Legislative Bill Summaries

The 2019 regular Legislative Session commenced Tuesday, March 5.

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. 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) 

SB 1054 (Lee) and HB 9 (LaMarca) increase audit, ethics, reporting and accountability measures for community redevelopment agencies (CRAs). 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 also establish procedures for appointing members to the board of a CRA. If a CRA has no financial activity, the CRA can be declared inactive ...

Community Redevelopment Agencies (Oppose – Preemption)  SB 1054 (Lee) and HB 9 (LaMarca) increase audit, ethics, reporting and accountability measures for community redevelopment agencies (CRAs). 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 also establish procedures for appointing members to the board of a CRA. If a CRA has no financial activity, the CRA can be declared inactive by the Department of Economic Opportunity.  SB 1054 redefines what can be considered a "blighted area" and prohibits using Tax Increment Funds (TIF) for funding festivals and street parties, grants to promote tourism, and grants to socially beneficial programs. 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 majority vote. The bill also  caps administrative expenses at 18 percent of the total budget for the CRA. HB 9 specifies that after October 1, 2019, a CRA can be created only by a county wide referendum in a primary or general election and requires the approval of two-thirds of the electors' votes to pass. HB 9 does not include the language from SB 1054 capping the administrative expenses or restricting the use of TIF funds for funding festivals and street parties, grants to promote tourism or grants to socially beneficial programs. (Cruz)

Preemption of Local Regulations (Oppose – Mandate and Preemption)

CS/CS/HB 3 (Grant, M.) and SB 1748 (Perry) expressly preempts 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” ...

Preemption of Local Regulations (Oppose – Mandate and Preemption) CS/CS/HB 3 (Grant, M.) and SB 1748 (Perry) expressly preempts 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 bills prohibit local governments from taking “new” actions affecting business after July 1, 2019, unless the local government has: made specific public findings about the action’s impact on business, required the action to sunset in two years, passed the action by two-thirds vote of its membership (some regulations are exempt from this requirement), and performed and published a “Statement of Estimated Regulatory Costs” 14 days prior to any vote on the action. Regulations expressly authorized by general law are exempt from these new requirements. The bills sunset existing regulations affecting business on July 2021. Such regulations may be readopted only upon meeting the requirements of the bills. CS/CS/HB 3 was amended with a “strike-all” amendment to remove everything except for the preemption on regulation and licensing of occupations and professions. As amended, CS/CS/HB 3 preempts the regulation and licensing of professions and occupations to the state, unless expressly authorized by general law. The definitions included in the bill are still quite broad. “Occupation” includes any activity undertaken by a person to earn a livelihood. “Profession” includes any paid occupation that involves specialized training, knowledge, qualifications or skills. “Regulation” includes ordinances, directives, guidelines, fees, licenses, injunctions, procedures or rules. In addition, the bill prohibits local governments from requiring licenses for job scopes that do not substantially correspond to the job scopes of one of the contractor categories defined in current law and prohibits local governments from requiring a license for specified types of contracting work. (O’Hara/Cruz)

Communications Services (Oppose – Mandate and Preemption)

CS/SB 1000 (Hutson) and HB 693 (Fischer) reduce the tax rate, by 1 percent, on the state communications services and direct-to-home satellite services. The bills revise the authority for municipalities to impose permit fees on providers of communications services that use or occupy municipal roads or rights-of-way. The fiscal impact of the communications services tax rate reduction on municipalities and counties is estimated to be approximately $21 million per year.  ...

Communications Services (Oppose – Mandate and Preemption) CS/SB 1000 (Hutson) and HB 693 (Fischer) reduce the tax rate, by 1 percent, on the state communications services and direct-to-home satellite services. The bills revise the authority for municipalities to impose permit fees on providers of communications services that use or occupy municipal roads or rights-of-way. The fiscal impact of the communications services tax rate reduction on municipalities and counties is estimated to be approximately $21 million per year.  CS/SB 1000 was 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. CS/SB 1000 requires local governments to take into account many 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. CS/SB 1000 removes many of the provisions that were agreed upon by the wireless industry when the law passed in 2017. For example, CS/SB 1000 removes 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 is addressed in current law, in part for spacing, height and permit application review timeframes, but a local government can still subject the utility pole to local government “rules and regulations governing the placement of utility poles in the rights of way.” CS/SB 1000 also removes this language, meaning that a city or county must 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. CS/SB 1000 prohibits 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. It does allow a local government to require, as part of a permit application, that the applicant identify ground-level communications facilities within 25 feet of the proposed installation location for the placement at grade communications facilities. CS/SB 1000 also prohibits requiring a 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. CS/SB 1000 deletes performance bonds and security funds from the allowable requirements for a communications provider and allows requiring a construction bond limited to no more than one year after the construction is completed. CS/SB 1000 creates 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, to an aggrieved party who prevails. (Hughes)

Short-Term Rentals (Oppose – Preemption)

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

Short-Term Rentals (Oppose – Preemption) SB 824 (Diaz) and HB 987 (J. Grant) do the following: •Preempt to the state the regulation of vacation rentals •Any ordinances (noise, parking, trash, etc.), must apply to all residential properties, regardless of how the property is being used  •Local governments cannot prohibit rentals (not just STRs), impose occupancy limits on rental properties, or require inspections or licensing of rentals (specific to STRs) •Create a process where city must prove by clear and convincing evidence that their ordinance or regulation complies with this section •Remove the grandfather clause; also potentially jeopardizes HOA restrictions •Require applicants for STR license to provide name, address, phone number, and email to Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) who must make this available to the public on the division’s website. (Cook)

Public Records (Oppose – Preemption)

HB 407 (Rodrigues, R.) and SB 602 (Perry) prohibit a city receiving a public record request from seeking clarification from the court as to whether the record is exempt or confidential. (Cook) ...

Public Records (Oppose – Preemption) HB 407 (Rodrigues, R.) and SB 602 (Perry) prohibit a city receiving a public record request from seeking clarification from the court as to whether the record is exempt or confidential. (Cook)

Displacement of Private Waste Companies (Oppose – Preemption)

HB 1169 (McClure) and SB 1572 (Albritton) substantially amend the “Fair Competition Act,” which imposes requirements on local governments that intend to displace private waste companies in the provision of solid waste and recycling services. The bills apply to both solid waste and recycling collection services. Specifically, a local government must provide existing service providers within its jurisdiction 180 days’ notice of its intent to provide the service or otherwise displace the providers (such as through an exclusive franchise) by adopting a resolution of intent. The bills direct the local government to develop a plan during the notice ...

Displacement of Private Waste Companies (Oppose – Preemption) HB 1169 (McClure) and SB 1572 (Albritton) substantially amend the “Fair Competition Act,” which imposes requirements on local governments that intend to displace private waste companies in the provision of solid waste and recycling services. The bills apply to both solid waste and recycling collection services. Specifically, a local government must provide existing service providers within its jurisdiction 180 days’ notice of its intent to provide the service or otherwise displace the providers (such as through an exclusive franchise) by adopting a resolution of intent. The bills direct the local government to develop a plan during the notice period. The bills specify requirements for the plan, including steps taken to minimize economic impact on private companies currently providing service within the jurisdiction and ensuring participation by all interested parties, including existing providers, in development of the plan. The bills extend the period local governments are required to provide notice to displaced private companies before engaging in the provision of collection services from three years to five years. The bills provide that if a local government does not implement collection service by passage of an ordinance or resolution within 12 months after providing notice to affected providers, the local government must start the notice and planning requirements anew. (O’Hara)

Micro-mobility Devices and Motorized Scooters (Oppose – Preemption)

SB 542 (Brandes) and HB 453 (Toledo) prohibit 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. 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) ...

Micro-mobility Devices and Motorized Scooters (Oppose – Preemption) SB 542 (Brandes) and HB 453 (Toledo) prohibit 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. 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)

Fertilizers (Oppose – Preemption and Mandate)

SB 1716 (Bracy) and HB 157 (Thompson) would 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 would 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 would ...

Fertilizers (Oppose – Preemption and Mandate) SB 1716 (Bracy) and HB 157 (Thompson) would 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 would 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 would 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)

Single Use Plastic Straws (Oppose – Preemption)

CS/SB 588 (Hutson) and HB 603 (Sabatini) authorize a food service establishment to distribute a single-use plastic straw to a customer only if requested by the customer. The bills provide for various exceptions, including takeout orders and use by healthcare facilities. The bills do not prohibit a food service establishment from making straws available to customers through a self-service straw dispenser. The bills preempt the regulation of single-use plastic straws to the state and prohibit adoption or enforcement of any local ordinance that would further restrict a food service establishment from distributing straws to customers.  ...

