- Legislative Update – November 17, 2017 November 17, 2017
The Legislature will meet during the week of December 4 for its last series of interim committee meetings before the 2018 session begins on January 9. The latest APA Florida Bill Tracking Report, dated November 17, can be accessed here.
Since the last update, the following bills had action or were filed:
Linear Facilities: HB 405 (Representative Williamson) and SB 494 (Senator Lee) are identical bills which amend two of the items excluded from the definition of “development” in relation to the Florida Electrical Power Plant Siting Act by:
- Providing that the exclusion for work done on established rights-of-way applies to established rights-of-way and corridors and to rights-of way and corridors to be established; and
- Providing that the exclusion for the creation of specified types of property rights applies to creation of distribution and transmission corridors. The bill makes identical changes to the definition of “development” in the Florida Local Government Development Agreement Act.
HB 405 was moved favorably by the House Energy & Utilities Subcommittee on November 15 and now is in the House Natural Resources & Public Lands Subcommittee, its second of three committees of reference. SB 494 was moved favorably by the Senate Communications, Energy, and Public Utilities Committee on November 14 and now moves to the Senate Community Affairs Committee, its last committee of reference.
Impact/Permit Fees: HB 697 (Representative Miller) was filed on November 14 and would provide that impact fees be collected by the local government no earlier than at the time of issuance of the certificate of occupancy for the property which is the subject of the fee. This bill is similar to SB 324 (Senator Young) which was billed in September and has been referred to three committees of reference.
HB 725 (Representative Williamson) was filed on November 16 and would require that local governments must post their permit and inspection fee schedules on their websites with a link to the building permit and inspection utilization report required under s. 553.80(7).
Public Lodging: SB 884 (Senator Steube) was filed on November 14 and would create a new s.509.093 which would prohibit transient lodging establishments form requiring minimum stays of greater than one night.
Community Redevelopment Agencies: CS/HB 17 – Community Redevelopment Agencies (Representative Raburn): The bill provides that the creation of new CRAs on or after October 1, 2018, may only occur by special act of the Legislature. It provides for the eventual phase-out of existing CRAs at the earlier of the expiration date stated in the agency’s charter or on September 30, 2038, with the exception of those CRAs with any outstanding bond obligations. However, phase-out may be prevented if a supermajority of board members serving on the board of the entity that created the CRA vote to retain the agency. The bill provides a process for the Department of Economic Opportunity to declare a CRA inactive if it has no revenue, expenditures, and debt for three consecutive fiscal years.
This bill also contains several elements intended to increase accountability and transparency for CRAs by:
- Requiring the governing board members of a CRA to undergo four hours of ethics training annually;
- Requiring each CRA to use the same procurement and purchasing processes as the creating county or municipality;
- Expanding the annual reporting requirements for CRAs to include audit information and performance data and requiring the information and data to be posted on the agency website;
- Providing that moneys in the redevelopment trust fund may only be expended pursuant to an annual budget adopted by the board of commissioners of the CRA and only for those purposes specified in current law beginning October 1, 2018;
- Authorizing the local governing body creating the CRA to adjust the level of tax increment financing available to the CRA;
- Requiring a CRA created by a municipality to provide its budget and any amendments to the board of county commissioners for the county in which the CRA is located by a time certain; and
- Requiring counties and municipalities to include CRA data in their annual financial report.
CS/HB 17 was moved favorably by the House Government Accountability Committee, its only committee of reference, on November 14 and now will head to the House floor.
