Legislative Update: 2019 Session – Week 5

Legislative Update: 2019 Session – Week 5

Week 5: April 1 – 5, 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 and the House Transportation & Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee heard SB 230/ HB 131, Voter Registration Maintenance, sponsored by Senator Gruters and Representative Mariano. The bill requires the supervisors of elections to enter into agreements with clerks of the circuit courts to receive specified information, and also requires the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to furnish monthly to the Department of State a list of persons who identified themselves as aliens. It also requires the Department of State to compare the list with the statewide voter registration system, and provide the names of the registered voters who are aliens to the supervisors of elections of the counties in which the voters are registered. The Senate bill was passed favorably with 4 yeas and 3 nays 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.

The Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee heard SB 342/ (HB 281), Public Records/Voters and Voter Registration, sponsored by Senator Lee. The bill provides an exemption from public record requirements for information concerning preregistered voter registration applicants who are minors, and provides for future legislative review and repeal. The bill also provides for retroactive application, and providing a statement of public necessity. The bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the Senate Rules Committee.

The House State Affairs 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 14 yeas and 6 nays and will move on to the House Chamber for a second reading.

The House State Affairs 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 12 yeas and 7 nays and will move on to the House Chamber for a second reading.

The House State Affairs Committee heard HB 7089/ (SB 7086), Voting Rights Restoration, sponsored by the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee. 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 15 yeas and 6 nays and will move on to the Judiciary Committee.

Environmental:

The Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee heard SB 1344, Statewide Environmental Resource Permitting Rules, sponsored by Senator Cruz. The bill clarifies the duty of the Department of Environmental Protection to adopt, in coordination with the water management districts, specified statewide environmental resource permitting rules. It also directs the water management districts, with department oversight, to adopt rules for specified design and performance standards relating to new development and redevelopment projects. The bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government Committee.

The Senate Community Affairs Committee heard SB 1758, Water Quality Improvements, sponsored by Senator Mayfield. The bill cites this act as the “Clean Waterways Act”, and requires the Department of Environmental Protection, in coordination with the Department of Health, to develop a report to be submitted to the Legislature by a specified date on the impacts of transferring the onsite sewage program of the Department of Health to the Department of Environmental Protection by a type two transfer. The bill also revises the requirements for a basin management action plan for an Outstanding Florida Spring, and establishing a wastewater grant program within the Department of Environmental Protection. The bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the Appropriations Committee.

The Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee heard SB 1820/ (HB 1379), Moratorium on Drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, sponsored by Senator Hooper. The bill supports an extension of the current moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico east of the Military Mission Line. The bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the Military and Veterans Affairs and Space Committee.

The House Appropriations Committee heard HB 973/ (SB 1022), Onsite Treatment and Disposal Systems, sponsored by Representative Payne. 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 also requires county health departments to coordinate with the department to administer certain programs. The bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the State Affairs Committee.

The House Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee heard HB 1135/ (SB 1552), Florida Red Tide Mitigation and Technology Development Initiative, sponsored by Representative Grant (M). The bill establishes the Florida Red Tide Mitigation and Technology Development Initiative, and provides the purpose and goal of the initiative. The bill also provides for its funding, and also requires the initiative to submit an annual report. It also establishes the Initiative Technology Advisory Council, and provides for its meetings, membership, terms of office, and compensation of council. The bill also provides for the expiration of the initiative. The bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the State Affairs Committee.

Taxes and Financials:

The Senate Finance and Tax Committee and the House Ways & Means Committee heard SB 324/ HB 1391, Limitations on Homestead Assessments, sponsored by Senator Brandes and Representative Grant (J). The bill revises the timeframe during which the accrued benefit from specified limitations on homestead property tax assessments may be transferred from a prior homestead to a new homestead. It also revises the timeframe during which an owner of a homestead’s property that was significantly damaged or destroyed by a named tropical storm or hurricane can establish a new homestead to make a certain election. 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 State Affairs Committee.

The Senate Finance and Tax Committee and the House Ways & Means Committee heard SB 326/ HB 1389, Homestead Property Tax Assessments/Increased Portability Period, sponsored by Senator Brandes and Representative Grant (J). The bill proposes an amendments to the State Constitution to increase the period of time during which the accrued benefit from specified limitations on homestead property tax assessments may be transferred from a prior homestead to a new homestead and to provide an effective date. 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 State Affairs Committee.