Single Use Plastic Straws (Oppose – Preemption) CS/SB 588 (Hutson) and HB 603 (Sabatini) authorize a food service establishment to distribute a single-use plastic straw to a customer only if requested by the customer. The bills provide for various exceptions, including takeout orders and use by healthcare facilities. The bills do not prohibit a food service establishment from making straws available to customers through a self-service straw dispenser. The bills preempt the regulation of single-use plastic straws to the state and prohibit adoption or enforcement of any local ordinance that would further restrict a food service establishment from distributing straws to customers.  CS/SB 588 provides 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 bill directs 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. In addition, SB 588 preempts the regulation of over-the-counter drugs and cosmetics to the state. (O’Hara)

Impact Fees (Oppose – Preemption) 

SB 144 (Bean) 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 (Bean) 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 1730 (Lee) maintains all requirements found in SB 144 and CS/HB 207 regarding impact fees, but in addition it requires a local government to credit contributions relating to public education facilities, land dedication, site planning and design, and construction in lieu of the collection of an impact fee. The credit must be applied to the reduction of impact fees on a dollar-for-dollar basis at fair market value. An entity using credits in place of the actual payment of an impact of a mobility fee must receive the full value of the credit. The bill also provides penalties in the event that a local government fails to provide the dollar-for-dollar credits. In addition to the above requirements, SB 1730 specifies that a local government may not charge an impact fee for the development of affordable housing. (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)

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/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/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/SB 494 was amended to clarify that the complaint and other investigative information is confidential and exempt pursuant to the current law. (Hughes)

Employment Conditions (Oppose – Preemption)

SB 432 (Gruters) and 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 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. (Hughes)

Governmental Powers (Oppose – Preemption)

HB 1299 (Roach) prohibits governmental entities from annexing an area in another governmental entity's jurisdiction without consent from the other governmental entity.  The bill prohibits levying of taxes on cigarettes, cigars and nicotine products by municipalities after July 1, 2019. The bill preempts the regulation of single-use plastic straws and the regulation of over-the-counter proprietary drugs and cosmetics, such as sunscreen, to the state. The bill preempts alternate generated power sources for motor fuel dispensing facilities to the state and the Florida Division of Emergency Management.  Lastly, the bill establishes that the minimum age for the sale of ...

Governmental Powers (Oppose – Preemption) HB 1299 (Roach) prohibits governmental entities from annexing an area in another governmental entity's jurisdiction without consent from the other governmental entity.  The bill prohibits levying of taxes on cigarettes, cigars and nicotine products by municipalities after July 1, 2019. The bill preempts the regulation of single-use plastic straws and the regulation of over-the-counter proprietary drugs and cosmetics, such as sunscreen, to the state. The bill preempts alternate generated power sources for motor fuel dispensing facilities to the state and the Florida Division of Emergency Management.  Lastly, the bill establishes that the minimum age for the sale of tobacco products and nicotine products is preempted to the state. (Cruz)

Retainage (Oppose – Preemption) 

CS/SB 246 (Hooper) and CS/HB 101 (Andrade) reduce the amount a public entity may withhold from a progress payment to a contractor as retainage. Currently, local governments will withhold a certain percentage of compensation known as “retainage” from the general contractor to ensure the project is completed satisfactorily. In addition, 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. (Branch) ...

Retainage (Oppose – Preemption)  CS/SB 246 (Hooper) and CS/HB 101 (Andrade) reduce the amount a public entity may withhold from a progress payment to a contractor as retainage. Currently, local governments will withhold a certain percentage of compensation known as “retainage” from the general contractor to ensure the project is completed satisfactorily. In addition, 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. (Branch)

Florida Building Code Enforcement (Oppose – Preemption)

SB 1036 (Gruters) and 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) SB 1036 (Gruters) and 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)

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)

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, 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, installing, maintaining, or utilizing red light cameras effective July 1, 2022. (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)

2-MANDATES

Preemption of Local Regulations (Oppose – Mandate and Preemption)

CS/CS/HB 3 (Grant, M.) and SB 1748 (Perry) expressly preempts 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” ...

Preemption of Local Regulations (Oppose – Mandate and Preemption) CS/CS/HB 3 (Grant, M.) and SB 1748 (Perry) expressly preempts 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 bills prohibit local governments from taking “new” actions affecting business after July 1, 2019, unless the local government has: made specific public findings about the action’s impact on business, required the action to sunset in two years, passed the action by two-thirds vote of its membership (some regulations are exempt from this requirement), and performed and published a “Statement of Estimated Regulatory Costs” 14 days prior to any vote on the action. Regulations expressly authorized by general law are exempt from these new requirements. The bills sunset existing regulations affecting business on July 2021. Such regulations may be readopted only upon meeting the requirements of the bills. CS/CS/HB 3 was amended with a “strike-all” amendment to remove everything except for the preemption on regulation and licensing of occupations and professions. As amended, CS/CS/HB 3 preempts the regulation and licensing of professions and occupations to the state, unless expressly authorized by general law. The definitions included in the bill are still quite broad. “Occupation” includes any activity undertaken by a person to earn a livelihood. “Profession” includes any paid occupation that involves specialized training, knowledge, qualifications or skills. “Regulation” includes ordinances, directives, guidelines, fees, licenses, injunctions, procedures or rules. In addition, the bill prohibits local governments from requiring licenses for job scopes that do not substantially correspond to the job scopes of one of the contractor categories defined in current law and prohibits local governments from requiring a license for specified types of contracting work. (O’Hara/Cruz)

Communications Services (Oppose – Mandate and Preemption)

CS/SB 1000 (Hutson) and HB 693 (Fischer) reduce the tax rate, by 1 percent, on the state communications services and direct-to-home satellite services. The bills revise the authority for municipalities to impose permit fees on providers of communications services that use or occupy municipal roads or rights-of-way. The fiscal impact of the communications services tax rate reduction on municipalities and counties is estimated to be approximately $21 million per year.  ...

Communications Services (Oppose – Mandate and Preemption) CS/SB 1000 (Hutson) and HB 693 (Fischer) reduce the tax rate, by 1 percent, on the state communications services and direct-to-home satellite services. The bills revise the authority for municipalities to impose permit fees on providers of communications services that use or occupy municipal roads or rights-of-way. The fiscal impact of the communications services tax rate reduction on municipalities and counties is estimated to be approximately $21 million per year.  CS/SB 1000 was 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. CS/SB 1000 requires local governments to take into account many 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. CS/SB 1000 removes many of the provisions that were agreed upon by the wireless industry when the law passed in 2017. For example, CS/SB 1000 removes 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 is addressed in current law, in part for spacing, height and permit application review timeframes, but a local government can still subject the utility pole to local government “rules and regulations governing the placement of utility poles in the rights of way.” CS/SB 1000 also removes this language, meaning that a city or county must 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. CS/SB 1000 prohibits 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. It does allow a local government to require, as part of a permit application, that the applicant identify ground-level communications facilities within 25 feet of the proposed installation location for the placement at grade communications facilities. CS/SB 1000 also prohibits requiring a 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. CS/SB 1000 deletes performance bonds and security funds from the allowable requirements for a communications provider and allows requiring a construction bond limited to no more than one year after the construction is completed. CS/SB 1000 creates 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, to an aggrieved party who prevails. (Hughes)

Firefighter Cancer Benefit (Oppose – Mandate)

CS/SB 426 (Flores) and HB 857 (Willhite) entitle 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. These benefits must be available to the firefighter for at least 10 years after leaving employment. CS/SB 426 was amended to remove language requiring these benefits be provided “at no cost to firefighter.” Instead, the employer must reimburse the firefighter for any out-of-pocket expenses related to the cost of treatment such as deductibles, co-payments or coinsurance. In ...

Firefighter Cancer Benefit (Oppose – Mandate) CS/SB 426 (Flores) and HB 857 (Willhite) entitle 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. These benefits must be available to the firefighter for at least 10 years after leaving employment. CS/SB 426 was amended to remove language requiring these benefits be provided “at no cost to firefighter.” Instead, the employer must reimburse the firefighter for any out-of-pocket expenses related to the cost of treatment such as deductibles, co-payments or coinsurance. In order to get the lump sum payout and reimbursements for 10 years post-employment, the firefighter must elect to continue coverage in a employer-sponsored health plan or group health insurance trust. If the firefighter participates in an employee-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 employee-sponsored retirement plan, the employer must provide a disability retirement plan that provides at least 42 percent of annual salary, at no cost to the firefighter, 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. 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 bills require 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 bills specify 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 bills also require 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. (Hughes)

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. (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. (Branch)

Inspections and Permits (Oppose – Mandate)

SB 1752 (Perry) and HB 1139 (Plakon) require local governments, who imposes 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 up to a specified amount for the expedited inspection. (Branch) ...