SB 432(Senator Lee) also deals with Community Redevelopment Agencies and was moved favorably by the Senate Community Affairs Committee on November 7 and is now in the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism and Economic Development, its second of four committees of reference. This bill does not include language related to phasing-out of CRAs but does provide a process for the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) to declare a CRA inactive if it has no revenue, expenditures, and debt for 3 consecutive fiscal years. The bill also includes a number of changes related to increasing accountability and transparency of CRAs by:
- Providing registration and reporting requirements for lobbyists of CRAs;
- Requiring the commissioners of a CRA to undergo 4 hours of ethics training annually;
- Requiring two additional non-elected officials with substantive expertise to be members of the CRA board in certain circumstances;
- Prohibiting the use of tax increment revenues for CRA activities related to festivals or street parties designed to promote tourism, grants to entities that promote tourism, and grants to nonprofit entities providing socially beneficial programs;
- Requiring each CRA to use the same procurement and purchasing processes as the creating county or municipality;
- Expanding the annual reporting requirements for CRAs to include audit information and performance data and requiring the information and data to be published on the agency website;
- Providing that moneys in the local government redevelopment trust fund may only be expended pursuant to an annual budget adopted by the board of commissioners for the CRA and only for those purposes specified in current law beginning October 1, 2018;
- Requiring a CRA created by a municipality to provide its proposed budget, and any amendments to the budget, to the board of county commissioners for the county in which the CRA is located 10 days after the adoption of such budget;
- Limiting to 18 percent administrative and overhead expenses for the CRA’s total annual budget;
- Requiring counties and municipalities to include CRA data in their annual financial report
Rural Economic Development Initiative: SB 170 – (Senator Grimsley): SB 170 makes several changes to the Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI) by:
- Reducing the number of specified agencies and organizations that are required to designate REDI representatives;
- Clarifying which individuals from specified agencies and organizations must be designated as REDI representatives;
- Providing for the appointment of five additional members from the private sector:
three of the private sector members appointed by the executive director of the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), one appointed by the President of the Senate, and one appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives;
- Modifying the goals of the REDI to include job creation, community infrastructure, the development and expansion of a skilled workforce, and improved access to healthcare;
- Modifying the definition of “rural area of opportunity” to include a rural community that faces competitive disadvantages including low labor force participation, low education levels, high unemployment, a school district grade of “D” or “F” pursuant to s. 1008.34, high infant mortality rates, and high rates of diabetes and obesity;
- Requiring the REDI to focus its efforts on the challenges of the state’s RAOs and economically distressed rural communities, and to work with private organizations that have an interest in the renewed prosperity and competitiveness of these communities;
- Clarifying that the REDI shall undertake outreach and capacity-building efforts in order to improve rural communities’ ability to compete in a global economy;
- Removing the limitation on the number of RAOs that may be designated by the Governor;
- Requiring the REDI’s annual report to be submitted to the DEO, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives by September 1st of each year; and
- Requiring the annual report to include an evaluation of organizational progress and a description of the accomplishments of the REDI.
The bill was moved favorably by the Senate Commence and Tourism Committee, its first of four committees of reference, on November 6 and now moves to the Senate Agriculture Committee.
Environment/ Natural Lands:
Fracking: Two additional bills which would prohibit fracking were filed on November 9 by Senator Farmer. SJR 828 proposes an amendment to the state constitution to prohibit extreme well stimulation. SB 834 would create the “Stop Fracking Act” and prohibit persons from engaging in extreme well stimulation.
HB 175– School District Best Financial Management Practices (Representative Daniels): This bill was originally assigned to three committees of reference but was withdrawn on November 13 prior to introduction.
Additionally, HB 511 (Senator Bean), would have required that charter schools, that receive capital outlay funding used for certain purposes, ensure that new facilities comply with state requirements for educational facilities in the Florida Building Code. This bill was also withdrawn on November 14 prior to introduction to its first committee of reference.
High-speed Passenger Rail: CS/SB 527 (Senator Mayfield) which creates the Florida High-Speed Passenger Rail Safety Act, was moved favorably with a minor technical change on November 14 by the Senate Transportation Committee, and now moves to the Senate Community Affairs Committee, its second of three committees of reference. A similar bill, HB 525 (Representative Grail), is in the House Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee, its first of four committees of reference.
CS/SB 527 provides a short title, definitions relating to the act, Legislative intent, and applicability; assigns various duties to the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT); and imposes certain reporting requirements on railroad companies and the FDOT. The bill specifies that the reporting requirements are for informational purposes only and may not be used to economically regulate a railroad company. The bill also requires railroad companies to install certain technology and equipment; allocates responsibility for certain maintenance, repair, improvement and upgrade costs to railroad companies; and provides that it does not impair existing contracts with respect to its requirements related to maintenance and repair of roadbeds, tracks, and culverts, as well as safety equipment maintenance and improvements and upgrades to railroad-highway crossings. The bill also provides for enforcement jurisdiction and requires any penalty for a violation of the bill’s provisions to be imposed upon the railroad company that commits such violation.
- Legislative Update – November 9 2017 November 9, 2017
Interim committee meetings are underway, with just two more weeks of meetings before the 2018 session begins on January 9. The latest bill tracking report can be viewed here.
