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Legislative Bill Summaries

The 2020 regular Legislative Session commenced on January 14 and will adjourn on March 13. Below are summaries of all the bills with municipal impact that have been filed to date.   

If you have any questions on a specific bill, please contact the lobbyist tracking the bill. This is indicated by the last name in parenthesis following each bill summary. Links to the House and Senate are located at the bottom of the page.

 

01 - PREEMPTIONS

Vacation Rentals (Oppose – Preemption)

CS/SB 1128 (Diaz) and CS/CS/HB 1011 (Fischer) change current law relating to vacation rentals, also known as short-term rentals (STRs). The bills were amended to: ...

CS/SB 1128 (Diaz) and CS/CS/HB 1011 (Fischer) change current law relating to vacation rentals, also known as short-term rentals (STRs). The bills were amended to: •clarify the definition of an advertising platform and narrow it by removing print advertisements from its scope. •allow a “grandfathered” city to amend its short-term rental regulations if the amendment makes the regulation less restrictive. •require the department to maintain vacation rental property license information in an accessible electronic format. •require advertising platforms to verify a property’s license number prior to publishing its advertisement on its platform and every quarter thereafter. •require advertising platforms to quarterly provide the department with the physical address of the vacation rental properties that advertise on their platforms. •impose a duty on advertising platforms to collect and remit taxes in relation to the rental of a vacation rental property through its platform. •establish requirements that advertising platforms adopt an anti-discrimination policy and inform their users of the public lodging discrimination prohibition found in current law. •clarify that the provision of the bill shall not supersede any current or future community association governing document. Additionally, CS/CS/HB 1011 now requires sexual predators to notify the sheriff's office of a temporary residence within 24 hours of arrival. Language carving out the Florida Keys from certain elements of the preemption was also added to the bill. (Cook)

Recreational Vehicle Parks (Oppose – Preemption)

SB 772 (Hutson) and CS/CS/CS/HB 647 (Drake) preempt local government regulations to allow any recreational vehicle park that is damaged or destroyed as a result of wind, water or other natural disaster to be rebuilt on the same site using the same density standards that were approved or permitted before the park was damaged or destroyed. CS/CS/CS/HB 647 adds an exemption from supervision and regulation by the Department of Health for certain surf pools. (Cruz)   ...

SB 772 (Hutson) and CS/CS/CS/HB 647 (Drake) preempt local government regulations to allow any recreational vehicle park that is damaged or destroyed as a result of wind, water or other natural disaster to be rebuilt on the same site using the same density standards that were approved or permitted before the park was damaged or destroyed. CS/CS/CS/HB 647 adds an exemption from supervision and regulation by the Department of Health for certain surf pools. (Cruz)

Home-Based Businesses (Oppose – Preemption)

CS/HB 537 (Donalds) and SB 778 (Perry) define a "home-based business" and preempt local governments from licensing and regulating home-based businesses. Local governments would be prohibited from enacting or enforcing any ordinance, regulation or policy regarding home-based businesses. However, such home-based businesses could not substantially increase traffic, noise, waste or recycling.  CS/HB 537 was amended to specify that a home-based business may not be regulated or licensed in a manner that is different from other businesses within a local government's jurisdiction. The bill now allows a party to challenge any local government action that violates the preemption. The ...

CS/HB 537 (Donalds) and SB 778 (Perry) define a "home-based business" and preempt local governments from licensing and regulating home-based businesses. Local governments would be prohibited from enacting or enforcing any ordinance, regulation or policy regarding home-based businesses. However, such home-based businesses could not substantially increase traffic, noise, waste or recycling.  CS/HB 537 was amended to specify that a home-based business may not be regulated or licensed in a manner that is different from other businesses within a local government's jurisdiction. The bill now allows a party to challenge any local government action that violates the preemption. The prevailing party is entitled to recover attorney's fees and costs. (Cruz)

Impact Fees (Oppose – Preemption)

CS/CS/HB 637 (DiCeglie) and CS/CS/SB 1066 (Gruters) are comprehensive bills regarding impact fees. The bills require a financial report for each impact fee trust fund annually. Local governments would be prohibited from collecting impact fees earlier than the date the building permit is issued. The bills allow impact fee credits to be transferred from one development to another within the same impact fee jurisdiction for the same type of facility. Each municipality is required to establish an impact fee review committee composed of two members from the local government, two members of the business community, two local contractors ...

CS/CS/HB 637 (DiCeglie) and CS/CS/SB 1066 (Gruters) are comprehensive bills regarding impact fees. The bills require a financial report for each impact fee trust fund annually. Local governments would be prohibited from collecting impact fees earlier than the date the building permit is issued. The bills allow impact fee credits to be transferred from one development to another within the same impact fee jurisdiction for the same type of facility. Each municipality is required to establish an impact fee review committee composed of two members from the local government, two members of the business community, two local contractors and one at large member. CS/CS/HB 637 was amended in committee to define the term infrastructure and in doing so, limit the use of impact fee revenue to capital expenditures specifically listed in the definition. This would include any fixed capital expenditure or fixed capital outlay associated with the construction, reconstruction or improvement of public facilities that have a life expectancy of five or more years; any related land acquisition, land improvement, design, engineering and permitting costs; and all other professional and related costs required to bring the public facilities into service. Previously under CS/SB 1066, an impact fee was not necessarily required to be used in the area that was impacted by development. However, CS/SB 1066 was amended in committee to further restrict the transferability of impact fees to allow, for purposes of impact fee credit transfers, that a benefit be recognized within any zone or district located within five miles of the zone or district where the credit was generated. (Cruz)

Deregulation of Professions (Oppose – Preemption)

CS/HB 3 (Grant, M.) and CS/SB 1336 (Perry) expressly preempt the licensing of occupations to the state. The bill defines occupation to include a paid job, work, trade, employment or profession and defines licensing to include any training, education, test, certification, registration, procedure or license that are required for a person to perform an occupation. The bills provide limited exceptions for specified local licenses and any local government licensing of occupations that was expressly authorized by general law. The bills will prohibit a local government from requiring a person to obtain a license for a job scope that ...

CS/HB 3 (Grant, M.) and CS/SB 1336 (Perry) expressly preempt the licensing of occupations to the state. The bill defines occupation to include a paid job, work, trade, employment or profession and defines licensing to include any training, education, test, certification, registration, procedure or license that are required for a person to perform an occupation. The bills provide limited exceptions for specified local licenses and any local government licensing of occupations that was expressly authorized by general law. The bills will prohibit a local government from requiring a person to obtain a license for a job scope that does not substantially correspond to the job scope of certain contractor categories set forth in Chapter 489, Florida Statutes. In addition, the bills will authorize local governments to issue journeyman licenses in specified trades. The bills are effective July 1, 2020. CS/SB 1336, was amended in committee to grandfather all existing local regulations on professions. (Cruz)

Retainage (Oppose – Preemption) 

CS/SB 246 (Hooper) and CS/HB 101 (Andrade) would allow municipalities the ability to retain only up to 5% across an entire construction project. Currently, municipalities can withhold up to 10% of retainage for the first half of a construction project and up to 5% on the last half. Retainage serves as a safeguard against possible overpayment to the general contractor when the estimated percentage of project completion, used for periodic payments, exceeds the actual percentage completed. Additionally, retainage helps to ensure that the project is 100% complete prior to funds being released to the contractor. (Branch) ...