Inspections and Permits (Oppose – Mandate) SB 1752 (Perry) and HB 1139 (Plakon) require local governments, who imposes 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 up to a specified amount for the expedited inspection. (Branch)

Attorney Fees and Costs (Oppose – Mandate)

SB 1140 (Hutson) and HB 829 (Sabatini) create a new section of law providing for a mandatory award of attorney fees, costs and damages, including prejudgment interest and costs, against a local government in a civil action in which a local government ordinance is determined to have been preempted by the state constitution or by state law. The bills expressly waive sovereign immunity of local governments for purposes of the award of fees and costs. The bills provide that fees and costs may not be awarded if the local government withdraws or repeals the ordinance: within 21 days ...

Attorney Fees and Costs (Oppose – Mandate) SB 1140 (Hutson) and HB 829 (Sabatini) create a new section of law providing for a mandatory award of attorney fees, costs and damages, including prejudgment interest and costs, against a local government in a civil action in which a local government ordinance is determined to have been preempted by the state constitution or by state law. The bills expressly waive sovereign immunity of local governments for purposes of the award of fees and costs. The bills provide 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; or receives a motion seeking fees and costs pursuant to the newly created section of law. Ordinances relating to “growth management” are exempted from the bills’ provisions. The bills specify that it is remedial in nature and intended to apply retroactively to all cases pending or commenced on or after July 1, 2019. (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)

Local Government Fiscal Transparency (Oppose – Mandate)

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/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)

SB 336 (Brandes) and CS/HB 5 (DiCeglie) limit the timing of when a local government may put a local discretionary surtax ballot initiative before the voters. The bills require that a referendum to adopt or amend a local discretionary surtax be held at a state general election. CS/HB 5 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/HB 5 also requires a petition sponsor of an initiative to adopt a charter county and regional transportation system surtax ...

Local Tax Referenda (Oppose – Mandate) SB 336 (Brandes) and CS/HB 5 (DiCeglie) limit the timing of when a local government may put a local discretionary surtax ballot initiative before the voters. The bills require that a referendum to adopt or amend a local discretionary surtax be held at a state general election. CS/HB 5 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/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)

Water Quality Improvements (Oppose – Mandate)

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) 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 would 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. 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 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 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 permit for The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). If a local government fails to meet the requirements and deadlines, the bills prohibit the local government from approving any building permits and the local government may be subject to 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 to be 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 is prohibited from approving any building permits and may 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. The bills also prohibit the plant from approving any building permits and prohibit the approval of any new septic systems in the jurisdiction 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 or be prohibited from approving any building permits. (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) ...

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)

Fertilizers (Oppose – Preemption and Mandate)

SB 1716 (Bracy) and HB 157 (Thompson) would 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 would 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 would ...

Fertilizers (Oppose – Preemption and Mandate) SB 1716 (Bracy) and HB 157 (Thompson) would 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 would 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 would 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)

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)

E911 Systems (Oppose CS/SB 536 – Unfunded Mandate)

CS/HB 441 (Dubose) and CS/SB 536 (Brandes) require each county to develop a countywide implementation plan for text-to-911 services and by January 1, 2022, to have a system in place to receive enhanced 911 (E911) messages from providers. ...

E911 Systems (Oppose CS/SB 536 – Unfunded Mandate) CS/HB 441 (Dubose) and CS/SB 536 (Brandes) require each county to develop a countywide implementation plan for text-to-911 services and by January 1, 2022, to have a system in place to receive enhanced 911 (E911) messages from providers. CS/SB 536 was amended with additional language opposed by the Florida League of Cities. The amended language requires the following: •Each Public Safety Answering Point must be able to directly communicate by radio with first responders.  •Each sheriff must enter into a written agreement with each agency in his or her county to establish protocols under which a PSAP that does not dispatch calls for a first responder agency will directly notify the first responder agency’s on-duty personnel of an emergency by radio.  •Each PSAP must install, in at least one dispatch console within its emergency communications center, the primary radio dispatch channels of each first responder in the county it serves. If there are multiple PSAPs in a county, each PSAP must have this capability.  •Each law enforcement agency head must, upon the written request of another law enforcement agency head in the same county or an adjoining jurisdiction in another county, authorize the requesting agency to install the other agency’s primary dispatch channel or channels in the requesting agency’s mobile or portable radios.  •Each sheriff must, by January 1, 2020, certify in writing to the Department of Law Enforcement that all PSAPs in his or her county are in compliance with these requirements. (Cook)

Private Property Comprehensive Plan Element (Oppose – Unfunded Mandate) 

HB 291 (McClain) and SB 428 (Perry) require local governments to adopt a new mandatory element in their comprehensive plans that addresses the protection of private property. (Cruz) ...

Private Property Comprehensive Plan Element (Oppose – Unfunded Mandate)  HB 291 (McClain) and SB 428 (Perry) require local governments to adopt a new mandatory element in their comprehensive plans that addresses the protection of private property. (Cruz)

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. (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. (Branch)

Retainage (Oppose – Preemption) 

CS/SB 246 (Hooper) and CS/HB 101 (Andrade) reduce the amount a public entity may withhold from a progress payment to a contractor as retainage. Currently, local governments will withhold a certain percentage of compensation known as “retainage” from the general contractor to ensure the project is completed satisfactorily. In addition, 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. (Branch) ...

Retainage (Oppose – Preemption)  CS/SB 246 (Hooper) and CS/HB 101 (Andrade) reduce the amount a public entity may withhold from a progress payment to a contractor as retainage. Currently, local governments will withhold a certain percentage of compensation known as “retainage” from the general contractor to ensure the project is completed satisfactorily. In addition, 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. (Branch)

Florida Building Code Enforcement (Oppose – Preemption)

SB 1036 (Gruters) and 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) SB 1036 (Gruters) and 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)

Inspections and Permits (Oppose – Mandate)

SB 1752 (Perry) and HB 1139 (Plakon) require local governments, who imposes 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 up to a specified amount for the expedited inspection. (Branch) ...

Inspections and Permits (Oppose – Mandate) SB 1752 (Perry) and HB 1139 (Plakon) require local governments, who imposes 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 up to a specified amount for the expedited inspection. (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)

Local Government Public Construction Works (Watch)

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 (Watch) 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)

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)

Fees for Enforcing the Florida Building Code (Watch)

SB 1512 (Diaz) mandates that all fees and investments 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. (Branch) ...

Fees for Enforcing the Florida Building Code (Watch) SB 1512 (Diaz) mandates that all fees and investments 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. (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

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Community Redevelopment Agencies (Oppose – Preemption) 

SB 1054 (Lee) and HB 9 (LaMarca) increase audit, ethics, reporting and accountability measures for community redevelopment agencies (CRAs). 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 also establish procedures for appointing members to the board of a CRA. If a CRA has no financial activity, the CRA can be declared inactive ...

Community Redevelopment Agencies (Oppose – Preemption)  SB 1054 (Lee) and HB 9 (LaMarca) increase audit, ethics, reporting and accountability measures for community redevelopment agencies (CRAs). 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 also establish procedures for appointing members to the board of a CRA. If a CRA has no financial activity, the CRA can be declared inactive by the Department of Economic Opportunity.  SB 1054 redefines what can be considered a "blighted area" and prohibits using Tax Increment Funds (TIF) for funding festivals and street parties, grants to promote tourism, and grants to socially beneficial programs. 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 majority vote. The bill also  caps administrative expenses at 18 percent of the total budget for the CRA. HB 9 specifies that after October 1, 2019, a CRA can be created only by a county wide referendum in a primary or general election and requires the approval of two-thirds of the electors' votes to pass. HB 9 does not include the language from SB 1054 capping the administrative expenses or restricting the use of TIF funds for funding festivals and street parties, grants to promote tourism or grants to socially beneficial programs. (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)

SB 728 (Lee) and 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) SB 728 (Lee) and 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

HB 739 (Hill) – Rural Communities ...

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

EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

Emergency Mitigation and Response (Support)

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) 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)

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 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 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)

SB 7040 (Ethics and 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) SB 7040 (Ethics and 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. Local officers would no longer submit financial statements to supervisors of elections but would instead be required to use the electronic filing system. 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. (O’Hara)

Government Integrity (Watch)

SB 1542 (Hutson) and HB 1047 (Tomokow) 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 (Tomokow) 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)

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. (O’Hara) ...

