Legislative Update: 2019 Session – Week 4

Legislative Update: 2019 Session – Week 4

Week 4: March 25 – 29, 2019

Proposed 2019-2020 Budget

The House and Senate Chambers have also released the first drafts of their proposed 2019-2020 budget. Here is a generalized breakdown of the current draft budget compared to last year’s budget, and the draft budget broken down by section.

Source Senate PCB 2500 House PCB APC 19-01 Governor’s Recommendation Agency Requests Current Year Budget
Total Positions 113,309.60 113,215.51 113,666.71 114,435.71 112,874.21
Total All Funds $90,325,810,643 $89,902,634,370 $91,269,254,710 $91,260,330,912 $89,314,312,431
Current Year Budget Difference Difference Difference Difference Difference
112,874.21 435.39 341.3 792.5 1,561.50 0
$89,314,312,431 $1,011,498,212 $588,321,939 $1,954,942,279 $1,946,018,481 $0
Agency Requests Difference Difference Difference Difference Difference
114,435.71 1,126.11 1,220.20 769 0 1,561.50
$91,260,330,912 $934,520,269 $1,357,696,542 $8,923,798 $0 $1,946,018,481
Governor’s Recommendation Difference Difference Difference Difference Difference
113,666.71 357.11 451.2 0 769 792.5
$91,269,254,710 $943,444,067 $1,366,620,340 $0 $8,923,798 $1,954,942,279
House PCB APC 19-01 Difference Difference Difference Difference Difference
113,215.51 94.09 0 451.2 1,220.20 341.3
$89,902,634,370 $423,176,273 $0 $1,366,620,340 $1,357,696,542 $588,321,939
Senate PCB 2500 Difference Difference Difference Difference Difference
113,309.60 0 94.09 357.11 1,126.11 435.39
$90,325,810,643 $0 $423,176,273 $943,444,067 $934,520,269 $1,011,498,212

 

By Sections House PCB APC 19-01 Senate PCB 2500 Difference
Dollars Positions Dollars Positions Dollars Positions
TOTAL $89,902,634,370 113,215.51 $90,325,810,643 113,309.60 -$423,176,273 94.09
Education Enhancement $2,112,416,482 0.00 $2,112,564,899 0.00 -$148,417 0.00
Education (All Other Funds) $25,633,310,307 2,256.75 $26,251,776,905 2,266.75 -$618,466,598 10.00
Human Services $37,193,773,270 31,142.26 $37,738,141,121 31,107.85 -$544,367,851 -34.41
Criminal Justice and Corrections $4,777,242,252 42,276.25 $4,860,499,387 42,365.25 -$83,257,135 89.00
Natural Resources / Environment / Growth Management / Transportation $14,699,410,888 14,887.25 $14,606,989,458 14,889.25 $92,421,430 2.00
General Government $7,053,014,751 18,358.50 $6,312,792,196 18,368.50 $740,222,555 10.00
Judicial Branch $545,882,902 4,294.50 $555,611,576 4,312.00 -$9,728,674 17.50
TOTAL $89,902,634,370 113,215.51 $90,325,810,643 113,309.60 -$423,176,273 94.09

Elections:

The Senate Ethics and Elections Committee heard SB 582/ (HB 881), Voting Systems, sponsored by Senator Diaz. The bill defines the term “automatic tabulating equipment” for the purpose of the Florida Election Code, and revises the procedures governing the canvassing of returns to specify the usage of a voting system’s automatic tabulating equipment. It also clarifies the circumstances under which ballots must be processed through the automatic tabulating equipment in a recount, and it specifies the manner by which a manual recount may be conducted. The bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee.

The Senate Criminal Justice Committee heard SB 7086/ (HB 7089), Voting Rights Restoration, sponsored by the Senate Criminal Justice Committee. The bill revises the terminology regarding voting rights restoration to conform to the State Constitution, and requires the voting disqualification of certain felons to be removed and voting rights restored pursuant to s. 4, Art. VI, of the State Constitution. The bill also requires the Department of Corrections to include notifications of all outstanding terms of sentence in an inmate’s release documents, and also requires each county detention facility to provide information on the restoration of voting rights pursuant to s. 4, Art. VI of the State Constitution to certain prisoners. The bill was passed favorably with 3 yeas and 2 nays and will move on to the Rules Committee.

The House Public Integrity & Ethics Committee heard HB 613, Repeal of Public Campaign Financing Requirement, sponsored by Representative Roth. The bill proposes the repeal of s. 7, Art. VI of the State Constitution to eliminate the requirement for the public financing of the campaigns of candidates for elective statewide office who agree to campaign spending limits. The bill was passed favorably with 10 yeas and 6 nays and will move on to the State Affairs Committee.

