Legislative Update: 2019 Session – Week 9

Legislative Update: 2019 Session – Week 9

Week 9: April 29 – May 3, 2019

Emergency Services:

The Governor approved SB 426, Firefighters, sponsored by Senator Flores. The bill grants certain benefits to a firefighter upon receiving a diagnosis of cancer if certain conditions are met, and requires an employer to make certain disability payments to a firefighter in the event of a total and permanent disability. The bill also provides for death benefits to a firefighter’s beneficiary if a firefighter dies as a result of cancer or cancer treatments.

The Senate and the House heard HB 441/ (SB 536), 911 Services, sponsored by Representative DuBose. 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 bill also requires that the Technology Program within the Department of Management Services develop and implement a plan to require that emergency dispatchers will be able to transfer an emergency call from one E911 system to another E911 system in this state. It also defines the terms “first responders” and “911 public safety answering point” or “PSAP”, and it requires a PSAP to be able to directly communicate by radio with first responders. The bill having been passed favorably by both chambers will now move on to the Governor for approval.

The Senate and the House heard HB 487/ (SB 722), Carrying of Firearms by Tactical Medical Professionals, sponsored by Representative Smith (D). The bill exempts certain licensed medical professionals from specified provisions concerning the carrying of firearms, and requires certain policies and procedures for law enforcement agencies. The bill also provides immunities and privileges for such professionals, and requires the appointing law enforcement agency to issue any firearm or ammunition to tactical medical professionals. Amendment 764278 was adopted, and the bill having been passed favorably by both chambers will now move on to the Governor for approval.

Environmental:

The House heard SB 1552/ (HB 1135), Florida Red Tide Mitigation and Technology Development Initiative, sponsored by Senator Gruters. The bill establishes the Florida Red Tide Mitigation and Technology Development Initiative, and requires the initiative to submit an annual report by a specified date to the Governor, the Legislature, the Secretary of Environmental Protection, and the Executive Director of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The bill also establishes the Initiative Technology Advisory Council. The bill, having been passed favorably by both chambers, will now move on to the Governor for approval.

The Senate heard SB 1820, 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 read a second time and was adopted by the Senate.

The Senate heard HB 771/ (SB 816), Environmental Regulation, sponsored by Representative Overdorf. The bill requires counties and municipalities to address the contamination of recyclable materials in specified contracts, and also prohibits counties and municipalities from requiring the collection or transport of contaminated recyclable materials by residential recycling collectors. The bill also prohibits local governments from requiring certain project verification from the DEP, and revises types of dock and pier replacements and repairs that are exempt from verification and certain permitting requirements. It also prohibits local government entities from adopting or enforcing ordinances and regulations relating to single-use plastic straws, and it provides for a lift of moratorium. Having been passed favorably by both chambers, the bill will now move on to the Governor for approval.

Taxes and Financials:

The Senate and the House heard HB 1393/ (SB 1704), Department of Financial Services, sponsored by Representative Clemons. The bill requires cemetery company licenses, combination funeral director and embalmer internships, funeral establishments, embalming facilities, disposition of proceeds from preneed contracts, preneed contracts, direct disposal establishments, and cinerator facilities. It also requires preneed licensees to provide certain persons with written notice of intent to distribute funds under preneed contract, and revises requirements for nonrenewable temporary license, lines insurance licenses, and nonresident public adjuster’s licenses. The bill also authorizes luxury ground transportation network companies to elect to be regulated as transportation network companies, and establishes the Florida Blockchain Task Force. Amendments 701988, 697136, and 141036 were adopted to the bill, and the bill, having been passed favorably by both chambers, will now move on to the Governor for approval.

The Senate and the House heard HB 7123/ (SB 1412), Taxation, sponsored by the House Ways & Means Committee. The bill authorizes the Department of Revenue to change the methodology for statistical and analytical reviews for certain assessment purposes if it first makes specific determinations concerning natural disasters in counties. The bill also reduces the tax levied on rental or license fees charged for the use of real property, and revises the timing of distribution of moneys to certain counties impacted by a reduction in ad valorem tax revenue resulting from certain tax abatements related to specified hurricanes. It also allows insurance premium tax credit amounts to be applied retroactively to installment payments for purposes of determining penalty amounts. Amendments 925052, 176464, 749698, 636739, and 743867 were adopted to the bill, and the bill, having been passed favorably by both chambers, will now move on to the Governor for approval.

Local Government:

The House heard SB 82/ (HB 145), Vegetable Gardens, sponsored by Senator Bradley. 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 read a second and third time, passed favorably in the House with 93 yeas and 16 nays, and the bill, having been passed favorably by both chambers, will now move on to the Governor for approval.