Public Records/Commission on Ethics (Watch) 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. (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

FINANCE & TAXATION

Communications Services (Oppose – Mandate and Preemption)

CS/SB 1000 (Hutson) and HB 693 (Fischer) reduce the tax rate, by 1 percent, on the state communications services and direct-to-home satellite services. The bills revise the authority for municipalities to impose permit fees on providers of communications services that use or occupy municipal roads or rights-of-way. The fiscal impact of the communications services tax rate reduction on municipalities and counties is estimated to be approximately $21 million per year.  ...

Communications Services (Oppose – Mandate and Preemption) CS/SB 1000 (Hutson) and HB 693 (Fischer) reduce the tax rate, by 1 percent, on the state communications services and direct-to-home satellite services. The bills revise the authority for municipalities to impose permit fees on providers of communications services that use or occupy municipal roads or rights-of-way. The fiscal impact of the communications services tax rate reduction on municipalities and counties is estimated to be approximately $21 million per year.  CS/SB 1000 was 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. CS/SB 1000 requires local governments to take into account many 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. CS/SB 1000 removes many of the provisions that were agreed upon by the wireless industry when the law passed in 2017. For example, CS/SB 1000 removes 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 is addressed in current law, in part for spacing, height and permit application review timeframes, but a local government can still subject the utility pole to local government “rules and regulations governing the placement of utility poles in the rights of way.” CS/SB 1000 also removes this language, meaning that a city or county must 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. CS/SB 1000 prohibits 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. It does allow a local government to require, as part of a permit application, that the applicant identify ground-level communications facilities within 25 feet of the proposed installation location for the placement at grade communications facilities. CS/SB 1000 also prohibits requiring a 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. CS/SB 1000 deletes performance bonds and security funds from the allowable requirements for a communications provider and allows requiring a construction bond limited to no more than one year after the construction is completed. CS/SB 1000 creates 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, to an aggrieved party who prevails. (Hughes)

Local Government Fiscal Transparency (Oppose – Mandate)

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/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)

SB 336 (Brandes) and CS/HB 5 (DiCeglie) limit the timing of when a local government may put a local discretionary surtax ballot initiative before the voters. The bills require that a referendum to adopt or amend a local discretionary surtax be held at a state general election. CS/HB 5 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/HB 5 also requires a petition sponsor of an initiative to adopt a charter county and regional transportation system surtax ...

Local Tax Referenda (Oppose – Mandate) SB 336 (Brandes) and CS/HB 5 (DiCeglie) limit the timing of when a local government may put a local discretionary surtax ballot initiative before the voters. The bills require that a referendum to adopt or amend a local discretionary surtax be held at a state general election. CS/HB 5 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/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)

Millage Notices (Support)

HB 399 (DiCeglie) and 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. (Hughes) ...

Millage Notices (Support) HB 399 (DiCeglie) and 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. (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)

SB 1112 (Gruters) and SB 1642 (Gainer) revise the definition of the term “inventory,” for purposes of ad valorem taxation, to include certain rented construction, earthmoving or industrial equipment. The bills modernize 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. The bills also create a sales tax holiday for disaster preparedness supplies from June 1, 2019, through June 14, 2019. (Hughes) ...

Taxation (Support) SB 1112 (Gruters) and SB 1642 (Gainer) revise the definition of the term “inventory,” for purposes of ad valorem taxation, to include certain rented construction, earthmoving or industrial equipment. The bills modernize 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. The bills also create a sales tax holiday for disaster preparedness supplies from June 1, 2019, through June 14, 2019. (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 Transparency (Watch)

HB 7053 (Ways and Means Committee) renames select state government levies as taxes and would require local governments to rename select local government levies as taxes. The bill requires, 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 ...

Taxation Transparency (Watch) HB 7053 (Ways and Means Committee) renames select state government levies as taxes and would require local governments to rename select local government levies as taxes. The bill requires, 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 bill expressly provides that it does 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)

Local Option Surtax by Petition (Watch)

SB 1040 (Lee) 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) ...

Local Option Surtax by Petition (Watch) SB 1040 (Lee) 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)

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)

SB 888 (Brandes) and 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) SB 888 (Brandes) and 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) and HB 7035 (House Oversight, Transparency & Public Management Subcommittee) require local governments to establish and maintain internal controls and require municipalities to maintain specified budget documents on the government’s website for a designated time. The bills define “abuse,” “fraud” and “waste” to be used in the establishment and maintenance of the internal controls. The bills expand the definition of “local governments” to include tourist development councils and county tourism promotion agencies, and the bills expand the auditor general’s authority for audits to include those entities. The bills change the ...

Government Accountability (Watch) CS/SB 7014 (Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee) and HB 7035 (House Oversight, Transparency & Public Management Subcommittee) require local governments to establish and maintain internal controls and require municipalities to maintain specified budget documents on the government’s website for a designated time. The bills define “abuse,” “fraud” and “waste” to be used in the establishment and maintenance of the internal controls. The bills expand the definition of “local governments” to include tourist development councils and county tourism promotion agencies, and the bills expand the auditor general’s authority for audits to include those entities. The bills change the composition of the audit committee to include one member of the governing body and prohibit employees from serving on the committee but does allow them to serve in an advisory capacity. (Hughes)

County Constitutional Officers Budgets (Watch)

CS/HB 267 (Sabatini) and SB 696 (Hutson) provide criteria for submission of tentative or final budgets and requires a tentative budget to be separately identified from the tentative budget of the county as a whole when posted to an official county website. SB 696 also adds property appraisers to the list of county constitutional officers that must submit a tentative budget to the county commission by June 1. (Hughes) ...

County Constitutional Officers Budgets (Watch) CS/HB 267 (Sabatini) and SB 696 (Hutson) provide criteria for submission of tentative or final budgets and requires a tentative budget to be separately identified from the tentative budget of the county as a whole when posted to an official county website. SB 696 also adds property appraisers to the list of county constitutional officers that must submit a tentative budget to the county commission by June 1. (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)

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) 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)

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 no later than December 1 of the year before the year in which the revised assessment will take effect. The property appraiser must consider each property with a restrictive covenant in accordance with the terms of the covenant, ...

Assessment of Affordable Housing Property (Watch) 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 no later than December 1 of the year before the year in which the revised assessment will take effect. The property appraiser must consider each property with a restrictive covenant in accordance with the terms of the covenant, including any recorded amendment, supplement or addendum to or resale restriction in the covenant for the purpose of assessing the property. (Hughes)

Property Tax Exemptions for Hospitals (Watch)

HB 1295 (Caruso) provides criteria to be used in determining value of property tax exemptions for charitable use of certain hospitals. (Hughes) ...

Property Tax Exemptions for Hospitals (Watch) HB 1295 (Caruso) provides criteria to be used in determining value of property tax exemptions for charitable use of certain hospitals. (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 576 (Perry) – Back-to-school Sales Tax Holiday 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 HB 1349 (Good) and SB 1592 (Harrell) – Local Business Tax: Assisted Living Facilities 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

HOUSING

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)

Impact Fees – Affordable Housing (Watch)

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) 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 HB 1353 (Altman) – Homelessness SB 842 (Thurston) and HB 729 (Gottlieb) – County Funding for Affordable Housing

IMMIGRATION

Federal Immigration Enforcement/Sanctuary Policies (Watch) 

CS/CS/SB 168 (Gruters), SB 170 (Bean) and 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/SB 168 (Gruters), SB 170 (Bean) and 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 toward entities (including local government entities) for failure to comply with 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 specifies record-keeping requirements for victims' and witnesses' cooperation in certain investigations.  (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)

HB 1299 (Roach) prohibits governmental entities from annexing an area in another governmental entity's jurisdiction without consent from the other governmental entity.  The bill prohibits levying of taxes on cigarettes, cigars and nicotine products by municipalities after July 1, 2019. The bill preempts the regulation of single-use plastic straws and the regulation of over-the-counter proprietary drugs and cosmetics, such as sunscreen, to the state. The bill preempts alternate generated power sources for motor fuel dispensing facilities to the state and the Florida Division of Emergency Management.  Lastly, the bill establishes that the minimum age for the sale of ...

