- Legislative Update – February 24 2017 February 24, 2017
The 2017 session begins in eleven days on March 7. The latest bill tracking report as of February, 24 2017 can be viewed here. Of note, the following bills have been filed or had action since the last report.
CS/HB 17 – Relating to Local Regulation Preemption (Representative Fine): This bill would prohibit local governments from adopting or imposing a new regulation on a business, profession and occupation after January 1, 2017 unless the new regulation is expressly authorized by general law. Regulations adopted before this date would expire on January 1, 2020. Regulations that are adopted pursuant to general law authorization could not be modified in the future to impose any additional regulations. The pre-meeting staff report can be read here.
The bill was amended by the House Careers & Competition Subcommittee, its first of two committees, on February 22. The amendments were not substantive and did not change the prohibition. The amendments did however change the January 1 dates to July 1. The bill was moved favorably with a vote of 9-6 and now will go to the House Commerce Committee. There is no companion bill in the Senate as of yet.
CS/HB 221 – Relating to Transportation Network Companies (TNC) (Representative Sprowls): This bill creates a regulatory framework for transportation network companies defined as an entity that uses a digital network to connect a rider to a driver who provides prearranged rides. It preempts to the state the regulation of TNCs.
A strike-all amendment was submitted by Representative Sprowls and considered by the House Government Accountability Committee on February 21. The amendment, similar to the original version, clarified that a TNC does not include an entity which arranges nonemergency medical transportation for individuals who qualify for Medicaid or Medicare pursuant to a contract with the state or a managed care organization. It also adds a requirement for the Department of Financial Services to direct a TNC to submit a report to be used to verify the TNC is in compliance with the TNC driver requirements. It also states that a TNC that contract with a governmental entity to provide paratransit services must comply with all laws related to individuals with disabilities.
The amended bill was moved favorably by the committee, its last committee of reference. A similar bill, SB 340 (Senator Brandes) has been assigned to three committees but has not yet been heard.
SB 464 – Relating to Natural Hazards (Representative J Clemens): This bill would create an interagency workgroup to share information, coordinate ongoing efforts and collaborate on initiatives relating to natural hazards, extreme heat, drought, wildfire, sea-level change, high tides, storm surge, saltwater intrusion, stormwater runoff, flash floods, inland flooding, and coastal flooding. The workgroup would include representatives for each agency within the executive branch and water management districts, and the Public Service Commission. It would be coordinated by the DEM director.
The bill was moved favorably by the Senate Military and Veterans Affairs, Space, and Domestic Security Committee on February 21. It now moves to the Senate Community Affairs Committee.
SB 596 – Relating to Utilities (Senator Hutson): This bill would add a new subsection to 337.401, F.S. dealing with the regulation of wireless infrastructure in the right-of-way. The bill would prohibit the Department of Transportation and local government entities from prohibiting, regulating or charging for the collocation of small wireless facilities in the public right-of way except pursuant to certain requirements. Among the requirements is that the placement of small wireless facilities cannot be limited by minimum separation distances or a maximum height limit. However the height may be limited to no more than 10 feet above the tallest existing utility pole measured from grade in place within 500 feet of the proposed location of the facility. If no utility pole within 500 feet, the height may be limited to no more than 60 feet. A small wireless facility is defined as one where the antenna associated with the facility is located inside an enclosure of no more than 6 cubic feet or, if it has exposed elements, the antenna and exposed elements could fit in such an enclosure; and all other wireless equipment associated with the facility is cumulatively no more than 28 cubic feet in volume.
This bill has been referred to three committees. An identical bill, HB 687 (Representative La Rosa), is in the House Energy & Utilities Subcommittee, its first committee of reference.
HB 887 – Relating to Designation of Energy Economic Zones (Representative Berman): This bill, filed on February 20, would amend s.377.809, F.S. to remove the pilot status of the energy economic zone program with the Department of Economic Opportunity and make it available to other local governments. A similar bill, SB 1090 (Senator Clemens) was filed on February 21.
HB 897 – Relating to Public Notices by Local Governmental Entities (Representative Stark): This bill, filed on February 20, would amend chapter 50 F.S. to state that the publication of a notice or advertisement on a publicly accessible website maintained by a county or municipality as authorized by s.50.0311 constitutes legal notice. It also includes requirements for how the notice on the publicly accessible website must be done.