The House Public Integrity & Ethics Committee heard HB 615/ (SB 272), Campaign Finance, sponsored by Representative Roth. The bill repeals the provisions relating to the Florida Election Campaign Financing Act, and also deletes provisions governing the public funding of campaigns for candidates for statewide office who agree to certain expenditure limits. The bill was passed favorably with 10 yeas and 6 nays and will move on to the State Affairs Committee.

The House Public Integrity & Ethics Committee heard HB 7101, Elections (Formally SAC1, Elections), sponsored by the House State Affairs Committee. The bill requires the Secretary of State to provide signature matching training to certain persons, and it revises deadlines for voter signature updates for the purposes of vote-by-mail and provisional ballots. The bill also revises the date of the primary election, and provides requirements for the canvassing and counting of vote-by-mail and provisional ballots. It also revises requirements for the department rules governing ballot design, and revises the size of certain areas in which voter solicitation is prohibited. HB 7101 lastly provides notice requirements for meetings of the county Canvassing Board. The bill was passed favorably with 13 yeas and 4 nays and will move on to a second committee.

Emergency Services:

The Senate heard SB 96/ (HB 67), Police, Fire, and Search and Rescue Dogs, sponsored by Senator Bean and Representatives Byrd and Tomkow. The bill would increase the penalty for intentionally and knowingly causing great bodily harm, permanent disability, or death to, police canines or horses, fire canines, or search & rescue canines. The bill would also increase the penalty for using a deadly weapon upon police canines or horses, fire canines, or search & rescue canines. The Senate bill was read a second time and placed on the calendar for a third reading on 04/03/19.

The Senate Infrastructure and Security Committee heard SB 766/ (HB 75), Expanded Uses of Unmanned Aircraft, sponsored by Senator Gruters. The bill authorizes the use of drones by law enforcement agencies and other specified entities for specified purposes. The bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the Rules Committee.

The House Energy & Utilities Subcommittee heard HB 441/ (SB 536), 911 Services, sponsored by Representative DuBose and Toledo. The bill requires counties to develop a plan for implementing a text-to-911 system, and to implement a system to receive E911 text messages by a specified date. This also requires that the Technology Program within the Department of Management Services develop and implement a plan that requires emergency dispatchers to be able to transfer an emergency call from one E911 system to another E911 system in the state. The bill defines the terms “first responders” and “911 public safety answering point” or “PSAP”, and requires a PSAP to be able to directly communicate by radio with first responders. The bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the House Government Operations & Technology Appropriations Subcommittee.

Environmental:

The Senate Appropriations Committee and the House State Affairs Committee heard SB 532/ HB 521, Wetland Mitigation, sponsored by Senator Lee and Representative McClure. The bill authorizes a local government to allow permittee-responsible mitigation on lands purchased and owned by a local government for conservation purposes under certain circumstances. It also requires this mitigation to meet specified requirements. The Senate bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the Senate Chamber for a second reading. The House bill was passed favorably with 14 yeas and 6 nays and will move on to the House Chamber for a second reading.

The Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee heard SB 628/ (HB 1199), Water Resources, sponsored by Senator Albritton. The bill revises requirements for the Office of Economic and Demographic Research’s annual assessment of Florida’s water resources and conservation lands. It also requires the office to consult with the Department of Environmental Protection, and requires the assessment to be submitted to the Legislature by a specified date. The bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the Infrastructure and Security Committee.

The Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee heard SB 816/ (HB 771), Environmental Regulation, sponsored by Senator Perry. The bill requires counties and municipalities to address the contamination of recyclable materials in specified contracts, and prohibits counties and municipalities from requiring the collection or transportation of contaminated recyclable material by residential recycling collectors. The bill also specifies required contract provisions, and prohibits local governments from requiring certain project verifications from the DEP. It also revises types of dock and pier replacements and repairs that are exempt from verification and certain permitting requirements. The bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the Community Affairs Committee.

The Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee heard SB 1022/ (HB 973), Onsite Treatment and Disposal Systems, sponsored by Senator Albritton. The bill transfers the onsite sewage program of the Department of Health to the Department of Environmental Protection by a type two transfer, and defines the term “department” as it relates to onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems provisions. It also requires the department to convene a technical advisory committee by a specified date, and requires county health departments to coordinate with the department to administer certain programs. The bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government Committee.