The House heard SB 1000/ (HB 693), Communications Services, sponsored by Senator Hutson. The bill reduces the rates of certain communications services taxes, and specifies limitations and prohibitions on municipalities and counties relating to registrations and the renewals of communications services providers. The bill also prohibits certain municipalities and counties from electing to impose permit fees, and specifies prohibited acts by municipalities and countries in the use of their authority over the placement of facilities for certain purposes. The bill was read a second and third time and was passed favorably in the House with 96 yeas and 16 nays. The bill, having been passed favorably by both chambers, will now move on to the Governor for approval.

The Senate and the House heard HB 5/ (SB 336), Discretionary Sales Surtaxes, sponsored by Representative DiCeglie. The bill requires a two-thirds vote of certain county governing boards to authorize a discretionary sales surtax, and requires a local government discretionary sales surtax referendum to be held on specified date. It also requires such referendum to be approved by a specified percentage of voters for passage, and revises requirements and procedures for discretionary sales surtax performance audits. This bill also requires the OPPAGA, upon receiving certain notice, to procure a certified public accountant for performance audit. It also requires a supervisor of elections to verify a petition of signatures and retain signature forms in a specified manner. It also provides that an initiative sponsor’s failure to comply with the specified requirements renders any referendum held void. Amendments 498526, 964263, 980309, and 338888 were adopted, and the bill, having been passed favorably by both chambers, will now move on to the Governor for approval.

The Senate and the House heard HB 9/ (SB 1054), Community Redevelopment Agencies, sponsored by Representative LaMarca. The bill requires ethics training for community redevelopment agency commissioners, and requires a community redevelopment agency to follow certain procurement procedures. The bill also requires a community redevelopment agency to publish certain digital boundary maps on its website, and provides termination dates for certain community redevelopment agencies. Amendment 811912 was adopted and the bill, having been passed favorably by both chambers, will now move on to the Governor for approval.

The Senate heard HB 437/ (SB 728), Community Development Districts, sponsored by Representative Buchanan. The bill authorizes certain lands within a county or municipality which a petitioner anticipates adding to a new community development district to be identified in a petition to establish the new district, and also provides detailed procedures for amending the boundaries of a district to add land. The bill also authorizes community development districts to merge with another type of special district created by a special act or by filing a petition for the establishment of a new district. The bill also authorizes community development district merging with another type of district to enter into merger agreements for certain purposes. The bill, having been passed favorably by both chambers, will now move on to the Governor for approval.

The Senate and the House heard HB 447/ (SB 902), Building Permits, sponsored by Representative Diamond. The bill authorizes counties to provide notice to certain persons under certain circumstances, and authorizes counties that issue building permits to charge a person a single search fee for a certain amount under certain circumstances. The bill also authorizes the governing bodies of municipalities to charge a person a single search fee for a certain amount under certain circumstances, and provides exemptions to certain contracting requirements. It also authorizes a local government to provide notice to certain persons under certain circumstances within a specified timeframe. Amendment 970072, and 353614 was adopted, and the bill, having been passed favorably by both chambers, will now move on to the Governor for approval.

The Senate heard HB 827/ (SB 616), Engineering, sponsored by Representative Toledo. The bill prohibits specified services to the department for a project that is wholly or partially funded by the department and administered by a local governmental entity from being performed by the same entity. The bill revises licensure certification requirements to include active engineering experience and a minimum age, and also revises the timeframes in which a fee owner or the fee owner’s contractor using a private provider to provide building code inspection services must notify the local building official. The bill, having been passed favorably by both chambers, will now move on to the Governor for approval.

The Senate and the House 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. Amendment 892770 was adopted and the bill, having been passed favorably by both chambers, will now move on to the Governor for approval.

The Senate and the House heard HB 861/ (SB 1616), Local Government Financial Reporting, sponsored by Representative Fernandez-Barquin. 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. Amendment 300314 was adopted, and the bill, having been passed favorably by both chambers, will now move on to the Governor for approval.

The Senate heard HB 1159/ (SB 1400), Private Property Rights, sponsored by 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 bill, having been passed favorably by both chambers, will now move on to the Governor for approval.

The Senate heard HB 6017/ (SB 1494), Small-scale Comprehensive Plan Amendments, sponsored by Representative Duggan. The bill removes the acreage limitations that apply to small-scale comprehensive plan amendments. The bill, having been passed favorably by both chambers, will now move on to the Governor for approval.

