Becker & Poliakoff

Becker’s State Lobbying Update: Week 6, April 10-14, 2023

Becker’s State Lobbying Update: Week 6, April 10-14, 2023


CS/HB 7 – Pregnancy and Parenting Support by Representative Persons-Mulicka
SB 300 – Pregnancy and Parenting Support by Senator Grall

  • On Thursday, April 13, after more than seven hours of discourse and more than 50 amendments filed on the House floor, all of which were not adopted, SB 300, passed with a vote of 70 Yeas and 40 Nays.  Governor DeSantis was presented with the bill, and it was signed into law Thursday evening. As the 15-week abortion ban still faces litigation, SB 300 will not go into effect until 30 days after those cases are settled.

CS/CS/SB 450 – Death Penalty by Senator Ingoglia
CS/CS/HB 555 – Sentencing Proceedings in Death Penalty Cases by Representative Jacques

  • The bills relating to death penalty verdicts by Senator Ingoglia and Representative Jacques were debated on the floor of both chambers this week. CS/CS/SB 450 and CS/CS/HB 555 will amend current statutes that require unanimous jury recommendations for death penalty cases. The legislation will reform death penalty sentences by requiring a majority vote rather than a unanimous vote. This means that judges are allowed to accept a death penalty recommendation when 8 out of 12 jurors recommend it. This measure comes after the infamous case involving the deaths of 17 individuals at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School perpetrated by an individual who was sentenced to life in prison instead of death after the jury returned a vote of 9-3. SB 450 was read a third time and passed in the Senate chamber with 29 Yeas and 10 Nays. In the House, the bill passed with 80 Yeas and 30 Nays on Thursday, April 13. Upon the signature of the Governor, the bill will go into effect.

CS/CS/SB 256 – Employee Organizations Representing Public Employees by Senator Ingoglia
HB 1445 – Employee Organizations Representing Public Employees by Representative Black

  • CS/CS/SB 256 makes new requirements for those employee organizations that represent public employees.  This legislation requires public employees who desire to be a member of an employee organization to sign a membership authorization form beginning on a specified date.  It also prohibits certain employee organizations from receiving their members’ dues and assessments via automatic salary deduction.  SB 256 passed the Senate floor with 23 Yeas and 17 Nays.  It is now waiting to be heard by the House.  The House companion, HB 1445, unanimously passed in its final committee, State Affairs, with a vote of 14 Yeas and 6 Nays.  It has been placed on the calendar for 2nd reading.

Banking and Insurance

CS/SB 748 – My Safe Florida Home Program by Senator Boyd
HB 881 – My Safe Florida Home Program by Representative LaMarca

  • CS/SB 748 by Senator Boyd reforms provisions relating to the My Safe Florida Home Program, providing that licensed, rather than certified, inspectors are to provide hurricane mitigation inspections on-site built, single-family, residential properties that have been granted a homestead exemption. SB 748 removes a previous requirement that a property eligible for a mitigation grant must be in the “wind-borne debris region,” and the requirements that contracts valued at $1 million or more entered by the program be reviewed and approved by the Legislative Budget Commission. The bill increases the amount that low-income homeowners may receive from a grant from $5,000 to $10,000, and provides that low-income homeowner is not required to provide a matching amount. In its second hearing, the Appropriations Committee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government on April 12, SB 748 received unanimous support. The House companion, CS/HB 881 by Representative LaMarca, has received unanimous support in all three committee hearings. It has been placed on the calendar for second reading.


CS/HB 1259 – Education Funding by Representative Canady
CS/SB 1328 – Charter School Capital Outlay Funding by Senator Boyd

  • CS/HB 1259 by Representative Canady would allow charter schools to receive the same type of funding as traditional public schools.  This legislation clarifies that charter school capital outlay funding shall consist of state funds that are appropriated in the General Appropriations Act (GAA), and from the revenue resulting from the discretionary 1.5 milage. Public schools will now be required to share a portion of their districts’ local sales tax revenues for charter school building costs.  Additionally, the bill provides flexibility to colleges and universities on how they may use state money, including increasing the maximum wage for state university employees.  This bill has passed favorably in two out of its three committees.  It is now scheduled to be heard in its final committee, Appropriations, on Monday, April 17.  A Senate companion, SB 1328 by Senator Boyd, only discusses the charter school facility funding and does not include the university spending language.  SB 1328 is waiting to be heard in its final committee, Appropriations.  It has not been scheduled yet.