Governmental Powers (Oppose – Preemption) HB 1299 (Roach) prohibits governmental entities from annexing an area in another governmental entity's jurisdiction without consent from the other governmental entity.  The bill prohibits levying of taxes on cigarettes, cigars and nicotine products by municipalities after July 1, 2019. The bill preempts the regulation of single-use plastic straws and the regulation of over-the-counter proprietary drugs and cosmetics, such as sunscreen, to the state. The bill preempts alternate generated power sources for motor fuel dispensing facilities to the state and the Florida Division of Emergency Management.  Lastly, 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 HB 995 (Geller) and SB 1004 (Rodriguez, J.) – Regional Planning Council Meeting Quorum

LAND USE & COMPREHENSIVE PLANNING

Property Rights (Oppose)

SB 1720 (Lee) and HB 1383 (Grant, J.) amend the Bert J. Harris Act. The bills require any settlement reached on a 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 to current law, a property ...

Property Rights (Oppose) SB 1720 (Lee) and HB 1383 (Grant, J.) amend the Bert J. Harris Act. The bills require any settlement reached on a 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 to current law, a property owner must be given notice if a law or regulation will have a discernable effect on real property. The bill provides that if a property owner is not given proper notice, the property owner may bring a claim against a governmental entity. (Cruz)

Impact Fees (Oppose – Preemption) 

SB 144 (Bean) 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 (Bean) 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 1730 (Lee) maintains all requirements found in SB 144 and CS/HB 207 regarding impact fees, but in addition it requires a local government to credit contributions relating to public education facilities, land dedication, site planning and design, and construction in lieu of the collection of an impact fee. The credit must be applied to the reduction of impact fees on a dollar-for-dollar basis at fair market value. An entity using credits in place of the actual payment of an impact of a mobility fee must receive the full value of the credit. The bill also provides penalties in the event that a local government fails to provide the dollar-for-dollar credits. In addition to the above requirements, SB 1730 specifies that a local government may not charge an impact fee for the development of affordable housing. (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) 

HB 291 (McClain) and SB 428 (Perry) require local governments to adopt a new mandatory element in their comprehensive plans that addresses the protection of private property. (Cruz) ...

Private Property Comprehensive Plan Element (Oppose – Unfunded Mandate)  HB 291 (McClain) and SB 428 (Perry) require local governments to adopt a new mandatory element in their comprehensive plans that addresses the protection of private property. (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/HB 91 (Altman) and 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/HB 91 was amended in committee qualifying that the bill would apply to actions pending on the effective date of the act.  (Cruz) ...

Lis Penden (Watch) CS/HB 91 (Altman) and 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/HB 91 was amended in committee qualifying that the bill would apply to actions pending on the effective date of the act.  (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) 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) 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) 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 ...

Small-Scale Comprehensive Plan Amendments (Watch) HB 6017 (Duggan) 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 HB 891 (Ponder) – Military Friendly Initiatives ...

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

OTHER

Preemption of Local Regulations (Oppose – Mandate and Preemption)

CS/CS/HB 3 (Grant, M.) and SB 1748 (Perry) expressly preempts 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” ...

Preemption of Local Regulations (Oppose – Mandate and Preemption) CS/CS/HB 3 (Grant, M.) and SB 1748 (Perry) expressly preempts 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 bills prohibit local governments from taking “new” actions affecting business after July 1, 2019, unless the local government has: made specific public findings about the action’s impact on business, required the action to sunset in two years, passed the action by two-thirds vote of its membership (some regulations are exempt from this requirement), and performed and published a “Statement of Estimated Regulatory Costs” 14 days prior to any vote on the action. Regulations expressly authorized by general law are exempt from these new requirements. The bills sunset existing regulations affecting business on July 2021. Such regulations may be readopted only upon meeting the requirements of the bills. CS/CS/HB 3 was amended with a “strike-all” amendment to remove everything except for the preemption on regulation and licensing of occupations and professions. As amended, CS/CS/HB 3 preempts the regulation and licensing of professions and occupations to the state, unless expressly authorized by general law. The definitions included in the bill are still quite broad. “Occupation” includes any activity undertaken by a person to earn a livelihood. “Profession” includes any paid occupation that involves specialized training, knowledge, qualifications or skills. “Regulation” includes ordinances, directives, guidelines, fees, licenses, injunctions, procedures or rules. In addition, the bill prohibits local governments from requiring licenses for job scopes that do not substantially correspond to the job scopes of one of the contractor categories defined in current law and prohibits local governments from requiring a license for specified types of contracting work. (O’Hara/Cruz)

Attorney Fees and Costs (Oppose – Mandate)

SB 1140 (Hutson) and HB 829 (Sabatini) create a new section of law providing for a mandatory award of attorney fees, costs and damages, including prejudgment interest and costs, against a local government in a civil action in which a local government ordinance is determined to have been preempted by the state constitution or by state law. The bills expressly waive sovereign immunity of local governments for purposes of the award of fees and costs. The bills provide that fees and costs may not be awarded if the local government withdraws or repeals the ordinance: within 21 days ...

Attorney Fees and Costs (Oppose – Mandate) SB 1140 (Hutson) and HB 829 (Sabatini) create a new section of law providing for a mandatory award of attorney fees, costs and damages, including prejudgment interest and costs, against a local government in a civil action in which a local government ordinance is determined to have been preempted by the state constitution or by state law. The bills expressly waive sovereign immunity of local governments for purposes of the award of fees and costs. The bills provide 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; or receives a motion seeking fees and costs pursuant to the newly created section of law. Ordinances relating to “growth management” are exempted from the bills’ provisions. The bills specify that it is remedial in nature and intended to apply retroactively to all cases pending or commenced on or after July 1, 2019. (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)

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)

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

Legal Notices (Support) HB 1235 (Fine), SB 1676 (Baxley) and SB 1710 (Diaz) are bills filed dealing with public notice requirements. HB 1235 and SB 1676 authorize cities to publish legally required advertisements and public notices on the official municipal website in lieu of purchasing ads in a newspaper. The bills require cities to provide notice to its residents at least once per year indicating that residents may receive legally required advertisements and public notices from the agency by first-class mail or email upon registering their name and address or email address with the agency. The bills require a link to advertisements or public notices be conspicuously placed on the website’s homepage or accessible through a direct link on the homepage. Similarly, SB 1710 authorizes cities to publish legal notices on their websites in lieu of publishing the notice or advertisement in a newspaper. (Cook)

Towing and Immobilizing of Vehicles and Vessels (Watch)

HB 1237 (McClain) and SB 1792 (Gruters) prohibit cities from enacting an ordinance that imposes a fee or charge on an authorized wrecker operator or a towing business. The bills clarify that cities can levy a business tax on towing businesses. The bills also authorize cities to impose and collect an administrative fee on the registered owner of a vehicle when it is towed or immobilized from public property to cover the cost of enforcement, but this fee can be no more than 25 percent of the maximum towing and immobilization rate. (Cook) ...

Towing and Immobilizing of Vehicles and Vessels (Watch) HB 1237 (McClain) and SB 1792 (Gruters) prohibit cities from enacting an ordinance that imposes a fee or charge on an authorized wrecker operator or a towing business. The bills clarify that cities can levy a business tax on towing businesses. The bills also authorize cities to impose and collect an administrative fee on the registered owner of a vehicle when it is towed or immobilized from public property to cover the cost of enforcement, but this fee can be no more than 25 percent of the maximum towing and immobilization rate. (Cook)

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)

Other Bills of Interest

HB 27 (Ingoglia) and SB 1640 (Albritton) – Deregulation of Professions and Occupations ...

Other Bills of Interest HB 27 (Ingoglia) and SB 1640 (Albritton) – Deregulation of Professions and Occupations 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/SB 426 (Flores) and HB 857 (Willhite) entitle 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. These benefits must be available to the firefighter for at least 10 years after leaving employment. CS/SB 426 was amended to remove language requiring these benefits be provided “at no cost to firefighter.” Instead, the employer must reimburse the firefighter for any out-of-pocket expenses related to the cost of treatment such as deductibles, co-payments or coinsurance. In ...

Firefighter Cancer Benefit (Oppose – Mandate) CS/SB 426 (Flores) and HB 857 (Willhite) entitle 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. These benefits must be available to the firefighter for at least 10 years after leaving employment. CS/SB 426 was amended to remove language requiring these benefits be provided “at no cost to firefighter.” Instead, the employer must reimburse the firefighter for any out-of-pocket expenses related to the cost of treatment such as deductibles, co-payments or coinsurance. In order to get the lump sum payout and reimbursements for 10 years post-employment, the firefighter must elect to continue coverage in a employer-sponsored health plan or group health insurance trust. If the firefighter participates in an employee-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 employee-sponsored retirement plan, the employer must provide a disability retirement plan that provides at least 42 percent of annual salary, at no cost to the firefighter, 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. 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 bills require 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 bills specify 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 bills also require 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. (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/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/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/SB 494 was amended to clarify that the complaint and other investigative information is confidential and exempt pursuant to the current law. (Hughes)

Employment Conditions (Oppose – Preemption)

SB 432 (Gruters) and 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 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. (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.) and SB 602 (Perry) prohibit a city receiving a public record request from seeking clarification from the court as to whether the record is exempt or confidential. (Cook) ...