The Senate Finance and Tax Committee heard SB 856/ (HB 1151), Homestead Exemptions, sponsored by Senator Gruters. The bill specifies that a person must knowingly and intentionally receive or claim a certain ad valorem tax exemption or credit in another state to be disqualified from a certain homestead exemption. It also provides that certain property is not subject to the assessment of exempted taxes, penalties, and interest under certain circumstances. The bill was passed favorably with 7 yeas and 1 nay and will move on to the Appropriations Committee.

The Senate Finance and Tax Committee heard SB 886/ (HB 717), Ad Valorem Tax Discount for Spouses of Certain Deceased Veterans Who Had Permanent, Combat-Related Disabilities, sponsored by Senator Brandes. 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 the surviving spouse remains unmarried. The bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the Appropriations Committee.

The Senate Finance and Tax Committee heard SB 888/ (HB 719), Surviving Spouse Ad Valorem Tax Reduction, sponsored by Senator Brandes. 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 Appropriations Committee.

The Senate Innovation, Industry, and Technology Committee and the House Government Operations & Technology Appropriations Subcommittee heard SB 1024/ HB 735, Blockchain Technology, sponsored by Senator Gruters and Representative Santiago. The bill establishes the Florida Blockchain Task Force within the Department of Financial Services, and requires the task force to develop a specified master plan. It also specifies the duties and procedures of the task force. 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 State Affairs Committee.

The House Ways & Means Committee heard HB 691/ (SB 854), Special Neighborhood Improvement Districts, sponsored by Representative Newton. The bill revises the number of directors allowed for boards of special neighborhood improvement districts, and requires local planning ordinances to specify the director number and provide for 4-year staggered terms. It also requires that the directors be landowners in proposed area and be subject to certain taxation. The bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the State Affairs Committee.

The House Health & Human Services Committee heard HB 1295, Property Tax Exemptions Used by Hospitals, sponsored by Representative Caruso. The bill provides criteria to be used in determining value of tax exemptions for the charitable use of certain hospitals, and provides application requirements for tax exemptions on certain properties. The bill was passed favorably with 9 yeas and 5 nays and will move on to the House Chamber for a second reading.

The House Government Operations & Technology Appropriations Subcommittee heard HB 1393/ (SB 1704), Department of Financial Services, sponsored by Representative Clemons. 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 unanimously and will move on to the Commerce Committee.

The House State Affairs Committee heard HB 7053, Taxation Transparency, sponsored by the House Ways & Means Committee. The bill renames certain fees and assessments as taxes, and renames certain surcharges as surtaxes. It also renames certain fees as surtaxes, and requires municipalities, counties, and special districts to rename certain levies and assessments as specified taxes. This bill also repeals an obsolete provision and provides appropriations. The bill was passed favorably with 14 yeas and 6 nays.

Local Government:

The Senate Chamber and the House Chamber heard SB 144/ HB 207, Impact Fees, sponsored by Senator Gruters and Representative Donalds. The bill revises the minimum requirements for the 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 read a second and third time, and it substituted HB 207. The bill was then read a second and third time and was passed favorably with 39 yeas and 1 nay.

The Senate Infrastructure and Security Committee heard SB 728/ (HB 437), Community Development Districts, sponsored by Senator Lee. 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 also authorizes community development districts to merge with another type of special district that is created by a special act or by filing a petition for an establishment of a 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 unanimously and will move on to the Rules Committee.

The Senate Infrastructure and Security Committee and the House Justice Appropriations Subcommittee heard SB 762/ HB 639, Duties and Obligations of Sheriffs, sponsored by Senator Gruters and Representative Perez. The bill requires each sheriff to coordinate with certain boards of county commissioners and chief judges to develop a comprehensive plan for the security of trial court facilities. The bill also specifies that the sheriffs and their deputies, employees, and contractors are officers of the court under specified circumstances. The Senate bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice. The House bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the House Judiciary Committee.

