties required to post certain budget information on their website. (Hughes) ...

Local Government Reporting (Watch) HB 861 (Roach) and SB 1616 (Baxley) require city and county budget officers to annually submit certain information regarding the final budget to the Office of Economic and Demographic Research by October 15. The bills also clarify the time frames required cities and counties required to post certain budget information on their website. (Hughes)

Sales Tax on Commercial Leases (Watch)

SB 1642 (Gainer) reduces the sales tax rate on commercial leases from 5.7 to 5.5 percent. (Hughes) ...

Sales Tax on Commercial Leases (Watch) SB 1642 (Gainer) reduces the sales tax rate on commercial leases from 5.7 to 5.5 percent. (Hughes)

Local Option Surtax by Petition (Watch)

CS/SB 1040 (Lee) and CS/CS/SB 336 (Brandes) require that a referendum to adopt or amend a local government discretionary surtax must be held during a state general election. The bills require a petition sponsor of an initiative to adopt a charter county and regional transportation system surtax to comply with certain requirements within a specified timeframe before the proposed referendum. The county must make the proposed referendum and a specified legal opinion available on its official website. The bills also require the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability to procure a certified public accountant for a ...

Local Option Surtax by Petition (Watch) CS/SB 1040 (Lee) and CS/CS/SB 336 (Brandes) require that a referendum to adopt or amend a local government discretionary surtax must be held during a state general election. The bills require a petition sponsor of an initiative to adopt a charter county and regional transportation system surtax to comply with certain requirements within a specified timeframe before the proposed referendum. The county must make the proposed referendum and a specified legal opinion available on its official website. The bills also require the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability to procure a certified public accountant for a performance audit. (Hughes)

Homestead Tax Exemption: Surviving Spouse of a Veteran (Watch)

SJR 886 (Brandes) and CS/HJR 717 (Killebrew) propose an amendment to the state constitutions to provide that the homestead property tax discount for certain veterans who had permanent, combat-related disabilities carries over to the benefit of the veteran’s surviving spouse under certain circumstances until he or she remarries or sells or otherwise disposes of the property. The proposed amendment also provides that the discount for the surviving spouse is transferable to another homestead. This proposed amendment requires 60 percent approval for passage. (Hughes) ...

Homestead Tax Exemption: Surviving Spouse of a Veteran (Watch) SJR 886 (Brandes) and CS/HJR 717 (Killebrew) propose an amendment to the state constitutions to provide that the homestead property tax discount for certain veterans who had permanent, combat-related disabilities carries over to the benefit of the veteran’s surviving spouse under certain circumstances until he or she remarries or sells or otherwise disposes of the property. The proposed amendment also provides that the discount for the surviving spouse is transferable to another homestead. This proposed amendment requires 60 percent approval for passage. (Hughes)

Homestead Tax Exemption – 2: Surviving Spouse of a Veteran (Watch)

HB 6035 (Hattersley) and SB 1490 (Simmons) delete the provisions that allowed a surviving spouse of a veteran to receive an ad valorem taxation exemption only if the veteran had been a permanent resident of Florida. The bills also delete the provision that placed restrictions on ability of first responders to receive an ad valorem tax exemption. (Hughes) ...

Homestead Tax Exemption – 2: Surviving Spouse of a Veteran (Watch) HB 6035 (Hattersley) and SB 1490 (Simmons) delete the provisions that allowed a surviving spouse of a veteran to receive an ad valorem taxation exemption only if the veteran had been a permanent resident of Florida. The bills also delete the provision that placed restrictions on ability of first responders to receive an ad valorem tax exemption. (Hughes)

Homestead Tax Exemption Implementation: Surviving Spouse of a Veteran (Watch)

CS/SB 888 (Brandes) and CS/CS/HB 719 (Killebrew) provides that if certain conditions are met, the homestead property tax discount for certain disabled veterans carries over the benefit to the veteran’s surviving spouse until the surviving spouse remarries or sells or otherwise disposes of the homestead property. If the surviving spouse sells the property, the discount may be transferred to his or her new primary residence. It requires the passage of the amendment to the state Constitution proposed by SJR 886, HJR 717, or a similar joint resolution having substantially the same specific intent and purpose. (Hughes) ...

Homestead Tax Exemption Implementation: Surviving Spouse of a Veteran (Watch) CS/SB 888 (Brandes) and CS/CS/HB 719 (Killebrew) provides that if certain conditions are met, the homestead property tax discount for certain disabled veterans carries over the benefit to the veteran’s surviving spouse until the surviving spouse remarries or sells or otherwise disposes of the homestead property. If the surviving spouse sells the property, the discount may be transferred to his or her new primary residence. It requires the passage of the amendment to the state Constitution proposed by SJR 886, HJR 717, or a similar joint resolution having substantially the same specific intent and purpose. (Hughes)

Government Accountability (Watch)

CS/SB 7014 (Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee) requires local governments to establish and maintain internal controls and requires municipalities to maintain specified budget documents on the government’s website for a designated time. The bill defines “abuse,” “fraud” and “waste” to be used in the establishment and maintenance of the internal controls. The bill expands the definition of “local governments” to include tourist development councils and county tourism promotion agencies and expands the auditor generals authority to audit those entities. The bill changes the composition of the auditor selection committee to include one member of the governing body ...

Government Accountability (Watch) CS/SB 7014 (Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee) requires local governments to establish and maintain internal controls and requires municipalities to maintain specified budget documents on the government’s website for a designated time. The bill defines “abuse,” “fraud” and “waste” to be used in the establishment and maintenance of the internal controls. The bill expands the definition of “local governments” to include tourist development councils and county tourism promotion agencies and expands the auditor generals authority to audit those entities. The bill changes the composition of the auditor selection committee to include one member of the governing body and prohibit employees from serving on the committee, but they can serve in an advisory capacity. The bill is effective July 1, 2019. CS/SB 7014 passed both chambers and was presented to the governor, who must act on this bill by April 29, 2019. (Hughes)

Property Tax Exemptions (Watch)

HB 51 (Sirois) and SB 202 (Wright) increase the property tax exemption from $500 to $5,000 for homesteaded residents who are widows, widowers, blind, or totally and permanently disabled. The bills have an estimated negative fiscal impact on municipalities of approximately $5.5 million per year. (Hughes) ...

Property Tax Exemptions (Watch) HB 51 (Sirois) and SB 202 (Wright) increase the property tax exemption from $500 to $5,000 for homesteaded residents who are widows, widowers, blind, or totally and permanently disabled. The bills have an estimated negative fiscal impact on municipalities of approximately $5.5 million per year. (Hughes)

Senior Citizen and Teacher Property Tax (Watch)

HB 269 (Bush) prohibits tax collectors from including on forms, assessing or collecting certain charges on property tax bills for low-income seniors and public-school teachers who meet certain requirements. The bill also prohibits tax collectors from authorizing a debt collection entity to collect certain charges on property tax bills for those identified groups and prohibits tax collectors from selling tax certificates on certain properties if only outstanding amounts due are for delinquent payment of property tax. The bill requires the Department of Revenue to work with tax collectors to identify mechanisms, strategies and funding sources for helping certain ...

Senior Citizen and Teacher Property Tax (Watch) HB 269 (Bush) prohibits tax collectors from including on forms, assessing or collecting certain charges on property tax bills for low-income seniors and public-school teachers who meet certain requirements. The bill also prohibits tax collectors from authorizing a debt collection entity to collect certain charges on property tax bills for those identified groups and prohibits tax collectors from selling tax certificates on certain properties if only outstanding amounts due are for delinquent payment of property tax. The bill requires the Department of Revenue to work with tax collectors to identify mechanisms, strategies and funding sources for helping certain populations pay for delinquent charges. (Hughes)

Increase of Homestead Portability Timeframe (Watch)

CS/SJR 326 (Brandes) and HJR 1389 (Grant, J.) propose an amendment to the state constitution to increase the period from two to three years when accrued Save-Our-Homes benefits may be transferred from a prior homestead to a new homestead. These proposed amendments require 60 percent approval for passage. (Hughes) ...

Increase of Homestead Portability Timeframe (Watch) CS/SJR 326 (Brandes) and HJR 1389 (Grant, J.) propose an amendment to the state constitution to increase the period from two to three years when accrued Save-Our-Homes benefits may be transferred from a prior homestead to a new homestead. These proposed amendments require 60 percent approval for passage. (Hughes)

Implementation of Increase of Homestead Portability Timeframe (Watch)

CS/SB 324 (Brandes) and HB 1391 (Grant, J.) revise the timeframe during which the accrued benefit from specified limitations on homestead property tax assessments may be transferred from a prior homestead to a new homestead. The bills also revise the timeframe during which an owner of homestead property significantly damaged or destroyed by a named tropical storm or hurricane must establish a new homestead to make a certain election and requires the passage of the amendment to the state constitution proposed by CS/SJR 326, HJR 1389 or a similar joint resolution having substantially the same specific intent and ...

Implementation of Increase of Homestead Portability Timeframe (Watch) CS/SB 324 (Brandes) and HB 1391 (Grant, J.) revise the timeframe during which the accrued benefit from specified limitations on homestead property tax assessments may be transferred from a prior homestead to a new homestead. The bills also revise the timeframe during which an owner of homestead property significantly damaged or destroyed by a named tropical storm or hurricane must establish a new homestead to make a certain election and requires the passage of the amendment to the state constitution proposed by CS/SJR 326, HJR 1389 or a similar joint resolution having substantially the same specific intent and purpose. (Hughes)

Homestead Taxation (Watch)

SB 444 (Bean) adds exceptions to the definition of a change of ownership of a homestead for purposes of a certain homestead property assessment limitations. The bill also revises the penalties and interest that may be imposed, under certain circumstances, by a property appraiser who determines that a person was improperly granted certain homestead exemptions. (Hughes) ...

Homestead Taxation (Watch) SB 444 (Bean) adds exceptions to the definition of a change of ownership of a homestead for purposes of a certain homestead property assessment limitations. The bill also revises the penalties and interest that may be imposed, under certain circumstances, by a property appraiser who determines that a person was improperly granted certain homestead exemptions. (Hughes)

Assessment of Affordable Housing Property (Watch)

CS/HB 443 (Rodriguez, Anthony) and CS/SB 568 (Diaz) authorize local governments to enter into agreements with certain property owners to record specified restrictive covenants over their properties related to affordable housing. Each local government that enters into an agreement with a property owner must provide the property appraiser with a list of all agreements entered into for the calendar year. The property appraiser must consider the covenant when determining the just value of the property. (Hughes) ...

Assessment of Affordable Housing Property (Watch) CS/HB 443 (Rodriguez, Anthony) and CS/SB 568 (Diaz) authorize local governments to enter into agreements with certain property owners to record specified restrictive covenants over their properties related to affordable housing. Each local government that enters into an agreement with a property owner must provide the property appraiser with a list of all agreements entered into for the calendar year. The property appraiser must consider the covenant when determining the just value of the property. (Hughes)

Property Tax Exemptions for Hospitals (Watch)

CS/CS/HB 1295 (Caruso) creates an additional requirement for hospitals to meet in order to qualify for a charitable property tax exemption. The bill requires hospitals to document the value of charitable services they provide and limits the charity property tax exemption to the value of that charity care. (Hughes) ...

Property Tax Exemptions for Hospitals (Watch) CS/CS/HB 1295 (Caruso) creates an additional requirement for hospitals to meet in order to qualify for a charitable property tax exemption. The bill requires hospitals to document the value of charitable services they provide and limits the charity property tax exemption to the value of that charity care. (Hughes)

Death Benefits for Survivors of First Responders and Military Members (Watch)

CS/HB 7105 (Oversight, Transparency & Public Management Subcommittee), SB 1548 (Rodriguez, J.) and CS/SB 7098 (Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee) implement a constitutional amendment approved by the voters in November 2018. The bills require the payment of death benefits to the survivors of certain first responders, Florida National Guard (FLNG) members and members of the U.S. Armed Forces. The bills increase the death benefit, from $50,000 to $75,000, for those who are accidentally killed or receive accidental bodily injury that results in the loss of the individual’s life or meet additional requirements, such as the accidental death that ...

Death Benefits for Survivors of First Responders and Military Members (Watch) CS/HB 7105 (Oversight, Transparency & Public Management Subcommittee), SB 1548 (Rodriguez, J.) and CS/SB 7098 (Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee) implement a constitutional amendment approved by the voters in November 2018. The bills require the payment of death benefits to the survivors of certain first responders, Florida National Guard (FLNG) members and members of the U.S. Armed Forces. The bills increase the death benefit, from $50,000 to $75,000, for those who are accidentally killed or receive accidental bodily injury that results in the loss of the individual’s life or meet additional requirements, such as the accidental death that occurs as a result of the response to an emergency. If the first responder, FLNG member or service member is unlawfully and intentionally killed or dies as a result of such unlawful and intentional act while engaged in the performance of official duties, the death benefit is increased from$150,000 to $225,000. The bills also provide these benefits to paramedics and emergency medical technicians and remove the annual Consumer Price Index adjustment of the benefit amounts. The bills expand death benefits for certain educational expenses of surviving spouses and children of firefighters, law enforcement officers, correctional officers, correctional probation officers, paramedics, emergency medical technicians and FLNG members who are accidentally killed or receive accidental bodily injury resulting in loss of life. (Hughes)

Other Bills of Interest 

SB 60 (Book) – Sales Tax Exemption for Diapers and Incontinence Products ...

Other Bills of Interest  SB 60 (Book) – Sales Tax Exemption for Diapers and Incontinence Products HB 159 (Casello) and SB 176 (Berman) – Sales Tax Exemption for the Elderly HB 215 (Valdes) – School District Property Taxes HJR 317 (Rodriguez, Anthony) and SJR 344 (Diaz) – Additional Homestead Exemption from School District Levies  SB 562 (Diaz) - Additional Homestead Exemption from School District Levies  SB 580 (Bean) – Taxation of Aircraft Sales and Leases SB 658 (Albritton) and HB 781 (Fischer)- Property Assessment Administration SB 710 (Baxley) and HB 1261 (Fernandez) – Administrative Review of Property Taxes SB 726 (Stewart)- Tourist Development Tax SB 380 (Brandes) and HB 617 (Newton) – Flood Insurance Policy Disclosure SB 550 (Cruz) – Flood Insurance Policy Disclosure SB 856 (Gruters) and HB 1151 (Buchanan) – Homestead Exemptions HB 6043 (Fitzenhagen) – Tax on the Sale or Lease of an Aircraft HB 6045 (Roach) – Low-income Affordable Housing Tax Incentives HB 1377 (Mercado) – Taxation of Services HB 267 (Sabatini) and SB 696 (Hutson) – Budgets of County Constitutional Officers SB 990 (Gibson) and HB 563 (Joseph) – Unemployment Compensation SB 2500 (Appropriations) – General Appropriations Act  SB 2502 (Appropriations) – Implementing the General Appropriations Act SB 1412 (Gruters) – Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday HB 5001 (Appropriations) – General Appropriations Act

HOUSING

Growth Management (Oppose – Preemption)

CS/CS/CS/SB 1730 (Lee) and CS/CS/HB 7103 (Commerce Committee) amend various statutes relating to growth management. CS/CS/CS/SB 1730 allows a municipality to continue its inclusionary housing ordinance that mandate developers make affordable housing contributions but requires a municipality to provide incentives to fully offset all costs to developers for their affordable housing contributions. CS/CS/HB 7103 prohibits a municipality from requiring a developer to provide any affordable housing contribution. Both bills reduce the timeframe a county and municipality has to review the application for completeness and issue a response. The bills require local governments to credit certain contributions, constructions, expansions ...

Growth Management (Oppose – Preemption) CS/CS/CS/SB 1730 (Lee) and CS/CS/HB 7103 (Commerce Committee) amend various statutes relating to growth management. CS/CS/CS/SB 1730 allows a municipality to continue its inclusionary housing ordinance that mandate developers make affordable housing contributions but requires a municipality to provide incentives to fully offset all costs to developers for their affordable housing contributions. CS/CS/HB 7103 prohibits a municipality from requiring a developer to provide any affordable housing contribution. Both bills reduce the timeframe a county and municipality has to review the application for completeness and issue a response. The bills require local governments to credit certain contributions, constructions, expansions or payments toward any other impact fee or exaction imposed by local ordinance for public educational facilities. The bills also require the collection of an impact fee to occur no earlier than the issuance of builder permit for the property. Additionally, the House bill expands the scope of a private building code provider by allowing services involving the review of site plans and site work engineering plans. The House added an amendment that would prohibit local governments from charging fees for building inspections if the owner or contractor hires a private provider. This amendment would also allow owners and contractors to pay no fees related to building permitting requirements when using a private provider. The House bill is in Senate Messages. (Branch/Cruz)

State Housing Trust Fund (Support)

SB 70 (Mayfield), SB 1770 (Torres) and HB 1103 (Silvers) specify that funds deposited in the State Housing Trust Fund and the Local Government Housing Trust Fund may not be transferred or used for any other purpose. (Branch) ...

State Housing Trust Fund (Support) SB 70 (Mayfield), SB 1770 (Torres) and HB 1103 (Silvers) specify that funds deposited in the State Housing Trust Fund and the Local Government Housing Trust Fund may not be transferred or used for any other purpose. (Branch)

Assisted and Independent Living Facility Task Force (Support)

CS/SB 670 (Rader) and CS/HB 253 (Gottlieb) create the Assisted and Independent Living Facility Task Force within the Agency for Person with Disabilities (APD). The Task Force must develop and evaluate policy proposals that incentivize developers or contractors to dedicate space for assisted living facilities or independent living facilities within mixed-use developments to house individuals with an intellectual disability, autism or mental illness. The Task Force membership includes a representative from the Florida League of Cities. (Branch) ...

Assisted and Independent Living Facility Task Force (Support) CS/SB 670 (Rader) and CS/HB 253 (Gottlieb) create the Assisted and Independent Living Facility Task Force within the Agency for Person with Disabilities (APD). The Task Force must develop and evaluate policy proposals that incentivize developers or contractors to dedicate space for assisted living facilities or independent living facilities within mixed-use developments to house individuals with an intellectual disability, autism or mental illness. The Task Force membership includes a representative from the Florida League of Cities. (Branch)

Homelessness (Support)

CS/SB 1218 (Book) CS/HB 1353 (Altman) create a dedicated revenue source for challenge grants provided to the state office on homelessness and local homeless continuums of care (CoC). The bills direct $10 million annually from all document stamp tax money. The bills increase the amount of funds available to each CoC for challenge grants from $500,000 to $750,000. The bill reduces the amount of matching funds or in-kind support required from local governments for a challenge grant recipient from 100 percent to 25 percent. (Branch) ...

Homelessness (Support) CS/SB 1218 (Book) CS/HB 1353 (Altman) create a dedicated revenue source for challenge grants provided to the state office on homelessness and local homeless continuums of care (CoC). The bills direct $10 million annually from all document stamp tax money. The bills increase the amount of funds available to each CoC for challenge grants from $500,000 to $750,000. The bill reduces the amount of matching funds or in-kind support required from local governments for a challenge grant recipient from 100 percent to 25 percent. (Branch)

Impact Fees – Affordable Housing (Watch)

CS/SB 350 (Hutson) and HB 1155 (Plasencia) allow local governments the option to waive impact fees related to affordable housing construction developments. If a local government does enact an impact fee, then the bills require it to report additional items in its annual financial reports. This bills also establishes a new approval permit process for local government relating to affordable housing construction. (Branch) ...

Impact Fees – Affordable Housing (Watch) CS/SB 350 (Hutson) and HB 1155 (Plasencia) allow local governments the option to waive impact fees related to affordable housing construction developments. If a local government does enact an impact fee, then the bills require it to report additional items in its annual financial reports. This bills also establishes a new approval permit process for local government relating to affordable housing construction. (Branch)

Impact Fees (Watch)

SB 1390 (Torres) and HB 6053 (Eskamani) delete the provision prohibiting local governments from adopting ordinances or rules imposing price controls upon certain residential business activities. (Branch) ...

Impact Fees (Watch) SB 1390 (Torres) and HB 6053 (Eskamani) delete the provision prohibiting local governments from adopting ordinances or rules imposing price controls upon certain residential business activities. (Branch)

Other Bills of Interest 

SB 1254 (Torres) and HB 163 (Cortes) – Dependent Special Districts ...

Other Bills of Interest  SB 1254 (Torres) and HB 163 (Cortes) – Dependent Special Districts SB 1268 (Book) and HB 801 (Eskamani) – Tiny Homes  SB 1504 (Berman) and HB 353 (Polsky) – Housing Trust Funds SB 842 (Thurston) and HB 729 (Gottlieb) – County Funding for Affordable Housing

IMMIGRATION

Federal Immigration Enforcement/Sanctuary Policies (Watch) 

CS/CS/CS/SB 168 (Gruters), SB 170 (Bean) and CS/HB 527 (Byrd) relate to state and local government enforcement of federal immigration laws. The bills provide several definitions, including “sanctuary policy,” which means a law, policy, practice, procedure or custom adopted or permitted by a state entity, law enforcement agency or local governmental entity that contravenes the federal immigration laws or that knowingly prohibits or impedes a law enforcement agency from communicating or cooperating with a federal immigration agency with respect to federal immigration enforcement. The bills also define “sanctuary policymaker” to mean a state or local elected official, or ...

Federal Immigration Enforcement/Sanctuary Policies (Watch)  CS/CS/CS/SB 168 (Gruters), SB 170 (Bean) and CS/HB 527 (Byrd) relate to state and local government enforcement of federal immigration laws. The bills provide several definitions, including “sanctuary policy,” which means a law, policy, practice, procedure or custom adopted or permitted by a state entity, law enforcement agency or local governmental entity that contravenes the federal immigration laws or that knowingly prohibits or impedes a law enforcement agency from communicating or cooperating with a federal immigration agency with respect to federal immigration enforcement. The bills also define “sanctuary policymaker” to mean a state or local elected official, or an appointed official of a local governmental, who has voted for, allowed to be implemented or voted against the repeal of prohibition of a sanctuary policy. The bills prohibit the adoption or enforcement of a sanctuary policy and require cooperation with federal immigration authorities. The bills require a state or local government official to promptly report a known or probable violation of this law to the attorney general or the state attorney having jurisdiction over the local governmental entity. Failure to properly report may lead to an individual being suspended or removed from office. The attorney general or a state attorney may initiate proceedings in court to enjoin a state entity, law enforcement agency or local governmental entity from violating the law. A court shall enjoin any unlawful policy and order an entity to pay a civil penalty of at least $1,000, but not more than $5,000, for each day that the policy was found to be in effect before the injunction was granted. A sanctuary policymaker may be suspended or removed from office. The bills provide for a civil cause of action against any state or local governmental entity or law enforcement agency determined to have a sanctuary policy under specified circumstances for personal injury or wrongful death by persons injured by an illegal alien. The bills also restrict state grant funding for five years for any governmental entity that has violated the law.  CS/CS/SB 168 was amended to remove penalties for entities (including local government entities) for failure to comply with the reporting requirements but allows the state to seek injunctive relief to compel compliance with the requirements. The bill requires county correctional facilities to enter into agreements with federal entities to recover costs pertaining to immigration detainers. The legislation provides an exception to reporting requirements of crime victims or witnesses, and it specifies record-keeping requirements for victims' and witnesses' cooperation in certain investigations. Unlike the Senate version, CS/HB 527 maintains penalties for municipalities who don’t follow the requirements.   CS/CS/CS/ SB 168 was amended on the Senate floor to allow for the attorney general to bring a civil action against governmental entities that fail to comply with the provisions of the bill. This provision does not specify a dollar amount for restitution. (Cruz)

Enforcement of Federal Laws (Watch)

HB 1303 (Jacquet) and SB 1566 (Torres) create the Florida Trust Act, which aims to protect the constitutional rights of Florida residents to use the state’s resources on state and local matters exclusively and set forth relevant definitions pertaining to federal immigration enforcement. The bills prohibit law enforcement from using resources to investigate or detain a person for immigration enforcement and prohibit the creation or use of a database for immigration enforcement. The bills also clarify that state and local agencies must cooperate with an immigration authority to the extent required by federal law. (Cruz) ...