SB 996 – Relating to Administrative Proceedings (Senator Perry): This bill, filed on February 16, would amend s.57.111, F.S. to include new language which would allow an award of attorney fees and costs against the party that does not prevail in administrative proceedings up to $50,000. The bill specifically finds that certain persons may be unjustly affected by delay and expense caused by challenges to permits or other orders issued by governmental agencies as initiated through administrative proceedings. Because the financial consequences of delay on projects authorized by permits and orders are much greater than the consequences faced by plaintiffs in such proceedings, the standard for an award of attorney fees and costs should be different from the standard for an award in other proceedings. Committee references for this bill have not been assigned.
CS/HB 7005 – Relating to Economic Programs (Careers & Competition Subcommittee): This bill originally proposed to transfer all duties relating to programs in Enterprise Florida and the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation (VISIT Florida) to the Department of Economic Opportunity. The bill was amended by the Appropriations Committee to retain VISIT Florida, housing it under the Department of Economic Opportunity, with several transparency and financial requirements placed on it. Additionally, its budget would be reduced to $25 million annually. The amended bill was moved favorably by the Appropriations Committee on February 21, its only committee of reference.
PIEC3 – Relating to Local Government Ethics Reform: This proposed committee bill was approved by the House Public Integrity & Ethics Committee on February 14. The bill makes numerous changes to Florida’s Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees (Code) as it relates to local government officers, employees, and lobbyists. Specifically, the bill creates or amends ethics provisions related to the following:
-requires elected municipal officers serving municipalities with $5 million or more in total revenue, and candidates for such offices, to file a full and public disclosure of their financial interests in lieu of the less detailed form of disclosure required under current law;
– requires elected special district governing board members to annually complete four hours of ethics training, a requirement that mirrors the current law applicable to constitutional officers and elected municipal officers;
– strengthens the law on voting conflicts of interest by requiring a local officers that must abstain from voting on a measure due to a voting conflict of interest to disclose the conflict prior to participating in the measure;
– adds school districts to the list of governmental entities that may withhold salary-related payments for failure to timely file disclosure of financial interests; requires a person who wishes to lobby certain local governmental entities to register as a lobbyist with the Commission on Ethics;
– expands the Commission on Ethics’ duty to render advisory opinions.
If you have any questions about a bill or would like one added to the bill tracking report, contact the Chapter Office at firstname.lastname@example.org .
- Legislative Update – February 17 2017 February 17, 2017
Florida Constitution Revision Commission (CRC): This commission meets every 20 years to examine the state constitution, hold public hearings throughout the state and recommend changes to be placed the ballot. Any amendments proposed by this body are automatically placed on the next General Election ballot. The CRC is composed of the Attorney General, 15 members selected by the Governor, 9 members selected by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, 9 members selected by the President of the Senate, and 3 members selected by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Appointments are underway as the CRC must be formally established with 30 days of the convening of the 2017 session. More information about the CRC can be found here.
Bill Tracking: The latest bill tracking report, as of February 17, can be viewed here. Of note, the following bill filings or actions have taken place since the last report.
HB 17 – Relating to Local Regulation Preemption (Representative Fine): This bill would prohibit local governments from adopting or imposing a new regulation on a business, profession and occupation after January 1, 2017 unless the new regulation is expressly authorized by general law. Regulations adopted before this date would expire on January 1, 2020. Regulations that are adopted pursuant to general law authorization could not be modified in the future to impose any additional regulations. The bill will be heard in the House Careers & Competition Subcommittee, the first of two committees of reference, on February 22. A companion bill has not yet been filed in the Senate.
HB 221 – Relating to Transportation Network Companies (Representative Sprowls): This bill creates a regulatory framework for transportation network companies defined as an entity that uses a digital network to connect a rider to a driver who provides prearranged rides. It preempts to the state the regulation of TNCs. Specifically, a county, municipality, special district, airport authority, port authority, or other local governmental entity or subdivision may not:
- Impose a tax on or require a license for a TNC, TNC driver, or TNC vehicle if such tax or license relates to providing prearranged rides or subjects a TNC, TNC driver, or TNC vehicle to any rate, entry, operation, or other requirement of the county, municipality, special district, airport authority, port authority, or other local governmental entity or subdivision; or
- Require a TNC or TNC driver to obtain a business license or any other type of similar authorization to operate within the local governmental entity’s jurisdiction.