The Senate Community Affairs Committee and the House Commerce Committee heard SB 1400/ HB 1159, Private Property Rights, sponsored by Senator Albritton and Representative La Rosa. The bill deletes a provision that authorizes electric utilities to perform certain right-of-way tree maintenance only if a property owner has received local government approval, and also prohibits certain local government ordinances or regulations from requiring a permit, application, notice, fee, or fine for certain activities regarding trees on residential property. The bill also authorizes a local government to enforce ordinances or regulations pertaining to the replanting of trees under certain circumstances. The Senate bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The House bill was passed favorably with 19 yeas and 4 nays and will move on to the House State Affairs Committee.

The Senate Community Affairs 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 unanimously and will move on to the Rules Committee.

The Senate Community Affairs Committee heard SB 1508/ (HB 1081), Neighborhood Improvement Districts, sponsored by Senator Simmons. The bill increases the maximum number of directors allowed for boards of special neighborhood improvement districts, and requires local planning ordinances to specify the number of directors, their term lengths, and to provide for staggered terms. The bill also creates the Safe Neighborhood Improvement District Revolving Loan Program, and authorizes the Department of Legal Affairs to provide loans for specified projects within safe neighborhood improvement districts. The bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice Committee.

The Senate Community Affairs Committee heard SB 1510/ (HB 1083), Trust Funds/Safe Neighborhood Improvement District Revolving Loan Trust Fund/Department of Legal Affairs, sponsored by Senator Simmons. The bill creates the Safe Neighborhood Improvement District Revolving Loan Trust Fund within the Department of Legal Affairs, and provides for future review and termination or re-creation of the trust fund. The bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice Committee.

The House Commerce Committee heard HB 145/ (SB 82), Vegetable Gardens, sponsored by Representative Fetterhoff. The bill prohibits local governments from regulating vegetable gardens on residential properties except as otherwise provided by law, and also specifies that such regulations are void and unenforceable. The bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the State Affairs Committee.

The House Ways & Means Committee heard HB 693/ (SB 1000), Communications Services, sponsored by Representative Fischer. The bill reduces the communications services tax rate on the sales of communications services, and it also revises the 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 bill was passed favorably with 14 yeas and 1 nay and will move on to the Commerce Committee.

The Senate Community Affairs committee heard HB 829/ (SB 1140) Attorney Fees and Costs, sponsored by Senator Hutson. 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 3 yeas and 2 nays and will move on to the Rules Committee.

The House Appropriations Committee heard HB 861/ (SB 1616), Local Government Financial Reporting, sponsored by Representative Roach. 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 unanimously and will move on to the State Affairs Committee.

The House Government Operations & Technology Appropriations 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 9 yeas and 2 nays and will move on to the Commerce Committee.

The House Commerce Committee 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 21 yeas and 2 nays and will move on to the Judiciary Committee.

Misc.:

The Senate heard SB 96/ (HB 67), Police, Fire, and Search and Rescue Dogs, sponsored by Senator Bean. 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 third time and passed unanimously.

The Senate Finance and Tax Committee heard SB 298/ (HB 739), Rural Communities, sponsored by Senator Montford. The bill creates the “Florida Rural Jobs and Business Recovery Act”, and requires the Department of Economic Opportunity to accept applications for approval as growth funds in a specified manner. The bill also prohibits the department from approving more than a certain amount of investment authority or investor contributions, and requires the department to certify approved applications. The bill was passed unanimously and will move on to a second committee.

The Senate and the House Judiciary Committee heard SB 366/ HB 171, Infectious Disease Elimination Programs, sponsored by Senator Braynon and Representative Jones. The bill cites this act as the “Infectious Disease Elimination Act (IDEA)”, and authorizes certain eligible entities to establish sterile needle and syringe exchange programs; rather than a single program established in Miami-Dade County. This bill also exempts certain persons affiliated with a program from prosecution for possession of a needle or syringe under certain circumstances. The Senate bill read a second and third time and was passed unanimously. The House bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the House Health & Human Services Committee.

The Senate Health Policy Committee heard SB 630/ (HB 451), Non-opioid Alternatives, sponsored by Senator Perry. The bill requires the Department of Health to develop and publish on its website an educational pamphlet regarding the use of non-opioid alternatives for the treatment of pain. It also requires that the pamphlet include specified information, including the advantages and disadvantages of the use of such alternatives. The bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the Judiciary Committee.

