So it begins! Tomorrow, Tuesday, January 9, is the first day of Florida’s 2018 Legislative Session. Much has been reported about sexual harassment complaints involving key legislative leaders. Others have expressed frustration with the political system in Tallahassee and another crop of legislators left their seats to pursue other alternatives. In spite of the all the noise, special elections and vacant seats, session will commence, bills will be heard and FHBA will be working hard to advocate for the Home Building Industry.
We have been working on several priority issues to be passed:
Statute of Repose: Bills by Senator Passidomo and Representative Leek attempt to fix a glitch created by last year’s bill which arguably delays the when the stature of repose begins to toll until punch list and warranty services have been satisfied.
Construction Defects: Representative Trumbull and Senator Passidomo are once again working to ensure that homeowners personally reject offers to repair prior to filing a law suit.
Impact Fees: Senator Young and Representative Miller proposed legislation prohibiting required impact fees to be paid prior to permit. This proposal is a reaction to at least on community which sought to collect impact fees at the time of platting.
Workforce: FHBA continues to work with Senator Perry and Representative Porter to establish an ongoing group to keep the issue at the forefront, while working to establish meaningful reforms which will impact the workforce shortage.
Permitting: FHBA and others have begun a legislative push requiring that the State of Florida enter into negotiations with the Army Corps of Engineers so that the State can assume their permitting authority. In other words, can we uninvited them from the party.
Like any other session, several bills of “concern” have been filed. These proposals range from requiring the use of electrical journeyman on certain projects, to creating the ability to pierce one’s corporate veil to prohibiting further development if a state road with failing grade is within 5 miles of the development. The annual assault on a developer’s right to substantially complete his/her vision in a community prior to turning over control is again before us.
The issues mentioned above are only a sample of the issues facing the industry. We are actively monitoring 200 bills, all of which could have an impact on the industry.
The Bottom Line: In spite of the all the potential distractions, the 2018 legislative session will be a challenging one for the Home Building Industry. We will need your help. Please pay attention to and respond to alerts and calls to action. At times they need to understand how important something is to you as an industry. Register and attend our Spring Conference. We will be visiting legislators on Tuesday, February 13. Click here to register. I thank you in advance.