CS/SB 246 (Hooper) and CS/HB 101 (Andrade) would allow municipalities the ability to retain only up to 5% across an entire construction project. Currently, municipalities can withhold up to 10% of retainage for the first half of a construction project and up to 5% on the last half. Retainage serves as a safeguard against possible overpayment to the general contractor when the estimated percentage of project completion, used for periodic payments, exceeds the actual percentage completed. Additionally, retainage helps to ensure that the project is 100% complete prior to funds being released to the contractor. (Branch)

Deregulation of Professions and Occupations (Oppose – Preemption)

CS/CS/SB 474 (Albritton) deals with the deregulation of certain professions and occupations. The bill preempts the regulation of mobile food dispensing vehicles (food trucks) to the state and prohibits local governments from prohibiting the operation of food trucks. Additionally, the bill also deletes the authority of the Florida League of Cities and the Florida Association of Counties to recommend a list of candidates for consideration to the Florida Building Commission. (Branch) ...

CS/CS/SB 474 (Albritton) deals with the deregulation of certain professions and occupations. The bill preempts the regulation of mobile food dispensing vehicles (food trucks) to the state and prohibits local governments from prohibiting the operation of food trucks. Additionally, the bill also deletes the authority of the Florida League of Cities and the Florida Association of Counties to recommend a list of candidates for consideration to the Florida Building Commission. (Branch)

Housing (Oppose – Preemption)

CS/CS/SB 998 (Hutson) and CS/CS/HB 1339 (Yarborough) makes varied and comprehensive changes to Florida law impacting affordable housing. Of concern to municipalities, the bills permit a mobile home park damaged or destroyed by wind, water or other natural force to be rebuilt on the same site with the same density as was approved, permitted or built before being damaged or destroyed. (Branch) ...

CS/CS/SB 998 (Hutson) and CS/CS/HB 1339 (Yarborough) makes varied and comprehensive changes to Florida law impacting affordable housing. Of concern to municipalities, the bills permit a mobile home park damaged or destroyed by wind, water or other natural force to be rebuilt on the same site with the same density as was approved, permitted or built before being damaged or destroyed. (Branch)

Red Light Cameras (Oppose – Preemption) 

HB 6083 (Rodriguez, Anthony) preempts cities, counties and the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles from installing, maintaining, or utilizing red light cameras effective July 1, 2023. (Branch) ...

HB 6083 (Rodriguez, Anthony) preempts cities, counties and the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles from installing, maintaining, or utilizing red light cameras effective July 1, 2023. (Branch)

Electric Bicycles (Oppose CS/HB971 – Preemption, Support CS/SB 1148)

CS/HB 971 (Grant, M.) and CS/SB 1148 (Brandes) create regulations governing the operation of e-bikes and provide that an e-bike or an operator of an e-bike must be afforded all the rights and privileges of a bicycle. The bills authorize an e-bike to operate where bicycles are allowed, including, but not limited to, streets, highways, roadways, shoulders and bicycle lanes. However, local governments are authorized to regulate the operation of e-bikes on the prescribed areas. Additionally, following notice and a public hearing, a municipality or county may restrict or prohibit the operation of an e-bike on the path ...

CS/HB 971 (Grant, M.) and CS/SB 1148 (Brandes) create regulations governing the operation of e-bikes and provide that an e-bike or an operator of an e-bike must be afforded all the rights and privileges of a bicycle. The bills authorize an e-bike to operate where bicycles are allowed, including, but not limited to, streets, highways, roadways, shoulders and bicycle lanes. However, local governments are authorized to regulate the operation of e-bikes on the prescribed areas. Additionally, following notice and a public hearing, a municipality or county may restrict or prohibit the operation of an e-bike on the path if the entity finds that such a restriction is necessary in the interest of public safety or to comply with other laws or legal obligations. CS/SB 1148 was amended in committee to remove the preemption language. The FLC now supports CS/SB 1148. (Branch)

Transportation Network Companies (Oppose – Preemption)

CS/SB 1352 (Brandes) and CS/HB 1039 (Rommel) establish a regulatory framework for digital advertising on transportation network company vehicles and for luxury ground transportation network company vehicles, preempting such regulation to the state. The bills would also preempt local governments who are currently collecting revenue from the regulation of digital advertising on vehicles. (Branch) ...

CS/SB 1352 (Brandes) and CS/HB 1039 (Rommel) establish a regulatory framework for digital advertising on transportation network company vehicles and for luxury ground transportation network company vehicles, preempting such regulation to the state. The bills would also preempt local governments who are currently collecting revenue from the regulation of digital advertising on vehicles. (Branch)

Local Government Accountability (Oppose – Preemption)

SB 766 (Perry) and HB 611 (Sabatini) impose mandatory lobbyist registration requirements on all governmental entities as defined in the bill, including all municipalities and counties. The bills also amend statutory meeting notice requirements for cities and counties. ...

SB 766 (Perry) and HB 611 (Sabatini) impose mandatory lobbyist registration requirements on all governmental entities as defined in the bill, including all municipalities and counties. The bills also amend statutory meeting notice requirements for cities and counties. The bills require the Florida Commission on Ethics to create the Local Government Lobbyist Registration System, and beginning October 2020, any local government lobbyist registration ordinance or requirement is preempted by the state system. The bills define lobbying, provide exceptions and specify activities that do not constitute lobbying. A person may not lobby a government entity (which includes any municipality or county) until the person has electronically registered as a lobbyist with the commission. The bills appear to prohibit separate registration fees for each municipality in a county, as they authorize separate registration submissions for each county and prohibits additional fees for governmental entities within each county. The bills specify information to be included in the lobbyist registration. Registration is renewable annually and must include authorization from each principal identified. HB 611 directs the Commission on Ethics to set the annual lobbying registration fee by rule but provides the fee shall not exceed $20 for each principal represented within a county and governmental entities therein and that it may not exceed $5 for each additional principal represented. Registration fee limits and penalty amounts are addressed in a separate Senate bill, SB 768 (Perry).   The bills require the commission to publish lobbyist registration information on the internet. It requires a governmental entity to make reasonable efforts to ascertain whether a person who lobbies that entity is registered with the commission. Upon discovery of a violation of requirements of these provisions, the bill authorizes a person or governmental entity to file a complaint with the commission. If probable cause is found, a person may be subject to reprimand, censure, assessment of a civil penalty not to exceed $500 per violation or suspension from lobbying for a specified period. HB 611 authorizes governmental entities to impose additional civil penalties not to exceed $500 per violation or a suspension from lobbying the entity for up to two years. The bills prohibit a governmental entity from requiring classes, certifications or additional requirements as a requisite for lobbyist registration. They authorize a governmental entity to require lobbyist compensation reporting and disclosure of lobbyist contacts with government officials and authorizes restrictions on the exchange of money or things of value between lobbyists and government officials.   By January 2021, a governmental entity shall notify the commission of any local requirement that imposes additional or more stringent obligations with respect to lobbyist compensation reporting or other lobbying activities and provide this information and any associated forms to the commission. By January 2022, each governmental entity shall conform its lobbyist regulation system, if any, to the commission’s system to eliminate duplicative requirements. The bill authorizes the commission to adopt rules to implement its provisions. Lastly, the bills amend statutory meeting notice requirements for municipalities and counties. Except in the case of emergency meetings, the governing body of a municipality or governing board of a county must provide notice of any meeting of the body or board at least seven days in advance by posting a notice on body or board’s website. The meeting notice must include a statement of the general subject matter to be considered by the body or board. (O’Hara)

Elections (Oppose – Preemption)

CS/SB 1372 (Brandes) makes technical, election administration changes recommended by the Florida State Supervisors of Elections Association for the 2020 general election cycle. In addition, the bill expressly preempts a local government from enacting or imposing any limitation on contributions to a political committee or electioneering communications organization, or limitations on any expenditures for an electioneering organization or an independent expenditure. (O’Hara) ...