Public Records (Oppose – Preemption) HB 407 (Rodrigues, R.) and SB 602 (Perry) prohibit a city receiving a public record request from seeking clarification from the court as to whether the record is exempt or confidential. (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/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. (Cook) ...

Public Record Exemption for Civilian Personnel Employed by a Law Enforcement Agency (Support) CS/HB 203 (Zika) and 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. (Cook)

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

CS/HB 327 (Davis) and SB 450 (Gibson) exempt from public meeting requirements any information concerning the information technology systems of municipally owned electric utilities. (Cook) ...

Public Record Exemption for Municipal Electric Utilities Information Technology Systems (Support) CS/HB 327 (Davis) and SB 450 (Gibson) exempt from public meeting requirements any information concerning the information technology systems of municipally owned electric utilities. (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)

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) 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)

SB 1416 (Gruters) and 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) SB 1416 (Gruters) and 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 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 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

E911 Systems (Oppose CS/SB 536 – Unfunded Mandate)

CS/HB 441 (Dubose) and CS/SB 536 (Brandes) require each county to develop a countywide implementation plan for text-to-911 services and by January 1, 2022, to have a system in place to receive enhanced 911 (E911) messages from providers. ...

E911 Systems (Oppose CS/SB 536 – Unfunded Mandate) CS/HB 441 (Dubose) and CS/SB 536 (Brandes) require each county to develop a countywide implementation plan for text-to-911 services and by January 1, 2022, to have a system in place to receive enhanced 911 (E911) messages from providers. CS/SB 536 was amended with additional language opposed by the Florida League of Cities. The amended language requires the following: •Each Public Safety Answering Point must be able to directly communicate by radio with first responders.  •Each sheriff must enter into a written agreement with each agency in his or her county to establish protocols under which a PSAP that does not dispatch calls for a first responder agency will directly notify the first responder agency’s on-duty personnel of an emergency by radio.  •Each PSAP must install, in at least one dispatch console within its emergency communications center, the primary radio dispatch channels of each first responder in the county it serves. If there are multiple PSAPs in a county, each PSAP must have this capability.  •Each law enforcement agency head must, upon the written request of another law enforcement agency head in the same county or an adjoining jurisdiction in another county, authorize the requesting agency to install the other agency’s primary dispatch channel or channels in the requesting agency’s mobile or portable radios.  •Each sheriff must, by January 1, 2020, certify in writing to the Department of Law Enforcement that all PSAPs in his or her county are in compliance with these requirements. (Cook)

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

HB 67 (Tomkow) and CS/SB 96 (Bean) increase penalties for certain offenses committed on police, fire or search and rescue canines. (Cook) ...

Police, Fire, and Search and Rescue Dogs (Support) HB 67 (Tomkow) and CS/SB 96 (Bean) increase penalties for certain offenses committed on police, fire or search and rescue canines. (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 – (Support)

CS/SB 900 (Harrell), CS/HB 369 (Caruso), SB 528 (Rouson) and HB 1187 (Stevenson) 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. The bills also clarify that single-family or two-family dwellings used as recovery residences are considered single-family or two-family ...

Recovery Residences/Sober Homes – (Support) CS/SB 900 (Harrell), CS/HB 369 (Caruso), SB 528 (Rouson) and HB 1187 (Stevenson) 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. The bills also clarify that single-family or two-family dwellings used as recovery residences are considered single-family or two-family dwellings under the Florida Building Code, Life Safety Code and Florida Fire Prevention Code. CS/HB269 was amended in its first committee and no longer contains the building code provision. (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)

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)

Safe Neighborhood Improvement Districts (Support)

SB 1508 (Simmons) SB 854 (Gruters), HB 1081 (Williams), and 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 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)

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)

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) 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. ...

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. 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)

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/SB 302 (Brandes) and 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/SB 302 (Brandes) and 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)

Firearms (Watch)

HB 175 (Hill) removes many of the firearm-specific provisions from the Marjory Stoneman Douglass Act passed in 2018. Specifically, the bill repeals provisions relating to the seizure of firearms from persons in certain circumstances as well as repeals language prohibiting the purchase of firearms by persons younger than 21. The bill also eliminates the waiting periods associated with the purchases of firearms other than handguns and repeals the ban on bump-fire stocks. (Cook) ...

Firearms (Watch) HB 175 (Hill) removes many of the firearm-specific provisions from the Marjory Stoneman Douglass Act passed in 2018. Specifically, the bill repeals provisions relating to the seizure of firearms from persons in certain circumstances as well as repeals language prohibiting the purchase of firearms by persons younger than 21. The bill also eliminates the waiting periods associated with the purchases of firearms other than handguns and repeals the ban on bump-fire stocks. (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)

HB 487 (Smith, D.) exempts certain licensed medical professionals from provisions concerning limitations on the carrying of firearms. The provisions of the bill only apply to tactical medical professionals operating in direct support of a tactical operation by a law enforcement agency if certain conditions are met.  ...

Carrying of Firearms by Tactical Medical Professionals (Watch) HB 487 (Smith, D.) exempts certain licensed medical professionals from provisions concerning limitations on the carrying of firearms. The provisions of the bill only apply to tactical medical professionals operating in direct support of a tactical operation by a law enforcement agency if certain conditions are met.  CS/SB 722 (Hooper) was amended to 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 bill also requires 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 bill also grants 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/SB 540 (Book) and 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/SB 540 (Book) and 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)

SB 668 (Perry) and HB 551 (McClain) expand the definition of “public nuisance” to include dealing in stolen property, burglary, theft and robbery by sudden snatching. The bills allow cities to abate or enjoin properties where these specified violations have occurred more than two times within a six-month period. HB 551 specifies that rental properties where these violations have occurred are not subject to these restrictions if the nuisance was committed by someone other than the owner of the property and if the owner completes the rehabilitation of the property within a reasonable time after the property is ...

Public Nuisances (Watch) SB 668 (Perry) and HB 551 (McClain) expand the definition of “public nuisance” to include dealing in stolen property, burglary, theft and robbery by sudden snatching. The bills allow cities to abate or enjoin properties where these specified violations have occurred more than two times within a six-month period. HB 551 specifies that rental properties where these violations have occurred are not subject to these restrictions if the nuisance was committed by someone other than the owner of the property and if the owner completes the rehabilitation of the property within a reasonable time after the property is declared a nuisance. (Cook)

Use of Wireless Communications Devices While Driving (Watch)

CS/SB 76 (Simpson) and HB 107 (Toledo) prohibit a person from operating a motor vehicle while using a wireless communication device for the purpose of nonvoice interpersonal communication. The bills would also allow law enforcement officers to issue texting-while-driving citations as a primary action. (Branch) ...

Use of Wireless Communications Devices While Driving (Watch) CS/SB 76 (Simpson) and HB 107 (Toledo) prohibit a person from operating a motor vehicle while using a wireless communication device for the purpose of nonvoice interpersonal communication. The bills would also allow law enforcement officers to issue texting-while-driving citations as a primary action. (Branch)

Firesafety Systems (Watch)

SB 908 (Hooper) and HB 723 (Donalds) allow a condominium to finance the cost of retrofitting existing residential high-rise buildings with a fire protection system (fire sprinkler systems and related improvements or engineered life safety system improvements) using the Florida PACE Funding Agency. The bills put a mandatory $500 per day penalty in place for buildings that do not complete the retrofit by January 1, 2023. (Branch) ...

Firesafety Systems (Watch) SB 908 (Hooper) and HB 723 (Donalds) allow a condominium to finance the cost of retrofitting existing residential high-rise buildings with a fire protection system (fire sprinkler systems and related improvements or engineered life safety system improvements) using the Florida PACE Funding Agency. The bills put a mandatory $500 per day penalty in place for buildings that do not complete the retrofit by January 1, 2023. (Branch)

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) – 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

RETIREMENT & PENSION

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 Government Oversight and Accountability Committee) revises the required retirement contribution rates for each membership class and subclass of the Florida Retirement System. (Hughes)  ...