The Senate Innovation, Industry, and Technology Committee and the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee heard SB 7064/ HB 7029, Oil Drilling, sponsored by the Senate Agriculture Committee and the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee. The bill defines the term “fracking”, and requires specified amounts for bonds for certain operations in the Everglades Protection Area. The bill also prohibits fracking in this state, and requires an applicant for certain explorations for an extraction of minerals to post a specified surety bond for projects in the Everglades Protection Area. It also prohibites the refining of oil within the Everglades Protection Area, and prohibits the use of flowback fluid for crop irrigation in this state. The Senate bill was passed favorably with 6 yeas and 4 nays and will move on to the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee. The House bill was passed favorably with 10 yeas and 2 nays and will move on to the House State Affairs Committee.

The House Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee heard HB 85/ (SB 214), Onsite Sewage Treatment and Disposal Systems, sponsored by Representative Caruso. The bill requires periodic inspection of onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems, and directs the DOH to administer onsite sewage treatment and disposal system inspection program. It also provides program requirements, exemptions, inspection procedures, and notice and reporting requirements. The bill also authorizes the DOH to develop a fee schedule by rule, and requires system owners to pay costs of inspections and pump-outs. The bill was passed unanimously and will move on to a second committee.

The House heard HB 105/ (SB 286), Domestic Wastewater Collection System Assessment and Maintenance, sponsored by Representative Jacobs. The bill establishes the Blue Star Collection System Assessment and Maintenance Program within the DEP for domestic wastewater utilities, and also provides defensible expectation that certified utilities complied with state water quality standards. It also directs the DEP to issue certain permits to certified utilities, and authorizes the DEP to reduce penalty amounts. The bill also provides that certain utilities are eligible to participate in the Clean Water State Revolving Fund Program and receive Small Community Sewer Construction Assistance Grants. The bill was read a second and third time and was passed unanimously.

The House Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee heard HB 141, Water Quality Improvements, sponsored by Representative Fine. The bill authorizes the DEP to provide grants for certain projects identified in the Indian River Lagoon Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan, and also directs the DEP to submit an annual report regarding projects to Governor and Legislature. It also requires local governments to submit annual reports regarding projects to the DEP and water management districts, and requires wastewater facilities, permitted under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System program, that unlawfully discharge certain amount of raw or partially treated sewage to provide written notification. The bill also provides penalties, and provides for such facilities to make certain upgrades and repairs. The bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the State Affairs Committee.

The House Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee heard HB 405/ (SB 1278), Biosolids Management, sponsored by Representative Mayfield. The bill prohibits the land application of biosolids on certain sites, and prohibits the DEP from issuing or renewing certain permits. It also directs the DEP to initiate rulemaking by a specified date, adopt specified rules for biosolids management, and implement a specified water quality monitoring program. The bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the State Affairs Committee.

Taxes and Financials:

The Senate Banking and Insurance Committee heard SB 1704/ (HB 1393), Department of Financial Services, sponsored by Senator Wright. The bill requires the Division of Treasury to maintain, rather than turn over to the Division of Accounting and Auditing, warrants drawn by the Chief Financial Officer. It also adds the Chief Financial Officer to a list of persons receiving the annual financial audit of the Department of the Lottery, and specifies the date by when the State Board of Administration must annually publish audited financial statements for the Florida Retirement System. The bill was passed favorably with 6 yeas and 1 nay and will move on to the Innovation, Industry and Technology Committee.

The House Local, Federal & Veterans Affairs Subcommittee heard HB 269, Senior Citizen and Teacher Property Tax Protection, sponsored by Representative Bush. The bill prohibits tax collectors from including on forms, assessing, or collecting certain charges on property tax bills for certain identified populations. The bill also prohibits tax collectors to authorize debt collection entities to collect certain charges on property tax bills for certain identified populations, and prohibits tax collectors from selling tax certificates on certain properties if only the outstanding amounts due are for delinquent payment of property tax. It also requires the DOR to work with tax collectors to identify mechanisms, strategies, and funding sources for helping certain populations pay for delinquent charges. The bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the Ways & Means Committee.

The House Ways & Means Committee heard HB 717/ (SB 886), Ad Valorem Tax Discount for Spouses of Certain Deceased Veterans Who Had Permanent, Combat-Related Disabilities, sponsored by Representative Killebrew. The bill proposes amendments to the State Constitution to authorize the surviving spouse of a deceased veteran to carry over certain discounts on ad valorem taxes on homestead property under specified circumstances. It also authorizes the transfer of discount to another permanent residence if surviving spouse remains unmarried. The bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the State Affairs Committee.