Enforcement of Federal Laws (Watch) HB 1303 (Jacquet) and SB 1566 (Torres) create the Florida Trust Act, which aims to protect the constitutional rights of Florida residents to use the state’s resources on state and local matters exclusively and set forth relevant definitions pertaining to federal immigration enforcement. The bills prohibit law enforcement from using resources to investigate or detain a person for immigration enforcement and prohibit the creation or use of a database for immigration enforcement. The bills also clarify that state and local agencies must cooperate with an immigration authority to the extent required by federal law. (Cruz)

INTERGOVERNMENTAL

Governmental Powers (Oppose – Preemption)

CS/CS/CS/HB 1299 (Roach) The bill includes a wide variety of issues, most of which adversely impact municipalities. A municipality would be prohibited from purchasing real property within another municipality's jurisdictional boundaries without the other municipality's consent. Additionally the bill prohibits a governmental entity from attempting to annex an area within another municipality jurisdiction without the other municipality’s consent.  The bill prohibits levying of taxes on cigarettes, cigars and nicotine products by municipalities after July 1, 2019. Additionally, local governments would be prohibited from regulating single-use plastic straws and over-the-counter proprietary drugs and cosmetics, such as sunscreen. The bill ...

Governmental Powers (Oppose – Preemption) CS/CS/CS/HB 1299 (Roach) The bill includes a wide variety of issues, most of which adversely impact municipalities. A municipality would be prohibited from purchasing real property within another municipality's jurisdictional boundaries without the other municipality's consent. Additionally the bill prohibits a governmental entity from attempting to annex an area within another municipality jurisdiction without the other municipality’s consent.  The bill prohibits levying of taxes on cigarettes, cigars and nicotine products by municipalities after July 1, 2019. Additionally, local governments would be prohibited from regulating single-use plastic straws and over-the-counter proprietary drugs and cosmetics, such as sunscreen. The bill preempts alternate generated power sources for motor fuel dispensing facilities to the state and the Florida Division of Emergency Management. The bill establishes that the minimum age for the sale of tobacco products and nicotine products is preempted to the state. (Cruz)

Other Bills of Interest

HB 285 (Geller) – Legislation by Initiative ...

Other Bills of Interest HB 285 (Geller) – Legislation by Initiative CS/HB 995 (Geller) and CS/SB 1004 (Rodriguez, J.) – Regional Planning Council Meeting Quorum

LAND USE & COMPREHENSIVE PLANNING

Property Rights (Oppose)

SB 1720 (Lee) and CS/HB 1383 (Grant, J.) amend the Bert J. Harris Act. The bills require any settlement reached on a Bert Harris claim due to any new law, rule, regulation or ordinance by a governmental entity be automatically applied by the government entity to all similarly situated properties that are subject to the same rules or regulations. The bills allow a property owner to waive a jury trial and request that a court determine the compensation to the property owner for the loss in value due to the burden to the property. Under current law, a ...

Property Rights (Oppose) SB 1720 (Lee) and CS/HB 1383 (Grant, J.) amend the Bert J. Harris Act. The bills require any settlement reached on a Bert Harris claim due to any new law, rule, regulation or ordinance by a governmental entity be automatically applied by the government entity to all similarly situated properties that are subject to the same rules or regulations. The bills allow a property owner to waive a jury trial and request that a court determine the compensation to the property owner for the loss in value due to the burden to the property. Under current law, a property owner must be given notice if a law or regulation will have a discernable effect on real property. CS/HB 1383 was amended to adjust the process by which a property owner and governmental entity acts in the event of improper notification: the governmental entity will have 45 days to respond to a property owner about whether or not a law or regulation is applicable to the property in question.  The bill provides that if a property owner is not given proper notice, the property owner may bring a claim against a governmental entity. Additionally, CS/HB 1383 provides that business losses can now be included in a Harris claim. (Cruz)

Impact Fees (Oppose – Preemption) 

SB 144 (Gruters) and CS/HB 207 (Donalds) prohibit local governments from collecting impact fees prior to the issuance of a building permit for the property that is subject to the fee. In addition, the dual rational nexus test is codified in the bills. The dual rational nexus test is the legal standard used by courts to require the expenditures of funds collected by an impact fee, and the benefits that are accrued to the new construction (both residential and commercial) should be reasonably connected to the need for additional capital used for a major facility and should be ...

Impact Fees (Oppose – Preemption)  SB 144 (Gruters) and CS/HB 207 (Donalds) prohibit local governments from collecting impact fees prior to the issuance of a building permit for the property that is subject to the fee. In addition, the dual rational nexus test is codified in the bills. The dual rational nexus test is the legal standard used by courts to require the expenditures of funds collected by an impact fee, and the benefits that are accrued to the new construction (both residential and commercial) should be reasonably connected to the need for additional capital used for a major facility and should be connected to the increased impact caused by the new construction. The legislation requires that impact fees be connected to (have a rational nexus with) the money spent from the funds collected and be connected to the benefits of the new residential or commercial construction. The bills require local governments to specifically earmark funds collected by the impact fees for use in acquiring, constructing or improving capital facilities to benefit the “new users.” The legislation prohibits the use of impact fee revenues to pay existing debt or for prior approved projects, unless the expenditure is reasonably connected to, or has a rational nexus with, the increased impact generated by the new residential or commercial construction.  Lastly, the bills exempt water and sewer connection fees from the provisions of the legislation. SB 144 was substituted for CS/HB 207. CS/HB 207 passed both the House and the Senate, and is awaiting action by the Governor. (Cruz)

Vegetable Gardens (Oppose – Preemption)

CS/SB 82 (Bradley) and CS/HB 145 (Fetterhoff) preempt any local ordinance or regulation of vegetable gardens on residential property. Some cities have adopted ordinances that regulate the size or use of vegetable gardens in the front yard of homes. While local governments would be preempted from prohibiting vegetable gardens, the bills allow for local ordinances to regulate the use of water during droughts, fertilizer use or invasive species control. The bill was filed in response to a recent appellate court decision that upheld the local regulation of vegetable gardens on residential property. The bills would not apply to ...

Vegetable Gardens (Oppose – Preemption) CS/SB 82 (Bradley) and CS/HB 145 (Fetterhoff) preempt any local ordinance or regulation of vegetable gardens on residential property. Some cities have adopted ordinances that regulate the size or use of vegetable gardens in the front yard of homes. While local governments would be preempted from prohibiting vegetable gardens, the bills allow for local ordinances to regulate the use of water during droughts, fertilizer use or invasive species control. The bill was filed in response to a recent appellate court decision that upheld the local regulation of vegetable gardens on residential property. The bills would not apply to homeowners association regulations or deed-restricted communities. (Cruz)

Private Property Comprehensive Plan Element (Oppose – Unfunded Mandate) 

CS/CS/HB 291 (McClain) and CS/SB 428 (Perry) require local governments to adopt a new mandatory element in their comprehensive plans that addresses the protection of private property. CS/CS/HB 291 will tie the hands of any future cities incorporated in Florida from adopting a comprehensive plan that differs from the development orders a county had previously issued. CS/CS/HB 291 was amended to extend the mandatory date of adoption of the property rights element from July 1, 2020, to July 1, 2022. (Cruz) ...

Private Property Comprehensive Plan Element (Oppose – Unfunded Mandate)  CS/CS/HB 291 (McClain) and CS/SB 428 (Perry) require local governments to adopt a new mandatory element in their comprehensive plans that addresses the protection of private property. CS/CS/HB 291 will tie the hands of any future cities incorporated in Florida from adopting a comprehensive plan that differs from the development orders a county had previously issued. CS/CS/HB 291 was amended to extend the mandatory date of adoption of the property rights element from July 1, 2020, to July 1, 2022. (Cruz)

Possession of Real Property (Support)

SB 54 (Rouson) repeals all language dealing with access to beaches from last session’s customary use legislation. During the 2018 Legislative Session, legislation was passed and signed into law that prohibits a city or county from adopting or keeping in effect an ordinance or rule establishing customary use of privately owned dry sand areas. Customary use is a common law term referring to a legal determination allowing public access of the sandy beach in front of privately owned beachfront property. As a result of the current law, if a city is seeking to establish the customary use of ...

Possession of Real Property (Support) SB 54 (Rouson) repeals all language dealing with access to beaches from last session’s customary use legislation. During the 2018 Legislative Session, legislation was passed and signed into law that prohibits a city or county from adopting or keeping in effect an ordinance or rule establishing customary use of privately owned dry sand areas. Customary use is a common law term referring to a legal determination allowing public access of the sandy beach in front of privately owned beachfront property. As a result of the current law, if a city is seeking to establish the customary use of privately owned lands they are now required to adopt, at a public hearing, a formal notice of intent, provide notice to affected parcel owners and file a complaint with the circuit court to determine whether the land is subject to the customary use doctrine. (Cruz)

Lis Penden (Watch)

CS/CS/HB 91 (Altman) and CS/CS/CS/SB 462 (Powell) specify that a valid recorded notice of Lis Penden in a judicial sale remains in effect through transfer of title to the property pursuant to the final judgment unless it expires, is withdrawn or is discharged. A judicial sale is the sale of a defendant's property to enforce compliance of a judgment until the judgment is satisfied.  CS/CS/HB 91 was amended in committee qualifying that the bill would apply to actions pending on the effective date of the act. CS/CS/CS SB 462 was substituted by CS/CS/HB 91. CS/CS/HB 91 passed in ...

Lis Penden (Watch) CS/CS/HB 91 (Altman) and CS/CS/CS/SB 462 (Powell) specify that a valid recorded notice of Lis Penden in a judicial sale remains in effect through transfer of title to the property pursuant to the final judgment unless it expires, is withdrawn or is discharged. A judicial sale is the sale of a defendant's property to enforce compliance of a judgment until the judgment is satisfied.  CS/CS/HB 91 was amended in committee qualifying that the bill would apply to actions pending on the effective date of the act. CS/CS/CS SB 462 was substituted by CS/CS/HB 91. CS/CS/HB 91 passed in both the House and the Senate, it is awaiting action  by the Governor.   (Cruz)

Tax Increment Revenues (Watch)

HB 605 (Casello) and SB 1038 (Rader) provide that law enforcement, fire suppression, emergency rescue and code enforcement are conditions that are related to carrying out a community redevelopment plan, therefore tax increment revenues can be used to fund the cost of law enforcement and emergency response within a CRA area. The bills specify that revenues from tax increment funds cannot be used for general government operating expenses that do not correlate with the carrying out of a community redevelopment plan. (Cruz) ...

Tax Increment Revenues (Watch) HB 605 (Casello) and SB 1038 (Rader) provide that law enforcement, fire suppression, emergency rescue and code enforcement are conditions that are related to carrying out a community redevelopment plan, therefore tax increment revenues can be used to fund the cost of law enforcement and emergency response within a CRA area. The bills specify that revenues from tax increment funds cannot be used for general government operating expenses that do not correlate with the carrying out of a community redevelopment plan. (Cruz)

Taking Claims within Areas of Critical State Concern (Watch)

HB 1019 (Altman) and SB 1694 (Flores) provides that a local government located within an area of critical state concern shall split with the state any award of compensation, costs, attorney fees and prejudgment interest awarded to a property owner if the court has found liability against both the state and the local government. The bill also states that a governmental entity is not liable for post-judgement interest on a judgement entered against another governmental entity. (Cruz) ...

Taking Claims within Areas of Critical State Concern (Watch) HB 1019 (Altman) and SB 1694 (Flores) provides that a local government located within an area of critical state concern shall split with the state any award of compensation, costs, attorney fees and prejudgment interest awarded to a property owner if the court has found liability against both the state and the local government. The bill also states that a governmental entity is not liable for post-judgement interest on a judgement entered against another governmental entity. (Cruz)

Small-Scale Comprehensive Plan Amendments (Watch)

HB 6017 (Duggan) and SB 1494 (Perry) repeals the 120-acre cumulative annual limit on small-scale development amendments that may be approved by a local government. A comprehensive plan amendment may be classified as small-scale amendment if the amendment involves less than 10 acres of land, does not impact land located in an area of critical state concern, preserves the internal consistency of the overall local comprehensive plan does not require substantive changes to the text of the plan, and the local government considering the amendment has not adopted a cumulative total of 120 acres of small-scale comprehensive plan ...

Small-Scale Comprehensive Plan Amendments (Watch) HB 6017 (Duggan) and SB 1494 (Perry) repeals the 120-acre cumulative annual limit on small-scale development amendments that may be approved by a local government. A comprehensive plan amendment may be classified as small-scale amendment if the amendment involves less than 10 acres of land, does not impact land located in an area of critical state concern, preserves the internal consistency of the overall local comprehensive plan does not require substantive changes to the text of the plan, and the local government considering the amendment has not adopted a cumulative total of 120 acres of small-scale comprehensive plan amendments in the current calendar year. (Cruz)

Other Bills of Interest

SB 620 (Broxson) and CS/HB 891 (Ponder) – Military Friendly Initiatives ...

Other Bills of Interest SB 620 (Broxson) and CS/HB 891 (Ponder) – Military Friendly Initiatives

OTHER

Attorney Fees and Costs (Oppose – Mandate)

CS/CS/CS/SB 1140 (Hutson) and CS/CS/CS/HB 829 (Sabatini) create a new section of law providing for a mandatory award of attorney fees, costs and damages against a local government in a civil action in which a local government ordinance is determined to have been expressly preempted by the state Constitution or by state law. CS/CS/CS/HB 829 provides that fees and costs may not be awarded if the local government withdraws or repeals the ordinance: within 21 days after receiving a written claim the ordinance is preempted. Except for section 553.79(20), ordinances relating to “growth management” are exempted from the ...

Attorney Fees and Costs (Oppose – Mandate) CS/CS/CS/SB 1140 (Hutson) and CS/CS/CS/HB 829 (Sabatini) create a new section of law providing for a mandatory award of attorney fees, costs and damages against a local government in a civil action in which a local government ordinance is determined to have been expressly preempted by the state Constitution or by state law. CS/CS/CS/HB 829 provides that fees and costs may not be awarded if the local government withdraws or repeals the ordinance: within 21 days after receiving a written claim the ordinance is preempted. Except for section 553.79(20), ordinances relating to “growth management” are exempted from the bill’s provisions. CS/CS/CS/SB 1140 provides that fees and costs shall be awarded to the prevailing party in such actions but shall not be awarded if the local government withdraws or repeals the ordinance within 60 days of receiving a written notice the ordinance is preempted.  CS/CS/CS/SB 1140 specifies it is remedial in nature and applies retroactively to all cases pending or commenced on or after July 1, 2019.  The bill exempts ordinances adopted pursuant to part II of chapter 163, s. 553.73, or s. 633.202. (O’Hara/Cruz)

State Shared Revenues (Oppose – Mandate)

SB 594 (Hutson) creates procedures and penalties for counties and municipalities taking actions alleged to impact commerce and alleged to violate state law or the state constitution. The bill authorizes a member of the Legislature to request the attorney general to investigate any official action adopted or taken by a county or municipality that impacts “commerce” and which the member alleges violates state law or the state constitution. The bill directs the attorney general to make a written report of findings to the governor, the Legislature and the secretary of state. If the attorney general finds a violation ...

State Shared Revenues (Oppose – Mandate) SB 594 (Hutson) creates procedures and penalties for counties and municipalities taking actions alleged to impact commerce and alleged to violate state law or the state constitution. The bill authorizes a member of the Legislature to request the attorney general to investigate any official action adopted or taken by a county or municipality that impacts “commerce” and which the member alleges violates state law or the state constitution. The bill directs the attorney general to make a written report of findings to the governor, the Legislature and the secretary of state. If the attorney general finds a violation occurred or likely occurred, the bill directs the attorney general to initiate a circuit court action for declaratory or injunctive relief. If the circuit court issues an order finding a violation, the bill specifies the governing body of the local government must remedy the violation within 30 days or appeal the order. If the governing body fails to timely remedy the violation or timely appeal the order, the bill provides for the Department of Revenue to withhold state-shared revenues to the county or municipality (except for revenues obligated to pay debt service) until such time the local government complies with the court order. The bill provides for the municipality or county to petition for restoration of revenue sharing upon a showing of compliance with the court’s order. (O’Hara/Cruz)

Towing and Immobilizing of Vehicles and Vessels (Oppose – Preemption)

CS/HB 1237 (McClain) and CS/CS/SB 1792 (Gruters) require counties and municipalities to establish maximum rates for the towing and immobilization of vessels and prohibit a county or municipality from enacting a rule or ordinance that imposes a fee or charge on authorized wrecker operators. The bills provide that an authorized wrecker operator may impose and collect the administrative fee and is only required to remit the fee to the county or municipality after it has been collected. The bills prohibit counties and municipalities from adopting or enforcing ordinances or rules that impose fees on the registered owner or ...

Towing and Immobilizing of Vehicles and Vessels (Oppose – Preemption) CS/HB 1237 (McClain) and CS/CS/SB 1792 (Gruters) require counties and municipalities to establish maximum rates for the towing and immobilization of vessels and prohibit a county or municipality from enacting a rule or ordinance that imposes a fee or charge on authorized wrecker operators. The bills provide that an authorized wrecker operator may impose and collect the administrative fee and is only required to remit the fee to the county or municipality after it has been collected. The bills prohibit counties and municipalities from adopting or enforcing ordinances or rules that impose fees on the registered owner or lienholder of a vehicle or vessel removed and impounded by an authorized wrecker operator. The bills provide that a wrecker operator who recovers, removes or stores a vehicle or vessel shall have a lien on the vehicle or vessel that includes the value of the reasonable administrative fee or charge imposed by a county or municipality.  The bills exempt a county with an existing towing license program as of January 1, 2019, from the prohibition on imposing a fee or charge on an authorized wrecker operator or on a towing business. However, the county would not be authorized to levy a business tax or impose and collect an administrative fee or charge.  The bills prohibit a municipality or county from enacting an ordinance or rule requiring an authorized wrecker operator to accept checks as a form of payment, and from authorizing attorney fees or court costs in connection with the towing of vehicles or vessels from private property. The bills expressly preempt the regulation of attorney fees and court costs in connection with the towing of vehicles or vessels from private property to the state and supersedes any municipal or county ordinance on the subject. (Cook)

Preemption of Local Regulations (Oppose – Mandate and Preemption)

As originally filed, CS/CS/CS/HB 3 (Grant, M.) and SB 1748 (Perry) expressly preempt the regulation and licensing of occupations and professions to the state and prohibits the enforcement of any regulation of a business unless the regulation is either expressly authorized by general law or adopted pursuant to the new requirements imposed by the bills. “Business” is defined broadly to include any activity regularly engaged in by any person for public or private gain, benefit or advantage, including good and services and business entities. “Regulation” is defined broadly to include virtually any action taken by local government, including ...

Preemption of Local Regulations (Oppose – Mandate and Preemption) As originally filed, CS/CS/CS/HB 3 (Grant, M.) and SB 1748 (Perry) expressly preempt the regulation and licensing of occupations and professions to the state and prohibits the enforcement of any regulation of a business unless the regulation is either expressly authorized by general law or adopted pursuant to the new requirements imposed by the bills. “Business” is defined broadly to include any activity regularly engaged in by any person for public or private gain, benefit or advantage, including good and services and business entities. “Regulation” is defined broadly to include virtually any action taken by local government, including even “fees,” “pronouncements” and “guidelines.” The term appears to include regulations directed specifically at business activity (e.g., adult entertainment ordinances) as well as regulations that are directed at all persons generally (e.g., noise ordinances). Contracts, permits, approvals and Home Rule revenue sources appear to fall within the definition of “regulation” as defined in the bills.  The bills prohibit local governments from taking “new” actions affecting business after July 1, 2019, unless the local government has: •Made public findings that: the action is necessary to protect public health, safety and welfare; the action is performed in a manner that does not unnecessarily restrict entry into the business and the action is performed in the least restrictive and cost-effective manner. •Required the action sunset in two years. •Passed the action by two-thirds vote of its membership except for zoning regulations, regulations that increase building costs by less than $750, nuisance ordinances and ordinances related to alcohol and tobacco. •Published a “Statement of Estimated Regulatory Costs” 14 days prior to any vote on the action and determined the regulatory costs on business could not be reduced by adoption of a less costly alternative. Regulations expressly authorized by general law are exempt from these new requirements. The Statements of Estimated Regulatory Costs required by the bill must contain a detailed analyses of a regulation’s anticipated impacts to business and consumers, including the anticipated costs, methods of financing, resources needed for implementation and enforcement, fees needed to cover anticipated costs, impacts to small business, impacts on business competitiveness (including the ability of affected persons to compete with persons doing business in other markets), impacts on economic growth and job creation, and transactional costs likely to be incurred by businesses required to comply.  The bills sunset existing regulations affecting business in July 2021. Such regulations may be readopted only upon meeting the requirements of the bills.  CS/CS/CS/HB 3 has been amended to significantly narrow the scope and impact of the bill. As of March 21, 2019, the bill now applies only to occupational licensing, and most of the previous language about business regulation has been removed from the bill. The amended CS/CS/CS/HB 3 expressly preempts the licensing of occupations to the state. It defines occupation to include a paid job, work, trade, employment or profession and defines licensing to include any training, education, test, certification, registration, procedure or license that is required for a person to perform an occupation. The bill provides limited exceptions for specified local licenses and any local government licensing of occupations that is expressly authorized by general law. The bill prohibits a local government from requiring a person to obtain a license for a job scope that does not substantially correspond to the job scope of certain contractor categories set forth in Chapter 489. In addition, the bill authorizes local governments to issue journeyman licenses in specified trades. CS/CS/CS/HB 3 passed the House 88-24 on April 11. The Senate companion, SB 1748, has not been heard in a committee. (O’Hara/Cruz)

Monuments and Memorials (Oppose – Preemption)

HB 97 (Hill) and SB 288 (Baxley) preempt the ability of local governments to remove, alter, rename or otherwise disturb a memorial or monument on public property placed in memory of a veteran or war. This preemption includes the removal of Civil War memorials made to honor or commemorate the war, soldiers or government officials that aided the war effort. The legislation specifies that a remembrance erected, named or dedicated on or after March 22, 1822, on public property may be relocated, removed, altered, renamed, rededicated or otherwise disturbed only if necessary to accommodate construction, repair or improvements ...