The Senate Criminal Justice Committee heard SB 668/ (HB 551), Public Nuisances, sponsored by Senator Perry. 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 Community Affairs Committee.

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice Committee heard SB 1030, Mitigating Circumstances in Sentencing, sponsored by Senator Bracy. The bill revises the mitigating circumstances under which a departure from the lowest permissible sentence is justified, to include when a defendant is amenable to, treatment and their required specialized treatment for a certain substance addiction. The bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the Appropriations Committee.

The Senate Innovation, Industry, and Technology Committee and the House Government Operations & Technology Appropriations Subcommittee heard SB 1640 / HB 27, Deregulation of Professions and Occupations, sponsored by Senator Albritton and Representative Ingoglia. The bill renames the Board of Architecture and Interior Design as the Board of Architecture within the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. It also repeals provisions relating to hearings for persons or labor organizations denied licensure as a business agent, and also requires the Department of Business and Professional Regulation or a board to seek reciprocal licensing agreements with other states under certain circumstances. The bill also repeals provisions relating to fees and local licensing requirements. The Senate bill was passed favorably with 6 yeas and 4 nays and will move on to the Commerce and Tourism Committee. The House bill was passed favorably with 18 yeas and 4 nays.

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice Committee heard SB 1766/ (HB 1315), Crime Stoppers Programs, sponsored by Senator Gruters. The bill prohibits a person who engages in privileged communication, a law enforcement crime stoppers coordinator or his or her staff, or a member of a crime stoppers organization’s board of directors, from being required to disclose privileged communications or produce protected information. The bill also provides an exception, and authorizes a person charged with a criminal offense to petition the court to inspect the protected information under certain circumstances. The bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the Appropriations Committee.

The House State Affairs Committee 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 House Chamber for a second reading.

The House Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee heard HB 333/ (SB 1020), State Hemp Program, sponsored by 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 bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the State Affairs Committee.

The House Appropriations Committee heard HB 1047/ (SB 1542), Government Integrity, sponsored by Representative Hutson. The bill creates the Florida Accountability Office under the Auditor General, and provides investigative duties of the Chief Inspector General and agency inspectors general. The bill also provides requirements for awards given to employees who report under the Whistle-blower’s Act, and prohibits tax incentives from being awarded or paid to a state contractor or subcontractor. The bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the State Affairs Committee.

The House Government Operations & Technology Appropriations Subcommittee heard HB 1161/ (SB 962), Malt Beverages, sponsored by Representative Roach. The bill prohibits the consignment sales of malt beverages, and authorizes bona fide returns. It authorizes the distributors to accept the returns, and provides requirements for these returns, exchanges, and recordkeeping. The bill also provides penalties, and specifies that authorized returns are not gifts, loans, or other prohibited forms of financial aid or assistance. The bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the Commerce Committee.

The House Justice Appropriations Subcommittee heard HB 1405/ (SB 210), Searches of Cellular Phones and Other Electronic Devices, sponsored by Representative Toledo. The bill revises exceptions to the prohibition on unlawful access to stored communications, and requires that law enforcement obtain a warrant to acquire certain location information. It also provides procedures for such warrants, and also provides limited exceptions in certain circumstances. The bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the Judiciary Committee.

The House PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee heard HB 7095, School Choice, sponsored by the House PreK-12 Innovation Subcommittee. The bill revises provisions relating to controlled open enrollment, the state school choice scholarship program accountability and oversight, charter schools, schools of hope, and The Hope Scholarship Program. The bill authorizes the Center for Community Schools to award grants for purposes related to community schools. The bill was passed favorably with 8 yeas and 1 nay and will move on to the Education Committee.

Public Records:

The Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee heard SB 450/ (HB 327), Public Records and Public Meetings/Local Government Utility, sponsored by Senator Gibson. 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 bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the Senate Chamber for a second reading.

The Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee heard SB 600/ (HB 591), Pub. Rec./Public Utility Held Customer Information and Data, sponsored by Senator Gibson. 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 passed unanimously and will move on to the Rules Committee.