CS/CS/HB 299 – Education and Training for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Forms of Dementia by Representative Black
CS/SB 1182 – Education and Training for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Forms of Dementia by Senator Simon

  • CS/CS/HB 299 by Representative Black requires that all employees of nursing homes, home health agencies, nurse registries, homemaker, and companion service providers, assisted living facilities, adult family-care homes, and adult day care centers, to complete one hour of initial Alzheimer’s disease or related disorders (ADRD) training. The training must be completed within 30 days of beginning employment, rather than within 3 months. Personnel who provide direct care to individuals with ADRD must complete additional training of 4 hours annually. Once HB 299 goes into effect, employees must have the required training complete by July 1, 2026. A newly filed amendment by the bill’s sponsor that will require employees of health care service pools to comply with the training requirements set forth in the bill was adopted. These training requirements are applicable to the type of facility an individual is employed at and provides that employees of an assisted living facility with a limited mental health license are not subject to the 3 hours of training required within the first 7 months of employment. The bill was heard in its last committee on Monday, April 10 where it received unanimous support.  It has been placed on the Special Order to be heard on April 20. The Senate companion, CS/SB 1182 by Senator Simon, also received unanimous support in its second committee hearing. It will be heard next in the Fiscal Policy committee.


CS/HB 741 – Enforcement of School Bus Passing Infractions by Representative Michael
CS/SB 766 – Photographic Enforcement of School Bus Safety by Senator Burgess

  • CS/SB 766 by Senator Burgess will authorize school districts to implement school bus passing infraction systems. Under SB 766, a camera system will be affixed to a school bus which will produce a video and two or more digital photographic still images for the purpose of documenting a motor vehicle operating in a manner that violates current statutes. The district will be permitted to enter an interlocal agreement with one or more law enforcement agencies within a district and may install and operate a passing infraction system on a school bus within its fleet. The district must post high-visibility reflective signage on the rear of each school bus and must make a public announcement and conduct a public awareness campaign. An individual will face a $225 penalty for each violation. SB 766 includes a provision stating that an individual who has violated the statutes outlined in the bill which results in serious bodily injury or death of another person shall be fined $1,500 and the Department of Transportation must suspend their drivers license for up to 1 year. The House companion, CS/HB 741 by Representative Michael, does not include this provision. CS/SB 766 received 11 Yeas and 1 Nay in its second committee hearing; it will head to Fiscal Policy for its final hearing.  CS/HB 741 received 14 Yeas and 1 Nay in the PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee and is scheduled to be heard in its final committee, Infrastructure Strategies Committee on Monday, April 17.


CS/HB 111 – Flooding and Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Studies by Representative Hunschofsky
SB 1170 – Flooding and Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Studies by Senator Calatayud

  • CS/HB 111 by Representative Hunschofsky will expand the current provisions set forth by the legislature’s passage of SB 178 during the 2020 legislative session regarding seal level impact projection studies prior to the commencement of a new building construction in at-risk areas. HB 111 provides a definition for ‘area at risk due to sea level rise’ and provides additional characteristics for determining if an area can be categorized as such. At-risk areas include those susceptible to property or infrastructure damage due to sea level rise. The bill authorizes the Department of Environmental Protection to develop a standard for conducting sea level impact projection studies by which a state-financed constructor must follow. HB 111 will also expand the Resilient Florida Grant Program to provide funding for counties and municipalities to conduct feasibility studies and cover the costs of finding solutions to reduce the impact of flooding and sea level rise. The expansion of the Program will also allocate funding to water management districts to support local government adaptation planning. HB 111 received unanimous support in its final committee hearing and has been placed on the calendar for second reading for Tuesday, April 18. The Senate companion, SB 1170 by Senator Calatayud, received unanimous support in the Appropriations Committee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government on Wednesday, April 12. It will be herd in the Fiscal Policy committee next but has not yet been scheduled.

Local Government

CS/CS/HB 439 – Land Use and Development Regulations by Representative McClain
CS/SB 1604 – Land Use and Development Regulations by Senator Ingoglia

  • CS/CS/HB 439 by Representative McClain revises current statutes related to the Florida Land Use and Environmental Dispute Resolution Act (FLUEDRA) which provides an informal method for property owners to challenge local governments that may infringe on their property. HB 439 will alter the process for the FLUEDRA by allowing negotiated settlements between a property owner and a local government entity to include resolutions with input from a special magistrate and provides a method for determining if a recommendation or settlement are determined to be protecting the public’s interest. Additionally, the bill will increase the length of required planning period that a local government must adhere to from 5 years to 10 years, and from 10 years to 20 years. The bill also requires land development regulations adopted by local government to establish minimum lot sizes consistent with the maximum density authorized by the comprehensive plan and to provide standards for infill residential development. It will also prohibit a local government from requiring building design elements for certain residential structures in specified development types that were created on or after January 1, 2020. The bill received 16 Yeas and 2 Nays in the Commerce Committee and awaits its final hearing in the State Affairs Committee. The Senate companion, CS/SB 1604 by Senator Ingoglia, does not include several provisions included in HB 439. It was originally referenced to the Judiciary committee but was removed; it currently awaits a final hearing in the Rules committee but has not yet been scheduled.