The House Ways & Means Committee heard HB 719/ (SB 888), Surviving Spouse Ad Valorem Tax Reduction, sponsored by Representative Killebrew. The bill authorizes the surviving spouse of a deceased veteran to carry over certain discounts on ad valorem taxes on homestead property under specified conditions, and also authorizes the discount to be transferred to another permanent residence under specified conditions. It also provides a procedure by which an applicant may file an application after a specified date and receive the discount. The bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the State Affairs Committee.

Local Government:

The Senate Appropriations Committee and the House Chamber heard SB 144/ HB 207, Impact Fees, sponsored by Senator Gruters and Representative Donalds. The bill revises minimum requirements for adoption of impact fees by specified local governments, and authorizes the prevailing party to recover attorney fees under certain circumstances. This would also exempt water and sewer connection fees from the Florida Impact Fee Act. The Senate bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the Senate Chamber for a second reading. The House bill was read a second and third time and was passed favorably with 101 yeas and 12 nays.

The Senate Community Affairs Committee and the House Commerce Committee heard SB 428/ HB 291, Growth Management, sponsored by Senator Perry and Representative McClain. The bill requires a local government’s comprehensive plan to include a property rights element, and also provide a statement of rights that a local government may use. The bill also requires each local government to adopt a property rights element by a specified date. The Senate bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The House bill was passed favorably with 12 yeas and 8 nays and will move on to the House State Affairs Committee.

SB 1000/ HB 693, Communications Services, is sponsored by Senator Hutson and Representative Fischer. The bill reduces the communications services tax rate on the sales of communications services, and it also revises authority for municipalities and counties to impose permit fees on providers of communications services that use or occupy municipal or county roads or rights-of-way. The bill also deletes procedures, requirements, and limitations with respect to such fees. The Senate and House bills were discussed during the Office of EDR’s Revenue Estimating Impact Conference on 03/29/19 and no votes were taken.

The Senate State Affairs Committee heard SB 1054/ (HB 9), Community Redevelopment Agencies, sponsored by Senator Lee. The bill specifies ethics training requirements for community redevelopment agency commissioners, and establishes procedures for appointing community redevelopment agency board members. It also requires referendum to create community redevelopment agency, and establishes procurement procedures. The bill provides reporting and boundary map requirements, as well as termination dates for certain community redevelopment agencies. SB 1054 also provides a phase-out period for existing community redevelopment agencies, and requires the DEO to declare certain community redevelopment agencies inactive. The DEO would be required to maintain a website identifying inactive community redevelopment agencies, and to specify the level of tax increment financing that the governing body may establish. The bill also revises requirements for budgets of community redevelopment agencies, and revises requirements for annual audit. The bill was passed favorably with 4 yeas and 1 nay and will move on to the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development.

The Senate Infrastructure and Security Committee heard SB 1440/ (HB 1079), Public Swimming Pools, sponsored by Senator Farmer Jr. The bill requires public swimming pools to have a telephone available by a certain date, and specifies that the telephone must meet certain requirements. The bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the Community Affairs Committee.

The Senate Banking and Insurance Committee heard SB 1476/ (HB 1145), Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, sponsored by Senator Flores. The bill specifies a limit on annual rate increases, except for certain coverage, in policies issued by the Citizens Property Insurance Corporation to the insureds located in certain counties. The bill was passed favorably with 6 yeas and 1 nay and will move on to the Community Affairs Committee.

The Senate Community Affairs Committee heard SB 1616/ (HB 861), Local Government Financial Reporting, sponsored by Senator Baxley. The bill requires county and municipal budget officers to submit certain information to the Office of Economic and Demographic Research within a specified timeframe, and requires the adopted budget amendments and the final budgets to remain posted on each entity’s official website for a specified period of time. The bill was passed favorably with 4 yeas and 1 nay and will move on to the Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee.

The House State Affairs Committee heard HB 5/ (SB 336), Local Tax Referenda, sponsored by Representative DiCeglie. The bill provides that a referendum to adopt or amend a local discretionary sales surtax must be held at a general election. The bill was passed favorably with 14 yeas and 7 nays and will move on to the House Chamber for a second reading.