The Senate heard SB 7036/ (HB 7007), OGSR/Payment of Toll on Toll Facilities/Identifying Information, sponsored by Senate Infrastructure and Security Committee. The bill amends provisions which provides an exemption from public record requirements for personal identifying information held by the Department of Transportation, a county, a municipality, or an expressway authority for certain purposes. The bill was read a third time and was passed unanimously.

The House State Affairs Committee heard HB 759/ (SB 1416), Public Records, sponsored by Representative Massullo, Jr. 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 House Chamber for a second reading.

The House State Affairs Committee heard HB 761/ (SB 1414), Public Records/Trade Secrets Held by an Agency, sponsored by Representative Massullo, Jr. 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 House Chamber for a second reading.

The House Judiciary Committee 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 11 yeas and 7 nays and will move on to a third committee.

Transportation:

The Senate heard SB 310/ (HB 659), Off-highway Vehicles, sponsored by Senator Perry. 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 bill was read a third time and was passed unanimously.

The Senate Rules 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 Senate Chamber for a second reading.

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development Committee and the House State Affairs Committee heard SB 898/ HB 385, Transportation, sponsored by Senator Diaz and Representative Avila. The bill revises the authorized uses of proceeds from a charter county and the regional transportation system surtaxes, and also revises the preservation goals of the Department of Transportation to include ensuring that all work on the State Highway System meets department standards. The bill also requires the department to approve design plans for all transportation projects relating to department-owned rights-of-way under certain circumstances, and prohibits the department from using toll revenues from high-occupancy toll lanes or express lanes to offset certain funding. The Senate bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the Senate Appropriations Committee. The House bill was passed unanimously.

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development and the House State Affairs Committee heard SB 932/ HB 311, Autonomous Vehicles, sponsored by Senator Brandes and Representative Fischer. The bill authorizes the Department of Transportation, in consultation with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, to conduct pilot or demonstration programs to explore the efficient implementation of innovative transportation technologies, and authorizes the Florida Turnpike Enterprise to enter into one or more agreements to fund, construct, and operate facilities for the advancement of autonomous and connected innovative transportation technologies for certain purposes. This bill also exempts a vehicle being operated with the automated driving system engaged from a prohibition on the active display of television or video, and exempts a motor vehicle operator who is operating an autonomous vehicle from a prohibition on the use of wireless communications devices. The Senate bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the Senate Appropriations Committee. The House bill was passed favorably with 20 yeas and 1 nay.

The Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee and the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee heard SB 1530/ HB 1319, Vessels, sponsored by Senator Rouson and Representative Diamond. The bill requires vessel operators to reduce speed in specified hazardous situations, and revises civil penalties relating to certain at-risk vessels and prohibited anchoring or mooring. It also provides civil penalties relating to vessels that fail to reduce speed for special hazards. The Senate bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the Senate Criminal Justice Committee. The House bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the House State Affairs Committee.

The Senate Community Affairs 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 the 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 Rules Committee.

The Senate Community Affairs Committee heard SB 1792/ (HB 1237), Towing and Immobilizing of Vehicles and Vessels, sponsored by Senator Gruters. 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 bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the Rules Committee.

The House State Affairs Committee heard HB 107/ (SB 76), Texting While Driving, sponsored by 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 bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the House Chamber for a second reading.

The House Transportation & Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee heard HB 347/ (SB 826), Towing-Storage Operator Liens, sponsored by Representative Rodriguez (AM). The bill requires certain lien notices to be sent through third-party mailing services, and removes the authorization of certain attorney fees. It also revises requirements for inspection and the release of vehicles or vessels and personal property in such vehicles or vessels. The bill also requires third-party mailing services to apply to the DHSMV, and authorizes the department to approve applications if certain conditions are met. It also requires approved third-party notification services to maintain performance bonds and conduct an annual audit. HB 347 also authorizes the department to deny, suspend, or revoke its approval, and requires third-party mailing services to maintain certain records for a specified period and allow inspection and copying of such records by the department. This bill also authorizes towing-storage operators to send notices on their own behalf. The bill was passed unanimously and will move on to the State Affairs Committee.