CS/SB 1372 (Brandes) makes technical, election administration changes recommended by the Florida State Supervisors of Elections Association for the 2020 general election cycle. In addition, the bill expressly preempts a local government from enacting or imposing any limitation on contributions to a political committee or electioneering communications organization, or limitations on any expenditures for an electioneering organization or an independent expenditure. (O’Hara)

Local Government Lobbyist Registration Fees (Oppose – Preemption and Mandate)

SB 768 (Perry) is linked to SB 766 (Perry). SB 768 establishes a statewide local government lobbyist registration fee. It provides the fee may not exceed $40 for each principal represented for one county and governmental entities therein or exceed $5 for each principal represented for each additional county and governmental entities therein. The bill prohibits a local government from charging a fee for the registration of lobbyists or principals, or for the enforcement of lobbyist regulation except as may be reasonable and necessary to cover the cost of such enforcement. Enforcement fees may be charged only if ...

SB 768 (Perry) is linked to SB 766 (Perry). SB 768 establishes a statewide local government lobbyist registration fee. It provides the fee may not exceed $40 for each principal represented for one county and governmental entities therein or exceed $5 for each principal represented for each additional county and governmental entities therein. The bill prohibits a local government from charging a fee for the registration of lobbyists or principals, or for the enforcement of lobbyist regulation except as may be reasonable and necessary to cover the cost of such enforcement. Enforcement fees may be charged only if enforcement action is initiated and are limited to the direct and actual cost of the enforcement action. (O’Hara)

Public Records (Watch SB 162/Oppose HB 195 – Preemption)

CS/SB 162 (Perry) and HB 195 (Rodrigues) are two bills relating to public record requests. The bills ...

CS/SB 162 (Perry) and HB 195 (Rodrigues) are two bills relating to public record requests. The bills prohibit a city, after receiving a public record request, from filing an action for declaratory judgement against the individual or entity making the request. These bills would prevent cities from seeking clarification from the courts as to whether a record is exempt or exempt and confidential. (Cook)

Pet Stores (Oppose – Preemption)

HB 1237 (Avila), SB 1698 (Diaz) and SB 1700 (Diaz) preempt any local government ordinance or regulation that prohibits or regulates pet stores. The bills specify requirements for sourcing, sale or transfer of animals from a pet store as well as impose inspections and other conditions on the pet store. SB 1698 creates the Florida Pet Protection Act requiring the Florida Department of Professional Regulation to adopt procedures and oversee the licensures and inspections of pet stores. SB 1700 requires a fee of $25 to acquire or maintain a pet store license. (Cook) ...

HB 1237 (Avila), SB 1698 (Diaz) and SB 1700 (Diaz) preempt any local government ordinance or regulation that prohibits or regulates pet stores. The bills specify requirements for sourcing, sale or transfer of animals from a pet store as well as impose inspections and other conditions on the pet store. SB 1698 creates the Florida Pet Protection Act requiring the Florida Department of Professional Regulation to adopt procedures and oversee the licensures and inspections of pet stores. SB 1700 requires a fee of $25 to acquire or maintain a pet store license. (Cook)

Environmental Protection Act (Oppose – Preemption)

HB 1199 (Ingoglia) and CS/SB 1382 (Albritton) prohibit local governments from recognizing or granting certain legal rights to the natural environment (e.g., granting legal standing to waterbodies) or granting enforcement of such rights to persons or political subdivision. (O’Hara) ...

HB 1199 (Ingoglia) and CS/SB 1382 (Albritton) prohibit local governments from recognizing or granting certain legal rights to the natural environment (e.g., granting legal standing to waterbodies) or granting enforcement of such rights to persons or political subdivision. (O’Hara)

Environmental Resource Management (Oppose – Preemption)

SB 1382 (Albritton) is a comprehensive bill that prohibits local governments from recognizing or granting certain legal rights to the natural environment (e.g., granting legal standing to waterbodies) or granting enforcement of such rights to persons or political subdivision. The bill also authorizes basin management action plans to include a cooperative agricultural regional water quality management element or a cooperative urban, suburban, commercial or institutional regional water quality improvement element. The agricultural element shall be adopted by the Department of Environmental Protection and may include cost-effective and financially feasible cooperative agricultural nutrient reduction projects intended to reduce nutrient ...

SB 1382 (Albritton) is a comprehensive bill that prohibits local governments from recognizing or granting certain legal rights to the natural environment (e.g., granting legal standing to waterbodies) or granting enforcement of such rights to persons or political subdivision. The bill also authorizes basin management action plans to include a cooperative agricultural regional water quality management element or a cooperative urban, suburban, commercial or institutional regional water quality improvement element. The agricultural element shall be adopted by the Department of Environmental Protection and may include cost-effective and financially feasible cooperative agricultural nutrient reduction projects intended to reduce nutrient impacts from agricultural operations. Participants in the plan must have already implemented interim measures, best management practices or other measures adopted by DEP. The cooperative urban, et al. element shall be developed by DEP and may include cost- effective, financially practical regional nutrient reduction projects that may be implemented to reduce nutrient impacts from urban, suburban, commercial or institutional operations. The bill directd DEP to work with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to improve the accuracy of data in BMAPs and shall work with producers to identify technologies for implementation. The bill establishes a nutrient reduction cost-share program within DEP that authorizes the agency to fund projects that may reduce nutrient pollution, including projects identified in the new plan elements authorized by the bills. The bill specifies funding priority for certain projects and require projects to have a 50% match of local funds. (O’Hara)

Clean Energy Programs (Oppose – Preemption)

HB 225 (Zika) and SB 824 (Hooper) amend current law relating to “Property Assessed Clean Energy” (PACE) programs and requirements. The bill provides definitions for PACE administrator, PACE contractor, PACE loan, PACE loan contract, qualifying commercial real property and qualifying residential property. It provides that a local government may enter an agreement with a PACE administrator to administer the program and specifies that local government or PACE administrator may enter into a PACE loan contract only with the record owner of the property. It eliminates current language in law stating that a recorded PACE loan contract provides constructive ...