FRS Contribution Rates (Watch)  SB 7016 (Senate Government Oversight and Accountability Committee) revises the required retirement contribution rates for each membership class and subclass 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)   ...

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 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 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 HB 987 (J. Grant) do the following: ...

Short-Term Rentals (Oppose – Preemption) SB 824 (Diaz) and HB 987 (J. Grant) do the following: •Preempt to the state the regulation of vacation rentals •Any ordinances (noise, parking, trash, etc.), must apply to all residential properties, regardless of how the property is being used  •Local governments cannot prohibit rentals (not just STRs), impose occupancy limits on rental properties, or require inspections or licensing of rentals (specific to STRs) •Create a process where city must prove by clear and convincing evidence that their ordinance or regulation complies with this section •Remove the grandfather clause; also potentially jeopardizes HOA restrictions •Require applicants for STR license to provide name, address, phone number, and email to Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) who must make this available to the public on the division’s website. (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)

TRANSPORTATION

Micro-mobility Devices and Motorized Scooters (Oppose – Preemption)

SB 542 (Brandes) and HB 453 (Toledo) prohibit 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. 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) ...

Micro-mobility Devices and Motorized Scooters (Oppose – Preemption) SB 542 (Brandes) and HB 453 (Toledo) prohibit 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. 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, 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, installing, maintaining, or utilizing red light cameras effective July 1, 2022. (Branch)

Drones (Support) 

CS/SB 132 (Rouson), CS/SB 766 (Gruters), CS/HB 75 (Yarborough) and HB 1131 (Valdes) allow police 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/SB 766 (Gruters), CS/HB 75 (Yarborough) and HB 1131 (Valdes) allow police 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/SB 898 (Diaz) and CS/HB 385 (Avila) repeal the Miami-Dade County Expressway Authority, Osceola County Expressway Authority and the ability for any county to create an expressway authority by resolution. The bills revise the membership of the Miami-Dade County metropolitan planning organization (MPO) by allowing the governor to appoint the Miami-Dade County MPO’s members. Under these bills, the MPO will consist of all 13 county commissioners and six representatives 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 ...

Expressway Authorities (Watch) CS/SB 898 (Diaz) and CS/HB 385 (Avila) repeal the Miami-Dade County Expressway Authority, Osceola County Expressway Authority and the ability for any county to create an expressway authority by resolution. The bills revise the membership of the Miami-Dade County metropolitan planning organization (MPO) by allowing the governor to appoint the Miami-Dade County MPO’s members. Under these bills, the MPO will consist of all 13 county commissioners and six representatives 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. CS/SB 898 was amended in committee to remove the MPO language the FLC opposed. (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)

SB 7068 (Infrastructure & Security) creates 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 bill identifies the following three corridors comprising of the M-CORES Program: Southwest-Central Florida Connector, Suncoast Connector and Northern Turnpike Connector. The bill also provides increased funding for the Small County Road Assistance Program, the Small County Outreach Program and the Transportation Disadvantaged Trust Fund. (Branch)  ...

Multi-Use Corridors of Regional Economic Significance (M-CORES) Program (Watch) SB 7068 (Infrastructure & Security) creates 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 bill identifies the following three corridors comprising of the M-CORES Program: Southwest-Central Florida Connector, Suncoast Connector and Northern Turnpike Connector. The bill also provides increased funding for the Small County Road Assistance Program, the Small County Outreach Program and the Transportation Disadvantaged Trust Fund. (Branch)

Autonomous Vehicles (Watch)

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

Autonomous Vehicles (Watch) SB 932 (Brandes) and 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 (SB 932 only). (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)

HB 1169 (McClure) and SB 1572 (Albritton) substantially amend the “Fair Competition Act,” which imposes requirements on local governments that intend to displace private waste companies in the provision of solid waste and recycling services. The bills apply to both solid waste and recycling collection services. Specifically, a local government must provide existing service providers within its jurisdiction 180 days’ notice of its intent to provide the service or otherwise displace the providers (such as through an exclusive franchise) by adopting a resolution of intent. The bills direct the local government to develop a plan during the notice ...

Displacement of Private Waste Companies (Oppose – Preemption) HB 1169 (McClure) and SB 1572 (Albritton) substantially amend the “Fair Competition Act,” which imposes requirements on local governments that intend to displace private waste companies in the provision of solid waste and recycling services. The bills apply to both solid waste and recycling collection services. Specifically, a local government must provide existing service providers within its jurisdiction 180 days’ notice of its intent to provide the service or otherwise displace the providers (such as through an exclusive franchise) by adopting a resolution of intent. The bills direct the local government to develop a plan during the notice period. The bills specify requirements for the plan, including steps taken to minimize economic impact on private companies currently providing service within the jurisdiction and ensuring participation by all interested parties, including existing providers, in development of the plan. The bills extend the period local governments are required to provide notice to displaced private companies before engaging in the provision of collection services from three years to five years. The bills provide that if a local government does not implement collection service by passage of an ordinance or resolution within 12 months after providing notice to affected providers, the local government must start the notice and planning requirements anew. (O’Hara)

Fertilizers (Oppose – Preemption and Mandate)

SB 1716 (Bracy) and HB 157 (Thompson) would 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 would 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 would ...

Fertilizers (Oppose – Preemption and Mandate) SB 1716 (Bracy) and HB 157 (Thompson) would 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 would 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 would 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/SB 588 (Hutson) and HB 603 (Sabatini) authorize a food service establishment to distribute a single-use plastic straw to a customer only if requested by the customer. The bills provide for various exceptions, including takeout orders and use by healthcare facilities. The bills do not prohibit a food service establishment from making straws available to customers through a self-service straw dispenser. The bills preempt the regulation of single-use plastic straws to the state and prohibit adoption or enforcement of any local ordinance that would further restrict a food service establishment from distributing straws to customers.  ...

Single Use Plastic Straws (Oppose – Preemption) CS/SB 588 (Hutson) and HB 603 (Sabatini) authorize a food service establishment to distribute a single-use plastic straw to a customer only if requested by the customer. The bills provide for various exceptions, including takeout orders and use by healthcare facilities. The bills do not prohibit a food service establishment from making straws available to customers through a self-service straw dispenser. The bills preempt the regulation of single-use plastic straws to the state and prohibit adoption or enforcement of any local ordinance that would further restrict a food service establishment from distributing straws to customers.  CS/SB 588 provides 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 bill directs 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. In addition, SB 588 preempts the regulation of over-the-counter drugs and cosmetics to the state. (O’Hara)

Water Quality Improvements (Oppose – Mandate)

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) 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 would 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. 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 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 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 permit for The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). If a local government fails to meet the requirements and deadlines, the bills prohibit the local government from approving any building permits and the local government may be subject to 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 to be 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 is prohibited from approving any building permits and may 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. The bills also prohibit the plant from approving any building permits and prohibit the approval of any new septic systems in the jurisdiction 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 or be prohibited from approving any building permits. (O’Hara)

Anchored Vessels (Support)

HB 1221 (Polsky) directs the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to conduct a study on the impacts of long-term stored vessels (anchored outside a public mooring field for at least 21 days or more over a 60-day period) on local communities and the state and to submit a report to the governor and Legislature by January 2025. The bill revises the distribution of vessel registration fees to provide grants to local governments for derelict vessel removal and authorizes the commission to allocate unused grant funds to remove derelict vessels. The bill prohibits persons from residing or dwelling ...

Anchored Vessels (Support) HB 1221 (Polsky) directs the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to conduct a study on the impacts of long-term stored vessels (anchored outside a public mooring field for at least 21 days or more over a 60-day period) on local communities and the state and to submit a report to the governor and Legislature by January 2025. The bill revises the distribution of vessel registration fees to provide grants to local governments for derelict vessel removal and authorizes the commission to allocate unused grant funds to remove derelict vessels. The bill prohibits persons from residing or dwelling on certain derelict vessels until specified conditions are met. (O’Hara)

Anchoring and Mooring of Vessels Outside of Public Mooring Fields (Support)

SB 1666 (Flores) prohibits the owner or operator of a vessel from storing the vessel at anchor in one location on the public waters of the state, outside of the public mooring fields, for more than 60 consecutive days. The bill requires the owner or operator to relocate the vessel to another location that is at least 10 miles away from its current location; relocate the vessel to a permitted mooring, a marina slip, or a private dock; or remove the vessel from the water. The bill provides for penalties and enforcement. (O’Hara) ...