Monuments and Memorials (Oppose – Preemption) HB 97 (Hill) and SB 288 (Baxley) preempt the ability of local governments to remove, alter, rename or otherwise disturb a memorial or monument on public property placed in memory of a veteran or war. This preemption includes the removal of Civil War memorials made to honor or commemorate the war, soldiers or government officials that aided the war effort. The legislation specifies that a remembrance erected, named or dedicated on or after March 22, 1822, on public property may be relocated, removed, altered, renamed, rededicated or otherwise disturbed only if necessary to accommodate construction, repair or improvements to the remembrance or to the surrounding property on which the remembrance is located. Additionally, the bills require that a remembrance on public property that is sold or repurposed must be relocated to a location of equal prominence as the original location. (Cruz)

Legislative Preemption (Support)

HJR 1273 (Goff-Marcil) and SJR 1698 (Berman) require a supermajority (two-third vote) of each house of the legislature to approve a general law preempting a subject of legislation to the state. (O’Hara/Cruz) ...

Legislative Preemption (Support) HJR 1273 (Goff-Marcil) and SJR 1698 (Berman) require a supermajority (two-third vote) of each house of the legislature to approve a general law preempting a subject of legislation to the state. (O’Hara/Cruz)

Legal Notices (Support)

CS/CS/HB 1235 (Fine), SB 1676 (Baxley) and SB 1710 (Diaz) are bills filed dealing with public notice requirements. ...

Legal Notices (Support) CS/CS/HB 1235 (Fine), SB 1676 (Baxley) and SB 1710 (Diaz) are bills filed dealing with public notice requirements. SB 1676 removes a requirement that cities must purchase space in newspapers for certain legal notices and instead requires each state or local government agency to publish legally required notices and advertisements on their official website. Each government agency must publish notice at least once a year in a newspaper of general circulation, a newsletter or periodical, or other publication mailed and delivered to all residents and property owners in the government’s jurisdiction that the resident or property owner may receive legally required notices or advertisements via first-class mail or email by registration of his or her name, address and email address with the county or municipality. The bill requires the government agency to maintain a registry of names, addresses and email addresses of residents and property owners who have requested in writing that they receive legally required notices and advertisements from the agency by first-class mail or email. CS/CS/HB 1235 (Fine) allows a governmental agency the option to publish legally required advertisements and notices on a publicly accessible website if certain conditions are met. The bill allows a governmental agency:  • In a county that has not been designated a fiscally constrained county to publish legally required advertisements and notices on a publicly accessible website if online publication would result in a cost savings for the government.  • In a fiscally constrained county to publish advertisements and notices on a publicly accessible website after making a determination at a publicly noticed meeting that online publication:  o Is in the public interest.  o Will be less expensive than newspaper publication.  o Will not, after taking into account the level of internet access in the county, unreasonably restrict access to advertisements and legal notices.  The bill requires a governmental agency to publish a notice at least once a year in a newspaper of general circulation that the resident or property owner may receive legally required notices or advertisements via first class mail or email by registration of his or her name, address and email address with the local governmental agency. Finally, the bill revises criteria that a newspaper must meet to be eligible to publish advertisements and legal notices, allowing a governmental agency to publish advertisements and notices in a free newspaper and in a newspaper published once per week. Similarly, SB 1710 authorizes cities to publish legal notices on their websites in lieu of publishing the notice or advertisement in a newspaper. (Cook)

Other Bills of Interest

CS/CS/HB 249 (Drake), HB 251 (Drake) and SB 362 (Brandes) – Repeal of Constitution Revision Commission ...

Other Bills of Interest CS/CS/HB 249 (Drake), HB 251 (Drake) and SB 362 (Brandes) – Repeal of Constitution Revision Commission SB 308 (Brandes) – Nonemergency Medical Transportation Services HB 431 (Fischer) and SB 772 (Stargel) – Liens Against Motor Vehicles and Vessels HB 435 (Duggan) and SB 1430 (Hutson) – Vacation and Timeshare Plans HB 721 (Killebrew) and SB 1128 (Diaz) – Emotional Support Animals HB 807 (Aloupis) and SB 1480 (Stargel) – Civics Education  HB 1037 (Diamond) and SB 1316 (Brandes) – Civic Education HB 1075 (Rodriguez, Anthony) and SB 1362 (Gruters) – Community Associations HB 1255 (Grant, J.) – Modernizing Government HB 1267 (Fetterhoff) and SB 1788 (Hutson) – Florida Telemarketing Act HB 1283 (Smith, C.) and SB 1794 (Rodriguez, J.) – Landlords and Tenants SB 1492 (Book) and HB 1305 (Jacquet) – Government-Sponsored Recreation Programs SB 7012 (Innovation, Industry, and Technology) – Vaping in an indoor workplace

PERSONNEL

Firefighter Cancer Benefit (Oppose – Mandate)

CS/CS/SB 426 (Flores) entitles firefighters who receive a diagnosis of certain cancers to a package of mandated benefits. These benefits include coverage under a group health or self-insurance policy and a lump sum cash payout of $25,000. The bills require the employer to reimburse the firefighter for any out-of-pocket deductibles, co-payments or coinsurance relating to cancer treatment. In order for the firefighter to get the lump sum payout and reimbursements of out-of-pocket cost for 10 years post-employment, the firefighter must elect to continue coverage in an employer-sponsored health plan or group health insurance trust. If the firefighter participates ...

Firefighter Cancer Benefit (Oppose – Mandate) CS/CS/SB 426 (Flores) entitles firefighters who receive a diagnosis of certain cancers to a package of mandated benefits. These benefits include coverage under a group health or self-insurance policy and a lump sum cash payout of $25,000. The bills require the employer to reimburse the firefighter for any out-of-pocket deductibles, co-payments or coinsurance relating to cancer treatment. In order for the firefighter to get the lump sum payout and reimbursements of out-of-pocket cost for 10 years post-employment, the firefighter must elect to continue coverage in an employer-sponsored health plan or group health insurance trust. If the firefighter participates in an employer-sponsored retirement plan, the plan must qualify the firefighter as totally and permanently disabled if he or she is prevented from rendering useful and effective service as a firefighter and is likely to remain disabled continuously and permanently due to the diagnosis or treatment of cancer. The retirement plan must qualify the firefighter as “died in the line-of-duty” if he or she dies as a result of the cancer or treatment of cancer. If the firefighter did not participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan, the employer must provide a disability retirement plan that provides at least 42 percent of annual salary until the firefighter’s death. The employer must provide a death benefit to the firefighter’s beneficiary for at least 10 years totaling at least 42 percent of the firefighter’s most recent annual salary. Additionally, firefighters who die as a result of cancer or cancer treatment are considered to have died in the manner described in statutes, for purposes of statutorily required death benefits. The cost to provide the reimbursements, lump sum payments, disability retirement benefits and line-of-duty death benefits if the firefighter does not participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan must be borne solely by the employer. For employer-sponsored retirement plans, the contributions necessary to fund the increased actuarial cost associated with the benefits mandated in this bill must be borne solely by the employer. To qualify for these benefits, the firefighter must be employed by the employer for at least five continuous years, may not have used tobacco products in the preceding five years and may not have been employed in any other position that is proven to create a higher risk for any cancer in the preceding years. The bill requires a firefighter’s cancer diagnosis be considered an “injury or illness incurred in the line-of-duty” for determining employer policies and the provision of benefits. The bill specifies that a firefighter’s cancer diagnosis must be considered an “injury or illness incurred in the line-of-duty” for the purposes of determining leave time and employment retention policies. The bill also requires the Division of State Fire Marshal within the Florida Department of Financial Services to adopt rules to establish employer best practices for preventing or reducing the incidence of cancer among firefighters. The bill is effective July 1, 2019. CS/CS/SB 426 passed both chambers and is awaiting action by the governor. (Hughes)

Discrimination in Employment Screening (Oppose – Preemption)

SB 394 (Farmer) and HB 667 (Alexander) prohibit a public employer from inquiring into or considering an applicant’s criminal history on an initial employment application, unless otherwise required by law. A public employer could inquire into or consider an applicant’s criminal history only after the applicant’s qualifications have been screened and the employer has determined the applicant meets the minimum employment requirements for the position. (Hughes) ...

Discrimination in Employment Screening (Oppose – Preemption) SB 394 (Farmer) and HB 667 (Alexander) prohibit a public employer from inquiring into or considering an applicant’s criminal history on an initial employment application, unless otherwise required by law. A public employer could inquire into or consider an applicant’s criminal history only after the applicant’s qualifications have been screened and the employer has determined the applicant meets the minimum employment requirements for the position. (Hughes)

Firefighters’ Bill of Rights (Oppose – Preemption)

HB 161 (Casello) and CS/CS/SB 494 (Hooper) revise the current process that must be followed for the interrogation of firefighters. The bills revise the definition of “interrogation” to include questioning related to informal inquiries. The bills require all witnesses to be interviewed prior to beginning the interrogation of the firefighter when possible. The bills also require that the firefighter be provided the complaint, all witness statements and all other existing evidence before the interrogation. A firefighter being interrogated may not be threatened with transfer, dismissal or disciplinary action. The bills also set a timeline for certain information to ...

Firefighters’ Bill of Rights (Oppose – Preemption) HB 161 (Casello) and CS/CS/SB 494 (Hooper) revise the current process that must be followed for the interrogation of firefighters. The bills revise the definition of “interrogation” to include questioning related to informal inquiries. The bills require all witnesses to be interviewed prior to beginning the interrogation of the firefighter when possible. The bills also require that the firefighter be provided the complaint, all witness statements and all other existing evidence before the interrogation. A firefighter being interrogated may not be threatened with transfer, dismissal or disciplinary action. The bills also set a timeline for certain information to be provided to the firefighter and prohibit any retaliatory action against the firefighter for exercising his or her rights. HB 161 requires certain information be kept confidential until the employing agency makes a final determination of the complaint. CS/CS/SB 494 was amended to clarify that the complaint and other investigative information is confidential and exempt pursuant to the current law and that “informal inquiry” does not include discussions such as safety sessions, normal operations fire debriefings and routine work-related discussions. (Hughes)

Employment Conditions (Oppose – Preemption)

SB 432 (Gruters) and CS/HB 847 (Rommel) prohibit a political subdivision, including a municipality, from establishing, mandating or otherwise requiring an employer to offer conditions of employment not otherwise required by state or federal law. An “employer” is defined as any person who is engaged in any activity, enterprise or business in this state and employs at least one employee. The bills expressly preempt the regulation of minimum wage and other conditions of employment to the state. The bills do not limit the authority of a political subdivision to regulate minimum wage or to require conditions of employment ...

Employment Conditions (Oppose – Preemption) SB 432 (Gruters) and CS/HB 847 (Rommel) prohibit a political subdivision, including a municipality, from establishing, mandating or otherwise requiring an employer to offer conditions of employment not otherwise required by state or federal law. An “employer” is defined as any person who is engaged in any activity, enterprise or business in this state and employs at least one employee. The bills expressly preempt the regulation of minimum wage and other conditions of employment to the state. The bills do not limit the authority of a political subdivision to regulate minimum wage or to require conditions of employment for employees of the political subdivision, employees of a contractor or subcontractor that provides goods or services to the political subdivision and employees of an employer receiving a direct tax abatement or subsidy from the political subdivision as a condition of the direct tax abatement or subsidy. Any ordinance, regulation or policy of a political subdivision that is preempted by the bills and which existed before or on the effective date of this act is void. CS/HB 847 was amended to exclude from the preemption any valid ordinances that 1) prohibit discrimination on the basis of a prospective or actual employee’s race, religion, sexual orientation and any other discriminatory practices or 2) establish an alternative dispute resolution mechanism to resolve an employee’s claim against an employer for unpaid wages, if it was adopted before January 1, 2019. (Hughes)

Other Bills of Interest 

HB 517 (Jaquet) – Minimum Wage ...

Other Bills of Interest  HB 517 (Jaquet) – Minimum Wage HB 13 (Williamson) – Collective Bargaining SB 692 (Cruz) and HB 393 (Joseph) -Employment Practices SB 474 (Stewart) and HB 1355 (Joseph) - Discrimination in Labor and Employment SB 438 (Gruters) and HB 1279 (Fernandez) – Prohibiting Discrimination SB 430 (Rouson) and HB 485 (Webb)—Prohibited Discrimination-2 SB 890 (Baxley) and HB 707 (DiCeglie) – Drug-Free Workplace  SB 946 (Powell) and HB 945 (Omphroy) – Background Screening

PUBLIC RECORDS & PUBLIC MEETINGS

Public Records (Oppose – Preemption)

HB 407 (Rodrigues, R.) prohibits a city receiving a public record request from seeking clarification from the court as to whether the record is exempt or confidential.  ...

Public Records (Oppose – Preemption) HB 407 (Rodrigues, R.) prohibits a city receiving a public record request from seeking clarification from the court as to whether the record is exempt or confidential.  CS/SB 602 (Perry) was amended to clarify that if a city files an action for declaratory judgment for a declaration that certain public records are exempt, or confidential and exempt, and the court determines that the records are either not exempt, or not confidential or exempt, the court must assess reasonable costs of enforcement, including attorney fees, against the city for the benefit of the named respondent. (Cook)

Public Meetings (Oppose – Mandate)

HB 265 (Newton) and SB 518 (Rader) add new requirements relating to how municipal meetings are conducted. The bills require that meeting materials, including the agenda and any supporting documents, be available at least three days before the meeting occurs, unless emergency circumstances occur. The bills require that at least two copies of the agenda and supporting materials be available for public inspection at the meeting location on the day of the meeting. The bills mandate that public comment be offered as either the first or last item on the agenda and requires that each member of the ...

Public Meetings (Oppose – Mandate) HB 265 (Newton) and SB 518 (Rader) add new requirements relating to how municipal meetings are conducted. The bills require that meeting materials, including the agenda and any supporting documents, be available at least three days before the meeting occurs, unless emergency circumstances occur. The bills require that at least two copies of the agenda and supporting materials be available for public inspection at the meeting location on the day of the meeting. The bills mandate that public comment be offered as either the first or last item on the agenda and requires that each member of the public has the right to speak for at least three minutes. If 20 or more members of the public wish to speak on a specific item, the presiding officer may restrict the time allotted for each speaker to one minute. The bills also require the commission to respond, either publicly at the meeting or through written correspondence, to any and all questions made by a member of the public; any written response must be provided within 10 days after the meeting and be incorporated into the minutes of the meeting. (Cook)

Public Record Exemption for Civilian Personnel Employed by a Law Enforcement Agency (Support)

CS/HB 203 (Zika) and CS/CS/CS/SB 248 (Hooper) create a public record exemption for personal identifying and location information of any active or former civilian personnel employed by a law enforcement agency. CS/HB 203 was substituted for CS/CS/CS/SB 248, the bill passed both chambers and now awaits action by the governor. (Cook) ...

Public Record Exemption for Civilian Personnel Employed by a Law Enforcement Agency (Support) CS/HB 203 (Zika) and CS/CS/CS/SB 248 (Hooper) create a public record exemption for personal identifying and location information of any active or former civilian personnel employed by a law enforcement agency. CS/HB 203 was substituted for CS/CS/CS/SB 248, the bill passed both chambers and now awaits action by the governor. (Cook)

Public Record Exemption for Municipal Electric Utilities Information Technology Systems (Support)

CS/CS/HB 327 (Davis) and CS/CS/SB 450 (Gibson) exempt from public meeting requirements any information concerning the information technology systems of municipally owned electric utilities. CS/CS/SB 450 was substituted for CS/CS/HB 327, the bill passed both chambers and now awaits action by the governor. (Cook) ...

Public Record Exemption for Municipal Electric Utilities Information Technology Systems (Support) CS/CS/HB 327 (Davis) and CS/CS/SB 450 (Gibson) exempt from public meeting requirements any information concerning the information technology systems of municipally owned electric utilities. CS/CS/SB 450 was substituted for CS/CS/HB 327, the bill passed both chambers and now awaits action by the governor. (Cook)

Public Records and Public Meetings (Watch)

CS/SB 236 (Book) creates a public record exemption for any personal identifying information of alleged victims of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct or any information that could assist an individual in determining the identity of the alleged victim. The bill clarifies that this information cannot be disclosed until the law enforcement agency determines that it will not investigate the allegation, the agency has taken disciplinary action against the subject of the allegation and will take no further action, or a finding is made as to whether probable cause exists. The bill also exempts any portion of a public ...

Public Records and Public Meetings (Watch) CS/SB 236 (Book) creates a public record exemption for any personal identifying information of alleged victims of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct or any information that could assist an individual in determining the identity of the alleged victim. The bill clarifies that this information cannot be disclosed until the law enforcement agency determines that it will not investigate the allegation, the agency has taken disciplinary action against the subject of the allegation and will take no further action, or a finding is made as to whether probable cause exists. The bill also exempts any portion of a public meeting that would reveal any records involving an allegation of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct until certain conditions are met. (Cook)

Public Records (Watch) 

HB 479 (Polo) amends current law to define what “responding in good faith” means with regard to a public records request. The bill adds language requiring responses to include an estimate of the time necessary to complete the request. If the records are not provided within that timeframe, the bill requires the custodian of record to notify the requestor of the reasons for the delay and provide a new estimate of time necessary to complete the request. (Cook) ...

Public Records (Watch)  HB 479 (Polo) amends current law to define what “responding in good faith” means with regard to a public records request. The bill adds language requiring responses to include an estimate of the time necessary to complete the request. If the records are not provided within that timeframe, the bill requires the custodian of record to notify the requestor of the reasons for the delay and provide a new estimate of time necessary to complete the request. (Cook)

Public Record Exemption for Preregistered Voter Registration Applicants (Watch)

CS/HB 281 (Stevenson) and SB 342 (Lee) create a public record exemption for all information relating to preregistered voter registration applicants who are 16 or 17 years of age. (Cook) ...

Public Record Exemption for Preregistered Voter Registration Applicants (Watch) CS/HB 281 (Stevenson) and SB 342 (Lee) create a public record exemption for all information relating to preregistered voter registration applicants who are 16 or 17 years of age. (Cook)

Public Records/Victims of Mass Violence (Watch)

SB 186 (Lee) and HB 7017 (Oversight, Transparency & Public Management Subcommittee) expand an existing public record exemption for photographs, videos or audio recordings that depict or record the killing of a law enforcement officer to include records relating to the killing of a victim of mass violence. (Cook) ...

Public Records/Victims of Mass Violence (Watch) SB 186 (Lee) and HB 7017 (Oversight, Transparency & Public Management Subcommittee) expand an existing public record exemption for photographs, videos or audio recordings that depict or record the killing of a law enforcement officer to include records relating to the killing of a victim of mass violence. (Cook)

Agency Contracts (Watch)

CS/SB 1416 (Gruters) and CS/HB 759 (Massullo) modify current law to clarify that any contract or agreement entered into by a public agency is a public record. The bills allow for the redaction of confidential or exempt information prior to the release of the contract or agreement if the specific statutory exemption is identified. The bills require that information relating to the amount of money paid, any payment structure, expenditures, incentives, bonuses, fees, penalties, the type of commodities or services being purchased and the contract unit prices and deliverables is not exempt or confidential. (Cook) ...

Agency Contracts (Watch) CS/SB 1416 (Gruters) and CS/HB 759 (Massullo) modify current law to clarify that any contract or agreement entered into by a public agency is a public record. The bills allow for the redaction of confidential or exempt information prior to the release of the contract or agreement if the specific statutory exemption is identified. The bills require that information relating to the amount of money paid, any payment structure, expenditures, incentives, bonuses, fees, penalties, the type of commodities or services being purchased and the contract unit prices and deliverables is not exempt or confidential. (Cook)

Public Records/Trade Secrets (Watch)

HB 761 (Massullo) and CS/SB 1414 (Gruters) create a public record exemption for trade secrets that apply to most agencies that are subject to public record requirements. The bills define the term “trade secret” and specifically exclude from the definition certain information related to any contract or agreement, or an addendum thereto, with an agency. Such information includes the parties to the contract or agreement; the amount of money paid, any payment structure or plan, expenditures, incentives, bonuses, fees, or penalties; the nature or type of commodities or services purchased; and applicable contract unit prices and deliverables. (Cook) ...

Public Records/Trade Secrets (Watch) HB 761 (Massullo) and CS/SB 1414 (Gruters) create a public record exemption for trade secrets that apply to most agencies that are subject to public record requirements. The bills define the term “trade secret” and specifically exclude from the definition certain information related to any contract or agreement, or an addendum thereto, with an agency. Such information includes the parties to the contract or agreement; the amount of money paid, any payment structure or plan, expenditures, incentives, bonuses, fees, or penalties; the nature or type of commodities or services purchased; and applicable contract unit prices and deliverables. (Cook)

Electronic Payment of Governmental Fees (Watch)

SB 1114 (Taddeo) requires cities to provide an electronic payment option for the payment of fees associated with a public record request. (Cook) ...

Electronic Payment of Governmental Fees (Watch) SB 1114 (Taddeo) requires cities to provide an electronic payment option for the payment of fees associated with a public record request. (Cook)

Other Bills of Interest

SB 1130 (Bean) – Public Records/Criminal Investigative Information ...

Other Bills of Interest SB 1130 (Bean) – Public Records/Criminal Investigative Information SB 1146 (Bean) – Public Records Relating to Criminal Activity HB 1201 (Jacobs) – Public Records Requirements

PUBLIC SAFETY

Firesafety Systems (Oppose – Preemption)

CS/CS/SB 908 (Hooper) and CS/HB 723 (Donalds) extend the deadlines for the following actions necessary for existing high-rise residential condominiums to comply with the Florida Fire Prevention Code requirements for fire sprinkler and engineered life safety systems: ...

Firesafety Systems (Oppose – Preemption) CS/CS/SB 908 (Hooper) and CS/HB 723 (Donalds) extend the deadlines for the following actions necessary for existing high-rise residential condominiums to comply with the Florida Fire Prevention Code requirements for fire sprinkler and engineered life safety systems: •A final fire sprinkler permit application and supporting documents must be submitted to the authority having jurisdiction by July 1, 2020. •All necessary permits must be obtained by July 1, 2021.  •Final inspection must be passed by December 31, 2022. CS/CS/SB 908 was amended in committee to create a statewide uniform permit application for the installation of fire alarm systems and allows a contractor to begin repair work after submitting an application if the system being repaired has been previously permitted. (Branch)

Safe Neighborhood Improvement Districts (Support)

SB 1508 (Simmons) SB 854 (Gruters), HB 1081 (Williams), and CS/HB 691 (Newton) are comprehensive bills creating a Safe Neighborhood Improvement District Revolving Loan Trust Fund within the Department of Legal Affairs. The money in the trust fund is to be used to provide loans to a Safe Neighborhood Improvement District for crime prevention projects. The bills provide guidelines that must be met before a loan can be approved and require the district to submit an annual report to the Florida Legislature. (Branch) ...

Safe Neighborhood Improvement Districts (Support) SB 1508 (Simmons) SB 854 (Gruters), HB 1081 (Williams), and CS/HB 691 (Newton) are comprehensive bills creating a Safe Neighborhood Improvement District Revolving Loan Trust Fund within the Department of Legal Affairs. The money in the trust fund is to be used to provide loans to a Safe Neighborhood Improvement District for crime prevention projects. The bills provide guidelines that must be met before a loan can be approved and require the district to submit an annual report to the Florida Legislature. (Branch)

Use of Wireless Communications Devices While Driving (Support)

CS/CS/CS/CS/SB 76 (Simpson) and CS/HB 107 (Toledo) prohibit a person from texting while operating a motor vehicle. The bills would allow law enforcement officers to issue texting-while-driving citations as a primary action. The Senate amended the House bill to include language that would prohibit the use of wireless communications device in a handheld manner for school and work zones only. CS/HB 107 passed the Senate and will be returned to the House for consideration. (Branch) ...