HB 225 (Zika) and SB 824 (Hooper) amend current law relating to “Property Assessed Clean Energy” (PACE) programs and requirements. The bill provides definitions for PACE administrator, PACE contractor, PACE loan, PACE loan contract, qualifying commercial real property and qualifying residential property. It provides that a local government may enter an agreement with a PACE administrator to administer the program and specifies that local government or PACE administrator may enter into a PACE loan contract only with the record owner of the property. It eliminates current language in law stating that a recorded PACE loan contract provides constructive notice that the assessment to be levied constitutes a lien of equal dignity to county taxes and assessments. The bill includes new provisions regarding a PACE loan’s lien position. It provides that a PACE loan is: subordinate to all liens on the property recorded before the PACE lien notice is recorded; subordinate to a first mortgage on the property recorded after the PACE notice is recorded; and superior to any lien recorded after the PACE notice is recorded. The bill imposes substantial new requirements on local governments financing for qualifying residential property (maturity date of PACE loan, limits on loan amount, total combined debt may not exceed 75 percent of assessed value). The bill specifies required contents for PACE loan contracts for residential real property and prohibits such contracts from resulting in negative amortization, charging any interest upon interest or fees or containing any provision requiring forced arbitration or restricting class action. The bill prohibits a residential PACE contract from being entered until it has been verified the property owner has the ability to repay the loan: owner’s monthly debt to income ratio does not exceed 43 percent and must have sufficient residual income to meet basic living expenses. The bill specifies methodology and sources for verification of property owner’s income, debt and expenses. The bill requires the local government or PACE administrator, prior to execution of a contract, to confirm the key terms of the PACE agreement and scope of energy improvement work with the property owner in a live, recorded telephone conversation. The bill requires specific disclosures be made to the owner during the telephone call. The bill requires that prior to entering a PACE loan on residential property, the household be screened for eligibility for low-or no-cost programs that may be provided by government or utility service providers. The bill prohibits a local government from permitting a property owner from entering a contract unless the owner is given a right to cancel the contract within a specified timeframe. It requires the use of a specified financing estimate and disclosure form and that such form be provided to an owner at least three business days before a contract is signed. The bill delineates prohibited practices by PACE administrators or PACE contractors. The bill prohibits a local government or PACE administrator from entering into a PACE contract unless written notice has been provided to, and written consent obtained from, each of the holders of any mortgage on the qualifying residential or commercial property. It provides that a PACE loan shall not be made unless the holder of any mortgage on the qualifying property provides signed confirmation that entering into the loan contract does not constitute an event of default or give rise to any remedies under the terms of the mortgage loan. The bill provides for preservation of claims and defenses for successors in interest to property owners and provides for attorney fees and costs for aggrieved residential property owners. (O’Hara)

Firefighters' Bill of Rights (Oppose – Preemption)

HB 215 (Casello) and CS/SB 620 (Hooper) revise the current process that must be followed for the interrogation of firefighters. The bills revise the definition of “interrogation” to include questioning related to informal inquiries. The bills require all witnesses to be interviewed prior to beginning the interrogation of the firefighter when possible. The bills also require that the firefighter be provided the complaint, all witness statements and all other existing evidence before the interrogation. A firefighter being interrogated may not be threatened with transfer, dismissal or disciplinary action. The bills also set a timeline for certain information to ...

HB 215 (Casello) and CS/SB 620 (Hooper) revise the current process that must be followed for the interrogation of firefighters. The bills revise the definition of “interrogation” to include questioning related to informal inquiries. The bills require all witnesses to be interviewed prior to beginning the interrogation of the firefighter when possible. The bills also require that the firefighter be provided the complaint, all witness statements and all other existing evidence before the interrogation. A firefighter being interrogated may not be threatened with transfer, dismissal or disciplinary action. The bills also set a timeline for certain information to be provided to the firefighter and prohibit any retaliatory action against the firefighter for exercising his or her rights. The complaint and other investigative information are confidential and exempt from public records pursuant to the current law, and the “informal inquiry” does not include discussions such as safety sessions, normal operations fire debriefings and routine work-related discussions. (Hughes)

Preemption of Conditions of Employment (Oppose – Preemption)

HB 305 (Rommel) and SB 1126 (Gruters) prohibit a political subdivision, including a municipality, from establishing, mandating or otherwise requiring an employer to offer conditions of employment not otherwise required by state or federal law. An “employer” is defined as any person who is engaged in any activity, enterprise or business in this state and employs at least one employee. The bills expressly preempt the regulation of minimum wage and other conditions of employment to the state. The bills do not limit the authority of a political subdivision to regulate minimum wage or to require conditions of employment ...

HB 305 (Rommel) and SB 1126 (Gruters) prohibit a political subdivision, including a municipality, from establishing, mandating or otherwise requiring an employer to offer conditions of employment not otherwise required by state or federal law. An “employer” is defined as any person who is engaged in any activity, enterprise or business in this state and employs at least one employee. The bills expressly preempt the regulation of minimum wage and other conditions of employment to the state. The bills do not limit the authority of a political subdivision to regulate minimum wage or to require conditions of employment for employees of the political subdivision, employees of a contractor or subcontractor who provides goods or services to the political subdivision and employees of an employer receiving a direct tax abatement or subsidy from the political subdivision as a condition of the direct tax abatement or subsidy. Any ordinance, regulation or policy of a political subdivision that is preempted by the bills and which existed before or on the effective date of this act is void. (Hughes)

Towing and Immobilizing Vehicles and Vessels (Oppose – Preemption)

CS/CS/HB 133 (McClain) and CS/CS/SB 1332 (Hooper) require local governments to establish maximum rates for the towing and immobilization of vessels and prohibit a county or municipality from enacting a rule or ordinance that imposes a fee or charge on authorized wrecker operators. The bills provide that an authorized wrecker operator may impose and collect an administrative fee and is required to remit the fee to the county or municipality only after it has been collected. The bills prohibit local governments from adopting or enforcing ordinances or rules that impose fees on the registered owner or lien holder ...

CS/CS/HB 133 (McClain) and CS/CS/SB 1332 (Hooper) require local governments to establish maximum rates for the towing and immobilization of vessels and prohibit a county or municipality from enacting a rule or ordinance that imposes a fee or charge on authorized wrecker operators. The bills provide that an authorized wrecker operator may impose and collect an administrative fee and is required to remit the fee to the county or municipality only after it has been collected. The bills prohibit local governments from adopting or enforcing ordinances or rules that impose fees on the registered owner or lien holder of a vehicle or vessel removed and impounded by an authorized wrecker operator. The bills provide that a wrecker operator that recovers, removes or stores a vehicle or vessel must have a lien on the vehicle or vessel that includes the value of the reasonable administrative fee or charge imposed by a county or municipality. The bills exempt certain counties with towing or immobilization licensing, regulatory or enforcement programs as of January 1, 2020, from the prohibition on imposing a fee or charge on an authorized wrecker operator or on a towing business. The bill prohibits a municipality or county from enacting an ordinance or rule requiring an authorized wrecker operator or towing business to accept credit cards as a form of payment. CS/CS/SB 1332 was amended to remove the lien holder of a vehicle or vessel as an entity that may be assessed a charge or fee by a county or city when the vehicle or vessel is towed from public property by a towing business or by an authorized wrecker operator. (Cook)

Monuments and Memorials (Oppose – Preemption)

HB 31 (Hill) preempts the ability of local governments to remove, alter, rename or otherwise disturb a memorial or monument on public property placed in memory of a veteran or war. This preemption includes the removal of Civil War memorials made to honor or commemorate the war, soldiers or government officials that aided the war effort. The legislation specifies that a remembrance erected, named or dedicated on or after March 22, 1822, on public property may be relocated, removed, altered, renamed, rededicated or otherwise disturbed only if necessary to accommodate construction, repair or improvements to the remembrance or ...

HB 31 (Hill) preempts the ability of local governments to remove, alter, rename or otherwise disturb a memorial or monument on public property placed in memory of a veteran or war. This preemption includes the removal of Civil War memorials made to honor or commemorate the war, soldiers or government officials that aided the war effort. The legislation specifies that a remembrance erected, named or dedicated on or after March 22, 1822, on public property may be relocated, removed, altered, renamed, rededicated or otherwise disturbed only if necessary to accommodate construction, repair or improvements to the remembrance or to the surrounding property on which the remembrance is located. Additionally, the bill requires that a remembrance on public property that is sold or repurposed must be relocated to a location of equal prominence as the original location. (Cruz)

02 - MANDATES

Growth Management (Oppose – Unfunded Mandate)

CS/SB 410 (Perry) and CS/CS/HB 203 (McClain) would require local governments to adopt by July 1, 2023, a new mandatory element in their comprehensive plans that addresses the protection of private property rights. CS/SB 410 was amended to require the Department of Economic Opportunity to give funding preference for technical assistance to certain counties and municipalities. CS/CS/HB 203 now provides that a municipality may not annex an area within another municipal jurisdiction without consent from the other municipality. The amended bill also provides that a Development of Regional Impact may be amended by the development order process, allowing ...

