Though most of Tallahassee focused, and rightfully so, on the installation of the Florida House and Senate Leadership, FHBA enjoyed celebrating other victories and finally saying goodbye to the 2018 elections. As expected, Rep. Jose Oliva from Miami was installed as Florida’s Speaker of the House and Bill Galvano, who hails from Sarasota, was installed as the Senate President. House Democrats will be led by Kionne McGhee of Miami and Senate Democrats will be led by Jacksonville’s Audrey Gibson. I am pleased to report FHBA enjoys a good working relationship with all of the leaders.
Before we move to other updates, newly installed Speaker Jose Oliva challenged the chamber to remove barriers and regulations to foster economic prosperity. Here is a relevant segment of his speech:
If free enterprise is your focus, tear down the needless state and local regulations which can be easily traversed by the big and powerful, but impossible to overcome by the small.
“If affordable housing is important in your part of the state, speak out against costly planning and zoning decisions and the arbitrary use of impact fees for revenue.
“If we are truly committed to raising wages, we must challenge the endless taking of hard earned wages through taxes, fees, surcharges, assessments and the like. If you want people to have more, begin by taking less.
We are very pleased to announce that Former FHBA President, John Wiseman was appointed by Governor Rick Scott to serve on the Florida Building Commission. John is the President of Core Construction Services of Florida, LLC. He fills a vacant seat and is appointed for a term beginning November 16, 2018, and ending February 11, 2021. He joins FHBA member Rick Goff and Former FHBA President and current Chairman Jay Carlson on the Commission. Welcome aboard, John.
Four FHBA members who won open seats were sworn into office last week. We welcome new FHBA members to the Florida House: Wyman Duggan from Northeast Florida, Toby Overdorf from Treasure Coast and Will Robinson from Manatee-Sarasota. Meanwhile, we welcome FHBA members Ben Albritton from Charlotte-DeSoto, Gayle Harrell from Treasure Coast and Joe Gruters from Manatee-Sarasota to the Florida Senate. They join fellow FHBA members: Keith Perry from the North Central Florida; Tom Lee from Tampa Bay; Doug Broxson from West Florida; Kevin Radar from Gold Coast; Blaise Ingoglia from Nature Coast; Stan McClain from Marion; Jason Fisher from Northeast Florida; Paul Rennar from Northeast Florida; Jayer Williamson from West Florida and Mike Grant from Charlotte-Desoto.
This past week, the 2018 Elections finally roared (well whimpered) to an end. After the law suits, machine recounts, manual recounts, and attention towards Broward and Palm Beach Counties, little changed. Rick Scott is U.S. Senator-Elect; Ron DeSantis is still Governor-Elect; Nicki Fried is the Commissioner of Agriculture-Elect and Janet Cruz was sworn in as the state Senator from District 19. Our original message remains in-tact: Home Builder’s Winning Advocacy was on display Election night. Most importantly, good things happened for FHBA and our advocacy efforts.