Use of Wireless Communications Devices While Driving (Support) CS/CS/CS/CS/SB 76 (Simpson) and CS/HB 107 (Toledo) prohibit a person from texting while operating a motor vehicle. The bills would allow law enforcement officers to issue texting-while-driving citations as a primary action. The Senate amended the House bill to include language that would prohibit the use of wireless communications device in a handheld manner for school and work zones only. CS/HB 107 passed the Senate and will be returned to the House for consideration. (Branch)

Police, Fire, and Search and Rescue Dogs (Support)

CS/HB 67 (Tomkow) and CS/CS/SB 96 (Bean) increase penalties for certain offenses committed on police, fire or search and rescue canines. CS/HB 67 was substituted for CS/CS/SB 96, the bill passed both chambers and now awaits action by the governor. (Cook) ...

Police, Fire, and Search and Rescue Dogs (Support) CS/HB 67 (Tomkow) and CS/CS/SB 96 (Bean) increase penalties for certain offenses committed on police, fire or search and rescue canines. CS/HB 67 was substituted for CS/CS/SB 96, the bill passed both chambers and now awaits action by the governor. (Cook)

Recovery Residences/Sober Homes (Support)

HB 103 (Jacobs) and SB 102 (Book) require that recovery residences obtain certification through the Department of Children and Families by April 1, 2020, or if established after October 1, 2019, before commencing operation. (Cook) ...

Recovery Residences/Sober Homes (Support) HB 103 (Jacobs) and SB 102 (Book) require that recovery residences obtain certification through the Department of Children and Families by April 1, 2020, or if established after October 1, 2019, before commencing operation. (Cook)

Recovery Residences/Sober Homes – 2 (Support)

CS/CS/SB 900 (Harrell) and CS/CS/HB 369 (Caruso) amend the statutory definition of “recovery residence” to include group housing that is part of any licensable community housing component established by rule or statute. The bills create new licensing requirements for “peer specialists,” add background check requirements for peer specialists who have direct contact with individuals receiving services at a recovery residence and increase penalties for misrepresenting or making false statements on an application for licensure. (Cook) ...

Recovery Residences/Sober Homes – 2 (Support) CS/CS/SB 900 (Harrell) and CS/CS/HB 369 (Caruso) amend the statutory definition of “recovery residence” to include group housing that is part of any licensable community housing component established by rule or statute. The bills create new licensing requirements for “peer specialists,” add background check requirements for peer specialists who have direct contact with individuals receiving services at a recovery residence and increase penalties for misrepresenting or making false statements on an application for licensure. (Cook)

Local Regulation of Firearms and Ammunition (Support)

SB 1532 (Rouson), HB 6061 (Diamond) and SB 1662 (Taddeo) repeal existing preemptions to authorize cities to regulate firearms, ammunition and the sale of these items if they so choose. (Cook) ...

Local Regulation of Firearms and Ammunition (Support) SB 1532 (Rouson), HB 6061 (Diamond) and SB 1662 (Taddeo) repeal existing preemptions to authorize cities to regulate firearms, ammunition and the sale of these items if they so choose. (Cook)

E911 Systems (Watch)

CS/HB 441 (DuBose) and CS/CS/SB 536 (Brandes) require the Technology Program (Office) within the Department of Management Services to develop a plan by February 1, 2020, to upgrade 911 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) within the state to allow the transfer of an emergency call from one local, multijurisdictional or regional E911 system to another. The bills specify that this transfer capability should include voice, text message, image, video, caller identification information, location information and additional standards-based 911 call information. The bills require the development and implementation of communications systems that allow direct radio communication between each PSAP ...

E911 Systems (Watch) CS/HB 441 (DuBose) and CS/CS/SB 536 (Brandes) require the Technology Program (Office) within the Department of Management Services to develop a plan by February 1, 2020, to upgrade 911 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) within the state to allow the transfer of an emergency call from one local, multijurisdictional or regional E911 system to another. The bills specify that this transfer capability should include voice, text message, image, video, caller identification information, location information and additional standards-based 911 call information. The bills require the development and implementation of communications systems that allow direct radio communication between each PSAP and first responders outside the PSAP’s normal service area. This should allow for more efficient dispatch of first responders in response to 911 communications. Finally, the bills require each county to develop a plan to implement countywide text-to-911 service and, by January 1, 2022, to enact a system that allows for text-to-911 service. (Cook)

Public Swimming Pools (Watch)

HB 1079 (Caruso) and SB 1440 (Farmer) require public swimming pools to have a telephone available for all public swimming pool users in case of an emergency. (Cook) ...

Public Swimming Pools (Watch) HB 1079 (Caruso) and SB 1440 (Farmer) require public swimming pools to have a telephone available for all public swimming pool users in case of an emergency. (Cook)

School Safety Funding (Watch)

SB 712 (Cruz) and HB 655 (Jones) amend current law to specify that unused funds allocated to the Guardian Program be distributed to all school districts, regardless of whether they are participating in the Guardian Program, for employing or contracting for additional school resource officers. The bills specify that funding shall be distributed among all school districts based on each district’s proportionate share of the state’s total unweighted full-time equivalent student enrollment. (Cook) ...

School Safety Funding (Watch) SB 712 (Cruz) and HB 655 (Jones) amend current law to specify that unused funds allocated to the Guardian Program be distributed to all school districts, regardless of whether they are participating in the Guardian Program, for employing or contracting for additional school resource officers. The bills specify that funding shall be distributed among all school districts based on each district’s proportionate share of the state’s total unweighted full-time equivalent student enrollment. (Cook)

School Safety and Security (Watch)

CS/CS/SB 7030 (Education Committee) builds upon the school safety and security foundation established in SB 7026 (2018) by addressing the school safety and security recommendations of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, and strengthening accountability and compliance oversight authority. Specifically, the bill:  ...

School Safety and Security (Watch) CS/CS/SB 7030 (Education Committee) builds upon the school safety and security foundation established in SB 7026 (2018) by addressing the school safety and security recommendations of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, and strengthening accountability and compliance oversight authority. Specifically, the bill:  • Improves school security measures by:  o Establishing a workgroup to review campus hardening policies and recommend a prioritized list of strategies for implementation and related policy and funding enhancements;  o Prioritizing the use of the school security risk assessment tool;  o Expanding the personnel who may serve as a school district’s school safety specialist to include certain law enforcement officers employed by the sheriff’s office; and  o Expanding school district options and eligibility for participation in the Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program.  • Enhances student safety by:  o Requiring improved school safety incident reporting;  o Promoting the FortifyFL mobile suspicious activity reporting tool;  o Expediting services for students with mental or behavioral disorders;  o Requiring active assailant response policies;  o Establishing a standardizing behavioral threat assessment instrument; and  o Establishing a workgroup to make recommendations regarding the development of a statewide threat assessment database.  • Provides school districts with greater flexibility to improve school safety by authorizing the transfer of additional categorical funds within the Florida Education Finance Program (FEFP) towards school safety expenditures. (Cook)

Medical Marijuana Retail Facilities (Watch)

HB 461 (Thompson), HB 463 (Thompson), SB 154 (Thurston) and SB 156 (Thurston) prohibit medical marijuana treatment centers (MMTC) from owning or operating a medical marijuana retail facility. The practical impact of this proposal is moving the state away from vertical integration where owners control all aspects from seed to sale. The bills direct the Department of Health to develop a licensing process and guidelines for medical marijuana retail facilities. Finally, the bills require that the medical marijuana use registry be provided to medical marijuana retail facilities for verification purposes. (Cook) ...

Medical Marijuana Retail Facilities (Watch) HB 461 (Thompson), HB 463 (Thompson), SB 154 (Thurston) and SB 156 (Thurston) prohibit medical marijuana treatment centers (MMTC) from owning or operating a medical marijuana retail facility. The practical impact of this proposal is moving the state away from vertical integration where owners control all aspects from seed to sale. The bills direct the Department of Health to develop a licensing process and guidelines for medical marijuana retail facilities. Finally, the bills require that the medical marijuana use registry be provided to medical marijuana retail facilities for verification purposes. (Cook)

Smoking Medical Marijuana for Medical Use (Watch)

CS/CS/CS/SB 182 (Brandes) redefines the term “medical use” to include the possession, use or administration of marijuana in a form for smoking and deletes a provision prohibiting medical marijuana treatment centers (MMTC) from dispensing or selling specified products. On March 18, 2019 CS/CS/CS/SB 182 was approved by the governor, Chapter No. 2019-01. ...

Smoking Medical Marijuana for Medical Use (Watch) CS/CS/CS/SB 182 (Brandes) redefines the term “medical use” to include the possession, use or administration of marijuana in a form for smoking and deletes a provision prohibiting medical marijuana treatment centers (MMTC) from dispensing or selling specified products. On March 18, 2019 CS/CS/CS/SB 182 was approved by the governor, Chapter No. 2019-01. SB 372 (Farmer) amends current law to allow medically prescribed marijuana to be available in a smokable form.  CS/HB 7015 (Health and Human Services Committee) allows smoking of medical marijuana only in the form of pre-rolled marijuana cigarettes dispensed by MMTCs. The bill imposes packaging and labeling requirements for pre-rolled marijuana cigarettes. The bill establishes a process for physicians who wish to certify smoking as a route of administration for patients. The bill requires qualified physicians certifying smoking as a route of administration for a patient, other than a terminally ill patient, to submit certain documentation to the Board of Medicine or Board of Osteopathic Medicine. The bill prohibits smoking as a route of administration for patients under 18 years of age. The bill also requires the informed consent form provided to all patients to include the negative health risks associated with marijuana smoking. (Cook)

Medical Marijuana Licensing (Watch) 

SB 1322 (Brandes) is a comprehensive reform bill that would shift the state from a vertically-integrated model where licensees control all aspects of growing, processing, and retail, to one where each individual component would have its own license. Of note to cities, the bill preserves the current preemption on regulating cultivation and processing facilities. The bill authorizes cities to prohibit dispensaries within its boundaries if certain conditions are met. Finally, the bill authorizes cities to levy a local business tax on a dispensary facility. ...

Medical Marijuana Licensing (Watch)  SB 1322 (Brandes) is a comprehensive reform bill that would shift the state from a vertically-integrated model where licensees control all aspects of growing, processing, and retail, to one where each individual component would have its own license. Of note to cities, the bill preserves the current preemption on regulating cultivation and processing facilities. The bill authorizes cities to prohibit dispensaries within its boundaries if certain conditions are met. Finally, the bill authorizes cities to levy a local business tax on a dispensary facility. SB 1324 (Brandes) directs the Department of Health to develop a fee schedule for the new licenses created by SB 1322. (Cook)

Use of Regulated Substances (Watch)

HB 7119 (Health and Human Services Committee) increases the minimum age to lawfully purchase and knowingly possess tobacco products, nicotine products and nicotine-dispensing devices in Florida from 18 to 21. The bill prohibits the sale, delivery, bartering, furnishing, shipping or giving tobacco products, nicotine products or electronic nicotine dispensing devices to persons under the age of 21. The bill preempts to the state the establishment of the minimum age to possess or purchase nicotine-dispensing devices, nicotine products and tobacco products, and the regulation of the marketing of such products to the state. However, such preemption does not prohibit ...

Use of Regulated Substances (Watch) HB 7119 (Health and Human Services Committee) increases the minimum age to lawfully purchase and knowingly possess tobacco products, nicotine products and nicotine-dispensing devices in Florida from 18 to 21. The bill prohibits the sale, delivery, bartering, furnishing, shipping or giving tobacco products, nicotine products or electronic nicotine dispensing devices to persons under the age of 21. The bill preempts to the state the establishment of the minimum age to possess or purchase nicotine-dispensing devices, nicotine products and tobacco products, and the regulation of the marketing of such products to the state. However, such preemption does not prohibit a local government’s ability to require licensure for the retail sale of tobacco products. Finally, the bill Increases the minimum age for the medical use of marijuana in a form for smoking from 18 to 21. (Cook)

Retail Sale of Hemp (Watch)

SB 7102 (Innovation, Industry and Technology Committee) authorizes the distribution and retail sale of hemp extract, which may not have a THC1 concentration that exceeds 0.3 percent on a dry-weight basis. Before hemp extract may be distributed or sold, it must be analyzed and certified by an independent testing laboratory to confirm that the THC concentration does not exceed 0.3 percent on a dry-weight basis. The bill also provides package labeling requirements for hemp extract products. The bill exempts hemp from the definition of the controlled substance “cannabis” in s. 893.02(3), Florida Statutes. (Cook) ...

Retail Sale of Hemp (Watch) SB 7102 (Innovation, Industry and Technology Committee) authorizes the distribution and retail sale of hemp extract, which may not have a THC1 concentration that exceeds 0.3 percent on a dry-weight basis. Before hemp extract may be distributed or sold, it must be analyzed and certified by an independent testing laboratory to confirm that the THC concentration does not exceed 0.3 percent on a dry-weight basis. The bill also provides package labeling requirements for hemp extract products. The bill exempts hemp from the definition of the controlled substance “cannabis” in s. 893.02(3), Florida Statutes. (Cook)

Emergency Medical Air Transportation Services (Watch)

HB 133 (Watson) and SB 98 (Stewart) establish the Transportation Act Account within the Emergency Medical Services Trust Fund (EMSTF) and direct the Emergency Medical Air Account to be used to generate federal matching funds to increase reimbursement payments made by providers to the Florida Medicaid program. The bills also add $1 to the fines associated with certain noncriminal and criminal offenses and require cities and counties to transfer any moneys collected under this account to the EMSTF on a quarterly basis. (Cook) ...

Emergency Medical Air Transportation Services (Watch) HB 133 (Watson) and SB 98 (Stewart) establish the Transportation Act Account within the Emergency Medical Services Trust Fund (EMSTF) and direct the Emergency Medical Air Account to be used to generate federal matching funds to increase reimbursement payments made by providers to the Florida Medicaid program. The bills also add $1 to the fines associated with certain noncriminal and criminal offenses and require cities and counties to transfer any moneys collected under this account to the EMSTF on a quarterly basis. (Cook)

Nonemergency Medical Transportation Services (Watch)

CS/CS/SB 302 (Brandes) and CS/HB 411 (Perez) authorize a transportation network company (TNC) under contract with a Medicaid managed care plan or a transportation network company that receives referrals from a transportation broker contracting with Medicaid managed care plans to provide Medicaid nonemergency transportation services to a Medicaid recipient. CS/SB 302 also authorizes a Medicaid managed care plan that administers nonemergency Medicaid transportation benefits to engage a licensed basic life support or an advanced life support ambulance for the provision of nonemergency Medicaid transportation in any county without first obtaining a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity, as ...

Nonemergency Medical Transportation Services (Watch) CS/CS/SB 302 (Brandes) and CS/HB 411 (Perez) authorize a transportation network company (TNC) under contract with a Medicaid managed care plan or a transportation network company that receives referrals from a transportation broker contracting with Medicaid managed care plans to provide Medicaid nonemergency transportation services to a Medicaid recipient. CS/SB 302 also authorizes a Medicaid managed care plan that administers nonemergency Medicaid transportation benefits to engage a licensed basic life support or an advanced life support ambulance for the provision of nonemergency Medicaid transportation in any county without first obtaining a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity, as otherwise would be required under current law. (Cook)

Concealed Weapons and Firearms – Child Care Facilities (Watch)

HB 197 (Polo) and SB 752 (Berman) prohibit concealed weapon or firearm licensees from openly carrying a handgun or concealed weapon into any child care facility. (Cook) ...

Concealed Weapons and Firearms – Child Care Facilities (Watch) HB 197 (Polo) and SB 752 (Berman) prohibit concealed weapon or firearm licensees from openly carrying a handgun or concealed weapon into any child care facility. (Cook)

Concealed Weapons and Firearms – Performing Arts Center or Theater (Watch)

SB 364 (Braynon) and HB 683 (Bush III) prohibit concealed weapon or firearm licensees from openly carrying a handgun or concealed weapon into a performing arts center or theater. (Cook) ...

Concealed Weapons and Firearms – Performing Arts Center or Theater (Watch) SB 364 (Braynon) and HB 683 (Bush III) prohibit concealed weapon or firearm licensees from openly carrying a handgun or concealed weapon into a performing arts center or theater. (Cook)

Concealed Weapons and Firearms – College or University Facility (Watch)

HB 6007 (Sabatini) amends current law to allow concealed weapon or firearm licensees to carry a firearm on any college or university facility. (Cook) ...

Concealed Weapons and Firearms – College or University Facility (Watch) HB 6007 (Sabatini) amends current law to allow concealed weapon or firearm licensees to carry a firearm on any college or university facility. (Cook)

Carrying of Firearms by Tactical Medical Professionals (Watch)

CS/HB 487 (Smith, D.) and CS/CS/SB 722 (Hooper) expressly authorize a “tactical medical professional” (TMP) who has a concealed weapons and firearms license to carry firearms, weapons and ammunition when he or she is actively operating in direct support of a tactical law enforcement operation. For the authorization to apply, the bills also require the law enforcement agency head to have appointed the TMP and to have an established policy for these appointments. Additionally, the TMP must have completed two types of firearm training, one of which must be provided by the agency.  ...

Carrying of Firearms by Tactical Medical Professionals (Watch) CS/HB 487 (Smith, D.) and CS/CS/SB 722 (Hooper) expressly authorize a “tactical medical professional” (TMP) who has a concealed weapons and firearms license to carry firearms, weapons and ammunition when he or she is actively operating in direct support of a tactical law enforcement operation. For the authorization to apply, the bills also require the law enforcement agency head to have appointed the TMP and to have an established policy for these appointments. Additionally, the TMP must have completed two types of firearm training, one of which must be provided by the agency.  In addition to this express authorization to carry firearms, weapons and ammunition, the bills also grant a TMP who is authorized to carry a firearm or other weapon during an operation the same “immunities and privileges” as a law enforcement officer. However, a TMP may not make an arrest. The immunities and privileges provision might authorize a TMP to carry a concealed or unconcealed firearm or weapon whenever a law enforcement officer may, which is anytime the officer is “carrying out official duties in this state.” Similarly, this provision might authorize a TMP to carry a concealed firearm without a license while off duty, given that law enforcement officers appear to have this authority.  The bill defines “tactical medical professional” as a paramedic, physician or osteopathic physician who is appointed to provide medical services directly to a tactical law enforcement unit engaged in high-risk incidents, such as drug raids and hostage situations. (Cook)

Discharging Firearms in Public or on Residential Property (Watch)

HB 709 (Slosberg) amends current law to prohibit recreational shooting on residential properties smaller than five acres. The bill specifies that a person engaged in target shooting on a residential lot larger than five acres may do so only if the targets are in front of a dirt berm and backstop sufficient to stop projectiles from crossing into a neighboring property. (Cook) ...

Discharging Firearms in Public or on Residential Property (Watch) HB 709 (Slosberg) amends current law to prohibit recreational shooting on residential properties smaller than five acres. The bill specifies that a person engaged in target shooting on a residential lot larger than five acres may do so only if the targets are in front of a dirt berm and backstop sufficient to stop projectiles from crossing into a neighboring property. (Cook)

Searches of Cellular Phones and Other Electronic Devices by Law Enforcement (Watch)

CS/SB 210 (Brandes) requires law enforcement to receive a warrant prior to searching a portable electronic communication device without the owner’s consent. (Cook) ...

Searches of Cellular Phones and Other Electronic Devices by Law Enforcement (Watch) CS/SB 210 (Brandes) requires law enforcement to receive a warrant prior to searching a portable electronic communication device without the owner’s consent. (Cook)

Human Trafficking (Watch)

CS/CS/SB 540 (Book) and CS/HB 851 (Fitzenhagen) require the owner or operator of a public lodging establishment to train certain employees and create policies relating to human trafficking. Of note to cities, the bills require each certified law enforcement officer to successfully complete a four-hour training on identifying and investigating human trafficking as either a part of the basic recruit training or as a continuing education requirement. Licensed law enforcement officers must have this training completed prior to July 1, 2022. Failing to complete the required training by this date will result in the suspension of the officer’s ...

Human Trafficking (Watch) CS/CS/SB 540 (Book) and CS/HB 851 (Fitzenhagen) require the owner or operator of a public lodging establishment to train certain employees and create policies relating to human trafficking. Of note to cities, the bills require each certified law enforcement officer to successfully complete a four-hour training on identifying and investigating human trafficking as either a part of the basic recruit training or as a continuing education requirement. Licensed law enforcement officers must have this training completed prior to July 1, 2022. Failing to complete the required training by this date will result in the suspension of the officer’s certification until the officer has completed the training. (Cook)

Public Nuisances (Watch)

CS/SB 668 (Perry) and CS/HB 551 (McClain) are bills amending the process for declaring a property a public nuisance. ...

Public Nuisances (Watch) CS/SB 668 (Perry) and CS/HB 551 (McClain) are bills amending the process for declaring a property a public nuisance. CS/HB 551 removes the requirement that a location be used for gang-related activity on two or more occasions, thereby making a property a public nuisance when it has been used for such activity at least once. Additionally, the bill makes a site a public nuisance when it is used for certain enumerated offenses on more than two occasions within a six-month period. These offenses include:  • Dealing in stolen property;  • Assault and battery;  • Burglary;  • Theft; and  • Robbery by sudden snatching.  The bill also limits liability for rental property owners. A rental property that is declared a nuisance may not be abated or subject to forfeiture if the nuisance was committed by someone other than the owner of the property. However, the property owner must commence rehabilitation of the property within 30 days after the property is declared a nuisance to maintain this protection.  CS/HB 551 increases the required notice from one three-day notice to two notices with a total of 25 days to abate the nuisance. This requirement may be waived where the nuisance presents an immediate and irreparable danger. Notice must be served by personal service. The bill requires the notice to:  • Describe the property or activities creating the nuisance. • Describe the actions necessary to abate the nuisance. • State that costs will be assessed if a nuisance is found and abatement is not completed.  The notice timeframe before a lien may attach to a property owned by someone other than the person causing the nuisance is extended from five days to 15 days. CS/SB 668 amends s.823.05, Florida Statutes, relating to public nuisances, to:  • Delete the requirement that a criminal gang or member or associate of such gang must use a location “on two or more occasions” for the purpose of engaging in a criminal gang-related activity in order for such use to qualify as a public nuisance that can be abated or enjoined.  • Provide that any place or premises that has been used on more than two occasions within a six-month period as the site of dealing in stolen property, assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, burglary, theft or robbery by sudden snatching may be declared a public nuisance and may be abated or enjoined.  • Provide that a rental property that is declared a public nuisance based upon the previously described circumstances may not be abated or subject to forfeiture under the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act if the nuisance was committed by someone other than the owner of the property and the property owner commences rehabilitation of the property within 30 days after the property is declared a public nuisance and completes the rehabilitation within a reasonable time thereafter.  • Extends and increases the frequency of notice so a property owner has sufficient time to receive notice and correct the use of the property.  • Allows for shorter notice where the public nuisance presents a danger of immediate and irreparable injury.  • Provides more detail on what must be provided in the notice and serving the notice. (Cook)

School Safety (Watch)

HB 7093 (Education Committee) expands access to school guardians by allowing private schools and charter schools to employ school guardians (either directly or by contract) and expands the list of entities authorized to provide the school guardian training program. ...

