Becker & Poliakoff

Becker’s State Lobbying Update: Week 8, April 24-28, 2023

Becker’s State Lobbying Update: Week 8, April 24-28, 2023


50th Day Rule and Budget Conferences

Tuesday, April 25 marked the 50th day of the 2023 Legislative Session. With over 2,000 bills filed by legislators, committee hearings have come to an end per the rules of the Legislature; all bills that have not made it past their committee references have died. As we continue to prep for sine die and enter the budget conference, your trusted lobbyists have continued to work feverishly to provide the best results.

SB 7050 – Elections by Senator Hutson
HB 7067 – Elections by Representative McClure

SB 7050 by Senator Hutson is a comprehensive elections package that will amend current voting regulations to protect and secure Florida’s elections. SB 7050 will also substantially change the operations of third-party voter registration organizations to reduce voter infringement and other attempts to reduce voter turnout. Additionally, the largely anticipated resign to run provision was included in the elections package which will allow Governor DeSantis to retain his position as Governor if/when he chooses to enter the 2024 presidential election. The bill does not include a sunset on this provision, which will allow future Governors the opportunity to run for President or Vice President should they choose. It is worth noting that this is not the first time that this provision has been introduced in Florida’s history as there were two other instances. SB 7050 passed both chambers, largely along party lines, with a vote of 76 Yeas and 34 Nays. It will head to the Governor’s desk for his signature.

Local Government

SB 714 – Vacation Rentals by Senator DiCeglie
HB 833 – Vacation Rentals by Representative Duggan

SB 714 by Senator DiCeglie requires advertising platforms to collect and remit specified taxes for certain vacation rental transactions; defines the term “advertising platform;” revises the regulated activities of public lodging establishments and public food service establishments preempted to the state to include licensing; requires advertising platforms to require that persons placing advertisements for vacation rentals include certain information in the advertisements and attest to certain information; authorizes the division to revoke, refuse to issue or renew, or suspend vacation rental licenses under certain circumstances, etc. In the Fiscal Policy hearing, the committee adopted an amendment that will require applicants to obtain a state vacation rental license and provides a 60-day timeframe to satisfy a recorded municipal lien before terminating the registration. Both the amendment and the bill were favorable. SB 714 was read a third time and received 28 Yeas and 10 Nays. SB 714 will go to the House next for a vote. The House companion, HB 833 by Representative Duggan has been placed on the calendar for a second reading.

CS/HB 1417 – Residential Tenancies by Representative Esposito
SB 1586 – Residential Tenancies by Senator Trumbull

CS/HB 1417 by Representative Esposito will preempt regulations including residential tenancies and landlord-tenant relationships, to the state. This prohibition outlined within HB 1417 will supersede any local government regulations including the screening processes used by landlord in approving tenancies, security deposits, rental agreement applications and fees associated with related applications. The bill will also require that landlords provide a notice of eviction no less than 30 days before an eviction date. The proponents of the bill argued that this will assist with the promotion of affordable housing across the state following the passing and signage of the Live Local Act by Senator Calatayud. HB 1417 passed favorably on the House floor with 81 Yeas and 33 Nays. The Senate companion, SB 1586 by Senator Trumbull was substituted for HB 1417 which passed favorably in the Senate with a vote of 29 Yeas and 8 Nays.

HB 917 – Wage and Employment Benefits by Representative Yeager
SB 892 – State Minimum Wage by Senator Martin

HB 917 by Representative Yeager will amend Florida Statue 448.110, the Florida Minimum Wage Act (FMWA), to incorporate the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) “as amended.” The bill would prohibit a political subdivision from seeking to control or affecting the wages and employee benefits of individuals employed in a county or municipality. HB 917 prohibits a local government, using evaluation factors, qualification of bidders, or otherwise award benefits provided by its vendors, contractors, service providers, or other parties doing business with the political subdivision. The proposed changes outlined in the bill will only apply to parties doing business with the political subdivision entered on or after the date the act becomes law. HB 917 was placed on the calendar for a second reading but was temporarily postponed. The Senate companion, SB 892 by Senator Martin, would clarify that state minimum wage law should reflect changes in federal law that would result in minor league baseball players and border patrol agents being exempt from Florida’s minimum wage requirements. passed unanimously on the Senate floor.

HB 1281 – Preemption Over Utility Service Restrictions by Representative Buchanan
SB 1256 – Preemption Over Utility Service Restrictions by Senator Collins

CS/HB 1281 by Representative Buchanan will prohibit a municipality, county, special district, or other political subdivision of the state from enacting or enforcing a law, ordinance or rule that will restrict or prohibit, or has the effect of restricting or prohibiting, the use of any major appliance including a stove or grill. HB 1281 outlines the acceptable types or fuel source of energy production allowed to be used, delivered, concerted, or supplied. The bill also provides an exception for circumstances in which the provisions of the Florida Building Code or the Florida Fire Prevention Code must be enforced. The bill was placed on the calendar for third reading on Wednesday, April 26 and received 98 Yeas and 16 Nays. The Senate companion, SB 1256 by Senator Collins, was substituted for HB 1281 and passed the Senate with a vote of 33 Yeas and 4 Nays.