CS/SB 410 (Perry) and CS/CS/HB 203 (McClain) would require local governments to adopt by July 1, 2023, a new mandatory element in their comprehensive plans that addresses the protection of private property rights. CS/SB 410 was amended to require the Department of Economic Opportunity to give funding preference for technical assistance to certain counties and municipalities. CS/CS/HB 203 now provides that a municipality may not annex an area within another municipal jurisdiction without consent from the other municipality. The amended bill also provides that a Development of Regional Impact may be amended by the development order process, allowing a change in land use if the change does not increase impact to public facilities. The bill now allows existing Developments of Regional Impact agreements that are classified as essentially built out and were valid on or before April 6, 2018, to exchange land uses under certain circumstances. As amended the bill now provides that on or after July 1, 2020, a municipality may not extend new water or sewer services into the unincorporated area of a county without consent of the county if the county already provides the same service. The amended bill requires that all utility permit applications for use of the public right of way be processed within the timeframe that currently applies only to permit applications submitted by communications services providers (See also HB 7099). The bill now requires the Department of Economic Opportunity to give preference to counties and municipalities with populations less than 200,000 when selecting applications for funding for technical assistance related to certain determinations that need to be made when developing or amending a local government's comprehensive plan. Lastly, the amended bill allows the prevailing party in a challenge to certain local ordinances for local growth policy and land development regulation to seek attorney fees and costs. (Cruz)

Traffic and Pedestrian Safety (Oppose – Unfunded Mandate)

CS/CS/SB 1000 (Perry) and CS/CS/HB 1371 (Fine) require that crosswalks located at any place other than an intersection of a public street, highway or road be controlled by pedestrian and traffic signals that meet requirements of the Florida Department of Transportation Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. (Branch) ...

CS/CS/SB 1000 (Perry) and CS/CS/HB 1371 (Fine) require that crosswalks located at any place other than an intersection of a public street, highway or road be controlled by pedestrian and traffic signals that meet requirements of the Florida Department of Transportation Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. (Branch)

Communication Services Tax (Oppose – Mandate)

HB 701 (Fischer) and SB 1174 (Hutson) reform the communications services tax (CST) to clarify that certain streaming services are subject to the tax and create uniform rates. The bills reduce the local CST rate to 5% or less by January 1, 2021, and 4% or less by January 1, 2022. The bills also reduce the state CST rate from 4.92% to 4.9% and the noncharter county CST rate to 2% by January 1, 2022. The bills repeal the local option sales surtax conversion that is levied on communications services. The Revenue Estimating Conference has partially determined the ...

HB 701 (Fischer) and SB 1174 (Hutson) reform the communications services tax (CST) to clarify that certain streaming services are subject to the tax and create uniform rates. The bills reduce the local CST rate to 5% or less by January 1, 2021, and 4% or less by January 1, 2022. The bills also reduce the state CST rate from 4.92% to 4.9% and the noncharter county CST rate to 2% by January 1, 2022. The bills repeal the local option sales surtax conversion that is levied on communications services. The Revenue Estimating Conference has partially determined the fiscal impact of this bill. It is estimated to negatively impact local government revenues by $190 million each year. (Hughes)

Supermajority Vote Required to Impose, Authorize or Raise Local Taxes or Fees (Oppose – Mandate)

HJR 477 (Rommel) proposes an amendment to the Florida Constitution requiring that any local tax or fee that is imposed, authorized or raised by a local jurisdiction, including municipalities, be approved by two-thirds of the membership of the jurisdiction. “Fee” is defined as any charge or payment required by ordinance or regulation. The proposed amendment requires any local tax or fee imposed or raised under this section to be contained in a separate resolution or ordinance. This proposed amendment would require 60 percent approval of the electorate for passage. (Hughes)  ...

HJR 477 (Rommel) proposes an amendment to the Florida Constitution requiring that any local tax or fee that is imposed, authorized or raised by a local jurisdiction, including municipalities, be approved by two-thirds of the membership of the jurisdiction. “Fee” is defined as any charge or payment required by ordinance or regulation. The proposed amendment requires any local tax or fee imposed or raised under this section to be contained in a separate resolution or ordinance. This proposed amendment would require 60 percent approval of the electorate for passage. (Hughes)

Local Government Fiscal Transparency (Oppose – Mandate)

HB 1149 (DiCeglie) and SB 1702 (Diaz) amend multiple provisions related to local government financial transparency. The bills expand public notice and public hearing requirements for local option tax increases, other than property taxes and taxes adopted by referendum, and new long-term tax-supported debt issuances. Each local government is required to prominently post on its website the voting records on any action taken by its governing board related to tax increases and new tax-supported debt issuances. The bills impose requirements on county property appraisers and local governments relating to Truth in Millage (TRIM) notices, millage rate history and ...

HB 1149 (DiCeglie) and SB 1702 (Diaz) amend multiple provisions related to local government financial transparency. The bills expand public notice and public hearing requirements for local option tax increases, other than property taxes and taxes adopted by referendum, and new long-term tax-supported debt issuances. Each local government is required to prominently post on its website the voting records on any action taken by its governing board related to tax increases and new tax-supported debt issuances. The bills impose requirements on county property appraisers and local governments relating to Truth in Millage (TRIM) notices, millage rate history and the amount of tax levied by each taxing authority on each parcel. Additionally, local governments will be required to conduct a debt affordability analysis prior to approving the issuance of new long-term tax-supported debt. The bills require the local government annual audit reports to include information regarding compliance with the requirements of this newly created section of law. Failure to comply would result in the withholding of state-shared revenues. The bills revise the local government reporting requirements for economic development incentives. They require each municipality to report to the Office of Economic and Demographic Research whether the incentive is provided directly to an individual business or by another entity on behalf of the local government and the source of dollars obligated for the incentive (including local, state and federal). (Hughes)

Local Government Reporting (Oppose – Mandate)

SB 1512 (Diaz) and HB 7069 (State Affairs) repeal an existing reporting requirement that municipalities report certain budget and economic data to the Office of Economic and Demographic Research and replace it with a new reporting requirement. The bills require municipalities and counties to electronically submit to the Department of Financial Services all necessary information needed to facilitate the department preparing a local government report and interactive website that can be used to compare and rank local governments. Some of the information that may need to be submitted includes government spending per capita, government debt per capita, crime ...

SB 1512 (Diaz) and HB 7069 (State Affairs) repeal an existing reporting requirement that municipalities report certain budget and economic data to the Office of Economic and Demographic Research and replace it with a new reporting requirement. The bills require municipalities and counties to electronically submit to the Department of Financial Services all necessary information needed to facilitate the department preparing a local government report and interactive website that can be used to compare and rank local governments. Some of the information that may need to be submitted includes government spending per capita, government debt per capita, crime rates, school grades, median income and unemployment. The department will adopt, by rule, the method and format of the required reporting. Given the difference in the scope and breadth of the services provided by cities, ranking and comparing municipalities will generate data that may have no value and in fact could cause confusion among residents. (Hughes)

Tax on Aviation Fuel (Oppose – Unfunded Mandate)

SB 1192 (Gruters) and HB 6061 (Roach) repeal the excise tax imposed on aviation fuel, aviation gasoline and kerosene sold or brought into the state. Under current law, the monies from this tax are deposited into the State Transportation Trust Fund to fund various program areas. Repealing the excise tax on aviation fuel will reduce the money going to the STTF. This reduction in revenues will negatively affect the ability of cities to adequately maintain and improve critical infrastructure needed to meet the ever-changing transportation demands. Additionally, repealing the aviation fuel tax will impact the Aviation Grant Program. ...