School Safety (Watch) HB 7093 (Education Committee) expands access to school guardians by allowing private schools and charter schools to employ school guardians (either directly or by contract) and expands the list of entities authorized to provide the school guardian training program. The bill increases the ability of the Office of Safe Schools (Office) within the Department of Education to enforce school safety by allowing the Education Practices Commission to fine superintendents, school board members and school personnel for noncompliance as determined by the Office. The bill requires the Office to determine (a) the types of schools and campuses that need a safe-school officer and (b) the number and type of emergency drills.  The bill enhances information-sharing among schools and school districts by requiring schools to transfer student records, including mental and behavioral records maintained by the school, within one business day if within the district and within two business days if outside of the district.  The bill requires schools to consult with law enforcement when an act poses a threat to school safety. The bill requires schools to screen or assess, within 45 days, students who are referred for mental assistance. School-based interventions must occur within 30 days of the screening and continue until the student receives community-based care, where appropriate. When a student transfers to a different school, the threat assessment team must verify that any intervention services remain in place until the threat assessment team of the receiving school independently determines the need for intervention services.  The bill allows school districts to use their Fiscal Year 2018-2019 Safe Schools Allocation (SSA) to acquire safe-school officers. Beginning in Fiscal Year 2019-2020, the bill revises the methodology for distributing the SSA by requiring a minimum amount to be distributed to each school district with the remaining balance allocated based on each school district’s proportionate share of the total full-time equivalent student enrollment. The priority use of the SSA is funding safe-school officers, instead of solely school resource officers, which allows school districts and charter schools to use the funds for school guardians. (Cook)

Public Safety (Watch)

CS/HB 7125 (Judiciary Committee) and PCS/CS/SB 642 (Brandes) make varied and comprehensive changes to Florida law that impact public safety.  ...

Public Safety (Watch) CS/HB 7125 (Judiciary Committee) and PCS/CS/SB 642 (Brandes) make varied and comprehensive changes to Florida law that impact public safety.  CS/HB 7125 does the following:  • Modifies the use of grant funds for Crime Stoppers programs and prohibits the disclosure of privileged communication or protected information associated with crime stopper organizations.  • Expands the availability of inmate reentry programming and services.  • Reduces barriers to occupational licensing for persons with a criminal history record.  • Expands eligibility for sealing a criminal record if a charge was dismissed, not filed or resulted in acquittal.  • Revises probation criteria to prioritize the highest levels of supervision for the most serious offenders.  • Raises felony theft thresholds for specified offenses, including grand theft and retail theft, to $1,000.  • Expands access to therapeutic treatment courts by authorizing a judicial circuit to create a community court for specified misdemeanors and expanding eligibility for pretrial drug court and veterans' treatment court.  • Repeals and reduces driver license suspensions and revocations for non-driving related reasons and revises specified offenses for driving while license suspended or revoked.  • Revises youthful offender sentencing eligibility.  • Raises hydrocodone trafficking thresholds to bring them in line with similar controlled substances.  • Repeals mandatory minimum sentences and reduces offense levels for specified regulatory offenses.  • Increases penalties for introducing a cell phone and other contraband into a state correctional institution.  • Revises offenses related to persons detained in county detention facilities.  • Prohibits awarding attorney fees in injunctions for repeat, dating, or sexual violence, and stalking.  • Revises specified agency and law enforcement access to certain criminal justice databases.  • Revises data elements and definitions and delays a reporting deadline for criminal justice data transparency.  • Clarifies law enforcement may apply for an arrest warrant after obtaining an initial DNA match.  • Revises offense elements for specified cybercrimes and construction contracting fraud.  • Prohibits specified offenses for possession of obscene child-like sex dolls.  • Authorizes a veterinarian to report suspected criminal violations to specified entities.  • Authorizes specified law enforcement officers to carry a concealed firearm during off-duty hours in any state.  • Extends specified filing and reporting deadlines for crime victim compensation claims. PCS/CS/SB 642 does the following: • Requiring, at the request of any justice permanently residing outside of Leon County, the chief justice of the Florida Supreme Court to designate and coordinate a location in the justice’s district for the justice’s private chambers pursuant to Section 112.061, Florida Statutes; • Adding a circuit court judgeship to both the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court and the Twelfth Judicial Circuit Court.  • Requiring the Office of the State Courts administrator to provide an annual report detailing the number of participants in each problem-solving court for each fiscal year of operation.  • Allowing each judicial circuit to establish a community court program for defendants charged with certain misdemeanor offenses and specifying program requirements.  • Requiring the chief judge of each judicial circuit to establish a Veterans’ court.  • Expanding eligibility beyond veterans and active duty servicemembers to include individuals who are current or former United States Department of Defense contractors and current or former military members of a foreign allied country for veteran treatment courts, pretrial drug courts, and veteran pretrial intervention and treatment programs.  • Increasing the threshold amounts of various theft offenses.  • Requiring the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability to review specified threshold amounts periodically and report its findings to the governor, president of the Senate, and speaker of the House of Representatives.  • Requiring the clerk of court to establish a Driver License Reinstatement Day Program to assist people seeking to have their driver’s license reinstated.  • Modifying several provisions relating to the revocation and suspension of a driver’s license.  • Removing any felony criminal penalties for a subsequent violation of driving on a suspended, revoked, etc. license.  • Ensuring the Sexually Violent Predator Program is considered to serve a criminal justice function to maintain its access to the National Crime Information Center database.  • Prohibiting specified entities from considering convictions that have occurred more than five years from the date of a licensure or registration application from being a basis for denial of an occupational license or registration.  • Allowing a veterinarian to report certain suspected criminal violations to the appropriate authorities without notice to the client.  • Providing a just cause defense for criminal offenses and disciplinary violations against a contractor for failure to do certain things within a specified amount of time.  • Increasing the felony thresholds applicable to fraud provisions related to contractors.  • Removing the mandatory minimum sentence for horse meat offenses.  • Ensuring that a person released from a county detention facility following incarceration for an offense for which the sentence pronounced was a prison sentence qualifies as a prison releasee reoffender if otherwise eligible.  • Retroactively applying legislative changes that removed aggravated assault and attempted aggravated assault as predicate offenses for mandatory minimum sentencing under the “10-20-Life” statute.  • Ensuring that attorney’s fees cannot be awarded in injunction proceedings for repeat, dating, or sexual violence or stalking.  • Providing that cyberstalking includes accessing or attempting to access the online accounts or Internet-connected home electronic systems of another person without that person’s permission, causing substantial emotional distress to that person and serving no legitimate purpose.  • Specifying that a person who holds or held an active certification from the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission as a law enforcement or correctional officer and who meets other specified criteria meets the definition of “qualified law enforcement officer” found at 18 U.S. Code s. 926(B) and (C), thereby authorizing such person to carry a concealed firearm in Florida in accordance with federal requirements.  • Prohibiting lewd or lascivious exhibition in the presence of any person employed at or performing contractual work for a county detention facility.  • Amending the definition of “access,” relating to computer crimes, so unlawful access will now include an electronic device.  • Providing for punishment of computer-related crimes when those crimes are committed willfully, knowingly and exceeding authorization.  • Prohibiting a person from selling, lending, giving away, distributing, transmitting, showing, transmuting or possessing a child-like sex doll.  • Reducing the penalties from a third-degree felony to a second-degree misdemeanor for certain alcohol and gambling offenses.  • Creating a new drug trafficking offense called “trafficking in pharmaceuticals,” which will apply to trafficking in a specified number of dosage units containing a controlled substance specified in the drug trafficking statute.  • Authorizing a court to depart from the imposition of a mandatory minimum sentence in drug trafficking cases if certain circumstances are met.  • Retroactively applying ameliorative sentencing changes to trafficking in hydrocodone and oxycodone and mixtures containing either controlled substance.  • Modifying a number of definitions and data collection points necessary for efficient data collection in accordance with the Criminal Justice Data Transparency Act.  • Requiring the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to commission racial impact statements for all criminal justice-related bills heard by the Legislature.  • Requiring the recording of custodial interrogations for specified offenses.  • Increasing monthly incentive gain-time awards that the Department of Corrections (DOC) may grant from up to 10 days to up to 20 days for offenders sentenced for offenses committed on or after October 1, 1995.  • Reducing the amount of a sentence that must be served by a prisoner convicted of a nonviolent felony from no less than 85 percent to no less than 65 percent.  • Creating an automatic sealing process for certain criminal history records of a minor or adult;  • Allowing matches between casework evidence DNA samples and DNA databases of offenders for an additional purpose of finding probable cause to obtain a warrant for an offender’s arrest;  • Enhancing the Criminal Punishment Code ranking level for an employee who uses such position to introduce contraband into a state correctional facility.  • Adding cellular telephones to the list of items that are prohibited from being introduced into a county detention facility and applying criminal penalties for introducing such items.  • Authorizing the DOC to increase the number of transition assistance specialists. • Requiring transition assistance specialists to inform inmates about relevant job credentialing or industry certifications and expanding the use of such credentialing.  • Requiring the DOC to create a toll-free hotline for released inmates to obtain information about community-based reentry services.  • Expanding the use of the Spectrum program to provide inmates and offenders with community-specific reentry service provider referrals.  • Requiring the DOC to provide inmates with a comprehensive community reentry resource directory that includes specified information related to services and portals available in the county to which the inmate is to be released.  • Permitting specified entities to apply with the DOC to be registered to provide inmate reentry services and requiring the DOC to create a process for screening, approving and registering such entities.  • Authorizing the DOC to contract with specified entities to assist veteran inmates in applying for veteran’s benefits upon release.  • Authorizing the DOC to develop, within its existing resources, a Prison Entrepreneurship Program that includes education with specified curriculum.  • Authorizing the court to order or the DOC to transfer offenders to administrative probation if the offender presents a low risk of harm to the community and has completed at least half of their term of probation.  • Requiring a court to early terminate or transfer to administrative probation certain compliant probationers upon certain factors being met and providing for exceptions to such requirement.  • Codifying the DOC’s current practice of using graduated incentives to promote compliance with probationers and offenders on community control on supervision with the DOC.  • Requiring the court to modify or continue the supervision term of certain low-risk offenders with a first filed violation of probation and providing modification terms and exceptions.  • Requiring each circuit to create an alternative sanctions program to handle specified types and occurrences of technical violations of probation or community control with the judge’s concurrence.  • Requiring the DOC to include in the Florida Crime Information Center system all conditions of probation as determined by the court.  • Permitting a court to impose a sentence as a youthful offender if a person committed a felony before they turned 21 years of age.  • Increasing the timeframes in which a person who is eligible for financial compensation through the Department of Legal Affairs Crime Victim Services to apply for such compensation.  • Adding locally authorized entity to the list of entities that may operate an independent civil citation or similar prearrest diversion program in addition to a circuit program.  • Removing the requirement for the Department of Juvenile Justice to enter information related to a civil citation or prearrest diversion program into the Juvenile Justice Information System Prevention website. (Cook)

Community Association Fire & Life Safety Systems (Watch)

SB 1732 (Farmer) and HB 647 (Grieco) allow high-rises (75 feet or higher) to opt out or forgo the installation of a fire sprinkler system or an Engineered Life Safety System (ELSS) upon the approval of two-thirds of all voting interests in the community. The bills specifically exempt all condominiums buildings that are less than 75 feet high from being required to retrofit with either sprinkler systems or an ELSS. The bills propose that a sign or approved symbol be posted on the building alerting people to that fact that the building does not have a sprinkler system. ...

Community Association Fire & Life Safety Systems (Watch) SB 1732 (Farmer) and HB 647 (Grieco) allow high-rises (75 feet or higher) to opt out or forgo the installation of a fire sprinkler system or an Engineered Life Safety System (ELSS) upon the approval of two-thirds of all voting interests in the community. The bills specifically exempt all condominiums buildings that are less than 75 feet high from being required to retrofit with either sprinkler systems or an ELSS. The bills propose that a sign or approved symbol be posted on the building alerting people to that fact that the building does not have a sprinkler system. The bills push back their compliance date for completion of retrofitting with a fire sprinkler system or other engineered life safety system to January 1, 2023. (Branch)

Other Bills of Interest

HB 59 (Duran) and SB 104 (Book) – Prescription Drug Donation Repository Program ...

Other Bills of Interest HB 59 (Duran) and SB 104 (Book) – Prescription Drug Donation Repository Program HB 135 (Good) and SB 654 (Book) – Transfers of Firearms HB 153 (Cortes) and SB 1248 (Torres) – Landlords and Tenants SB 220 (Brandes) and HB 907 (Toledo) – Beverage Law HB 287 (Geller) and SB 488 (Pizzo) – Drug Safety HB 375 (Pigman) and SB 592 (Albritton) – Prescription Drug Monitoring Program HB 379 (Killebrew) and SB 774 (Gruters) – Animal Welfare HB 455 (Smith, C.) and SB 466 (Farmer) – Assault Weapons and Large-Capacity Magazines SB 468 (Farmer) – Firearm Sales SB 470 (Farmer) – Fees Relating to Firearm Sales SB 500 (Stewart) – Gun Safety SB 516 (Gruters) – Smoking in State Parks  HB 553 (Smith, C.) – Public Records Information of Assualt Weapon Possession Certificateholders HB 557 (Massullo, Jr.) – Reciprocity for the Medical Use of Marijuana HB 581 (Byrd) and SB 1562 (Gruters) – Exemptions to Requirements for Firearm Sales SB 598 (Albritton) – Concealed Carry of Firearms SB 764 (Berman) and HB 923 (Stark) – Home Safety SB 788 (Book) – Enforcement of Court Orders  SB 826 (Rouson) and HB 347 (Rodriguez) – Towing-Storage Operator Liens HB 875 (Sirios) and SB 1658 (Simpson) – Statewide Taskforce on Opioid Drug Abuse SB 894 (Stargel) and HB 6037 (Perez) – Individual Wine Containers SB 922 (Berman) – Discharging Firearms HB 931 (Antone) and SB 1182 (Rouson) – Emergency Medical Services   SB 956 (Stewart) – Three-Dimensional Firearms HB 1041 (Duran, Toledo), SB 1618 (Simmons) – Tobacco Products SB 1046 (Mayfield) and HB 1125 (Hill) – Tobacco Products HB 1093 (Jenne) and SB 1312 (Pizzo) – Cannabis Possession HB 1117 (Grieco, Smith), SB 1780 (Farmer) and HB 1119 (Grieco) – Adult Use Marijuana Legalization HB 1229 (Raschein) and HB 1219 (Sabatini) – Craft Distilleries  HB 1253 (Mariano) and SB 1700 (Lee) – Prescription Drug Monitoring Program SB 1298 (Bracy) – Adult Right to Cannabis SB 1426 (Book) – Victim Rights SB 1714 (Bracy) and HB 1289 (Smith) – Cannabis Possession HB 6005 (Byrd) and SB 996 (Hutson) – Possession of Firearms on School Property HB 7027 (Health Quality Subcommittee) – Vaping SB 7046 (Criminal Justice) and HB 7057 (Criminal Justice) – Corrections

RETIREMENT & PENSIONS

Reemployment After Retirement (Support) 

SB 1096 (Perry) and HB 631 (C. Watson) authorizes a retiree to be reemployed by an employer participating in the Florida Retirement System before completion of the 12-month limitation period if the retiree is employed on a part-time basis and is not qualified to receive retirement benefits during the 12-month period after the date of reemployment. (Hughes) ...

Reemployment After Retirement (Support)  SB 1096 (Perry) and HB 631 (C. Watson) authorizes a retiree to be reemployed by an employer participating in the Florida Retirement System before completion of the 12-month limitation period if the retiree is employed on a part-time basis and is not qualified to receive retirement benefits during the 12-month period after the date of reemployment. (Hughes)

FRS Contribution Rates (Watch) 

SB 7016 (Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee) revises the required retirement contribution rates for each membership class and subclass of the Florida Retirement System. SB 7016 passed both chambers and on April 15 was approved by the governor, effective July 1, 2019. (Hughes)  ...

FRS Contribution Rates (Watch)  SB 7016 (Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee) revises the required retirement contribution rates for each membership class and subclass of the Florida Retirement System. SB 7016 passed both chambers and on April 15 was approved by the governor, effective July 1, 2019. (Hughes)

Special Risk Class of FRS (Watch)

HB 511 (Willhite) and SB 744 (Book) add 911 public safety telecommunicators to the special risk class of the Florida Retirement System. (Hughes)   ...

Special Risk Class of FRS (Watch) HB 511 (Willhite) and SB 744 (Book) add 911 public safety telecommunicators to the special risk class of the Florida Retirement System. (Hughes)

Cost-Of-Living Adjustment (Watch)

HB 779 (Clemons) and CS/SB 784 (Gruters) specify the minimum amount of the factor used to calculate the cost-of-living adjustment of benefits for certain retirees and beneficiaries of the Florida Retirement System. (Hughes) ...

Cost-Of-Living Adjustment (Watch) HB 779 (Clemons) and CS/SB 784 (Gruters) specify the minimum amount of the factor used to calculate the cost-of-living adjustment of benefits for certain retirees and beneficiaries of the Florida Retirement System. (Hughes)

SHORT-TERM RENTALS

Short-Term Rentals (Oppose – Preemption)

SB 824 (Diaz) and CS/CS/HB 987 (Grant, J.) do the following: ...

Short-Term Rentals (Oppose – Preemption) SB 824 (Diaz) and CS/CS/HB 987 (Grant, J.) do the following: •Preempt to the state the regulation of short-term rentals (STRs)/vacation rentals. •Require that any ordinances (noise, parking, trash, etc.) apply to all residential properties, regardless of how the property is being used.  •State that local governments cannot prohibit rentals (not just STRs), impose occupancy limits on rental properties or require inspections or licensing of rentals (specific to STRs). •Require that a city must prove by clear and convincing evidence that its ordinance or regulation complies with this section. •Remove the grandfather clause.  •Require applicants for STR license to provide name, address, phone number and email to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), which must make this available to the public on the division’s website.  CS/CS/HB 987 also contains language clarifying that existing homeowners association and condo association regulations will continue to be in effect. The amended bill requires that operators of STRs must maintain liability insurance coverage equal to the insurance requirements for long-term rentals. Finally, the bill requires that sex offenders must register at the sheriff’s office in the county where the sex offender is temporarily residing, regardless of the length of stay, at any public lodging establishment including vacation rentals. The property owner or operator who has been notified that a sexual offender is staying at his or her property or is staying within 1,000 feet of his or her property must notify all other guests staying at the property. Every internet ad or online posting must prominently display the complete physical address of the public lodging establishment along with a link to a website created by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to notify the public of any information regarding sexual predators. (Cook)

Short-Term Rentals (Support)

SB 812 (Simmons) and SB 814 (Simmons) do the following: ...

Short-Term Rentals (Support) SB 812 (Simmons) and SB 814 (Simmons) do the following: •Requires short-term rental (STR) registration to be displayed in the establishment and the registration number to be included in any listing or advertisement •Defines “commercial vacation rental”: five or more units under common ownership •Defines “hosting platform” •Clarifies that rental units, in whole or in part, and advertised for rental periods for less than 30 days, are classified as STRs •Requires the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) to inspect commercial vacation rentals at least biannually •Requires that non-commercial STRs must be made available for inspection upon request •Requires that local governments treat all residential properties the same, regardless of use…but there’s an exception…In single family residences where the owner is not occupying a portion of the property where the rental activity is taking place (home sharing), local governments can adopt specific regulations to the rental •Requires that STR owners give the city a copy of their state license and the owner’s emergency contact information. Cities can’t charge for this information. •Says that grandfathered cities can amend their ordinances if it’s the changes are “less restrictive” •Says that DBPR can refuse to issue or renew, or suspend or revoke, the license of any public lodging establishment that is the subject of a final order from a local government directing the establishment to cease operations due to a violation of a local ordinance •Requires any advertisements to list the license number, and the ad must also include the physical address of the property •Adds several new requirements on hosting platforms including a prohibition on facilitating a rental if the property has not been licensed by DBPR •Requires the hosting platform to maintain rental records of every property advertised on the platform and requires DBPR to audit at least annually, with penalties for noncompliance or failed audits. SB 1196 (Mayfield) and HB 1129 (LaMarca) do the following: •Define “hosting platform,” and provide for more accountability of the platforms •Require Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) to collect information relating to the bookings of each short-term rental and share this information with cities upon request •Expand definition of transient public lodging establishment to include “group of units in a dwelling” •Require a license to be displayed inside the STR and the license number to be included in all advertising •Prohibit platform from facilitating a booking transaction unless the operator has consented to the disclosure of the required information •Require hosting platform to remove noncompliant ads within three business days of DBPR’s notification •Require DBPR to revoke, refuse to issue, or renew a short-term rental license when the subject property violates the terms of an applicable lease or property restriction OR the agency determines that the operation of a short-term rental violates a local law, ordinance or regulation. (Cook)

TORT LIABILITY

TRANSPORTATION

Micromobility Devices and Motorized Scooters (Support)

CS/SB 542 (Brandes) and CS/CS/HB 453 (Toledo) as originally filed, prohibited local governments from taking any action or adopting any law that is designed to limit or prevent any company engaged in the rental of micro-mobility devices from operating in its jurisdiction, as long as the company complies with the regulations governing similarly situated businesses. Both bills were amended to allow municipalities to regulate scooters locally without any preemption from the state. The bills also define the term “micro-mobility device” as a motorized transportation device made available for private use by reservation through an online platform. (Branch) ...

Micromobility Devices and Motorized Scooters (Support) CS/SB 542 (Brandes) and CS/CS/HB 453 (Toledo) as originally filed, prohibited local governments from taking any action or adopting any law that is designed to limit or prevent any company engaged in the rental of micro-mobility devices from operating in its jurisdiction, as long as the company complies with the regulations governing similarly situated businesses. Both bills were amended to allow municipalities to regulate scooters locally without any preemption from the state. The bills also define the term “micro-mobility device” as a motorized transportation device made available for private use by reservation through an online platform. (Branch)

Red Light Cameras (Oppose – Preemption) 

SB 622 (Brandes) and HB 6003 (Sabatini) preempt cities, counties and the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles from installing, maintaining, or utilizing red light cameras effective July 1, 2022. (Branch) ...

Red Light Cameras (Oppose – Preemption)  SB 622 (Brandes) and HB 6003 (Sabatini) preempt cities, counties and the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles from installing, maintaining, or utilizing red light cameras effective July 1, 2022. (Branch)

Drones (Support) 

CS/SB 132 (Rouson), CS/CS/SB 766 (Gruters), CS/CS/HB 75 (Yarborough) and HB 1131 (Valdes) allow police and fire departments to use drones to manage crowd control and traffic as well as gather evidence at a crime or traffic crash scene. The bills would permit a state agency or political subdivision to operate drones for assessing damage after a natural disaster. (Branch) ...

Drones (Support)  CS/SB 132 (Rouson), CS/CS/SB 766 (Gruters), CS/CS/HB 75 (Yarborough) and HB 1131 (Valdes) allow police and fire departments to use drones to manage crowd control and traffic as well as gather evidence at a crime or traffic crash scene. The bills would permit a state agency or political subdivision to operate drones for assessing damage after a natural disaster. (Branch)

Traffic Offenses (Support) 

SB 158 (Baxley) and HB 71 (McClain) provide criminal penalties for a person who commits a moving violation that causes serious bodily injury to or causes the death of a vulnerable road user. Of interest to cities, the bill defines “vulnerable road user” to include a person engaged in work on a highway such as a utility service worker. (Branch) ...