HB 931 – Postsecondary Educational Institutions by Representative Roach
SB 958 – Postsecondary Educational Institutions by Senator Perry

HB 931 by Representative Roach will establish the Office of Public Policy Events (OPPE) within each state university to promote intellectual freedom and viewpoint diversity on college campuses across the state. HB 931 will also prohibit a public educational institution from requiring potential employees to complete a political litmus test to gain employment at a postsecondary institution. Each state university, through the newly established OPPE, will be responsible for the organization, publication and staging of debates and/or group forums to address ‘widely held political views’; a clear definition of a ‘widely held political view’ is not provided in the bill. HB 931 received 82 Yeas and 34 Nays on the House floor. It has been referred to the Senate’s Fiscal Policy committee. The Senate companion, SB 958 by Senator Perry, has been placed on the Special-Order calendar for Tuesday, May 2.

HB 1259 – Education by Representative Canady
SB 1328 – Education Funding by Senator Hutson

CS/CS/HB 1259 by Representative Canady seeks to ensure that funding for Florida’s public and charter schools is allocated fairly to ensure all schools have the appropriate capital outlay funding to accommodate students. According to the bill’s sponsor, historically, charter schools have received ‘significantly less’ funding per student, averaging at least half as much as the full-time equivalent base allocation per student in a district public school. HB 1259 will revise the calculation method used by the Department of Education to determine the amount of the discretionary 1.5 millage revenue a school district must distribute to each eligible charter school. The bill will appropriate roughly $213.5 million for charter school capital outlay to reduce the amount that districts will have to share in the 2023-24 fiscal year. HB 1259 was significantly amended to include capital outlay funding for postsecondary institutions, and amended a second time to delete those provisions, ultimately brining the bill back to its original version. The bill received 82 Yeas and 31 Nays on the House Floor and has also been referred to the Appropriations committee. The Senate companion, SB 1328 by Senator Hutson, has been placed on the Special-Order calendar for Wednesday, May 3.

HB 287 – Required Instruction in the History of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders by Representative Plascensia
SB 294 – Required Instruction in the History of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders by Senator Rodriguez

HB 287 by Representative Plascensia will amend Florida statutes related to required instruction throughout Florida’s secondary educational institutions by requiring instruction on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. This instruction must include the history of Japanese internment camps, the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, and other important factors of historical context as it relates to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and their contribution to the United States and beyond. HB 287 received unanimous support during the third reading on Wednesday, April 26. After being received in the Senate, HB 287 has been referred to the Rules committee. The Senate will likely take up HB 287 as the Senate companion, SB 294 by Senator Rodriguez, is in its second committee of reference, Appropriations Committee on Education, and will most likely die in this committee.

Ethics and Elections

CS/CS/SB 774 – Ethics Requirements for Public Officials by Senator Brodeur
CS/CS/HB 37 – Ethics Requirements for Public Officials by Representative Roach

CS/SB 774 by Senator Brodeur requires specified local officers to file a public disclosure of financial interests on a Form 6 instead of a Form 1. SB 774 bill also increases the maximum civil penalty for violations of the Code of Ethics from $10,000 to $20,000 and allows the Commission on Ethics to dismiss complaints or investigations for certain minor infractions. In lieu of the full financial disclosure, a candidate may submit a verification or receipt of a previous financial disclosure filing to the qualifying officer. The House companion, CS/CS/HB 37 by Representative Roach, was substituted on the House floor for the Senate version. SB 774 passed favorably with a vote of 113 Yeas and 2 Nays on Wednesday, April 26.

CS/CS/HB 935 – Chiefs of Police by Representative Jacques
CS/ SB 998 – Chiefs of Police by Senator Burgess

HB 935 by Representative Jacques intends to protect individuals serving as a chief of police in a county or municipality from frivolous and/or arbitrary termination. The bill asserts that chiefs of police are vital to communities across the state and should be able to communicate with members of the community. HB 935 provides a definition for chief of police but does not include state law enforcement agency executives whose appointment or employment is governed by other provisions of law. The bill will require that chiefs of police be provided written notice and the opportunity to defend themselves against termination in a public hearing. The bill also allows individuals to bring civil action against any person, organization, or corporation for damages, those relating to finances or otherwise, suffered during the performance of official duties. HB 935 received unanimous support on the House Floor on Wednesday, April 26 and has now been referred to Rules. The Senate companion, CS/SB 998 by Senate Burgess, has been placed on the Special Order calendar for Tuesday, May 2.