SB 1192 (Gruters) and HB 6061 (Roach) repeal the excise tax imposed on aviation fuel, aviation gasoline and kerosene sold or brought into the state. Under current law, the monies from this tax are deposited into the State Transportation Trust Fund to fund various program areas. Repealing the excise tax on aviation fuel will reduce the money going to the STTF. This reduction in revenues will negatively affect the ability of cities to adequately maintain and improve critical infrastructure needed to meet the ever-changing transportation demands. Additionally, repealing the aviation fuel tax will impact the Aviation Grant Program. This grant money, which local governments can apply for, is used to fund projects relating to airport planning, capital improvement, land acquisition and economic development. (Branch)

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Infrastructure (Oppose – Mandate)

CS/SB 7018 (Infrastructure and Security) and HB 7099 (State Affairs) require the Public Service Commission (PSC), in coordination with the Department of Transportation and the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, to develop and recommend a plan for the development of electric vehicle charging station infrastructure along the State Highway System. The plan must include recommendations for legislation and may include other recommendations as determined by the PSC. The bills require the recommended plan to be developed and submitted to the Governor, the Senate President, and the House Speaker by July 1, 2021. CS/SB 7018 was amended in ...

CS/SB 7018 (Infrastructure and Security) and HB 7099 (State Affairs) require the Public Service Commission (PSC), in coordination with the Department of Transportation and the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, to develop and recommend a plan for the development of electric vehicle charging station infrastructure along the State Highway System. The plan must include recommendations for legislation and may include other recommendations as determined by the PSC. The bills require the recommended plan to be developed and submitted to the Governor, the Senate President, and the House Speaker by July 1, 2021. CS/SB 7018 was amended in committee to expand the shot clock and “deemed approved” requirements to permit applications for all utilities in the right of way. The bill would also allow agricultural property owners who have granted a conservation easement over their property to unilaterally encumber the conservation easement by allowing the use of the land for a linear facility and related appurtenances. (Branch, O’Hara)

Local Government Public Construction Works (Oppose – Mandate)

CS/SB 504 (Perry) and CS/HB 279 (Smith, D.) require the local government and other specified entities, in deciding whether it is in the public’s best interest for the local government to perform a public building construction project using its own services, to consider the estimated costs of the project using generally accepted cost-accounting principles. This requirement includes all costs associated with performing and completing the work, including employee compensation and benefits and other determining factors. ...

CS/SB 504 (Perry) and CS/HB 279 (Smith, D.) require the local government and other specified entities, in deciding whether it is in the public’s best interest for the local government to perform a public building construction project using its own services, to consider the estimated costs of the project using generally accepted cost-accounting principles. This requirement includes all costs associated with performing and completing the work, including employee compensation and benefits and other determining factors. The bills also require a local government that performs a public building construction project using its own services to disclose after completion, the actual costs of the project after completion to the auditor general. CS/SB 504 was amended in committee to remove language prohibiting a local government from performing the project using its own services, employees and equipment if the project requires an increase in the number of government employees or an increase in such capital expenditures. CS/SB 279 was amended in committee to raise the threshold above which a local government must competitively bid a project from $300,000 to $400,000 when seeking to construct or improve a public building or structure as well as raising the same threshold for electrical work from $75,000 to $100,000. (Branch)

Commercial Service Airports (Oppose – Mandate)

CS/SB 1258 (Diaz) and CS/CS/HB 915 (Avila) revise several provisions to enhance transparency and accountability for large-hub commercial service airports. The bills require that at least once every seven years the auditor general conduct operational and financial audits of the state’s large-hub commercial service airports. The bills also require the members of the governing bodies of large-hub commercial service airports to submit the more detailed financial disclosure (Form 6) to the Commission on Ethics. The bills mandate the governing body of each commercial service airport to establish and maintain a website containing specified information including meeting notices, agendas, ...

CS/SB 1258 (Diaz) and CS/CS/HB 915 (Avila) revise several provisions to enhance transparency and accountability for large-hub commercial service airports. The bills require that at least once every seven years the auditor general conduct operational and financial audits of the state’s large-hub commercial service airports. The bills also require the members of the governing bodies of large-hub commercial service airports to submit the more detailed financial disclosure (Form 6) to the Commission on Ethics. The bills mandate the governing body of each commercial service airport to establish and maintain a website containing specified information including meeting notices, agendas, approved budgets and certain documents submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration. (Branch)

Building Design (Oppose – Mandate)

SB 954 (Perry) and CS/CS/HB 459 (Overdorf) preempt local governments from adopting zoning and development regulations that require specific building design elements for single- and two-family dwellings, unless certain conditions are met. The bills define the term “building design elements” to mean exterior color, type or style of exterior cladding; style or material of roof structures or porches; exterior nonstructural architectural ornamentation; location or architectural styling of windows or doors; and number, type, and layout of rooms. ...

SB 954 (Perry) and CS/CS/HB 459 (Overdorf) preempt local governments from adopting zoning and development regulations that require specific building design elements for single- and two-family dwellings, unless certain conditions are met. The bills define the term “building design elements” to mean exterior color, type or style of exterior cladding; style or material of roof structures or porches; exterior nonstructural architectural ornamentation; location or architectural styling of windows or doors; and number, type, and layout of rooms. The bills provide a limited exemption from the preemption by allowing allow local governments to adopt and enforce regulations that require “building design elements” for single- and two-family dwellings only if they are listed on the Historical Preservation Registry, housed within a Community Redevelopment Agency or if regulations are adopted in order to implement the National Flood Insurance Program. The bills also allow a substantially affected person to petition the Florida Building Commission to review a local government regulation to determine if the regulation is actually an unauthorized amendment to the Building Code. (Branch)

Local Government Lobbyist Registration Fees (Oppose – Preemption and Mandate)

SB 768 (Perry) is linked to SB 766 (Perry). SB 768 establishes a statewide local government lobbyist registration fee. It provides the fee may not exceed $40 for each principal represented for one county and governmental entities therein or exceed $5 for each principal represented for each additional county and governmental entities therein. The bill prohibits a local government from charging a fee for the registration of lobbyists or principals, or for the enforcement of lobbyist regulation except as may be reasonable and necessary to cover the cost of such enforcement. Enforcement fees may be charged only if ...

SB 768 (Perry) is linked to SB 766 (Perry). SB 768 establishes a statewide local government lobbyist registration fee. It provides the fee may not exceed $40 for each principal represented for one county and governmental entities therein or exceed $5 for each principal represented for each additional county and governmental entities therein. The bill prohibits a local government from charging a fee for the registration of lobbyists or principals, or for the enforcement of lobbyist regulation except as may be reasonable and necessary to cover the cost of such enforcement. Enforcement fees may be charged only if enforcement action is initiated and are limited to the direct and actual cost of the enforcement action. (O’Hara)

Discharge of Domestic Wastewater (Oppose – Mandate)

SB 454 (Rodriguez) prohibits the construction of new deep injection wells for domestic wastewater discharge or the expansion of existing wells. It limits the discharge capacity of domestic wastewater deep well injection and required current ocean outfall and deep well injection permitholders to install a functioning reuse system by specified dates. The bill prohibits the discharge of domestic wastewater through ocean outfalls and deep injection wells after specified dates and requires current deep injection well permitholders to submit a plan with specified requirements and annual progress reports to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. (O’Hara) ...