Among the bills being tracked are ones that would do the following:
- Amend CRA requirements and terminate CRAs by September 30, 2038 (HB 17) and amending CRA requirements but not terminating them (SB 432)
- Require a private property rights element in local comprehensive plans (HB 207 and SB 362)
- Preempt tree and timber trimming, removal and harvesting on private property to the state (HB 521 and SB 574)
- Revise the definition of “development” to exclude work by certain utility providers on utility infrastructure in certain rights-of way (SB 494 and HB 405)
- Prohibit fracking (HB 237 and SB 462)
- Delete provision limiting the number of rural areas of opportunity that can be designated and revise the Rural Economic Development Initiative (SB 170)
- Amend membership requirements of MPOs and other provisions (HB 575)
- Specify timing of impact fee collection as no earlier than C.O. issuance (SB 324)
- Specify certain fiscal transparency requirements for local governments (HB 7)
- Amend public records or public meeting requirements (HB 79, SB 192, HB 273, SB 750, HB 439, SB 560, HB 459, HB 461, HB 589)
- Redefine terms to allow smoking form of medical marijuana for use (SB 726)
- Repeal provision related to state funding for sports facility development by local governments (SB 778 and HB 6005)
- Revise provisions related to water management district sale of surplus lands (SB 806 and SB 808)
- Create the Florida High-Speed Passenger Rail Safety Act to encourage creation of transportation options, including high-speed rail, and promote safety of high-speed rail systems (SB 572 and HB 525)
- Revise permissible activities that can be funded by Florida Communities Trust to include flood mitigation projects (SB 158)
- Amend requirements and criteria related to beach management and erosion control projects (SB 174 and HB 131)
Please contact the Chapter Office at email@example.com if you have any questions about a bill or would like a bill added to the tracking report.
- 2018 Legislative Session October 31, 2017
The 2018 Legislative Session convenes on January 9 and is scheduled to end on March 9. Interim committee meetings began in early September and will continue through December 8. 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 December, 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 October 31, 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.
Additionally, the Constitution Revision Commission is underway. The Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) convenes once every 20 years to examine the Florida Constitution and propose changes for voter consideration. Created by Article XI, Section 2 of the Florida Constitution, the CRC is composed of 37 Commissioners. Fifteen Commissioners are appointed by the Governor of Florida, nine by the President of the Florida Senate, nine by the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives and three by the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court. The Attorney General of Florida automatically serves on the CRC. The Governor designates the Chair of the CRC.
The CRC meets for approximately one year, traveling across the State of Florida, identifying issues, performing research and possibly recommending changes to the Florida Constitution. As part of this process, the CRC holds public hearings to learn about issues that matter most to Floridians and considers proposed constitutional amendments submitted by the public. Any proposals that pass the CRC’s final vote must be filed with the Secretary of State by May 10, 2018. They will be placed on Florida’s General Election ballot (November 6, 2018) and must secure at least 60 percent voter approval to become law. A flow chart of how a proposal advances through the CRC process can be viewed here. You can view both commissioner proposals and public proposals on their website.
- Post-Session Update: May 12 2017 May 18, 2017
The 2017 Legislative Session ended on May 8. A total of 3,052 bills were filed including 13 concurrent resolutions, 89 single chamber resolutions, 1,606 general bills, 70 local bills, 43 joint resolutions, 21 memorials and 1,210 appropriation projects. Of those, only 249 bills passed both chambers.
A Bill Tracking Report dated May 12 can be viewed here, which will give you the status of all the bills that APA Florida was tracking for members. You can also view a list of all the enrolled bills (bills that have passed the Legislature) here.
Enrolled bills are sent to the Governor for his action. While the legislature is in session, the constitution allows a 7-day period following presentation of a bill to the Governor within which to sign or veto the bill. If the legislature adjourns sine die before an act is presented to the Governor or while an act is in the Governor’s possession, the Governor has 15 days from the date of presentation in which to take action. To follow the Governor’s actions on bills, go to www.flgov.com and scroll down to click on “2017 Bill Actions”.
