FHBA Legislative Updates – Week 1

FHBA Legislative Updates – Week of January 8, 2018

Workers Compensation:
HB 7009 by Rep. Burgess passed the House floor and is now in the Senate. The Senate does not have a comprehensive Workers Compensation bill. The House bill addresses attorney fee caps which was an issue raised in Florida Supreme Court decisions and is a major contributor to projected cost increases.

Assignment of Benefits:
HB 7015 by Rep. Trumbull passed the House floor and is now in the Senate. The bill deals with the growing problem of attorney involvement under AOB by attempting to ratchet down attorney fees while maintaining the ability of a contractor to communicate with the insurer.

Constitutional Revision Commission Proposal 23:
CRC Proposal 23 was unanimously defeated by the CRC Judiciary Committee. If passed and ultimately placed into the constitution, litigation with respect to building and development would have exploded.

Impact Fees:
HB 697 by Rep. Miller passed its first committee of reference. An amendment was adopted that conforms it to SB 324 by Sen. Young. The bill prohibits impact fees from being collected prior to the issuance of permits. It also prohibits impact fees from being used to pay for refinancing of existing debts.

Construction Defects Claims:
HB 759 by Rep. Trumbull passed its first committee of reference. The bill makes a number of fixes to the Notice and Right to Repair statute including requirements that ensure the homeowner is a participant in the process.

SB 266 by Sen. Passidomo and HB 617 by Rep. Edwards-Walpole passed their first committees of reference. The bills refer to the Marketable Records Title Act making mostly technical amendments and addressing an issue that arose in a Northwest Florida neighborhood.

Expected Actions for Next Week

Senate Banking and Insurance:
SB 1168 by Sen. Steube relating to Assignment of Benefits will be heard on Tuesday.  It addresses the growing problem of attorney involvement under AOB by attempting to ratchet down attorney fees while maintaining the ability of a contractor to communicate with the insurer.

Senate Community Affairs Committee:
SB 874 by Sen. Passidomo relating to State Funds will be heard on Tuesday. This bill prohibits using Sadowski funds for purposes other than affordable housing.

House Local, Federal and Veterans Affairs:
HB 987 by Rep. Cortes relating to Affordable Housing will be heard on Tuesday. The bill requires permitting for affordable housing to be expedited and waives local impact fees for affordable housing projects.

Select Committee on Hurricane Response:
House Select Committee on Hurricane Response and Preparedness will meet to discuss its final report.