The Senate and the House heard HB 7103/ (SB 1730), Community Development and Housing, sponsored by the House Commerce Committee. The bill prohibits local governments from imposing certain requirements relating to affordable housing, and provides procedures for addressing deficiencies. The bill also provides minimum requirements for adopting impact fee, and requires local government to credit against the collection of impact fee contributions related to public education facilities. It also requires local government to increase impact or mobility fee credits previously awarded, and specifies the use of summary procedure in development order cases. The bill revises the timeframe an owner or contractor must notify a building official of the use of a private provider, and revises the timeframe for the approval or denial of permit applications. The bill also authorizes a contractor to petition the court to enforce building code inspection service laws, and limits the number of times a building official may audit a private provider. Amendments 168742, 518504, 113718, 465196, 155860, 387652, and 444806 were adopted, and the bill, having been passed favorably by both chambers, will now move on to the Governor for approval.

Misc.:

The Senate heard SB 366/ (HB 171), Infectious Disease Elimination Programs, sponsored by Senator Braynon. The bill cites this act as the “Infectious Disease Elimination Act (IDEA)”, and provides that a county commission may authorize a sterile needle and syringe exchange program. The bill also requires the development of an oversight and accountability system for certain purposes, and provides for the immunity from civil liability under certain circumstances. The bill, having been passed favorably by both chambers, will now move on to the Governor for approval.

The House heard SB 1024/ (HB 735), Blockchain Technology, sponsored by Senator Gruters. The bill establishes the Florida Blockchain Task Force in the DFS, and provides for membership and duties of the task force. It also requires the task force to submit a report to the Governor and the Legislature and make presentations. The bill also requires the DFS to provide support staff and other assistance to the task force, and provides for the termination of the task force. The bill, having been passed favorably by both chambers, will now move on to the Governor for approval.

The House heard SB 7030/ (HB 7093), School Safety and Security, sponsored by the Senate Education Committee. The bill requires a sheriff to establish a school guardian program under a certain condition, and it also requires school districts to promote a mobile suspicious activity reporting tool through specified mediums. The bill also requires the Commissioner of Education to review recommendations from the School Hardening and Harm Mitigation Workgroup, and 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, having been passed favorably by both chambers, will now move on to the Governor for approval.

The Senate and the House heard SB 7066, Election Administration, sponsored by the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee. The bill requires the Secretary of State to provide signature matching training to certain persons, and revises the voter threshold necessary to require the reporting of certain precinct-level results by ballot. It also authorizes certain individuals to serve as witnesses during the ballot duplication process, and revises requirements for vote-by-mail ballot instructions. The bill also provides a penalty for certain supervisors who willfully violate the Florida Election Code. Amendments 704217, and 766844 were adopted, and the bill, having been passed favorably by both chambers, will now move on to the Governor for approval.

The Senate heard HB 617/ (SB 380), Homeowners’ Insurance Policy Disclosures, sponsored by Representative Joseph. The bill revises circumstances under which insurers issuing homeowners’ insurance policies must include a specified statement relating to flood insurance with policy documents at initial issuance and renewals. The bill, having been passed favorably by both chambers, will now move on to the Governor for approval.

Public Records:

The Senate and the House heard SB 186/ (HB 7017), Public Records/Victim of Mass Violence, sponsored by Senator Lee. The bill defines the term “killing of a victim of mass violence”. This bill also expands an existing exemption from public records requirements for a photograph or a video or audio recording held by an agency which depicts or records the killing of a law enforcement officer to include a photograph or a video or audio recording held by an agency which depicts or records the killing of a victim of mass violence. It also providing for future legislative review and repeal of the exemption, and provides a statement of public necessity. Amendment 008047 was adopted, and the bill, having been passed favorably by both chambers, will now move on to the Governor for approval.

The Senate and the House heard HB 281/ (SB 342), Public Records/Voters and Voter Registration, sponsored by Representative Stevenson. The bill provides an exemption from public records requirements for information concerning preregistered voter registration applicants who are minors, and it also provides for future legislative review and repeal. The bill also provides for retroactive application, and provides a statement of public necessity. Amendments 113608, 425013, and 177608 were adopted, and the bill, having been passed favorably by both chambers, will now move on to the Governor for approval.

The Senate heard HB 591/ (SB 600), Pub. Rec./Public Utility Held Customer Information and Data, sponsored by Representative Davis. 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. The bill also provides a statement of public necessity. The bill, having been passed favorably by both chambers, will now move on to the Governor for approval.

Substances:

The Senate and the House heard SB 1020/ (HB 333), State Hemp Program, sponsored by Senator Bradley. 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. Amendments 250377, 119005, 751155, and 250377 were adopted, and the bill, having been passed favorably by both chambers, will now move on to the Governor for approval.

