The Bottom Line: FHBA Spring Conference Has Impact on Legislative Session

Wow! What an experience in Tallahassee last week. We had over 100 FHBA members converge on the Capitol, engaged in grassroots lobbying on behalf of FHBA priorities, and, on Tuesday, observed seven legislative committee hearings on FHBA priorities. The highlight of the event was FHBA President’s, Jeremy Stewart, presentation to the House Careers and Competition Committee in reference to HB 901. HB 901 is the FHBA’s priority bill changing the building code development process. While presenting the FHBA position, President Stewart laid all the code books on the table and legislator’s eyes widen when they realized the volume of information contained in Florida’s building code. Several individuals in opposition of the bill followed Jeremy’s comments. The bill eventually passed unanimously.

Senior Officers received a Worker’s Compensation Briefing by the House Committee Chair, Rep. Danny Burgess (R-Zephyr Hills). In anticipation of the Senate considering its Workers Compensation Reform proposal later this week, FHBA joined other business groups in a letter to the Senate seeking greater reforms to attorney fees. Click here to read the letter.

Other FHBA’s priorities were sprinkled all over legislative committee hearings this week.  Below is a quick rundown of this week’s FHBA legislative actions.

_______________________________________________

HB 0653 Relating to Community Associations (Moraitis)
Actions
HOUSE Favorable with CS by Civil Justice & Claims Subcommittee; 10 Yeas, 4 Nays
FHBA Issue: Allowing condo bulk buyers without assuming liability of developers remains intact. The issue of mandatory HOA reserves was modified to reflect FHBA language.

SB 0744 Relating to Community Associations (Passidomo)
Actions
SENATE Favorable with CS by Regulated Industries; 10 Yeas, 0 Nays
FHBA Issue: Allowing condo bulk buyers without assuming liability of developers remains intact. The provisions requiring HOA reserves was removed from the bill.

SB 0860 Relating to Florida Building Code (Brandes)
Actions
SENATE Favorable with CS by Regulated Industries; 10 Yeas, 0 Nays
FHBA Issue: In spite of opposing testimony, provisions revising the building code process remained. The bill also implements recommendations from the Construction Workforce Task Force for increasing the number of building officials and inspectors.

HB 0901 Relating to Florida Building Commission (McClain)
Actions
HOUSE Favorable with CS by Careers & Competition Subcommittee; 14 Yeas, 0 Nays
FHBA Issue: The Committee amended the bill to provide for a 5 year code cycle based on ICC and made significant revisions to the Florida Building Commission membership lowering their number from 27 to 11. The revised membership provides for a residential contractor who builds 100 or more homes per year and a residential contractor who builds 20 or few homes per year.

HB 0909 Relating to Building Code Administrators and Inspectors (Goodson)
Actions
HOUSE Favorable by Oversight, Transparency & Administration Subcommittee; 14 Yeas, 0 Nays
FHBA Issue: The bill implements recommendations from the Construction Workforce Task Force for increasing the number of building officials and inspectors.

HB 1107 Relating to Pub. Rec./Workers’ Compensation (Albritton)
Actions
HOUSE Favorable by Oversight, Transparency & Administration Subcommittee; 14 Yeas, 0 Nays
FHBA Issue: Shields public records relating to injured workers from lawyers advocacy. It is believed this will reduce worker’s compensation suits.

HB 1271 Relating to Construction Defect Claims (Trumbull)
Actions
HOUSE Favorable with CS by Civil Justice & Claims Subcommittee; 14 Yeas, 0 Nays
FHBA Issue: Provides various changes to the process to ensure the consumer is aware that the contractor offered to repair prior to a suit being filed.

SB 1312 Relating to Construction (Perry)
Actions
SENATE Favorable by Communications, Energy, and Public Utilities; 6 Yeas, 0 Nays
SENATE Now in Community Affairs
FHBA Issue: The bill continues to implement recommendations of the Construction Industry Workforce Task Group and makes various small code changes.

SB 0398 Relating to Estoppel Certificates (Passidomo)
Actions
SENATE Favorable with CS by Rules; 11 Yeas, 1 Nay
Amendments Filed
FHBA Issue: The bill continues to cap estopple fees, including a sliding scale for multiple lots.

SB 0514 Relating to Fees of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (Stargel)
Actions
SENATE Favorable by Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government; 9 Yeas, 0 Nays
SENATE Now in Appropriations
FHBA Issue: The bill reduces license delinquency fee in addition to building code surcharge (3% to 2 1/2%)

HB 0741 Relating to Department of Business and Professional Regulation Fees (Trumbull)
Actions
HOUSE Favorable by Commerce Committee; 29 Yeas, 0 Nays
HOUSE Placed on Calendar, on 2nd reading
FHBA Issue: The bill reduces license delinquency fee in addition to building code surcharge (3% to 2 1/2%).

HB 1021 Relating to Construction (Avila)
Actions
HOUSE Favorable with CS by Appropriations Committee; 23 Yeas, 0 Nays
FHBA Issue: The bill continues to implement recommendations of the Construction Industry Workforce Task Group and makes various small code changes.

Thanks to everyone who took time from their busy schedule and pushed all these priorities. Clearly, having you in town was a huge benefit!