In Spite of Harassment Headlines, Session Issues Emerge

Most of us in Tallahassee review daily legislative clips to glean up-to-the-minute news from the Capitol. Lately, editorial space meant for legislation updates is being held for the latest broadcast of politicians facing sexual harassment or ethical complaints. As intriguing as all that can be, we cannot lose sight of the fact the 2018 Legislative Session is just around the corner.

Several of FHBA Key Officers and Committee Chairs trekked to Tallahassee a few weeks ago to push our Legislative Agenda. Attending were FHBA President, Greg Matovina; FHBA Second Vice President, Shelley Stewart; FHBA Immediate Past President, Jeremy Stewart; FHBA Governmental Affairs Chair, Frank Severino; and FHBA Volume Builders Council Chair, Richard Arkin.

Key topics discussed included FHBA proposed legislation to exempt punch list items and warranty services from being considered as completion of contract – a bill that ensures homeowner participation in the State’s Right to Cure Process, and the FHBA proposal to stop local governments from driving up the cost of housing by collecting impact fees at the time of platting.

We also used the opportunity to express concerns on issues such as SB 446 and HB 295, which would require an Electrical Journeyman on any commercial construction site, including neighborhood common areas, pool houses, etc. Additionally, bills to overregulate Home Owner Associations are once again appearing (SB 734 and HB 377). FHBA Leaders met with the Senate sponsor, who attentively listened to our concerns. Sponsors of both the Electrical Journeyman Bill and the Home Owners Association Bills understand our opposition and should the bills be considered by a committee, we will have the opportunity to make extensive changes.

Other key meetings included House Careers and Competition Sub-committee Chair, Halsey Beshears; Senate Appropriations Chair, Rob Bradley; Speaker of the House, Richard Corcoran and Senate President, Joe Negron. A sincere thank you to Greg, Shelley, Jeremy, Frank, and Richard for making the time and effort to travel to Tallahassee.

The Bottom Line: Though much of the Tallahassee headlines focus on sex scandals and politician’s ethical lapses, the process of law making continues. FHBA staff and volunteer leaders remain laser focused on what matters to our members, posturing our priorities for success in the 2018 session.