It is Halftime in Tallahassee! Wednesday, February 12th, marked day 30 of the 60 day Legislative Session.
This is FHBA’s 2020 Mid-Session Report:
- HB 637 / SB 1066
FHBA’s Impact Fee legislation, which includes the definition of infrastructure and prohibiting local governments from applying impact fee increases to pending permit applications, has passed through all but one committee in the House. HB 637 by Representative DiCeglie will make its last stop in State Affairs, Chaired by Representative Ingoglia. The Senate unanimously passed SB 1066 by Senator Gruters out of Community Affairs on Tuesday, February 11th and it will now be heard tomorrow afternoon in the Senate’s Finance and Tax Committee, Chaired by Senator Gainer. The meeting will begin at 4:00 p.m. Please visit www.flsenate.gov to watch live!
- HB 1199/ SB 1382
The Environmental Protection Act, also known as our Rights of Nature Preemption legislation, prohibits a local government from recognizing or granting legal rights to a plant, animal, body of water, or any other part of the natural environment. The House bill has passed all three committees in the House. Its Senate companion, SB 1382 by Senator Albritton, has passed one of three committees and is currently in the Senate’s Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment and General Government.
- HB 459 / SB 954
HB 459, Building Design, by Representative Overdorf has passed all three of its House Committee references and will now head to the House Floor in the coming weeks for the Chamber’s final vote. Senate Community Affairs has been reluctant to hear SB 954 by Senator Perry.
- Construction Defects
FHBA Construction Defect legislation, also known as Right to Cure, has hit a roadblock as opponents continue to fight for a special jury verdict form with resistance to defining a material violation under Chapter 553.
- Sadowski Funding
Legislation by Senator Mayfield that would prohibit the legislature from sweeping Sadowski Trust Fund monies into General Revenue has not advanced in the Senate since its 8-0 approval in the Infrastructure and Security Committee on February 3rd. The House has not heard its version by Representative Silvers. As for appropriations, currently, one of the biggest gaps between the two chambers is in affordable housing. The spending proposal from the Senate Appropriations Transportation, Tourism and Economic Development Subcommittee includes full funding at $387 million, while the House has only set aside $122 million for the state’s top two affordable housing programs, the State Apartment Incentive Loan program and the State Housing Initiatives Partnership.
- Deregulation of Professions
One of the Governor’s priorities, SB 474 by Senator Albritton, Deregulation of Professions and Occupations, decreases the Florida Building Commission from 27 to 19 members and authorizes the Department of Business and Professional Regulation to license, by reciprocity, a person who is licensed in another state, if the other state’s license qualification requirements are equal to or greater than the license requirements in Florida. At FHBA’s request, the Senate bill was revised to require licensees by reciprocity take a four hour course on the Florida Building Code. The bill has sailed through its first two Senate Committees unanimously. Its companion, HB 1193 by Representative Ingoglia, is also in its last committee. Removals from the commission include, but are not limited to, members who represents the Department of Financial Services, public education, and the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Office of Energy.
Please note, this legislation is a priority for the Governor.
- Water Quality Improvement
Water Quality Improvement legislation by Senator Mayfield and Representative Payne have each passed through two of their three committee references in each chamber. The bill currently calls for a study and an effective date of July 1, 2021, for the type two transfer of onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems (OSTDS) permitting and inspections from the Department of Health to the Department of Environmental Protection. FHBA is ensuring the transition does not affect the staff of the Environmental Health Section of Local County Health Departments.
- Liens and Bonds
FHBA removed language in the House’s Liens and Bonds legislation, HB 283 by Representative Toledo, to ensure that provisions in a waiver or release of lien that are unrelated to the actual waiver or release are prohibited. FHBA amended the bill to provide that lien waivers can contain other provision if the subcontractor has agreed to those provisions in their initial contract. The bill has passed all three committees in the House. SB 868 by Senator Albritton is currently at its second stop in the Senate’s Innovation, Industry, and Technology Committee.
- Community Assocations
FHBA added two amendments to HB 623, Community Associations by Representative Shoaf. The language seeks to return developer deficit funding to how it operated prior to the Mackenzie v. Centex Homes case. The second amendment allows condo deposits to be used for soft construction costs such as impact fees, permit fees, and architectural fees. Both HB 623 and SB 1154 are currently in their last committees, the House Commerce Committee and Senate Rules Committee.
Your FHBA legislative affairs team remains active and ready to continue fighting for you as the second half of session gets under way!