Traffic Offenses (Support)  SB 158 (Baxley) and HB 71 (McClain) provide criminal penalties for a person who commits a moving violation that causes serious bodily injury to or causes the death of a vulnerable road user. Of interest to cities, the bill defines “vulnerable road user” to include a person engaged in work on a highway such as a utility service worker. (Branch)

Use of Vessel Registration Fees (Support)

SB 436 (Hooper) and HB 529 (Mariano) authorize local governments to use their portion of vessel registration fee for additional purposes such as maintenance of public boat ramps and other public water access facilities. (Branch) ...

Use of Vessel Registration Fees (Support) SB 436 (Hooper) and HB 529 (Mariano) authorize local governments to use their portion of vessel registration fee for additional purposes such as maintenance of public boat ramps and other public water access facilities. (Branch)

Railroad-Highway Grade Crossing (Support)

SB 608 (Bean) and HB 309 (Duggan) prohibit a railroad train from blocking a public highway or street at a railroad highway grade crossing for more than a specified time unless such stoppage is due to a safety-related emergency or a mechanical failure that renders movement of the train impossible. (Branch) ...

Railroad-Highway Grade Crossing (Support) SB 608 (Bean) and HB 309 (Duggan) prohibit a railroad train from blocking a public highway or street at a railroad highway grade crossing for more than a specified time unless such stoppage is due to a safety-related emergency or a mechanical failure that renders movement of the train impossible. (Branch)

Fleet Vehicle Rebate Programs (Support)

SB 1368 (Simpson) creates an electric and hybrid fleet vehicle rebate program within the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The purpose of the program is to help reduce transportation cost and to encourage freight mobility investments. Forty percent of the annual allocation must be reserved for governmental applicants. ...

Fleet Vehicle Rebate Programs (Support) SB 1368 (Simpson) creates an electric and hybrid fleet vehicle rebate program within the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The purpose of the program is to help reduce transportation cost and to encourage freight mobility investments. Forty percent of the annual allocation must be reserved for governmental applicants.

Transportation Network Company (Watch)

SB 1204 (Hutson) allows a luxury ground and limousine vehicle company to convert its operations and its for-hire vehicles into a transportation network company (TNC). The bill requires the newly converted TNC to provide notification to the Department of Financial Services. (Branch) ...

Transportation Network Company (Watch) SB 1204 (Hutson) allows a luxury ground and limousine vehicle company to convert its operations and its for-hire vehicles into a transportation network company (TNC). The bill requires the newly converted TNC to provide notification to the Department of Financial Services. (Branch)

Expressway Authorities (Watch)

CS/CS/SB 898 (Diaz) and CS/CS/CS/HB 385 (Avila) repeal the Miami-Dade County and Osceola County Expressway Authorities and transfer all powers and assets to the Greater Miami Expressway Agency and Central Florida Expressway Authority respectively. The bills revise the membership of the Miami-Dade County transportation planning organization but do not alter the representation from municipalities. The bills also revise the authorized uses for the Charter County and Regional Transportation System Surtax for Miami-Dade County. Effective October 1, 2022, each municipality in Miami-Dade County may use its surtax proceeds to plan, develop, construct, operate and maintain roads, transit systems and ...

Expressway Authorities (Watch) CS/CS/SB 898 (Diaz) and CS/CS/CS/HB 385 (Avila) repeal the Miami-Dade County and Osceola County Expressway Authorities and transfer all powers and assets to the Greater Miami Expressway Agency and Central Florida Expressway Authority respectively. The bills revise the membership of the Miami-Dade County transportation planning organization but do not alter the representation from municipalities. The bills also revise the authorized uses for the Charter County and Regional Transportation System Surtax for Miami-Dade County. Effective October 1, 2022, each municipality in Miami-Dade County may use its surtax proceeds to plan, develop, construct, operate and maintain roads, transit systems and bridges in the municipality and to pay the principal and interest on bonds issued to construct road or bridges. (Branch)

Transportation (Watch)

SB 660 (Brandes) is the comprehensive Department of Transportation package. Of specific interest to cities, SB 660 requires the Florida Transportation Commission to prepare a report for the governor and the Legislature listing all sources of revenue for transportation infrastructure and maintenance projects regarding the impact of electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles on such revenue sources. (Branch) ...

Transportation (Watch) SB 660 (Brandes) is the comprehensive Department of Transportation package. Of specific interest to cities, SB 660 requires the Florida Transportation Commission to prepare a report for the governor and the Legislature listing all sources of revenue for transportation infrastructure and maintenance projects regarding the impact of electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles on such revenue sources. (Branch)

Multi-Use Corridors of Regional Economic Significance (M-CORES) Program (Watch)

CS/SB 7068 (Infrastructure & Security Committee) and HB 7113 (Transportation & Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee) create the Multi-use Corridors of Regional Economic Significance (M-CORES) Program within the Florida Department of Transportation. The program is designed to advance construction of regional corridors that will accommodate multiple modes of transportation and multiple types of infrastructure. The proposed bills identify the following three corridors comprising of the M-CORES Program: Southwest-Central Florida Connector, Suncoast Connector and Northern Turnpike Connector. The bills also provide increased funding for the Small County Road Assistance Program, the Small County Outreach Program and the Transportation Disadvantaged Trust Fund. ...

Multi-Use Corridors of Regional Economic Significance (M-CORES) Program (Watch) CS/SB 7068 (Infrastructure & Security Committee) and HB 7113 (Transportation & Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee) create the Multi-use Corridors of Regional Economic Significance (M-CORES) Program within the Florida Department of Transportation. The program is designed to advance construction of regional corridors that will accommodate multiple modes of transportation and multiple types of infrastructure. The proposed bills identify the following three corridors comprising of the M-CORES Program: Southwest-Central Florida Connector, Suncoast Connector and Northern Turnpike Connector. The bills also provide increased funding for the Small County Road Assistance Program, the Small County Outreach Program and the Transportation Disadvantaged Trust Fund. (Branch)

Autonomous Vehicles (Watch)

CS/CS/SB 932 (Brandes) and CS/HB 311 (Fischer) deal with autonomous vehicles. The bills:  ...

Autonomous Vehicles (Watch) CS/CS/SB 932 (Brandes) and CS/HB 311 (Fischer) deal with autonomous vehicles. The bills:  •Allow the Florida Turnpike Enterprise to fund, construct and operate test facilities for the advancement of autonomous and connected innovative transportation technology solutions. •Require that autonomous vehicles must comply with applicable federal and state law and regulations. •Require the automated driving system of a fully autonomous vehicles be capable of achieving a minimal risk condition if a failure of the system occurs. •Make several conforming changes such as replacing the term “autonomous technology” with “automated driving system.” •Prohibit local governments from imposing any tax, fee or any other requirement on automated driving systems or autonomous vehicles.  •The bills do not prohibit an airport or a seaport from charging reasonable fees 7consistent with any fees charged to companies (Branch)

Department of Transportation (Oppose – Preemption)

CS/CS/SB 1044 (Albritton) and CS/CS/CS/HB 905 (Andrade) are the comprehensive Department of Transportation package. Of specific interest to cities, the bills prohibit a local government from adopting standards or specifications that are contrary to the Department of Transportation’s standards or specifications for permissible use of aggregates or reclaimed asphalt that have been certified for use. (Branch) ...

Department of Transportation (Oppose – Preemption) CS/CS/SB 1044 (Albritton) and CS/CS/CS/HB 905 (Andrade) are the comprehensive Department of Transportation package. Of specific interest to cities, the bills prohibit a local government from adopting standards or specifications that are contrary to the Department of Transportation’s standards or specifications for permissible use of aggregates or reclaimed asphalt that have been certified for use. (Branch)

Other Bills of Interest 

SB 1002 (Hutson) and HB 341 (LaMarca) – Motor Vehicles and Railroad Trains  ...

Other Bills of Interest  SB 1002 (Hutson) and HB 341 (LaMarca) – Motor Vehicles and Railroad Trains  HB 725 (Payne) – Commercial Motor Vehicles  SB 1232 (Rader) and HB 765 (Santiago) – Motor Vehicles SB 928 (Diaz) – Rebuilt Motor Vehicle Inspection Program HB 1057 (McClure) – Motor Vehicles HB 1053 (Brannan) – DHSMV SB 1448 (Gruters) and HB 681 (Zika) – Florida Transportation Commission HB 303 (Rommel) – Luxury Ground Transportation Companies  SB 544 (Brandes) – Airport

UTILITIES & ENVIRONMENT

Discharge of Domestic Wastewater (Oppose – Mandate)

SB 1568 (Rodriguez, J.) prohibits the construction of new deep injection wells for domestic wastewater discharge or the expansion of existing wells. It limits the discharge capacity of domestic wastewater deep well injection and requires current ocean outfall and deep well injection permitholders to install a functioning reuse system by specified dates. The bill prohibits the discharge of domestic wastewater through ocean outfalls and deep injection wells after specified dates and requires current deep injection well permitholders to submit a plan with specified requirements and annual progress reports to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. (O’Hara) ...

Discharge of Domestic Wastewater (Oppose – Mandate) SB 1568 (Rodriguez, J.) prohibits the construction of new deep injection wells for domestic wastewater discharge or the expansion of existing wells. It limits the discharge capacity of domestic wastewater deep well injection and requires current ocean outfall and deep well injection permitholders to install a functioning reuse system by specified dates. The bill prohibits the discharge of domestic wastewater through ocean outfalls and deep injection wells after specified dates and requires current deep injection well permitholders to submit a plan with specified requirements and annual progress reports to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. (O’Hara)

Displacement of Private Waste Companies (Oppose – Preemption)

CS/HB 1169 (McClure) and SB 1572 (Albritton) would substantially amend the “Fair Competition Act”, which imposes restrictions and requirements on local governments intending to displace private waste companies in the provision of solid waste and recycling services. The bills provide that a local government may displace a private company that provides collection service only by adopting an ordinance or resolution. Before adopting an ordinance or resolution, the bills require a local government to do all of the following: (1) adopt a resolution of intent at least 180 days prior that: includes stated goals and justification for any franchise ...

Displacement of Private Waste Companies (Oppose – Preemption) CS/HB 1169 (McClure) and SB 1572 (Albritton) would substantially amend the “Fair Competition Act”, which imposes restrictions and requirements on local governments intending to displace private waste companies in the provision of solid waste and recycling services. The bills provide that a local government may displace a private company that provides collection service only by adopting an ordinance or resolution. Before adopting an ordinance or resolution, the bills require a local government to do all of the following: (1) adopt a resolution of intent at least 180 days prior that: includes stated goals and justification for any franchise fees, is published at least once, is subject to public hearing, and invites service providers to participate in the planning and establishment of the collection service; (2) within 90 days of adopting the resolution of intent, develop a plan for organized collection service with the assistance and participation of existing service providers within the jurisdiction; and (3) provide 30 days’ notice before a public hearing on the proposed plan to all existing service providers in the jurisdiction. The bills specify requirements for the local government’s plan for organized collection service, including efforts to minimize displacement and economic impact to current collectors and justification for any proposed tax, franchise or similar fee. The bills prohibit a local government from commencing collection service for at least 5 years after adoption of an ordinance or resolution establishing such service. If the local government does not commence service within 1 year of adoption of a resolution of intent, the local government must reinitiate the notice and planning processes required by the bills.  CS/HB 1169 was amended with a “strike all” amendment that eliminates the notice and planning requirements contained in the original bill. Instead, the amended bill now would require a local government that displaces an existing solid waste provider to, in addition to the procedural and 3-year notice requirements in current law, pay the provider an amount equal to the company’s preceding 18 months’ gross receipts for the service in the displaced area. (O’Hara/Cook)

Fertilizers (Oppose – Preemption and Mandate)

SB 1716 (Bracy) and HB 157 (Thompson) require all municipalities and counties to adopt and enforce the Model Ordinance for Florida-Friendly Fertilizer Use on Urban Landscapes. Local governments would be permitted to adopt ordinances more stringent than the model ordinance upon demonstrating the additional requirements are necessary to address nutrient impairment. The bills appear to eliminate current law provisions that “grandfather” local government fertilizer ordinances adopted prior to 2009. The bills further mandate all municipalities and counties to require the use of fertilizers that contain a slow-release nitrogen component for residential lawn use. The bills require municipalities and ...

Fertilizers (Oppose – Preemption and Mandate) SB 1716 (Bracy) and HB 157 (Thompson) require all municipalities and counties to adopt and enforce the Model Ordinance for Florida-Friendly Fertilizer Use on Urban Landscapes. Local governments would be permitted to adopt ordinances more stringent than the model ordinance upon demonstrating the additional requirements are necessary to address nutrient impairment. The bills appear to eliminate current law provisions that “grandfather” local government fertilizer ordinances adopted prior to 2009. The bills further mandate all municipalities and counties to require the use of fertilizers that contain a slow-release nitrogen component for residential lawn use. The bills require municipalities and counties located within an area where stormwater runoff flows to an estuary to implement and enforce a residential fertilizer ban from June 1 to September 30. In addition, municipalities and counties within such areas would be required to identify setbacks from water bodies and prohibit the application of fertilizer on residential lawns within those setbacks. (O’Hara)

Private Property Rights (Oppose – Mandate)

SB 222 (Rodriguez, J.) exempts certain entities from the definition of “public utility” when the entity provides or sells renewable solar energy to users located on the site of a renewable energy production facility with a capacity of 2.5 megawatts or less. (O’Hara) ...

Private Property Rights (Oppose – Mandate) SB 222 (Rodriguez, J.) exempts certain entities from the definition of “public utility” when the entity provides or sells renewable solar energy to users located on the site of a renewable energy production facility with a capacity of 2.5 megawatts or less. (O’Hara)

Single Use Plastic Straws (Oppose – Preemption)

CS/CS/SB 588 (Hutson) and CS/HB 603 (Sabatini) provide for a five-year moratorium on the adoption and enforcement of any local regulation of single-use plastic straws. During the five-year period, the bills direct the Department of Environmental Protection to conduct a study and report to the Legislature on the environmental impacts of plastic straws. If the Legislature fails to adopt legislation at the end of the five-year period, the moratorium on local regulation is lifted. A local government that violates the moratorium may be subject to a $25,000 fine, along with attorney fees and costs of any prevailing party ...

Single Use Plastic Straws (Oppose – Preemption) CS/CS/SB 588 (Hutson) and CS/HB 603 (Sabatini) provide for a five-year moratorium on the adoption and enforcement of any local regulation of single-use plastic straws. During the five-year period, the bills direct the Department of Environmental Protection to conduct a study and report to the Legislature on the environmental impacts of plastic straws. If the Legislature fails to adopt legislation at the end of the five-year period, the moratorium on local regulation is lifted. A local government that violates the moratorium may be subject to a $25,000 fine, along with attorney fees and costs of any prevailing party that files an action to enforce the moratorium. In addition, CS/CS/SB 588 preempts the regulation of over-the-counter drugs and cosmetics to the state. CS/CS/SB 588 was amended to remove provisions relating to plastic straws. The amended bill now provides only for a moratorium, until July 2021, on local regulations of over-the-counter proprietary drugs and cosmetics. Local governments that attempt to enforce or adopt regulations in violation of the moratorium are subject to a $25,000 fine. (O’Hara)

Water Quality Improvements (Oppose – Mandate)

CS/CS/SB 1758 (Mayfield) and HB 1395 (Raschein) make substantial changes to current law relating to water quality, wastewater treatment facilities, septic systems, and basin management action plans required under the total maximum daily load (TMDL) program, as well as impose significant mandates on local governments. The bills transfer responsibility for the onsite sewage treatment and disposal (septic tank) program from the Department of Health to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). ...

Water Quality Improvements (Oppose – Mandate) CS/CS/SB 1758 (Mayfield) and HB 1395 (Raschein) make substantial changes to current law relating to water quality, wastewater treatment facilities, septic systems, and basin management action plans required under the total maximum daily load (TMDL) program, as well as impose significant mandates on local governments. The bills transfer responsibility for the onsite sewage treatment and disposal (septic tank) program from the Department of Health to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Outstanding Florida Springs: The bills revise required components for basin management action plans (BMAPs) associated with Outstanding Florida Springs (OFS) to include additional information and implementation deadlines on nutrient loading reduction projects and submission of required plans from local governments for wastewater treatment plant projects and septic tank remediation. For these BMAPs, the bills also require the estimated nutrient load reductions in each plan exceed the total load reductions needed to meet the required total maximum daily load. The bills require local governments within these springsheds to adopt DEP’s model fertilizer ordinance by July 2020 or be subject to daily fines and be prohibited from approving any building permits for new construction. The bills require development of agricultural remediation plans within these springsheds if agricultural nonpoint sources are determined to contribute at least 20 percent of nonpoint source nutrient pollution. Wastewater Grant Program Established (Not Funded): The bills establish a wastewater grant program and authorize the DEP to provide grants for projects that will reduce nutrient pollution within a BMAP. Eligible projects may include: septic system retrofits, advanced waste treatment system construction or upgrades, and septic to sewer conversions. Priority is given to projects that subsidize the connection septic systems to wastewater treatment facilities or that subsidize septic tank inspections. Program grants will require a minimum of 50 percent local matching funds, which may be waived in whole or part for local governments within areas designated as rural areas of opportunity. The bills require DEP to provide an annual report of projects funded to the governor and Legislature. Basin Management Action Plans: The bills revise required components for BMAPs to include additional detailed information and timelines on projects, anticipated nutrient reductions, and identification of each point source or category of nonpoint sources, and an estimated allocation of pollutant load for each source. The BMAP must provide detailed information for improvement projects, including descriptions and timelines for completion. The estimated nutrient load reductions in each BMAP must exceed the total load reductions needed to meet the required TMDL.  Wastewater Treatment Facilities in a BMAP: As part of a BMAP, the bills would require each local government to develop a plan to implement advanced wastewater treatment. In addition, the bills would require BMAPs to provide for upgrades necessary to any applicable septic tank remediation plan. The bills would require local governments to submit to DEP for approval a detailed plan for achieving advanced waste treatment, including methods of funding or financing. The bills authorize the DEP to provide technical support to local governments in developing the plan. The bills require each wastewater treatment plant to comply with the requirements and dates in the BMAP no later than the next five-year renewal date of the plant’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. If a local government fails to meet the requirements and deadlines, the local government would not be eligible for funding under the wastewater grant program and could be subject to civil penalties from DEP.  Septic Systems in a BMAP: The bills require each local government, as part of a BMAP, to develop a septic system remediation plan if septic systems are determined as contributing at least 20 percent of nonpoint source nutrient pollution or if necessary to meet the TMDL. The remediation plan must identify projects necessary to reduce nutrient impacts from septic systems. The plan must be approved by DEP and adopted as part of the BMAP no later than the first five-year milestone assessment for the BMAP. The bills require each local government to prepare a plan, approved by DEP no later than the first five-year milestone assessment date, for connecting each septic system to a central wastewater treatment plant or replacing the system with one that has a discharge monitoring system. DEP may provide technical assistance to the local governments in developing the plan, which must include detailed timelines and design information as well as methods of financing and funding. A local government that fails to meet the deadlines for construction improvements or operations that were approved pursuant to the BMAP and its associated plans would not be eligible for funding under the wastewater grant program and could be subject to penalties assessed by DEP. Sanitary Sewer Overflows: The bills require a wastewater treatment plant that unlawfully discharges raw or partially treated sewage into any waterway or aquifer to notify its customers within 24 hours of discovery of the discharge. A local government would be ineligible for funding under the wastewater grant program until any required maintenance, repair or improvement has been implemented to reduce or eliminate the overflows. The bills authorize the DEP to impose daily penalties for overflows, which may be reduced based on the plant’s investment in activities to identify and address conditions that may cause overflows.  Mandatory Model Fertilizer Ordinance: The bills require all local governments to adopt and implement an ordinance consistent with the state Model Ordinance for Florida-Friendly Fertilizer Use on Urban Landscapes or be ineligible for funding under the wastewater grant program. (O’Hara)

Anchored Vessels (Support)

CS/CS/HB 1221 (Polsky) and CS/CS/CS/SB 1666 (Flores) direct the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to conduct a two-year study on the impacts of long-term stored vessels on local communities and the state and to submit a report to the governor and Legislature within six months of completing the study. The bills define “long-term stored vessel” as a vessel not under the control of a person capable of moving it and that has remained anchored outside of a public mooring field for at least 30 days or more over a 60-day period. The bills prohibit persons from residing ...

Anchored Vessels (Support) CS/CS/HB 1221 (Polsky) and CS/CS/CS/SB 1666 (Flores) direct the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to conduct a two-year study on the impacts of long-term stored vessels on local communities and the state and to submit a report to the governor and Legislature within six months of completing the study. The bills define “long-term stored vessel” as a vessel not under the control of a person capable of moving it and that has remained anchored outside of a public mooring field for at least 30 days or more over a 60-day period. The bills prohibit persons from residing or dwelling on certain derelict vessels until specified conditions are met. CS/CS/CS/SB 1666 authorizes a county designated as a rural area of opportunity to create a no-discharge zone for freshwater bodies within its jurisdiction in which sewage discharges are prohibited. (O’Hara)

Biosolids Management (Support)

CS/CS/SB 1278 (Mayfield) and CS/CS/HB 405 (Grall) provide legislative findings that expedited implementation of recommendations of the Biosolids Technical Advisory Committee will improve biosolids management and assist in protecting water quality. The bills direct the Department of Environmental Protection to adopt rules for biosolids management that: include land application rates that ensure that nitrogen and phosphorus do not impair surface or groundwater quality in nearby or downstream waterbodies, site-specific land application criteria, and monitoring requirements. The bills specify that an ordinance, moratorium or regulation relating to land application of Class B biosolids adopted by a local government may ...

Biosolids Management (Support) CS/CS/SB 1278 (Mayfield) and CS/CS/HB 405 (Grall) provide legislative findings that expedited implementation of recommendations of the Biosolids Technical Advisory Committee will improve biosolids management and assist in protecting water quality. The bills direct the Department of Environmental Protection to adopt rules for biosolids management that: include land application rates that ensure that nitrogen and phosphorus do not impair surface or groundwater quality in nearby or downstream waterbodies, site-specific land application criteria, and monitoring requirements. The bills specify that an ordinance, moratorium or regulation relating to land application of Class B biosolids adopted by a local government may be extended and shall remain in effect until expiration or repeal. The bills also prohibit, by July 2020, the land application of biosolids on any site where the application zone interacts with the seasonal high-water table. The bills further direct DEP to initiate rulemaking on biosolids by August 2019 and exempt Class AA biosolids that are marketed as fertilizer products from their provisions. (O’Hara)

Coastal Management (Support)

SB 446 (Mayfield) and CS/HB 325 (LaMarca) revise the criteria the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) must consider in determining and assigning annual funding priorities for beach management and erosion control projects. The bills would revise the ranking criteria to be used by DEP to establish certain inlet-caused beach erosion projects. In addition, the bills would revise requirements for the state’s comprehensive long-term management plan, including requiring the plan to include a strategic beach management plan, a critically eroded beaches report and a statewide long-range budget plan. The bills would further require the DEP to submit a three-year ...

Coastal Management (Support) SB 446 (Mayfield) and CS/HB 325 (LaMarca) revise the criteria the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) must consider in determining and assigning annual funding priorities for beach management and erosion control projects. The bills would revise the ranking criteria to be used by DEP to establish certain inlet-caused beach erosion projects. In addition, the bills would revise requirements for the state’s comprehensive long-term management plan, including requiring the plan to include a strategic beach management plan, a critically eroded beaches report and a statewide long-range budget plan. The bills would further require the DEP to submit a three-year work plan and related forecast for the availability of funding to the Legislature. CS/HB 325 was substituted for SB 446. CS/HB 325 is awaiting action by the governor. (O’Hara)

Disposable Plastic Bags (Support)

SB 694 (Rodriguez, J.) authorizes coastal municipalities with populations of fewer than 100,000 to establish pilot programs to regulate or ban disposable plastic bags. (O’Hara) ...