The House State Affairs Committee heard HB 15/ (SB 1350), Local Government Fiscal Transparency, sponsored by Representative Burton. The bill revises the Legislative Auditing Committee duties and specifies the purpose of local government fiscal transparency requirements. The bill also requires local governments to post voting record information on websites and requires property appraisers and local governments to post property tax information and history on websites. It also requires public notices for public hearings and meetings prior to increases of local government tax levies and specifies noticing and advertising requirements. HB 15 also requires local governments to conduct debt affordability analyses under specified conditions and also provides a method for local governments to post certain required information. The bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the House Chamber for a second reading.

The House State Affairs Committee heard HB 437/ (SB 728), Community Development Districts, sponsored by Representative Buchanan. The bill authorizes certain lands within counties or municipalities, which a petitioner anticipates adding to a new community development district, to be identified in petition to establish a new district. The bill also provides detailed procedures for amending boundaries of a district to add land, and authorizes community development districts to merge with another type of special district created by a special act or by filing a petition for an establishment of new district. It also authorizes community development district merging with another type of district to enter into merger agreements for certain purposes. The bill was passed favorably with 19 yeas and 1 nay and will move on to the House Chamber for a second reading.

The House Business & Professions Subcommittee heard HB 603, Single-Use Plastic Straws, sponsored by Representative Fine and Sabatini. The bill prohibits local government entities from adopting or enforcing ordinances and regulations relating to single-use plastic straws, and also requires the DEP or designated entity to conduct a study evaluating the environmental impact and submit the report to the Legislature. The bill also provides for a lift of moratorium, and provides penalties. The bill was passed favorably with 10 yeas and 4 nays and will move on to the Appropriations Committee.

The House Business & Professions Subcommittee heard HB 723, Fire Protection Systems, sponsored by Representative Donalds. The bill authorizes local authorities to accept inspection reports by specified means, and also requires the State Fire Marshal to adopt rules to implement uniform procedure for the submission of inspection reports and provides requirements therefor. It also requires the association to retrofit certain condominiums with fire sprinkler system or Engineered Life Safety System, and the bill provides compliance deadlines. The bill also provides penalties, and authorizes the association to elect an alternative assessment option while implementing the qualifying fire protection improvement. The bill was passed favorably with 13 yeas and 2 nays and will move on to the Government Operations & Technology Appropriations Subcommittee.

The House Local, Federal & Veterans Affairs Subcommittee heard HB 829/ (SB 1140) Attorney Fees and Costs, sponsored by Representative Sabatini. The bill waives the sovereign immunity of local governments for liability for certain attorney fees and costs, and provides for awards of attorney fees, costs, and damages in successful civil actions challenging local ordinances as being preempted by the State Constitution or state law. The bill would also prohibit an award of attorney fees and costs under certain circumstances. The bill was passed favorably with 11 yeas and 4 nays and will move on to the House Judiciary Committee.

The House Business & Professions Subcommittee heard HB 987/ (SB 824), Vacation Rentals, sponsored by Representative grant (J). The bill preempts to the state regulation of vacation rentals, with exception, and revises the application requirements for vacation rental licensure. It also requires the Division of Hotels & Restaurants of DBPR to make certain vacation rental license information available on its website. The bill was passed favorably with 10 yeas and 5 nays and will move on to the Government Operations & Technology Appropriations Subcommittee.

The House Business & Professions Subcommittee heard HB 1169/ (SB 1572), Displacement of Private Waste Companies, sponsored by Representative McClure. The bill requires local governments to pay a specified amount of compensation to displaced private waste companies at the end of a specified notice period, and removes a provision relating to the authorization of local governments to pay a specified amount of compensation to private waste companies as an alternative to delaying displacement for a specified period. The bill also removes provisions authorizing local governments and private waste companies to negotiate such compensation and notice. The bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the House State Affairs Committee.

The House Business & Professions Subcommittee heard HB 1299, Governmental Powers, sponsored by Representative Roach. The bill prohibits municipalities from purchasing specified real estate properties, attempting to annex specified areas, and levying or collecting specified taxes on certain products and devices. The bill also revises the circumstances under which state of emergency declaration tolls are used, and also extends the remaining period for certain permits and authorizations. It also prohibits local government entities from imposing additional requirements for the maximum fuel supply or safe temperature and cooling requirements related to the comprehensive emergency management plan of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Additionally, the bill preempts the regulation of single-use plastic straws and over-counter proprietary drugs and cosmetics to the state. It also preempts the establishment of requirements for alternate generated power sources to the state and the EOG. It also preempts the establishment of a minimum age for the sale or delivery of tobacco products, nicotine products, and nicotine dispensing devices to the state. The bill was passed favorably with 10 yeas and 4 nays and will move on to the State Affairs Committee.