Anchoring and Mooring of Vessels Outside of Public Mooring Fields (Support) SB 1666 (Flores) prohibits the owner or operator of a vessel from storing the vessel at anchor in one location on the public waters of the state, outside of the public mooring fields, for more than 60 consecutive days. The bill requires the owner or operator to relocate the vessel to another location that is at least 10 miles away from its current location; relocate the vessel to a permitted mooring, a marina slip, or a private dock; or remove the vessel from the water. The bill provides for penalties and enforcement. (O’Hara)

Biosolids Management (Support)

CS/SB 1278 (Mayfield) and 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 ground water quality in nearby or downstream waterbodies; include 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 ...

Biosolids Management (Support) CS/SB 1278 (Mayfield) and 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 ground water quality in nearby or downstream waterbodies; include 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. (O’Hara)

Coastal Management (Support)

SB 446 (Mayfield) and 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 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. (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)

HB 105 (Jacobs) and 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) HB 105 (Jacobs) and 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)

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. The bills direct an annual appropriation of $3 million to fund the Initiative for five fiscal years. ...

Florida Red Tide Mitigation & Technology Development Initiative (Support) 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. The bills direct an annual appropriation of $3 million to fund the Initiative for five fiscal years. (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)

SB 1022 (Albritton) and 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 ...

Onsite Sewage Treatment & Disposal Systems (Support) SB 1022 (Albritton) and 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. (O’Hara)

Onsite Sewage Treatment and Disposal Systems (Support)

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) 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. (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)

SB 1530 (Rouson) and HB 1319 (Diamond) require vessel operators to reduce speed upon seeing a vessel or person in a hazardous or vulnerable position, and upon approaching within 300 feet of any emergency vessel or activated law enforcement vessel, upon approaching within 300 feet of any construction vessel or barge actively engaged in operations and displaying an orange flag or yellow flashing light. In addition, the bills revise criteria for determining that a vessel is at risk of becoming derelict and requires that such vessels be moved after notice is delivered to the owner or operator of ...

Vessels (Support) SB 1530 (Rouson) and HB 1319 (Diamond) require vessel operators to reduce speed upon seeing a vessel or person in a hazardous or vulnerable position, and upon approaching within 300 feet of any emergency vessel or activated law enforcement vessel, upon approaching within 300 feet of any construction vessel or barge actively engaged in operations and displaying an orange flag or yellow flashing light. In addition, the bills revise criteria for determining that a vessel is at risk of becoming derelict and requires that such vessels be moved after notice is delivered to the owner or operator of the vessel. The bills provide penalties for failure to present a certificate of title showing proper transfer of vessel ownership, revises civil penalties relating to certain at-risk vessels and prohibited anchoring and mooring, and provides civil penalties for vessels that create special hazards. (O’Hara)

Water Resources (Support)

SB 628 (Albritton) and HB 1199 (Jacobs) revise current law requirements for the state Office of Economic and Demographic Research’s (EDR) annual assessment of Florida water resources. The bills require the EDR to consult with the Department of Environmental Protection in developing the annual assessment and clarify the factors and criteria that EDR is required for the assessment. The bills 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 ...

Water Resources (Support) SB 628 (Albritton) and HB 1199 (Jacobs) revise current law requirements for the state Office of Economic and Demographic Research’s (EDR) annual assessment of Florida water resources. The bills require the EDR to consult with the Department of Environmental Protection in developing the annual assessment and clarify the factors and criteria that EDR is required for the assessment. The bills 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. (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)

BioSolids/St. Johns River Upper Basin Watershed (Watch)

HB 405 (Grall) provides for the implementation of specified regulations, best management practices and alternative technologies for pollutant reduction within the St. Johns River Upper Basin Watershed Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP). The bill requires the BMAP to include certain assessments and recommendations and specifies implementation schedules. It directs that nonpoint source best management practices be implemented within the BMAP on an expedited basis. The bill prohibits the Department of Environmental Protection from authorizing the disposal of domestic wastewater biosolids within the St. Johns Upper Basin Watershed unless the applicant can affirmatively demonstrate the nutrients from the biosolids ...

BioSolids/St. Johns River Upper Basin Watershed (Watch) HB 405 (Grall) provides for the implementation of specified regulations, best management practices and alternative technologies for pollutant reduction within the St. Johns River Upper Basin Watershed Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP). The bill requires the BMAP to include certain assessments and recommendations and specifies implementation schedules. It directs that nonpoint source best management practices be implemented within the BMAP on an expedited basis. The bill prohibits the Department of Environmental Protection from authorizing the disposal of domestic wastewater biosolids within the St. Johns Upper Basin Watershed unless the applicant can affirmatively demonstrate the nutrients from the biosolids will not add to nutrient loadings in the watershed. (Class AA Biosolids marketed and distributed as fertilizer products are exempted) The bill directs the Department of Health to require all entities disposing of septage within the watershed to develop and submit agricultural use plans that limit applications based on nutrient loading consistent with any adopted BMAP. The bill directs the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to develop rules requiring entities within the watershed that land-apply animal manure to develop a conservation plan that limits such application. The bill directs the St. Johns River Water Management District to develop rules providing for a monitoring program for specified nonpoint source dischargers required to monitor water quality. (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)

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) 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)

SB 816 (Perry) and 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) SB 816 (Perry) and 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 July 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. (O’Hara)

Fracking (Watch)

HB 7029 (Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee) and SPB 7064 (Agriculture) prohibit “fracking” in the state as defined in the bills. The bills define fracking as all stages of well intervention performed by injecting high volumes of 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 lower pressure stimulation techniques and does not include matrix acidizing, which are techniques that many consider to constitute fracking. HB 7029 requires an operator to notify the Department of Environmental Protection before using techniques ...

Fracking (Watch) HB 7029 (Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee) and SPB 7064 (Agriculture) prohibit “fracking” in the state as defined in the bills. The bills define fracking as all stages of well intervention performed by injecting high volumes of 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 lower pressure stimulation techniques and does not include matrix acidizing, which are techniques 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. SPB 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. (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. (O’Hara)

Land Acquisition Trust Fund – Hurricane Michael (Watch)

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) 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)

SB 1500 (Simmons) and HB 767 (Robinson) address reservations of interest in mineral rights in the contracts for sale of public lands. The bills 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) ...

Mineral Rights (Watch) SB 1500 (Simmons) and HB 767 (Robinson) address reservations of interest in mineral rights in the contracts for sale of public lands. The bills 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 (Watch)

SB 1400 (Albritton) imposes restrictions on enforcement of local government tree ordinances and imposes notice requirements on county property appraisers. The bill prohibits a local government from enforcing a tree regulation on residential property that requires a permit, an application, the provision of notice or a fine, if: (1) the property is located in a county subject to a tropical storm watch or warning or hurricane watch or warning, or is under a storm-related declared state of emergency, and the property owner has determined the tree is damaged, diseased, infested or presents a danger to persons or property; ...

Private Property Rights (Watch) SB 1400 (Albritton) imposes restrictions on enforcement of local government tree ordinances and imposes notice requirements on county property appraisers. The bill prohibits a local government from enforcing a tree regulation on residential property that requires a permit, an application, the provision of notice or a fine, if: (1) the property is located in a county subject to a tropical storm watch or warning or hurricane watch or warning, or is under a storm-related declared state of emergency, and the property owner has determined the tree is damaged, diseased, infested or presents a danger to persons or property; and (2) the property owner has obtained from a certified arborist proof the tree is damaged, diseased, infested or presents a danger. 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. (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)

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) 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)

SB 796 (Gruters) and 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) SB 796 (Gruters) and 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)

HB 521 (McClure) and SB 532 (Lee) amend current law provisions relating to wetland mitigation banking and offsite regional wetland mitigation. HB 521 specifies that statutory provisions relating to wetland banking and mitigation do not affect current wetland mitigation sequencing under state or federal law. It deletes current law provisions that prohibit a governmental entity from providing mitigation for a project other than its own unless the entity provides the same financial assurances as required for mitigation banks. SB 532 modifies current law to specify that a governmental entity may provide mitigation for a project other than its ...

Wetland Mitigation (Watch) HB 521 (McClure) and SB 532 (Lee) amend current law provisions relating to wetland mitigation banking and offsite regional wetland mitigation. HB 521 specifies that statutory provisions relating to wetland banking and mitigation do not affect current wetland mitigation sequencing under state or federal law. It deletes current law provisions that prohibit a governmental entity from providing mitigation for a project other than its own unless the entity provides the same financial assurances as required for mitigation banks. SB 532 modifies current law to specify that a governmental entity may provide mitigation for a project other than its own if the mitigation credits available from such mitigation are only sold or used when alternative mitigation credits are not available. (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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