Disposable Plastic Bags (Support) SB 694 (Rodriguez, J.) authorizes coastal municipalities with populations of fewer than 100,000 to establish pilot programs to regulate or ban disposable plastic bags. (O’Hara)

Domestic Wastewater Collection System Assessment and Maintenance (Support)

CS/CS/HB 105 (Jacobs) and CS/CS/SB 286 (Albritton) establish in the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) a voluntary program for wastewater treatment facilities to become “Blue Star” certified by the agency for engaging in specified management and investment practices to protect public health and the environment and to ensure sustainable performance of the utility. The bills specify requirements for obtaining and maintaining certification and identify incentives for utilities that achieve certification. Certification incentives may include lower penalties when sewer overflows occur, a presumption of compliance with certain water quality standards for pathogens and qualification for 10-year operating permits. (O’Hara) ...

Domestic Wastewater Collection System Assessment and Maintenance (Support) CS/CS/HB 105 (Jacobs) and CS/CS/SB 286 (Albritton) establish in the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) a voluntary program for wastewater treatment facilities to become “Blue Star” certified by the agency for engaging in specified management and investment practices to protect public health and the environment and to ensure sustainable performance of the utility. The bills specify requirements for obtaining and maintaining certification and identify incentives for utilities that achieve certification. Certification incentives may include lower penalties when sewer overflows occur, a presumption of compliance with certain water quality standards for pathogens and qualification for 10-year operating permits. (O’Hara)

Florida Climate and Resiliency Research Program (Support)

HB 1369 (Diamond) establishes the Florida Climate and Resiliency Research Program within the Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection of the Department of Environmental Protection. The program would assist the state in assessing and responding to the effects of climate change. The bill directs the program to prepare an assessment that evaluates the effects of climate change on Florida’s natural resources, human resources, economic resources and infrastructure, and it specifies various issues that must be analyzed in the assessment. The bill identifies participants in the program and requires the program to deliver an annual resiliency plan to the ...

Florida Climate and Resiliency Research Program (Support) HB 1369 (Diamond) establishes the Florida Climate and Resiliency Research Program within the Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection of the Department of Environmental Protection. The program would assist the state in assessing and responding to the effects of climate change. The bill directs the program to prepare an assessment that evaluates the effects of climate change on Florida’s natural resources, human resources, economic resources and infrastructure, and it specifies various issues that must be analyzed in the assessment. The bill identifies participants in the program and requires the program to deliver an annual resiliency plan to the governor and Legislature beginning January 2020. (O’Hara)

Florida Red Tide Mitigation & Technology Development Initiative (Support)

CS/CS/HB 1135 (Grant, M.) and SB 1552 (Gruters) establish the Florida Red Tide Mitigation & Technology Development Initiative as a partnership between the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute within the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and the Mote Marine Laboratory. The goal of the initiative is to develop, test and implement approaches for controlling and mitigating the impacts of red tide. The bills require annual reports to be submitted by the initiative to the Legislature, governor and specified state agencies. (O’Hara) ...

Florida Red Tide Mitigation & Technology Development Initiative (Support) CS/CS/HB 1135 (Grant, M.) and SB 1552 (Gruters) establish the Florida Red Tide Mitigation & Technology Development Initiative as a partnership between the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute within the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and the Mote Marine Laboratory. The goal of the initiative is to develop, test and implement approaches for controlling and mitigating the impacts of red tide. The bills require annual reports to be submitted by the initiative to the Legislature, governor and specified state agencies. (O’Hara)

Florida Disaster Resilience Task Force (Support)

SB 1056 (Rodriguez, J.) establishes the Florida Disaster Resilience Task Force adjunct to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to evaluate ways to protect the state’s coastal ecosystems and habitats, increase community resilience in the face of sea level rise and apply the best available science as to sea level rise and its anticipated impacts. The bill specifies membership of the task force and for the task force to submit a report and recommendations to the Governor and Legislature by 2022. (O’Hara) ...

Florida Disaster Resilience Task Force (Support) SB 1056 (Rodriguez, J.) establishes the Florida Disaster Resilience Task Force adjunct to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to evaluate ways to protect the state’s coastal ecosystems and habitats, increase community resilience in the face of sea level rise and apply the best available science as to sea level rise and its anticipated impacts. The bill specifies membership of the task force and for the task force to submit a report and recommendations to the Governor and Legislature by 2022. (O’Hara)

Fracking (Support)

SB 146 (Stewart), CS/SB 314 (Montford) and HB 239 (Fitzenhagen) prohibit advanced well stimulation treatment (commonly referred to as “fracking”) as defined in the bills. CS/SB 314 prohibits the performance of “high-pressure well stimulation” and “matrix acidization” (also commonly referred to as “fracking”) as defined in the bill and requires the Department of Environmental Protection to conduct a study on high-pressure well stimulation and matrix acidization. CS/SB 314 was amended to remove the requirement for DEP to perform a study on fracking. (O’Hara)  ...

Fracking (Support) SB 146 (Stewart), CS/SB 314 (Montford) and HB 239 (Fitzenhagen) prohibit advanced well stimulation treatment (commonly referred to as “fracking”) as defined in the bills. CS/SB 314 prohibits the performance of “high-pressure well stimulation” and “matrix acidization” (also commonly referred to as “fracking”) as defined in the bill and requires the Department of Environmental Protection to conduct a study on high-pressure well stimulation and matrix acidization. CS/SB 314 was amended to remove the requirement for DEP to perform a study on fracking. (O’Hara)

Gulf of Mexico Range Complex (Support) 

HJR 1379 (Rodrigues, R.) is a resolution of the Florida Legislature to Congress supporting extension of the current moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico east of the Military Mission Line. (O’Hara) ...

Gulf of Mexico Range Complex (Support)  HJR 1379 (Rodrigues, R.) is a resolution of the Florida Legislature to Congress supporting extension of the current moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico east of the Military Mission Line. (O’Hara)

Land Acquisition Trust Fund (Support)

SB 944 (Stewart) and HB 1341 (Ausley) authorize an annual appropriation of $100 million to the Florida Program from the state Land Acquisition Trust Fund. The bills prohibit moneys distributed from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund from being used for state agency executive direction and administrative support services. (O’Hara) ...

Land Acquisition Trust Fund (Support) SB 944 (Stewart) and HB 1341 (Ausley) authorize an annual appropriation of $100 million to the Florida Program from the state Land Acquisition Trust Fund. The bills prohibit moneys distributed from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund from being used for state agency executive direction and administrative support services. (O’Hara)

Onsite Sewage Treatment & Disposal Systems (Support)

CS/SB 1022 (Albritton) and CS/CS/CS/HB 973 (Payne) transfer responsibility and oversight of the Onsite Sewage Treatment & Disposal Systems (OSTDS) program from the Department of Health (DOH) to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The bills provide for DEP to establish an OSTDS Technical Advisory Committee to assist in developing rules that will assist in increasing the availability and cost-effectiveness of nutrient-removing onsite systems in the marketplace. The bills provide for membership on the Advisory Committee and require rulemaking to be initiated by January 2020. The bills eliminate current law authority for the DOH Technical Review Advisory Panel ...

Onsite Sewage Treatment & Disposal Systems (Support) CS/SB 1022 (Albritton) and CS/CS/CS/HB 973 (Payne) transfer responsibility and oversight of the Onsite Sewage Treatment & Disposal Systems (OSTDS) program from the Department of Health (DOH) to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The bills provide for DEP to establish an OSTDS Technical Advisory Committee to assist in developing rules that will assist in increasing the availability and cost-effectiveness of nutrient-removing onsite systems in the marketplace. The bills provide for membership on the Advisory Committee and require rulemaking to be initiated by January 2020. The bills eliminate current law authority for the DOH Technical Review Advisory Panel for OSTDS. In addition, the bills require water management districts and DEP to submit information to the state Office of Economic and Demographic Research regarding septic-to-sewer conversion projects and septic remediation projects identified within annual water management district reports and within Basin Management Action Plans (BMAPs). CS/CS/HB 973 was amended to include revisions to current law to address water quality improvements related to BMAPs for nutrients, sanitary sewer overflows by wastewater facilities and biosolids. The bill requires advanced waste treatment for wastewater discharges into the Indian River Lagoon by July 2024. BMAPs – The bill requires local governments to develop a wastewater treatment plan, in cooperation with DEP and water management districts, to provide for improvements necessary to achieve total maximum daily load (TMDL) requirements applicable to the wastewater treatment facilities. The plan must be adopted as part of the BMAP and must include a timeline of dates for commencement and completion of any improvements and commencement of operations of the improved facilities. Local governments that do not have wastewater facilities are not required to develop a plan unless there is a demonstrated need for water quality improvement that requires creation of a facility within the jurisdiction. If DEP determines that septic systems are contributing at least 20 percent of nonpoint source nutrient pollution or that remediation is necessary to achieve a TMDL, the BMAP must include a septic system remediation plan that identifies cost-effective and financially feasible projects necessary to achieve the nutrient load reductions required for septic systems. The septic system remediation plan must be adopted as part of the BMAP. The bill requires that DEP, when identifying projects in BMAPs, may not require a higher cost option if the higher cost option achieves the same nutrient load reduction as a lower cost option. An entity may choose a lower cost option if it provides additional benefits or meets other water quality or water supply requirements. Reporting – The bill requires DEP in coordination with local governments to submit a report by July 2020 to the governor and Legislature evaluating the costs of wastewater projects in BMAPs and the septic system remediation plans, as well as nutrient reduction estimates for such projects, and an estimated implementation timeline for each project. The report must include a proposed five-year funding plan and the source and amount of financial assistance to be made available by state agencies or others. The bill further requires DEP to submit a report by July 2020 assessing the water quality monitoring being conducted for each BMAP.  Water Quality Grants – The bill creates a clean water grant program within DEP and requires DEP to submit a report to the governor and Legislature by January 2020 that includes recommendations for prioritizing projects for grant funding, with consideration for estimated nutrient load reduction per project, cost-effectiveness, overall environmental benefit, project readiness, project location within the plan area and availability of local matching funds. In determining a process for allocating funds, DEP must recommend a minimum cost share match for local governments and others for each project type, as well as hardship criteria for lowering cost share. The bill authorizes DEP, effective 2020 and subject to appropriation, to provide grants for projects that reduce excess nutrient pollution in a BMAP or an alternative restoration plan.  Sanitary Sewer Overflow Notification – The bill requires wastewater treatment facilities that unlawfully discharge raw or partially treated wastewater to provide notice of the discharge to the applicable county health department and to the local government with jurisdiction of the area in which the spill occurred. The county health department and the local government must publish the notice on a publicly accessible website within 24 hours of receiving the notification. The bill requires the wastewater facility to place signage next to any surface water or publicly accessible area impacted by a discharge. The bill further requires the local government to make a good faith effort to notify the public of a discharge within 24 hours using other available forms of messaging, such as press releases or social media. The costs of notification shall be paid by the wastewater facility or the entity responsible for the discharge. Biosolids – The bill prohibits the land application of biosolids on any site when the biosolids application zone interacts with the seasonal high-water level and specifies that permits issued prior to July 2019 continue in effect until July 2022, or the termination date of the permit, whichever is later. The bill directs DEP to initiate rulemaking by August 2019 to adopt rules for biosolids management to permit the use of biosolids in a manner that minimizes the migration of nutrients that impair water quality. Class AA biosolids that are marketed and distributed as fertilizer are exempt from the bill’s provisions. The bill clarifies that it does not impair existing local government ordinances or moratoria relating to biosolids, but provides that upon adoption of rules by DEP, no local government may adopt or enforce any regulation or moratorium pertaining to biosolids. The bill creates a Biosolids Alternative Management Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) within DEP and specifies its membership. The TAC is directed to evaluate the costs and impacts of land application of biosolids and the identification of alternative management approaches and processing technologies. The TAC is directed to submit a report to the governor and Legislature by July 2020 on its findings and recommendations. (O’Hara)

Onsite Sewage Treatment and Disposal Systems (Support)

CS/HB 85 (Robinson, Caruso) and SB 214 (Gruters) require the Department of Health (DOH) to identify all onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems (OSTDS) in the state by 2021, including their location and operational condition, using available information from state, local and commercial data sources. The bills direct DOH to generate a report to the Legislature that includes the number of OSTDS in each county and a statewide map of the systems. Beginning in July 2022, the bills require certified contractors to inspect OSTDS every five years pursuant to an inspection program administered by DOH. The bills direct ...

Onsite Sewage Treatment and Disposal Systems (Support) CS/HB 85 (Robinson, Caruso) and SB 214 (Gruters) require the Department of Health (DOH) to identify all onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems (OSTDS) in the state by 2021, including their location and operational condition, using available information from state, local and commercial data sources. The bills direct DOH to generate a report to the Legislature that includes the number of OSTDS in each county and a statewide map of the systems. Beginning in July 2022, the bills require certified contractors to inspect OSTDS every five years pursuant to an inspection program administered by DOH. The bills direct DOH to implement program standards and adopt rules that provide for the program to be phased in county by county over a 10-year period, with first priority given to springshed protection areas, and to include minimum standards for a functioning system, requirements for pump-out or repair, and enforcement procedures for failure of an owner to obtain an inspection and failure of a contractor to timely report inspection results to DOH and the system owner. The bills specify minimum components that must be included in an inspection and specify that inspection and pump-out costs are the responsibility of the system owner. The bills require sellers of property to provide prospective purchasers with a disclosure statement about the existence of any OSTDS on the property. CS/HB 85 was amended with a strike all amendment which eliminates provisions in the original bill providing for DOH to identify all OSTDS systems in the state. The amended bill applies the inspection requirements to systems older than five years of age and eliminates provisions requiring sellers of property to disclose the existence of any OSTDS on the property. (O’Hara)

Preemption of Recyclable and Polystyrene Materials (Support)

SB 88 (Stewart) and HB 6033 (Eskamani, Grieco) repeal current state laws that preempt local government regulation of plastic bags and containers and local government regulation of the use and sale of polystyrene products. (O’Hara) ...

Preemption of Recyclable and Polystyrene Materials (Support) SB 88 (Stewart) and HB 6033 (Eskamani, Grieco) repeal current state laws that preempt local government regulation of plastic bags and containers and local government regulation of the use and sale of polystyrene products. (O’Hara)

Regulation of Oil and Gas Resources (Support)

SB 1554 (Rodriguez, J.) prohibits the Department of Environmental Protection from granting permits for a gas or oil well or permits for any structures intended for the drilling for or production of oil, gas or other petroleum products within the Everglades Protection Area. (O’Hara) ...

Regulation of Oil and Gas Resources (Support) SB 1554 (Rodriguez, J.) prohibits the Department of Environmental Protection from granting permits for a gas or oil well or permits for any structures intended for the drilling for or production of oil, gas or other petroleum products within the Everglades Protection Area. (O’Hara)

Vessels (Support)

CS/SB 1530 (Rouson) and CS/CS/HB 1319 (Diamond) would require vessel operators to reduce speed upon seeing a vessel or person in a hazardous or vulnerable position, upon approaching within 300 feet of any emergency vessel or activated law enforcement vessel and upon approaching within 300 feet of any construction vessel or barge actively engaged in operations and displaying an orange flag or yellow flashing light. (O’Hara) ...

Vessels (Support) CS/SB 1530 (Rouson) and CS/CS/HB 1319 (Diamond) would require vessel operators to reduce speed upon seeing a vessel or person in a hazardous or vulnerable position, upon approaching within 300 feet of any emergency vessel or activated law enforcement vessel and upon approaching within 300 feet of any construction vessel or barge actively engaged in operations and displaying an orange flag or yellow flashing light. (O’Hara)

Water Resources (Support)

CS/SB 628 (Albritton) and HB 1199 (Jacobs) revise current law requirements for the state Office of Economic and Demographic Research’s annual assessment of Florida water resources. The bills would require EDR to consult with the Department of Environmental Protection in developing the annual assessment and clarify the factors and criteria that EDR evaluate for the assessment. The bills would also require EDR to identify a comprehensive list of funding options necessary to fulfill any funding gaps identified in the needs assessment, taking into consideration existing revenue sources, potential additional revenue sources and funding mechanisms used by other states ...

Water Resources (Support) CS/SB 628 (Albritton) and HB 1199 (Jacobs) revise current law requirements for the state Office of Economic and Demographic Research’s annual assessment of Florida water resources. The bills would require EDR to consult with the Department of Environmental Protection in developing the annual assessment and clarify the factors and criteria that EDR evaluate for the assessment. The bills would also require EDR to identify a comprehensive list of funding options necessary to fulfill any funding gaps identified in the needs assessment, taking into consideration existing revenue sources, potential additional revenue sources and funding mechanisms used by other states for water infrastructure and environmental restoration. CS/SB 628 was amended with a strike-all amendment. As amended, the bill directs the Department of Environmental Protection to develop a comprehensive and need-based overview of the state’s water resources. The overview must include an assessment of funds necessary for current and future demands with respect to infrastructure, including amounts necessary to address hazard mitigation, infrastructure replacement costs, future capacity costs, natural resources protection and restoration and flood protection. The overview must cover short- (five-year) and long-term (20-year) planning timeframes. In addition, the overview must identify potential funding options to meet anticipated demands. The initial overview shall be submitted to the governor and Legislature by January 1, 2021, and every five years thereafter. (O’Hara)

Beverage Container Deposits (Watch)

SB 672 (Rader) and HB 853 (Stark) require consumers to pay deposit fees on specified beverage containers at the point of sale. The bills establish requirements and registration processes for the operation of beverage container redemption centers by local governments, nonprofit agencies and other individuals for refunding beverage container deposits and arranging for the recovery and recycling of the beverage containers. The bills preempt local governments from imposing or collecting any assessment or fee on deposit beverage containers for the same purposes as specified in the bills. (O’Hara) ...

Beverage Container Deposits (Watch) SB 672 (Rader) and HB 853 (Stark) require consumers to pay deposit fees on specified beverage containers at the point of sale. The bills establish requirements and registration processes for the operation of beverage container redemption centers by local governments, nonprofit agencies and other individuals for refunding beverage container deposits and arranging for the recovery and recycling of the beverage containers. The bills preempt local governments from imposing or collecting any assessment or fee on deposit beverage containers for the same purposes as specified in the bills. (O’Hara)

Community Solar Program (Watch)

SB 1156 (Berman) establishes authority for the creation of “community solar programs” in the state. Under the community solar program, electric customers could purchase, lease or subscribe to a portion of a community solar facility and use their portion of the power produced to lower their energy bills. The bill is intended to increase solar access for low-income households, affordable housing providers and other underserved communities. The bill directs the Florida Public Service Commission to develop rules for the community solar program by November 2020 and require each public utility to file any forms necessary to implement the ...

Community Solar Program (Watch) SB 1156 (Berman) establishes authority for the creation of “community solar programs” in the state. Under the community solar program, electric customers could purchase, lease or subscribe to a portion of a community solar facility and use their portion of the power produced to lower their energy bills. The bill is intended to increase solar access for low-income households, affordable housing providers and other underserved communities. The bill directs the Florida Public Service Commission to develop rules for the community solar program by November 2020 and require each public utility to file any forms necessary to implement the program within 120 days after adoption of such rules. (O’Hara)

Construction Materials Mining Activities (Watch)

SB 1356 (Diaz) and HB 1189 (Rodriguez, AM) amend provisions relating to the State Fire Marshal’s authority over the use of explosives in conjunction with construction materials mining activities, and notification and complaint processes relating to such activities. The bills specify the State Fire Marshal shall establish statewide regulations that require blasting operations to use a seismograph to monitor each blast to ensure compliance with regulations. The bills specify requirements to be addressed in the regulations, including a requirement that the seismograph be situated at the nearest residence using GPS technology. The bills would require each person permitted ...

Construction Materials Mining Activities (Watch) SB 1356 (Diaz) and HB 1189 (Rodriguez, AM) amend provisions relating to the State Fire Marshal’s authority over the use of explosives in conjunction with construction materials mining activities, and notification and complaint processes relating to such activities. The bills specify the State Fire Marshal shall establish statewide regulations that require blasting operations to use a seismograph to monitor each blast to ensure compliance with regulations. The bills specify requirements to be addressed in the regulations, including a requirement that the seismograph be situated at the nearest residence using GPS technology. The bills would require each person permitted by the Fire Marshal to engage in blasting activities to submit written notification of the activities to the counties and municipalities in which the activities are to be conducted, and to any counties and municipalities adjacent to such activities. The bills direct the Fire Marshal to create a form for the filing of complaints and specifies required components for the form. For permits issued after July 1, 2019, the bills authorize mining permits to be issued by the Fire Marshal for a period of 5 years and specifies conditions for suspension for permit violations. The bills direct the Fire Marshal to prepare a report on the feasibility of conducting a Florida-specific study of structural response to and damage produced by ground vibrations from blasting operations and authorizes a follow-up study based on the report. (O’Hara)

Dredge and Fill Permitting Program (Watch)

CS/HJR 799 (Overdorf) urges Congress to direct the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to issue a memorandum of agreement so that Florida may complete assumption of the section 404 dredge and fill permitting program under the federal Clean Water Act. (O’Hara) ...

Dredge and Fill Permitting Program (Watch) CS/HJR 799 (Overdorf) urges Congress to direct the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to issue a memorandum of agreement so that Florida may complete assumption of the section 404 dredge and fill permitting program under the federal Clean Water Act. (O’Hara)

Environmental Regulation (Watch)

CS/SB 816 (Perry) and CS/CS/HB 771 (Overdorf) require that contracts between local governments and vendors for the collection, transport and processing of residential recycling materials must include terms and conditions to define and reduce levels of contamination. Specifically, the bills provide that a recyclable materials collector or facility is not required to collect, transport or process “contaminated recyclable material,” as defined in the appropriate contract. Each contract is required to define “contaminated recyclable material.” The bills specify that contracts should define the term in a manner that is appropriate for the local community, based on available markets and ...

Environmental Regulation (Watch) CS/SB 816 (Perry) and CS/CS/HB 771 (Overdorf) require that contracts between local governments and vendors for the collection, transport and processing of residential recycling materials must include terms and conditions to define and reduce levels of contamination. Specifically, the bills provide that a recyclable materials collector or facility is not required to collect, transport or process “contaminated recyclable material,” as defined in the appropriate contract. Each contract is required to define “contaminated recyclable material.” The bills specify that contracts should define the term in a manner that is appropriate for the local community, based on available markets and other relevant factors. Contracts must include provisions for identifying and documenting contamination, as well as the respective obligations of the parties regarding education and enforcement, but specific terms are left to the discretion of the contracting parties. The new requirements would apply to new contracts and contracts extended after October 1, 2019. In addition, the bills clarify an exemption in current law from state environmental permitting requirements for various projects by specifying that local governments may not require a person to provide additional verification from the Department of Environmental Protection of entitlement to such an exemption. Also, the bills modify an existing state permit exemption for the replacement and repair of existing docks and piers, by specifying the replacement or repair must be “within 5 feet of the same location and no larger in size," and that no additional aquatic resources may be adversely impacted. CS/CS/HB 771 also includes a 5-year moratorium on local government regulation of single-use plastic straws and directs the Offices of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability to conduct a study of local ordinances that restrict or prohibit the use of single-use plastic straws and submit a report of its findings to the Governor and legislature by December 2019.