The House Civil Justice Subcommittee heard HB 1383/ (SB 1720), Private Property Rights Protection, sponsored by Representative Grant (J). The bill revises the notice of claim requirements for property owners, and revises the procedures for the determination of compensation. It also requires that certain settlements of claims apply to all similarly situated residential properties within a political subdivision under certain circumstances, and also authorizes property owners to bring claims against governmental entities in certain circumstances. The bill also provides that property owners are not required to submit formal development applications or proceed through formal application processes to bring such claims, and it authorizes property owners to bring actions to declare prohibited exactions invalid. The bill was passed favorably with 10 yeas and 5 nays and will move on to the Commerce Committee.

Misc.:

The Senate heard SB 74, Single-Subject Limitation for Constitution Revision Commission Proposals, sponsored by Senator Bradley. The bill proposes an amendment to the State Constitution to require that any proposals to revise the State Constitution, or any part thereof, filed by the Constitution Revision Commission be limited to a single subject. The bill was read a second and third time and was passed unanimously.

The Senate Agriculture Committee and the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee heard SB 1020/ HB 333, State Hemp Program, sponsored by Senator Bradley and Representative Killebrew. The bill creates the State Hemp Program within the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and provides requirements for the program’s registration and for the distribution and retail sale of hemp and hemp products. The bill also directs the Commissioner of Agriculture, in consultation with the Governor and Attorney General, to submit a specified plan within a specified timeframe to the United States Secretary of Agriculture. It also revises the schools at which the department is required to authorize and oversee the development of industrial hemp pilot projects. The Senate bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the Senate Appropriations Committee. The House bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee.

The Senate Innovation, Industry, and Technology Committee and the House Children, Families & Seniors Subcommittee heard SB 1128/ HB 721, Emotional Support Animals, sponsored by Senator Diaz and Representative Killebrew. The bill provides that an individual with a disability who has an emotional support animal or obtains an emotional support animal is entitled to full and equal access to all housing accommodations. It also prohibits a housing accommodation from requiring such individuals to pay extra compensation for such animal, and specifies that an individual with a disability is liable for certain damage done by their emotional support animal. The Senate bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the Senate Rules Committee. The House bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the House Judiciary Committee.

The Senate Children, Families, and Elder Affairs Committee heard SB 1218/ (HB 1353), Homelessness, sponsored by Senator Book. The bill requires that certain taxes of a specified amount be transferred annually to the Grants and Donations Trust Fund within the Department of Children and Families for the purpose of funding challenge grants. The bill will also increase the number of members on the Council on Homelessness to include a representative of the Florida Housing Coalition and the Secretary of the Department of Elder Affairs or their designee. It also revises the duties of the State Office on Homelessness. The bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services Committee.

The Senate Community Affairs Committee heard SB 1420/ (HB 777), Insulation Products, sponsored by Senator Gruters. The bill requires manufacturers to provide certain testing data for approval of certain insulation products under the Florida Building Code, and requires the manufacturer to provide the testing data to certain persons upon request. The bill also specifies that the evaluation reports may only be used for certain purposes. The bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the Commerce and Tourism Committee.

The Senate Community Affairs Committee and the House State Affairs Committee heard SB 1494/ HB 6017, Small-scale Comprehensive Plan Amendments, sponsored by Senator Perry and Representative Duggan. The bill removes the acreage limitations that apply to small-scale comprehensive plan amendments. The Senate bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the Senate Infrastructure and Security Committee. The House bill was passed favorably with 18 yeas and 1 nay and will move on to the House Chamber for a second reading.

The Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee heard SB 1808, Film and Television Production, sponsored by Senator Taddeo. The bill recognizes the value of film and television production as an economic driver and a creator of high-wage jobs, encourages the collaboration of public-sector and private-sector efforts through the development of programs and partnerships, and encourages the Florida Office of Film and Entertainment’s continued support of various collaborative programs and partnerships for national and international marketing. The bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the Rules Committee.

The Senate Infrastructure and Security Committee heard SB 7030, School Safety and Security, sponsored by the Senate Education Committee. The bill requires a sheriff to establish a school guardian program under certain conditions, and requires school districts to promote a mobile suspicious activity reporting tool through specified mediums. It also requires the Commissioner of Education to review recommendations from the School Hardening and Harm Mitigation Workgroup, and also revises the duties of the commissioner to include oversight of compliance with the safety and security requirements of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act by specified persons and entities. The bill was passed favorably with 5 yeas and 3 nays and will move on to the Appropriations Committee.