SB 454 (Rodriguez) prohibits the construction of new deep injection wells for domestic wastewater discharge or the expansion of existing wells. It limits the discharge capacity of domestic wastewater deep well injection and required current ocean outfall and deep well injection permitholders to install a functioning reuse system by specified dates. The bill prohibits the discharge of domestic wastewater through ocean outfalls and deep injection wells after specified dates and requires current deep injection well permitholders to submit a plan with specified requirements and annual progress reports to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. (O’Hara)

Recycled/Reclaimed Water (Oppose – Mandate)

CS/HB 715 (Maggard) and CS/CS/SB 1656 (Albritton) prohibit domestic wastewater utilities from disposing of effluent, reclaimed water or reuse water by surface water discharge beginning January 2026. The bills exempt the following discharges from this prohibition: indirect potable reuse projects; permitted wet weather discharges; discharges into stormwater management systems that are subsequently withdrawn for irrigation; projects where reclaimed water is recovered from an aquifer recharge system and subsequently discharged for potable reuse; wetlands creation, restoration and enhancement projects; surface water minimum flows and levels recovery and prevention projects; and domestic water utilities in fiscally constrained counties or municipalities ...

CS/HB 715 (Maggard) and CS/CS/SB 1656 (Albritton) prohibit domestic wastewater utilities from disposing of effluent, reclaimed water or reuse water by surface water discharge beginning January 2026. The bills exempt the following discharges from this prohibition: indirect potable reuse projects; permitted wet weather discharges; discharges into stormwater management systems that are subsequently withdrawn for irrigation; projects where reclaimed water is recovered from an aquifer recharge system and subsequently discharged for potable reuse; wetlands creation, restoration and enhancement projects; surface water minimum flows and levels recovery and prevention projects; and domestic water utilities in fiscally constrained counties or municipalities in rural areas of opportunity; and wastewater treatment facilities located in municipalities that have less than $10 million in total annual revenue. The bills recognize potable reuse as an alternative water supply and provide that potable reuse projects are eligible for alternative water supply funding and that such projects may not be excluded from regional water supply plans. The bills direct the Department of Environmental Protection to develop rules relating to the beneficial reuse of water for public water supply purposes that are protective of the environment and public health, building on the guiding principles and goals set forth in the Potable Reuse Commission’s 2019 report on advancing potable reuse in Florida. The bills specify the rules should require the treatment of reclaimed water to drinking water standards. The bills include provisions to ensure that projects do not cause harm to the state’s aquifer and surface waters by requiring such projects do not cause or contribute to violations of water quality standards and that when such water is released into surface or groundwater, consideration of emerging constituents may be required. The bills direct DEP to adopt rules for implementation of potable water reuse projects and specify minimum requirements for the rules, authorize DEP to revise existing drinking water and reclaimed water rules, and authorize DEP to convene technical advisory committees to coordinate the rule review and rulemaking required in the bills. The bills direct DEP and the water management districts to execute a memorandum of agreement providing optional processes for coordinated review of any permits associated with indirect potable reuse projects. The bills authorize potential incentives for public-private partnerships for water recycling projects including expedited permitting and tax credits. The bills require local governments to authorize the use of residential graywater technologies and provide incentives (density bonuses, waiver of fees, etc.) to developers to fully offset the developer’s cost of providing such technology in proposed developments containing 25 or more residential units. (O’Hara)

Renewable Energy (Oppose – Mandate)

SB 446 (Brandes) allows the owner of a business or contracted third party to install, maintain and operate a renewable energy source device on or about the structure in which the business operates or on any property the business leases. The bill provides the business owner or third party may sell the electricity that is generated from the device to another business immediately adjacent to or within the same parcel as the business, and such sales shall not be considered or regulated as retail sales of electricity. The bill provides that if the energy-producing business or its customers ...

SB 446 (Brandes) allows the owner of a business or contracted third party to install, maintain and operate a renewable energy source device on or about the structure in which the business operates or on any property the business leases. The bill provides the business owner or third party may sell the electricity that is generated from the device to another business immediately adjacent to or within the same parcel as the business, and such sales shall not be considered or regulated as retail sales of electricity. The bill provides that if the energy-producing business or its customers require additional related services from a utility, such as backup generation capacity or transmission services, the utility may recover the full cost of providing those services. The bill authorizes a utility to enter a contract with a business to install, maintain or operate any type of renewable energy source device on or about the structure from which the business operates and to sell the electricity to an adjacent business, and provides that such electricity sales shall not be considered or regulated as retail sales of electricity. The bill specifies that if the Public Service Commission determines that the level of reduction in electricity purchases by customers using renewable energy source devices is significant enough to adversely impact the rates that other customers pay in the rate territory, the commission may approve a utility’s requests to recover its costs of providing the electricity needed by all customers, including customers using a renewable energy source device. The bill provides for methodology of such cost recovery, a process for customers to challenge the cost recovery and authorized rulemaking by the commission. The bill may have a negative fiscal impact on municipal revenues, including potential impacts to municipal electric franchise revenues and municipal public service utility taxes. (O’Hara)

Clean Energy (Oppose – Mandate)

HB 1419 (Good) authorizes a local government, college or university to install and operate renewable energy systems on any property owned by the entity to offset the entity’s electricity requirements. Electricity generated by such devices is deemed customer-owned generation without regard to ownership of the device by a contracted third-party. The bill authorizes a contracted third-party to sell the electricity generated by a renewable energy generating system to a local government, college or university and provide that such sales shall not be deemed retail sales of electricity. The bill authorizes a local government, college or university with multiple ...

HB 1419 (Good) authorizes a local government, college or university to install and operate renewable energy systems on any property owned by the entity to offset the entity’s electricity requirements. Electricity generated by such devices is deemed customer-owned generation without regard to ownership of the device by a contracted third-party. The bill authorizes a contracted third-party to sell the electricity generated by a renewable energy generating system to a local government, college or university and provide that such sales shall not be deemed retail sales of electricity. The bill authorizes a local government, college or university with multiple meters to aggregate its electricity consumption by totaling the consumption on all meters and offset such aggregated consumption requirements with customer-owned renewable energy generation under the electric utility’s net metering program. The bill requires electric utilities to offer all public customers a method to aggregate meters consistent with its net metering program and its standard interconnection agreement for customer-owned renewable energy generation. The bill requires each public utility to file with the Public Service Commission a program that offers a renewable energy tariff for all nonresidential customers to purchase renewable energy from the utility to meet up to 100% of the customer’s electricity requirements. The bill requires municipal electric utilities to offer a renewable energy tariff for all nonresidential customers as well. If a utility does not have sufficient renewable energy available to meet a customer’s requirements within a specified time period, the bill authorizes the customer to contract with a third party to purchase renewable energy from generating systems interconnected with the utility’s grid or transmission lines. (O’Hara)

Municipal Electric Utilities (Oppose – Mandate)

HB 653 (Caruso) prohibits municipal electric utilities from using revenues generated from the electric utility to finance general government functions and provides that electric utility revenues must be used exclusively for electric utility functions or improving infrastructure of the electric utility. (O’Hara) ...