Fracking (Watch)

CS/HB 7029 (Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee) and CS/SB 7064 (Agriculture Committee) prohibit “fracking” in the state as defined in the bills. The bills define “fracking” as all stages of well intervention performed by injecting fluids into a rock formation at pressures at or exceeding the fracture gradient of the rock formation to propagate fractures. Notably, the definition does not include matrix acidizing, which is another technique that many consider to constitute fracking. HB 7029 requires an operator to notify the Department of Environmental Protection before using techniques for routine well cleanout work or techniques to enhance, ...

Fracking (Watch) CS/HB 7029 (Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee) and CS/SB 7064 (Agriculture Committee) prohibit “fracking” in the state as defined in the bills. The bills define “fracking” as all stages of well intervention performed by injecting fluids into a rock formation at pressures at or exceeding the fracture gradient of the rock formation to propagate fractures. Notably, the definition does not include matrix acidizing, which is another technique that many consider to constitute fracking. HB 7029 requires an operator to notify the Department of Environmental Protection before using techniques for routine well cleanout work or techniques to enhance, maintain or restore the natural permeability of the rock formation. CS/SB 7064 does not require such prior notification. (O’Hara)

Land Acquisition Trust Fund (Watch)

SB 368 (Harrell) provides a $50 million appropriation from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund for projects relating to the Indian River Lagoon. ...

Land Acquisition Trust Fund (Watch) SB 368 (Harrell) provides a $50 million appropriation from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund for projects relating to the Indian River Lagoon.

Land Acquisition Trust Fund – Hurricane Michael (Watch)

CS/SB 376 (Montford) and HB 555 (Drake) require an annual $50 million appropriation from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund for fiscal years 2025 and 2026 for projects dedicated to conservation and management projects in counties impacted by Hurricane Michael. (O’Hara) ...

Land Acquisition Trust Fund – Hurricane Michael (Watch) CS/SB 376 (Montford) and HB 555 (Drake) require an annual $50 million appropriation from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund for fiscal years 2025 and 2026 for projects dedicated to conservation and management projects in counties impacted by Hurricane Michael. (O’Hara)

Mineral Rights (Watch)

CS/SB 1500 (Simmons) and CS/CS/HB 767 (Robinson) address reservations of interest in mineral rights in the contracts for sale of public lands. Current law provides that a local government, a water management district or an agency of the state may sell or release reserved interest in any parcel of land except that such sale or release shall be made upon petition of the purchaser that includes a statement of reasons justifying the sale or release. The bills would release the right of entry to any interest in phosphate, minerals, metals or petroleum reserved in favor of a local ...

Mineral Rights (Watch) CS/SB 1500 (Simmons) and CS/CS/HB 767 (Robinson) address reservations of interest in mineral rights in the contracts for sale of public lands. Current law provides that a local government, a water management district or an agency of the state may sell or release reserved interest in any parcel of land except that such sale or release shall be made upon petition of the purchaser that includes a statement of reasons justifying the sale or release. The bills would release the right of entry to any interest in phosphate, minerals, metals or petroleum reserved in favor of a local government, water management district or any agency of the state for any parcel of property that is a contiguous tract of less than 20 acres in the aggregate under the same ownership. (O’Hara)

Pest Control (Watch)

SB 1754 (Rodriguez, J.) and HB 1275 (Goff-Marcil) repeal current law that preempts the regulation of pest control to the state. In addition, SB 1754 prohibits a local government from adopting or enforcing any local ordinance that is less stringent than state law or rule. (O’Hara) ...

Pest Control (Watch) SB 1754 (Rodriguez, J.) and HB 1275 (Goff-Marcil) repeal current law that preempts the regulation of pest control to the state. In addition, SB 1754 prohibits a local government from adopting or enforcing any local ordinance that is less stringent than state law or rule. (O’Hara)

Private Property Rights (Oppose – Preemption)

CS/HB 1159 (La Rosa) imposes restrictions on enforcement of local government tree ordinances and impose notice requirements on county property appraisers. CS/HB 1159 provides that a local government may not enforce its tree requirements against a residential property owner for the trimming or removal of a tree if the owner obtains documentation from an arborist or a licensed landscape architect that the tree presents a danger to persons or property. The bill specifically prohibits a local government from requiring the property owner to replant a tree that was removed under such circumstances. In addition, the bill requires each ...

Private Property Rights (Oppose – Preemption) CS/HB 1159 (La Rosa) imposes restrictions on enforcement of local government tree ordinances and impose notice requirements on county property appraisers. CS/HB 1159 provides that a local government may not enforce its tree requirements against a residential property owner for the trimming or removal of a tree if the owner obtains documentation from an arborist or a licensed landscape architect that the tree presents a danger to persons or property. The bill specifically prohibits a local government from requiring the property owner to replant a tree that was removed under such circumstances. In addition, the bill requires each county property appraiser office to post on its website a “property owner bill of rights” to identify certain existing rights afforded to property owners. The bill specifies the required contents for the bill of rights and specifies the bill of rights does not create a civil cause of action. CS/HB 1159 passed the House and Senate and has been enrolled. (O’Hara)

Prohibition of Plastic Carryout Bags and Straws (Watch)

SB 502 (Rader) prohibits stores and food service businesses from providing plastic carryout bags to customers. The bill provides exceptions for specified items. In addition, the bill prohibits a food service business from selling or providing single use plastic straws to customers. The business may provide a straw upon request to a person who requires a straw due to a disability or medical condition. The bill provides a $500 penalty for a first violation and up to $1,000 for a subsequent violation. (O’Hara) ...

Prohibition of Plastic Carryout Bags and Straws (Watch) SB 502 (Rader) prohibits stores and food service businesses from providing plastic carryout bags to customers. The bill provides exceptions for specified items. In addition, the bill prohibits a food service business from selling or providing single use plastic straws to customers. The business may provide a straw upon request to a person who requires a straw due to a disability or medical condition. The bill provides a $500 penalty for a first violation and up to $1,000 for a subsequent violation. (O’Hara)

Property-Assessed Clean Environment (Watch)

HB 63 (Rodrigues) and SB 282 (Albritton) amend the statuary and the definition of “qualifying improvements” under the Property Assessed Clean Energy Program (PACE) to include sewage treatment improvements. PACE is a means for property owners to voluntarily finance private property improvements related to renewable energy and energy efficiency through assessments levied on their property tax bill. (O’Hara) ...

Property-Assessed Clean Environment (Watch) HB 63 (Rodrigues) and SB 282 (Albritton) amend the statuary and the definition of “qualifying improvements” under the Property Assessed Clean Energy Program (PACE) to include sewage treatment improvements. PACE is a means for property owners to voluntarily finance private property improvements related to renewable energy and energy efficiency through assessments levied on their property tax bill. (O’Hara)

Public Financing of Construction Projects (Watch)

CS/SB 78 (Rodriguez, J.) and HB 169 (Fernandez) require contractors to conduct a sea-level impact projection (SLIP) study on state-funded buildings within the coastal building zone. The bills do not define the term “coastal building zone.” Buildings subject to this requirement would include construction projects of a municipality, county or any other public agency that is using state-appropriated funds for the project. The bills require the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to develop guidelines for conducting a SLIP study. In addition, DEP must approve and publish a copy of all SLIP studies for at least 10 years. (O'Hara) ...

Public Financing of Construction Projects (Watch) CS/SB 78 (Rodriguez, J.) and HB 169 (Fernandez) require contractors to conduct a sea-level impact projection (SLIP) study on state-funded buildings within the coastal building zone. The bills do not define the term “coastal building zone.” Buildings subject to this requirement would include construction projects of a municipality, county or any other public agency that is using state-appropriated funds for the project. The bills require the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to develop guidelines for conducting a SLIP study. In addition, DEP must approve and publish a copy of all SLIP studies for at least 10 years. (O'Hara)

Public Notification of Pollution (Watch)

SB 998 (Montford) and SB 1330 (Cruz) amend the Public Notification of Pollution law to impose new duties on local governments, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Department of Health. The bills would include the discharge of perfluorooctanoic acid or perfluorooctanesulfonic acid as reportable releases of pollution under the action. SB 998 would require a governmental entity to notify the DEP and the owner or operator of an installation if the governmental entity discovers the release or discharge of perfluorooctanoic acid or perfluorooctanesulfonic acid within 24 hours of discovery of the discharge. SB 1330 requires DEP ...

Public Notification of Pollution (Watch) SB 998 (Montford) and SB 1330 (Cruz) amend the Public Notification of Pollution law to impose new duties on local governments, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Department of Health. The bills would include the discharge of perfluorooctanoic acid or perfluorooctanesulfonic acid as reportable releases of pollution under the action. SB 998 would require a governmental entity to notify the DEP and the owner or operator of an installation if the governmental entity discovers the release or discharge of perfluorooctanoic acid or perfluorooctanesulfonic acid within 24 hours of discovery of the discharge. SB 1330 requires DEP to notify by U.S. mail property owners having private wells within a 1-mile radius of any reported release or discharge under the law. In addition, SB 1330 would require the Department of Health or a local government entity to notify the DEP and the owner or operator of an installation within 24 hours of discovery of any reportable release as defined in the law, regardless of whether the department or the local government is the owner or operator of the installation responsible for the release. (O’Hara)

Public Utility Storm Protection Plans (Watch)

CS/CS/SB 796 (Gruters) and CS/CS/CS/HB 797 (Fine) require investor-owned public utilities to submit to the Public Service Commission, as part of its “storm hardening plan,” a “transmission and distribution storm protection plan.” The bills require such plans to be updated every three years and submitted to the commission for approval. The bills prohibit such plans from including the undergrounding of more than 4 percent of the utility’s lateral distribution lines per year. The bills specify the required content of such plans, including information to demonstrate the plan costs are not included in the utility’s base rates. The bills ...

Public Utility Storm Protection Plans (Watch) CS/CS/SB 796 (Gruters) and CS/CS/CS/HB 797 (Fine) require investor-owned public utilities to submit to the Public Service Commission, as part of its “storm hardening plan,” a “transmission and distribution storm protection plan.” The bills require such plans to be updated every three years and submitted to the commission for approval. The bills prohibit such plans from including the undergrounding of more than 4 percent of the utility’s lateral distribution lines per year. The bills specify the required content of such plans, including information to demonstrate the plan costs are not included in the utility’s base rates. The bills declare that all actions taken in the implementation of plans are considered prudent but authorize a party to challenge the prudence of the costs associated with such actions. The bills provide for recovery of storm hardening costs pursuant to a commission-approved “storm recovery clause” and specify conditions for cost recovery and required actions in the event of surplus reserves. (O’Hara)

Renewable Energy Standards (Watch)

SB 1372 (Rodriguez, J.) defines the terms “renewable energy credit” and “renewable energy portfolio standard” and direct the Public Service Commission (PSC) to adopt rules for a renewable portfolio standard requiring each provider to support renewable energy to its customers directly by procurement or through the purchase of renewable energy credits. The bill directs that a draft rule be presented for consideration by the Legislature by February 1, 2020. In developing the rule, the bill specifies the PSC shall evaluate the current and forecasted levelized cost through 2032 and the current and forecasted installed capacity for each renewable ...

Renewable Energy Standards (Watch) SB 1372 (Rodriguez, J.) defines the terms “renewable energy credit” and “renewable energy portfolio standard” and direct the Public Service Commission (PSC) to adopt rules for a renewable portfolio standard requiring each provider to support renewable energy to its customers directly by procurement or through the purchase of renewable energy credits. The bill directs that a draft rule be presented for consideration by the Legislature by February 1, 2020. In developing the rule, the bill specifies the PSC shall evaluate the current and forecasted levelized cost through 2032 and the current and forecasted installed capacity for each renewable energy generation method though 2032. The bill also specifies minimum criteria the PSC should address in developing the rule and requires annual reporting on implementation by providers following the rule’s adoption. (O’Hara)

Sale of Sunscreen (Watch)

SB 708 (Stewart) prohibits the sale or distribution of sunscreen products that contain octinoxate or oxybenzone to a consumer who does not have a prescription for such a product. (O’Hara) ...

Sale of Sunscreen (Watch) SB 708 (Stewart) prohibits the sale or distribution of sunscreen products that contain octinoxate or oxybenzone to a consumer who does not have a prescription for such a product. (O’Hara)

Sanitary Sewer Laterals (Watch)

SB 1172 (Brandes) and HB 497 (Webb) address sanitary sewer laterals but take different approaches. SB 1172 would encourage municipalities and counties to establish an evaluation and rehabilitation program for sanitary sewer laterals on residential and commercial properties within their respective jurisdictions to identify and reduce leakage from lateral lines. The voluntary program may encompass methods to identify damaged laterals, consider methods for property owners to repair or replace damaged laterals, and establish a publicly accessible database to store information on properties where defective laterals have been identified. The bill would also require sellers of property to disclose ...

Sanitary Sewer Laterals (Watch) SB 1172 (Brandes) and HB 497 (Webb) address sanitary sewer laterals but take different approaches. SB 1172 would encourage municipalities and counties to establish an evaluation and rehabilitation program for sanitary sewer laterals on residential and commercial properties within their respective jurisdictions to identify and reduce leakage from lateral lines. The voluntary program may encompass methods to identify damaged laterals, consider methods for property owners to repair or replace damaged laterals, and establish a publicly accessible database to store information on properties where defective laterals have been identified. The bill would also require sellers of property to disclose to prospective purchasers any known defects of the property’s sanitary sewer lateral to the purchaser. HB 497 requires a county water and sewer district to notify a homeowner within 30 days of the discovery of a leaking sanitary sewer lateral on the homeowner’s property. The notification does not require any action by the homeowner. The district is required to provide the information to the property appraiser, who must maintain a database of the notification. The bill specifies circumstances under which the district is required to maintain a database of notifications to property owners. (O’Hara)

State Renewable Energy Goals (Watch)

HB 1291 (Eskamani) and SB 1762 (Rodriguez, J.) direct the Office of Energy within the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to develop a unified statewide plan to generate 100 percent of the state’s energy from renewable sources by 2050. The bills require the state, all public entities and public utilities to cooperate with the Office of Energy as requested. The bills require the Office of Energy to submit the plan outlining potential strategies by January 2021, and annual plan updates thereafter, to the governor and Legislature. (O’Hara) ...

State Renewable Energy Goals (Watch) HB 1291 (Eskamani) and SB 1762 (Rodriguez, J.) direct the Office of Energy within the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to develop a unified statewide plan to generate 100 percent of the state’s energy from renewable sources by 2050. The bills require the state, all public entities and public utilities to cooperate with the Office of Energy as requested. The bills require the Office of Energy to submit the plan outlining potential strategies by January 2021, and annual plan updates thereafter, to the governor and Legislature. (O’Hara)

Statewide Environmental Resource Permitting Rules (Watch)

SB 1344 (Cruz) and HB 1343 (Good) amend provisions of law relating to stormwater management. The bills direct that rules adopted by water management districts governing design and performance standards for stormwater must include standards that increase the removal of nutrients from stormwater discharges from all new development and redevelopment projects. The bills further direct that such rules shall require that such standards ensure that new pollutant loadings are not discharged into impaired water bodies. The bills require water management districts to amend the permit “applicant’s handbook” by December 2019 to include: revised best management practices and design ...

Statewide Environmental Resource Permitting Rules (Watch) SB 1344 (Cruz) and HB 1343 (Good) amend provisions of law relating to stormwater management. The bills direct that rules adopted by water management districts governing design and performance standards for stormwater must include standards that increase the removal of nutrients from stormwater discharges from all new development and redevelopment projects. The bills further direct that such rules shall require that such standards ensure that new pollutant loadings are not discharged into impaired water bodies. The bills require water management districts to amend the permit “applicant’s handbook” by December 2019 to include: revised best management practices and design criteria that increase removal of nutrients from stormwater discharges from all new development and redevelopment projects; and measures for consistent application of net improvement performance standard to ensure new pollutant loadings are not discharged into impaired water bodies. The bills would provide a rebuttable presumption that a stormwater system is not causing or contributing to violations of water quality standards if the system is designed in accordance with the rule criteria and design requirements. (O’Hara)

Valuation of Acquired Water and Wastewater Systems (Watch)

SB 1484 (Torres) and HB 1297 (Bell) authorize a public water or wastewater utility to establish the rate base of an existing water or wastewater system it acquires using the fair market value of the utility, require the Public Service Commission to provide specified information relating to utility valuation and develop related rules. (O’Hara) ...

Valuation of Acquired Water and Wastewater Systems (Watch) SB 1484 (Torres) and HB 1297 (Bell) authorize a public water or wastewater utility to establish the rate base of an existing water or wastewater system it acquires using the fair market value of the utility, require the Public Service Commission to provide specified information relating to utility valuation and develop related rules. (O’Hara)

Water Pollution Operation Permits (Watch)

HB 737 (Good) and SB 1340 (Cruz) attempt to reduce the amount of herbicides used to manage invasive aquatic plants in waterways. The bills provide an exemption from the requirement to obtain a water pollution permit for the application of herbicides in state waters only if “multimodel biological control” is used in the waterbody, which essentially means the use of native fish and plants to manage undesirable plants. (O’Hara) ...

Water Pollution Operation Permits (Watch) HB 737 (Good) and SB 1340 (Cruz) attempt to reduce the amount of herbicides used to manage invasive aquatic plants in waterways. The bills provide an exemption from the requirement to obtain a water pollution permit for the application of herbicides in state waters only if “multimodel biological control” is used in the waterbody, which essentially means the use of native fish and plants to manage undesirable plants. (O’Hara)

Water Testing for Pollution (Watch)

SB 1100 (Montford) authorizes persons or businesses that suspect contamination of their private water system, multifamily water system or public water system not subject to the Florida Safe Drinking Water Act to request the Department of Health to test the system for pollution if pollution existing in the area of the system may impact such system and result in a violation of water quality standards. SB 1100 has been referred to the following committees: Environment and Natural Resources, Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services, and Appropriations. (O’Hara) ...

Water Testing for Pollution (Watch) SB 1100 (Montford) authorizes persons or businesses that suspect contamination of their private water system, multifamily water system or public water system not subject to the Florida Safe Drinking Water Act to request the Department of Health to test the system for pollution if pollution existing in the area of the system may impact such system and result in a violation of water quality standards. SB 1100 has been referred to the following committees: Environment and Natural Resources, Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services, and Appropriations. (O’Hara)

Water Quality Improvements (Watch)

CS/HB 141 (Fine) and CS/SB 216 (Gruters) impose new reporting and civil penalty requirements on wastewater treatment facilities. Specifically, the bills require wastewater treatment facilities that unlawfully discharge more than 1,000 gallons of raw or partially treated sewage into a waterway or the aquifer to notify customers by first class mail within 24 hours of discovering the discharge. The number of customers notified is based on the size of the spill. The bills specify required contents of the notice in addition to the civil penalties the Department of Environmental Protection is authorized to assess under current law. The ...

Water Quality Improvements (Watch) CS/HB 141 (Fine) and CS/SB 216 (Gruters) impose new reporting and civil penalty requirements on wastewater treatment facilities. Specifically, the bills require wastewater treatment facilities that unlawfully discharge more than 1,000 gallons of raw or partially treated sewage into a waterway or the aquifer to notify customers by first class mail within 24 hours of discovering the discharge. The number of customers notified is based on the size of the spill. The bills specify required contents of the notice in addition to the civil penalties the Department of Environmental Protection is authorized to assess under current law. The bills require wastewater treatment facilities to pay to the DEP a civil penalty of $1 per gallon of sewage unlawfully discharged or to expend $2 per each gallon discharged to upgrade or repair the system. If the volume of the spill cannot be determined, the bills provide the facility must remit a penalty of $10,000. The bills were amended to remove provisions that would have provided a source of Land Acquisition Fund funding for projects relating to the Indian River Lagoon. (O’Hara)

Wetland Mitigation (Watch)

CS/HB 521 (McClure) and CS/SB 532 (Lee) amend current law provisions relating to wetland mitigation banking and offsite regional wetland mitigation. The bills provide legislative findings that recognize state and federal mitigation bank credits may not be available in certain instances to offset adverse impacts of a project and that in such instances a local government is authorized to permit mitigation on local government lands owned for conservation purposes. (O’Hara) ...

Wetland Mitigation (Watch) CS/HB 521 (McClure) and CS/SB 532 (Lee) amend current law provisions relating to wetland mitigation banking and offsite regional wetland mitigation. The bills provide legislative findings that recognize state and federal mitigation bank credits may not be available in certain instances to offset adverse impacts of a project and that in such instances a local government is authorized to permit mitigation on local government lands owned for conservation purposes. (O’Hara)

Underground Facility Damage Prevention and Safety (Watch)

HB 263 (Payne) and SB 848 (Broxson) amend the Underground Facility Damage Prevention & Safety Act and the procedure for issuing citations for non-criminal infractions under the act. The bills delete current law procedures providing for citations to be issued by local or state law enforcement officers or code inspectors and providing for up to $500 in civil penalties for violations plus court costs. In its place, the bills create a statewide Underground Facility Damage Prevention Review Panel to review complaints of alleged violations. The nine-member panel would be made up of industry stakeholders and one member of ...

Underground Facility Damage Prevention and Safety (Watch) HB 263 (Payne) and SB 848 (Broxson) amend the Underground Facility Damage Prevention & Safety Act and the procedure for issuing citations for non-criminal infractions under the act. The bills delete current law procedures providing for citations to be issued by local or state law enforcement officers or code inspectors and providing for up to $500 in civil penalties for violations plus court costs. In its place, the bills create a statewide Underground Facility Damage Prevention Review Panel to review complaints of alleged violations. The nine-member panel would be made up of industry stakeholders and one member of the public. The bills establish a process for complaints of violations of the act to be reviewed and procedures for recommended penalties. The bills provide for civil penalties of up to $1,000 for an initial violation and as high as $50,000 under specified conditions. The bills authorize the panel to recommend education and training for violators in lieu of civil penalties. The bills authorize appeal of panel recommendations to the Florida Division of Administrative Hearings. (O’Hara)

Other Bills of Interest

SB 92 (Book) and HB 95 (Jacobs) – C-51 Reservoir Project ...

Other Bills of Interest SB 92 (Book) and HB 95 (Jacobs) – C-51 Reservoir Project SB 134 (Stewart) – Florida Black Bears SB 66 (Cruz) and HB 545 (Jenne) – Drinking Water in Public Schools SB 320 (Hooper) and HB 377 (Stone) – Residential Conservation Programs, FWCC SB 352 (Gruters) and HB 99 (Jacobs) – Shark Fins and Ray Parts SB 7022 (Environment & Natural Resources Committee) – Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission Citizen Support Organizations SB 7024 (Environment & Natural Resources Committee) – Department of Environmental Protection Citizen Support Organizations SB 1006 (Rodriguez, J.) – Public Electric Utility Rates SB 1150 (Pizzo) – Wildlife Protection HB 957 (Perez) and SB 1564 (Albritton) – Petroleum Restoration SB 1370 (Farmer) and HB 651 (Smith) – Medically Essential Electric Utility Service SB 1502 (Bradley) – Department of Environmental Protection HB 1263 (Goff-Marcil) and SB 1772 (Bracy) – Little Wekiva River SB 1646 (Albritton) and HB 1215 (Brannan) – Dep’t of Agriculture & Consumer Servs.

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