Of interest are also those bills that did not pass including the following:
- prohibiting local governments from adopting or imposing a new regulation, unless expressly authorized by general law, on a business, profession and occupation except under certain circumstances (HB 17 and SB 1158)
- implementing the medical marijuana constitutional amendment (SB 1388, SB 1666, SB 406, SB 614, and HB 1397)
- creating a task force on affordable housing and directing task force to develop recommendations by January 1, 2018 (SB 854)
- terminating existing CRAs by September 20, 2037 (HB 13 and SB 1770)
- amending the Rural Economic Development Initiative and expanding the definition of a “rural area of opportunity (HB 333 and SB 600)
- requiring local governments to address private property rights in local comprehensive plans (HB 1309 and SB 940)
- requiring that all local government stormwater management plans and programs incorporate best management practices adopted by the Department of Environmental Protection and prohibiting the adoption or enforcement of more stringent water quality standards for stormwater discharges unless the more stringent standards were adopted before January 1, 2017 (SB 1378 and HB 751)
- prohibiting local governments from restricting use of, prohibiting, or regulating vacation rentals based solely on classification, use, or occupancy (HB 425 and SB 188), and allowing local governments to do so (SB 1516 and HB 6003)
- moving VISIT Florida under DEO and adding requirements to increase transparency and accountability (HB 9)
- abolishing Enterprise Florida and a number of other economic development programs (SB 7005)
- requiring greater financial disclosure and ethical training for local officers and employees and requiring registration of persons who want to lobby certain local governmental entities (HB 7021 and HB 7023)
- creating the Florida High-Speed Passenger Rail Safety Act whose purpose includes encouraging the creation of safe and cost-effective transportation options, including high-speed rail (SB 386 and HB 269)
- amending s.57.111 F.S. to require the award of attorney fees and costs up to $50,000 to the prevailing party in any administrative proceeding challenging a state permit or other action which has the effect of permitting the development of land (SB 996 and HB 997)
- providing 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 (HB 897 and SB 1444)
- removing the pilot project status from the Energy Economic Zone program (SB 1090 and HB 887)
- authorizing 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 (HB 613 and SB 112)
- amending annexation procedures for municipalities (HB 1087 and SB 1488)
- creating a process to promote the shared use of public school playground facilities (HB 1131 and SB 984)
- providing criteria for public participation at public meetings (SB 1514)
- amending requirements related to charter schools (HB 251, SB 696, SB 538, and SB 796)
- revising the calculation of school district’s class size categorical allocation reduction to school average when maximum class size requirements are not met (HB 591 and SB 808)
- restricting local governments ability to increase taxes, and requiring any local referendums raising taxes to be held during the general elections and to gain 60 percent of the vote to pass (HB 7063); requiring referendum on a local government discretionary sales surtax to be held during a general election and require the approval of a majority of the voters voting on the ballot questions to pass (HB 139 and SB 278)
- adding a number of requirements to increase fiscal transparency of local governments, including requiring additional public meetings and expanding public notice requirements for local option tax increases (other than property taxes) and new long-term, tax supported debt issuances (HB 7065)
- adding the distribution or transmission of electricity to the definition of what is not considered to be development in s. 163.3221(4)(b). and s.380.04(3) (HB 1055 and SB 1048)
- amending current laws related to the operation of autonomous vehicles (CS/HB 725 and SB 1066)
The following paragraphs discuss the major bills passed by the Legislature that APA Florida tracked. A more detailed synopsis of these bills can be read here. However, you are encouraged to read the actual bill language.
Utilities: HB 687ER (Rep. La Rosa) was passed on April 28 after the Senate substituted it for CS/CS/CS/SB 596. The bill creates the Advanced Wireless Infrastructure Deployment Act, which establishes a process by which wireless providers – including persons who provide wireless services and persons who build or install wireless communication transmission equipment, facilities, and support structures – may place certain “small wireless facilities” on, under, within, or adjacent to certain utility poles or wireless support structures within public rights of-way that are under the jurisdiction and control of an “authority” (i.e., a county or municipality). The bill provides that an authority may not prohibit, regulate, or charge for the collocation of small wireless facilities in the public rights-of-way, except as specified in the bill. The bill does preserve local government authority to enforce historic preservation zoning regulations in effect or pending on April 1 2017, and provides that the applicable codes under which an authority will review a collocation application include historic preservation zoning regulations that are consistent with: the preservation of local zoning authority under 47 U.S.C s. 332(c)(7); the requirements for facility modifications under 47 U.S.C. s. 1455(a); or the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended; and the regulations adopted to implement these laws. Applicable codes also include adopted objective design standards related to replacement utility poles, ground mounted equipment and small wireless facilities. The proposed effective date of the bill is July 1, 2017.