The House Oversight, Transparency & Public Management Subcommittee heard HB 1/ (SB 1702), Ethics Reform, sponsored by Representative Sabatini. The bill repeals provisions relating to state, state university, and community college employee lobbyists, and prohibits certain public officers and employees from soliciting specified employment and contractual relationships. The bill also revises lobbyist registration, compensation report, principal designation cancellation, and investigation requirements. The bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the State Affairs Committee.

The House Government Operations & Technology Appropriations Subcommittee heard HB 27/ (SB 1640), Deregulation of Professions and Occupations, sponsored by Representative Ingoglia. The bill removes regulations on specified DBPR professions, including labor organizations, hair braiders, hair wrappers and body wrappers, and boxing timekeepers and announcers. It also revises certain requirements for barbers, nail specialists, business organizations that provide architecture services and interior design, landscape architects, and geologists. The bill also prohibits suspension or revocation of a license for delinquency, defaulting on a student loan payment, or defaulting on requirements of work-conditional scholarship. The bill was passed favorably with 8 yeas and 3 nays and will move on to the Commerce Committee.

The House Civil Justice Subcommittee heard HB 551/ (SB 668), Public Nuisances, sponsored by Representative McCain. The bill revises notice requirements for temporary injunctions relating to enjoinment of certain nuisances, and extends the notice period before lien may attach to certain real estate. It also provides that the use of a location for criminal or gang-related activity is public nuisance, and declares that any place used on more than two occasions within certain period as a site of specified violations is nuisance and may be abated or enjoined. The bill also provides property owner opportunity to remedy the nuisance before specified legal actions may be taken against the property in certain circumstances. The bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the State Affairs Committee.

Public Records:

The Senate and the House heard SB 142/ HB 127, Permit Fees, sponsored by Senator Perry and Representative Williamson. The bill requires the governing bodies of counties and municipalities to post their permit and inspection fee schedules and building permit and inspection utilization reports on their websites. It would also require certain governing bodies of local governments to post their building permit and inspection utilization reports on their websites by a specified date. The Senate bill was read a third time and was substituted in for HB 127. The House Chamber read SB 142 a second and third time and it was passed unanimously.

The Senate heard SB 186, Public Records/Victim of Mass Violence, sponsored by Senator Lee. The bill defines the term “killing of a victim of mass violence”, and it also expands an existing exemption from public record requirements for a photograph, video, or audio recording held by an agency which depicts or records the killing of a law enforcement officer. This would also include a photograph, video, or audio recording held by an agency which depicts or records the killing of a victim of mass violence. This bill also provides for future legislative review and repeal of the exemption, and it provides a statement of public necessity. The bill was read a third time and amendment 563584 was adopted. The bill was then passed unanimously.

The Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee and the House heard SB 450/ HB 327, Public Records and Public Meetings/Local Government Utility, sponsored by Senator Gibson and Representative Davis. The bill exempts from public meetings requirements certain exempt information concerning information technology systems held by specified utilities, and provides for future legislative review and repeal of the exemptions. It also provides a statement of public necessity. The Senate bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the Senate Rules Committee. The House bill was read a second and third time and amendment 139957 was adopted. The bill was then passed unanimously.

The Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee heard SB 1414/ (HB 761), Public Records/Trade Secrets Held by an Agency, sponsored by Senator Gruters. The bill provides an exemption from public record requirements for trade secrets held by an agency, and provides that an agency employee is not liable for the release of records in compliance with the act. It also provides for future legislative review and repeal of the exemption, and provides a statement of public necessity. The bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee.

The Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee heard SB 1416/ (HB 759), Public Records, sponsored by Senator Gruters. The bill provides that certain information related to agency contracts are not confidential or exempt from public record requirements, and it also deletes a provision exempting trade secrets held by local government agencies from public records requirements. The bill also repeals a provision relating to a public records exemption under the Florida Accidental Release Prevention and Risk Management Planning Act, and revises provisions relating to public record exemptions for trade secrets and potential trade secrets received, generated, ascertained, or discovered during the course of research conducted within the state’s universities. The bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee.

The House State Affairs Committee heard HB 407/ (SB 602), Public Records, sponsored by Representative Ray Wesley Rodrigues. The bill prohibits the agency that receives a request to inspect or copy a record or from responding to such request by filing civil action against the individual or entity making said request. The bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the House Chamber for a second reading.

The House heard HB 591/ (SB 600), Pub. Rec./Public Utility Held Customer Information and Data, sponsored by Representatives Davis and Yarborough. The bill exempts from public record requirements customer meter-derived data and billing information in increments of less than one billing cycle that is held by certain utilities. It also provides a statement of public necessity. The bill was read a second and third time and was passed unanimously.