The bill was moved favorably by the House Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee on February 8. It will be heard by the House Government Accountability Committee, its last committee of reference, on February 21. SB 340 (Senator Brandes), a similar bill, has been referred to three committees.
HB 321 – Relating to Percentage of Elector Votes Required to Approve Constitutional Amendment or Revision (Representative Roth): This bill proposes an amendment to the constitution to increase the percentage of elector votes required to approve an amendment or revision to the state constitution from 60 percent to 66 & 2/3 percent. It will be heard by the House Oversight, Transparency & Administration Subcommittee on February 23. An identical bill, SB 866 (Senator Baxley) was filed on February 10.
SB 914 – Relating to Public Meetings (Senator Baxley): This bill, filed on February 13, specifies conditions under which members of any board or commission of any state agency or authority or of any agency or authority of any county, municipal corporation, or political subdivision may participate in fact-finding exercises, exercises or meetings with a member of the Legislature:
- The board or commission provides reasonable notice;
- A vote, an official act, or an agreement regarding an action at a future meeting does not occur;
- A discussion of public business does not occur; and
- Appropriate records, minutes, audio recordings, or video recordings are mad and retained as a public record
SB 940 – Relating to Growth Management (Senator Perry): This bill, filed on February 15, would require local governments to include a private property rights element in the local comprehensive plan and requires that land development regulations consistent with this element be subsequently adopted. The bill lays out goals, objectives and policies that, if adopted in substantial form by the local government in its element, will result in the state land planning agency approving the element. Senator Perry filed similar bills in 2015 and 2016 when he was serving in the House, both of which died in the House Economic Development and Tourism Subcommittee, their first committee of reference.
HB 7005 – Relating to Economic Programs (House Careers & Competition Subcommittee): This bill would transfer all duties relating to programs in Enterprise Florida and the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation (VISIT Florida) to the Department of Economic Opportunity. It also eliminates a number of other tax credit and economic development programs. It will be heard by the House Appropriations Committee, its only committee of reference on February 21.
If you have any questions about a bill or would like one added to the tracking report, please contact the Chapter Office at email@example.com or 850-201-3272.
- Legislative Update – February 10, 2017 February 10, 2017
The Florida Legislature’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research released Florida: An Economic Overview on February 9. If you are interested, you can download it here.
This session, House rules have changed regarding budget requests for specific projects. In order for a project to be included in the House budget, it must be filed as a standalone bill, favorably considered in committee, and made with non-recurring appropriations. As of this morning, 463 House appropriations project bills have been filed, totaling $941,230,024 in funds requested.
The latest bill tracking report, dated February 10, 2017, can be viewed here. Of note, the following bills were filed or had action this week:
SB 10 – Relating to Water Resources (Senator Bradley): This bill creates a reservoir project in the Everglades Agricultural Area and tasks the South Florida Water Management District with implementing it. The efforts in the bill are intended to address the algae blooms in the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries. It was moved favorably by the Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee on February 7 and is now in the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Environment and Natural Resources. The House companion bill, HB 761, was filed by Representative Altman on February 10.
SB 832 – Relating to Drones (Senator Young): This bill would vest the authority to regulate the ownership or operation of unmanned aircraft systems with the state. It was filed on February 9.
SB 854 – Relating to Task Force on Affordable Housing (Senator Brandes): Filed on February 10, this bill would create a task force on affordable housing to develop recommendations for addressing the state’s affordable housing needs. It would be chaired by the executive director of the Florida Housing Finance Corporation. Other members include two Governor appointees, two Senate President appointees, two House Speaker appointees, and the executive directors of the Florida League of Cities and the Florida Associations of Counties. The task force would be required to submit a report with approved recommendations to the Governor, Senate President and House Speaker by January 1, 2018.