Vessels: HB 7043 ER (Rep. Raschein), was passed on April 27 after the Senate substituted it for CS/CS/SB 1338. The bill provides, among other things, that local governments may enact and enforce regulations to require vessel owners or operators to provide proof of properly disposed of sewage in marked boundaries of a permitted mooring field and designated no discharge zones. Before such a regulation can be adopted, the local government must provide adequate pumpout services and the regulation must be approved by the FWCC. A local government is not prohibited from enacting or enforcing pumpout requirements for live-aboard vessels within any area of its jurisdiction. The effective date proposed in the bill is July 1, 2017.
Natural Hazards: HB 181ER (Representative Jacobs) was passed on May 3 after the Senate substituted it for SB 464. This bill creates an interagency workgroup to share information, coordinate ongoing efforts and collaborate on initiatives relating to natural hazards including, but not limited to, 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 Division of Emergency Management director. The effective date of the bill would be July 1, 2017.
Transportation Network Companies: HB 221ER (Rep. Sprowls) was signed into law on May 9. The bill creates statewide requirements for transportation network companies (TNCs). TNCs use smartphone technology to connect individuals who want to ride with private drivers for a fee. This bill also specifies that its provisions preempt any local ordinances or rules on TNCs, so that TNCs will be governed exclusively by state law. Therefore, local governments are prohibited from imposing taxes, licensing requirements, or other restrictions on TNCs. The effective date in the bill is July 1, 2017.
Department of Transportation: HB 865ER (Rep. Williamson) was passed on May 5. This bill is a comprehensive bill relating to the Department of Transportation (DOT). Among its provisions is the creation of the Florida Smart City Challenge Grant Program. DOT, in consultation with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), is required to develop, subject to appropriations, the Florida Smart City Challenge Grant program and establish grant award requirements for municipalities or regions for the purpose of receiving grant awards. Grant applications must demonstrate and document the adoption of emerging technologies and their impact on transportation systems and must address at least the following focus areas: autonomous vehicles, connected vehicles, sensor-based Infrastructure, collecting and using data, electric vehicles, including charging stations, and developing strategic models and partnerships. The proposed effective date of the bill is July 1, 2017.
Water Resources: SB 10ER (Senator Bradley) was passed by the Legislature on May 2 and signed by the Governor on May 9. The bill creates a new section 373.4598 dealing with water storage reservoirs. It establishes options for providing additional water storage south of Lake Okeechobee, including the Everglades Agricultural Area reservoir project with the goal of providing a minimum of 240,000 acre-feet of water storage, and the C-51 reservoir project with the goal of providing 60,000 acre-feet of water storage. It also establishes the Everglades Restoration Agricultural Community Training Program with the Department of Economic Opportunity to provide grants for employment programs that seek to match persons who complete such training programs to nonagricultural employment opportunities in areas of high agricultural employment, and to provide other training, educational, and information services necessary to stimulate the creation of jobs in the areas of agricultural unemployment. The bill took effect upon becoming law.
Water Protection and Sustainability: HB 573ER (Rep. Burton) was passed on May 1. In June 2016, Polk County and 15 municipalities within the county entered into an interlocal agreement to create a RWSA known as the Polk County Regional Water Cooperative (cooperative). This bill creates the “Heartland Headwaters Protection and Sustainability Act” and establishes legislative findings and intent. The bill also requires the cooperative to prepare an annual report identifying water resource projects within its jurisdiction for state funding consideration. The report must include certain information for each listed project. The bill requires the cooperative to coordinate with the appropriate water management district (WMD) to ensure the annual report is included in the WMD consolidated annual report. The proposed effective date of the bill is July 1, 2017.
Unmanned Aircraft : HB 1027ER (Rep. Yarborough), which vests the authority to regulate the ownership or operation of unmanned aircraft systems (drones) with the state, was passed on May 5 after it was substituted for SB 832 (Sen. Young). It was amended on the Senate floor to basically add concepts from SB 460 (Sen. Brandes), which deal with personal delivery devices. The bill creates a regulatory framework for the use of these devices as well as creating the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Act which vests in the state the authority to regulate the ownership and operation of drones. It prohibits political subdivisions from enacting or enforcing ordinances or regulations relating to various aspects of the use of unmanned aircraft systems. However, the bill does not limit a local government’s authority regarding illegal acts arising from the use of unmanned aircraft systems if the ordinances do not specifically relate to unmanned aircraft systems. The proposed effective date of ...
- 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 email@example.com .