The Senate heard HB 369/ (SB 900), Substance Abuse Services, sponsored by Representative Caruso. The bill authorizes the Department of Children and Families and the Agency for Health Care Administration to grant exemptions from the disqualification of certain service provider personnel. The bill also requires individuals screened on or after a specified date to undergo a specified background screening, and increase the criminal penalty for certain unlawful activities relating to personnel. It also prohibits an individual who is not a certified peer specialist from advertising or providing recovery services unless the person is exempt, and it authorizes the department, a behavioral health managing entity, or the Medicaid program to reimburse peer specialist services as a recovery service. The bill, having been passed favorably by both chambers, will now move on to the Governor for approval.

The Senate heard HB 451/ (SB 630), Nonopioid Alternatives, sponsored by Representative Plakon. The bill requires the DOH to develop and publish on its website an educational pamphlet regarding the use of nonopioid alternatives for treatment of pain, and provides requirements for health care practitioners. The bill, having been passed favorably by both chambers, will now move on to the Governor for approval.

Transportation:

The Governor approved SB 310, Off-highway Vehicles, sponsored by Senator Perry. The bill redefines the terms “ATV” and “ROV” to increase the authorized width and dry weight of such vehicles, and also redefines the term “all-terrain vehicle” to increase the authorized width and dry weight of the vehicle.

The House heard SB 7068/ (HB 7113), Transportation, sponsored by the Senate Infrastructure and Security Committee. The bill creates the Multi-use Corridors of Regional Economic Significance Program within the Department of Transportation. It also specifies that projects undertaken in the corridors are either tolled facilities or certain approved turnpike projects, and these are considered as Strategic Intermodal System facilities. The bill also requires the department to identify certain opportunities to accommodate or co-locate multiple types of infrastructure-addressing issues during the project development phase. The bill, having been passed favorably by both chambers, will now move on to the Governor for approval.

The House heard HB 107/ SB 76, Wireless Communications While Driving, sponsored by Representative Toledo. The bill requires law enforcement officers to inform motor vehicle operators of certain rights, and prohibits certain actions by officers. It also requires officers to record the race and ethnicity of violator when issuing a citation, and requires law enforcement agencies to report such information to the DHSMV. The bill also requires the DHSMV to annually report certain data to the Governor and the Legislature. It also removes the requirement that enforcement be accomplished as a secondary action. The bill, having been passed favorably by both chambers, will now move on to the Governor for approval.

The House heard HB 311/ (SB 932), Autonomous Vehicles, sponsored by 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 also 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 bill, having been passed favorably by both chambers, will now move on to the Governor for approval.

The Senate and the House heard HB 385/ (SB 898), Transportation, sponsored by Representative Avila. The bill requires certain counties to use surtax proceeds only for purposes related to fixed guideway rapid transit systems, rail systems, bus systems, development of dedicated facilities for autonomous vehicles, and certain services. The bill also authorizes a percentage of surtax proceeds to be distributed to certain municipalities to be used for certain purposes, and authorizes an electronic copy, instead of a true copy, of rental or lease documentation issued for a motor vehicle or issued for a replacement vehicle in the same registration period to be in the possession of the operator or carried in the vehicle and exhibited upon demand of any authorized law enforcement officer or agent of the department. It also authorizes the department to establish a program for transportation projects that demonstrate certain innovative techniques for measuring resiliency and structural integrity and controlling time and cost increases. Amendments 681892, 177412, 600016, 965940, and 869784 were adopted and the bill, having been passed favorably by both chambers, will now move on to the Governor for approval.

The Senate heard HB 453/ (SB 542), Mobility Devices and Motorized Scooters, sponsored by Representative Toledo. The bill authorizes a county or a municipality to regulate the operation of micromobility devices, and authorizes a county or a municipality to require licensure. The bill also requires proof of certain insurance coverage, and provides that the regulation of micromobility devices is controlled by state and federal law. It also provides that an operator has all rights and duties applicable to a rider of a bicycle, and exempts micromobility device from certain requirements. The bill provides that a person is not required to have a valid driver license to operate micromobility device, authorizes parking on sidewalk, requires the securing of shared micromobility devices under certain circumstances, and also exempts micromobility devices from certain emblem requirements. The bill, having been passed favorably by both chambers, will now move on to the Governor for approval.

The Senate and the House heard SB 1666/ (HB 1221), Anchored Vessels, sponsored by Senator Flores. The bill directs the FWCC to conduct a study of impacts of long-term stored vessels and certain anchored and moored vessels on local communities and the state, and to submit the report to the Governor and the Legislature. It also prohibits residing or dwelling on certain derelict vessels until certain conditions are met. Amendments 407017 and 47177 were adopted, and the bill, having been passed favorably by both chambers, will now move on to the Governor for approval.