SB 874 – Relating to Nutrient Pollution from Onsite Sewage Treatment and Disposal Systems (Senator Young); This bill specifies an appropriation from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund to reduce nutrient pollution by offsetting or partially offsetting property owner costs incurred to retrofit certain onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems, to connect certain properties to central sewer systems, and for certain muck dredging and storm water improvements. This bill was filed on February 10 and is similar to HB 551 (Representative Stone.)
CCS1 – Relating to Economic Programs: The House Careers & Competition Subcommittee submitted this bill which would transfer all duties relating to programs in Enterprise Florida and the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation (VISIT Florida) to the Department of Economic Opportunity. It also eliminates a number of other tax credit and economic development programs. A copy of the staff analysis of this bill can be found here.
If you have any questions about any bill or would like a bill added to the tracking report, please contact the Chapter Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Legislative Update – February 3, 2017 February 3, 2017
Governor Scott has released his proposed 2017-2018 “Fighting for Florida’s Future” budget. The $83.5 billion budget, which is 1.8 percent higher than the current budget, reflects $1.1 billion in spending cuts primarily from reduced Medicaid payments to hospitals. He is also requesting $618 million in tax reductions, including $454 million in business rent tax cuts and $48 million in college textbook sales tax cuts. The budget includes $1 billion more for schools and $289 million to clean up Lake Okeechobee.
The latest bill tracking report, dated February 3, 2017, can be viewed here. Of note, the following bills were filed this week:
SB 10 – Relating to Water Resources (Senator Bradley): This bill creates a reservoir project in the Everglades Agricultural Area and tasks the South Florida Water Management District with implementing it. The efforts in the bill are intended to address the algae blooms in the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries.
HB 17 -Relating to Local Regulation Preemption (Representative Fine): This bill states that, after January 1, 2017, a local government may not adopt or impose a new regulation on a business, profession, and occupation unless the regulation is expressly authorized by general law. It specifically preempts the regulation of business, professions and occupations to the state with some exceptions.
SB 600 – Relating to Rural Economic Development Initiative (Senator Grimsley); This bill would require an analysis of rural areas of opportunity and the Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI) every three years, starting by January 1, 2020. It also makes changes to the duties, responsibilities and membership of REDI.
HB 613– Relating to Flood Hazard Mitigation (Representative Ahern): This bill would authorize the Division of Emergency Management to administer, subject to appropriation, a matching grant fund for local governments to implement flood hazard risk mitigation policies and projects. It would also authorize the Florida Communities Trust to acquire and dispose of real and personal property to reduce flood hazards. It also includes guidelines for flood mitigation projects for the Florida Communities Trust program. SB 112 (Senator Brandes) is an identical bill.
If you have any questions about a bill or would like one added to the bill tracking report, please contact the Chapter Office at email@example.com .
- 2017 Legislative Session January 25, 2017
The 2017 Legislative Session convenes on March 7 and is scheduled to end on May 5. Interim committee meetings began in early December and will continue through February 24. A calendar of the important dates throughout the session can be viewed here.
APA Florida will provide information to our members throughout the session. Every Friday, a Bill Tracking Report and short update will be posted on the Legislative Page of the website. The Bill Tracking Report provides a link to bill language, identifies the actions taken on the bill by various committees, and identifies related bills. Beginning in February, a bi-weekly Legislative Reporter is emailed to our members. This publication provides a short summary of individual bills and their amendments, identifies any action the Chapter is taking relative to that bill, and provides an updated bill tracking report. At the end of the session, the Chapter will prepare and distribute a summary of the major planning related bills passed by the Legislature. This summary will include a detailed summary of the bill provisions and will include a link to the enrolled bill language. This summary will also be posted on the Chapter website.
If you do not deal with legislative issues on a daily basis, the information you receive from us may be confusing. A number of materials are available at the Online Sunshine Information website to help you understand the legislative process and vocabulary:
If you are interested in looking at specific bill language, you can easily search for a bill using the Senate and House webpages. You can search by bill number, statutory references or subject. You can search for both House and Senate bills on either of these sites. You will also have access to filed amendments and staff reports.
The most recent Bill Tracking Report, dated January 25, 2017, can be viewed here. If at any point there is a bill that you would like to add to this tracking report or you have a question related to a bill, simply email the Chapter Office at firstname.lastname@example.org with the request.