The House Local, Federal & Veterans Affairs Subcommittee heard HB 1235/ (SB 1676), Legal Notices, sponsored by Representative Fine. The bill removes provisions relating to the publication of legal notices in newspapers, and requires counties to publish legal notices on their websites. It also requires counties to provide a specified notice to residents concerning alternative methods of receiving notices, and specifies the form for the affidavits of publication. The bill was passed favorably with 10 yeas and 5 nays and will move on to the Judiciary Committee.

Transportation:

The Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee heard SB 76/ HB 107, sponsored by Senator Simpson and Representative Slosberg. The bill requires law enforcement officers to inform motor vehicle operators of certain rights, and prohibits certain actions by the officer. It also requires officers to record race and ethnicity of violators when issuing citations, and requires law enforcement agencies to report such information to the DHSMV. The DHSMV is required to annually report certain data to the Governor and Legislature. This bill also removes the requirement that enforcement be accomplished as a secondary action. The Senate bill was passed favorably with 5 yeas and 1 nay and will move on to the Senate Rules Committee. The House bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the House State Affairs Committee.

The Senate and the House State Affairs Committee heard SB 310/ HB 659, Off-highway Vehicles, sponsored by Senator Perry and Representative Hage. The bill redefines the terms “ATV” and “ROV” to increase authorized width and dry weight of such vehicles, and redefines the term “all-terrain vehicle” to increase authorized width and dry weight of such vehicle. The bill also reenacts provisions relating to the operation of an ATV on certain roadways, and reenacts provisions relating to the use of certain vehicles by law enforcement agencies. The Senate bill was read a second time and placed on the calendar for a third reading on 04/03/19. The House bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the House Chamber for a second reading.

The Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee heard SB 436/ (HB 529), Use of Vessel Registration Fees, sponsored by Senator Hooper. The bill authorizes a portion of a county’s or municipal’s vessel registration fees to be used for specified additional purposes. The bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the Rules Committee.

The Senate Infrastructure and Security Committee and the House Local, Federal & Veterans Affairs Subcommittee heard SB 542/ HB 453, Micromobility Devices and Motorized Scooters, sponsored by Senator Brandes and Representative Toledo. The bill defines the term “micromobility device”, and revises the definition of the term “motorized scooter”. It authorizes a county or municipality to regulate the operation of micromobility devices and for-hire motorized scooters, subject to certain restrictions, and authorizes a county or municipality to require that a person offering micromobility devices or for-hire motorized scooters be licensed. The bill also exempts a micromobility device or motorized scooter from certain registration, insurance, and licensing requirements. The Senate bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development. The House bill was passed favorably with 11 yeas and 1 nay and will move on to the House State Affairs Committee.

The Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee heard SB 1666, Vessels, sponsored by Senator Flores. The bill requires all persons, rather than only persons born after a specified date, to have a specified boating safety identification card in their possession before operating certain vessels. The bill will direct the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to conduct, contingent upon appropriation, a specified study of the impacts of long-term stored vessels and certain anchored and moored vessels on local communities and the state and to submit a report to the Governor and Legislature within a specified time. It also authorizes certain counties to create no-discharge zones. The bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the Community Affairs Committee.

The House Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee heard HB 1221, Anchored Vessels, sponsored by Representatives Polsky and Raschein. The bill directs the FWCC to conduct a study of the impacts of long-term stored vessels and certain anchored and moored vessels on local communities and the state, and to also submit a report to the Governor and the Legislature. The bill also prohibits residing or dwelling on certain derelict vessels until certain conditions are met. The bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the State Affairs Committee.

The House Business & Professions Subcommittee and Senate Community Affairs Committee heard SB 1792/ HB 1237, Towing and Immobilizing of Vehicles and Vessels, sponsored by Senator Gruters and Representative McClain and Ponder. The bill authorizes local governments to enact rates to tow or immobilize vessels on private property and to remove and store vessels, and also prohibits local governments from enacting ordinances that impose charges on authorized wrecker operators or towing businesses. The bill also prohibits local governments from imposing charges on specified entities, and authorizes certain persons to place liens on vehicles or vessels. It also requires persons who immobilize vehicles to be licensed, and provides procedures for licensing. SB 1792 also specifies prohibited activities and insurance coverages. The Senate bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the Senate Infrastructure and Security Committee. The House bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the House State Affairs Committee.