HB 653 (Caruso) prohibits municipal electric utilities from using revenues generated from the electric utility to finance general government functions and provides that electric utility revenues must be used exclusively for electric utility functions or improving infrastructure of the electric utility. (O’Hara)

Utility Construction Contracting Services (Oppose – Mandate)

SB 1710 (Torres) prohibits investor-owned utilities and municipal electric utilities or an affiliate of such utility from engaging in construction contracting as defined in Chapter 489, Florida Statutes, and prohibits such utility or affiliate from providing bookkeeping, billing, financial, legal or insurance products or services that are related to construction contracting, including warranty products or construction liens. The bill prohibits such utilities or affiliates from engaging in construction contracting services in a manner that subsidizes the activities of the utility to the extent of changing rates or service charges. Affiliates or contractors are prohibited from using any utility ...

SB 1710 (Torres) prohibits investor-owned utilities and municipal electric utilities or an affiliate of such utility from engaging in construction contracting as defined in Chapter 489, Florida Statutes, and prohibits such utility or affiliate from providing bookkeeping, billing, financial, legal or insurance products or services that are related to construction contracting, including warranty products or construction liens. The bill prohibits such utilities or affiliates from engaging in construction contracting services in a manner that subsidizes the activities of the utility to the extent of changing rates or service charges. Affiliates or contractors are prohibited from using any utility asset, the cost of which is recoverable in the utility’s regulated rates, to engage in construction contracting services unless the utility is compensated for use of the asset. (O’Hara)

Public Safety Communication Systems (Oppose – Mandate)

SB 1472 (Book) authorizes the governor to mandate certain improvements to a local government’s public safety communications system if the Department of Management Services finds that the system is inadequate. A system can be found “inadequate” if the system is unable to support the public safety needs of a community based on the age of the system, the number of towers available within the community or the ability of the system as a whole to withstand high volumes of radio and cellular traffic during a specific timeframe. The bill requires local governments to reimburse the state for improvements ...

SB 1472 (Book) authorizes the governor to mandate certain improvements to a local government’s public safety communications system if the Department of Management Services finds that the system is inadequate. A system can be found “inadequate” if the system is unable to support the public safety needs of a community based on the age of the system, the number of towers available within the community or the ability of the system as a whole to withstand high volumes of radio and cellular traffic during a specific timeframe. The bill requires local governments to reimburse the state for improvements made to inadequate community communication systems. (Cook)

Public Swimming Pools (Oppose – Mandate)

HB 1405 (Greico) requires public swimming pools to have a telephone available for all public swimming pool users in case of an emergency. (Cook) ...

HB 1405 (Greico) requires public swimming pools to have a telephone available for all public swimming pool users in case of an emergency. (Cook)

BUILDING CODES/CONSTRUCTION

Retainage (Oppose – Preemption) 

CS/SB 246 (Hooper) and CS/HB 101 (Andrade) would allow municipalities the ability to retain only up to 5% across an entire construction project. Currently, municipalities can withhold up to 10% of retainage for the first half of a construction project and up to 5% on the last half. Retainage serves as a safeguard against possible overpayment to the general contractor when the estimated percentage of project completion, used for periodic payments, exceeds the actual percentage completed. Additionally, retainage helps to ensure that the project is 100% complete prior to funds being released to the contractor. (Branch) ...

CS/SB 246 (Hooper) and CS/HB 101 (Andrade) would allow municipalities the ability to retain only up to 5% across an entire construction project. Currently, municipalities can withhold up to 10% of retainage for the first half of a construction project and up to 5% on the last half. Retainage serves as a safeguard against possible overpayment to the general contractor when the estimated percentage of project completion, used for periodic payments, exceeds the actual percentage completed. Additionally, retainage helps to ensure that the project is 100% complete prior to funds being released to the contractor. (Branch)

Local Government Public Construction Works (Oppose – Mandate)

CS/SB 504 (Perry) and CS/HB 279 (Smith, D.) require the local government and other specified entities, in deciding whether it is in the public’s best interest for the local government to perform a public building construction project using its own services, to consider the estimated costs of the project using generally accepted cost-accounting principles. This requirement includes all costs associated with performing and completing the work, including employee compensation and benefits and other determining factors. ...

CS/SB 504 (Perry) and CS/HB 279 (Smith, D.) require the local government and other specified entities, in deciding whether it is in the public’s best interest for the local government to perform a public building construction project using its own services, to consider the estimated costs of the project using generally accepted cost-accounting principles. This requirement includes all costs associated with performing and completing the work, including employee compensation and benefits and other determining factors. The bills also require a local government that performs a public building construction project using its own services to disclose after completion, the actual costs of the project after completion to the auditor general. CS/SB 504 was amended in committee to remove language prohibiting a local government from performing the project using its own services, employees and equipment if the project requires an increase in the number of government employees or an increase in such capital expenditures. CS/SB 279 was amended in committee to raise the threshold above which a local government must competitively bid a project from $300,000 to $400,000 when seeking to construct or improve a public building or structure as well as raising the same threshold for electrical work from $75,000 to $100,000. (Branch)

Deregulation of Professions and Occupations (Oppose – Preemption)

CS/CS/SB 474 (Albritton) deals with the deregulation of certain professions and occupations. The bill preempts the regulation of mobile food dispensing vehicles (food trucks) to the state and prohibits local governments from prohibiting the operation of food trucks. Additionally, the bill also deletes the authority of the Florida League of Cities and the Florida Association of Counties to recommend a list of candidates for consideration to the Florida Building Commission. (Branch) ...

CS/CS/SB 474 (Albritton) deals with the deregulation of certain professions and occupations. The bill preempts the regulation of mobile food dispensing vehicles (food trucks) to the state and prohibits local governments from prohibiting the operation of food trucks. Additionally, the bill also deletes the authority of the Florida League of Cities and the Florida Association of Counties to recommend a list of candidates for consideration to the Florida Building Commission. (Branch)

Building Design (Oppose – Mandate)

SB 954 (Perry) and CS/CS/HB 459 (Overdorf) preempt local governments from adopting zoning and development regulations that require specific building design elements for single- and two-family dwellings, unless certain conditions are met. The bills define the term “building design elements” to mean exterior color, type or style of exterior cladding; style or material of roof structures or porches; exterior nonstructural architectural ornamentation; location or architectural styling of windows or doors; and number, type, and layout of rooms. ...

SB 954 (Perry) and CS/CS/HB 459 (Overdorf) preempt local governments from adopting zoning and development regulations that require specific building design elements for single- and two-family dwellings, unless certain conditions are met. The bills define the term “building design elements” to mean exterior color, type or style of exterior cladding; style or material of roof structures or porches; exterior nonstructural architectural ornamentation; location or architectural styling of windows or doors; and number, type, and layout of rooms. The bills provide a limited exemption from the preemption by allowing allow local governments to adopt and enforce regulations that require “building design elements” for single- and two-family dwellings only if they are listed on the Historical Preservation Registry, housed within a Community Redevelopment Agency or if regulations are adopted in order to implement the National Flood Insurance Program. The bills also allow a substantially affected person to petition the Florida Building Commission to review a local government regulation to determine if the regulation is actually an unauthorized amendment to the Building Code. (Branch)

Fire Station Diesel Exhaust Capture Systems (Watch)

HB 85 (Casello) requires the Florida Building Commission to incorporate into the Florida Building Code specified requirements relating to the installation of “diesel exhaust capture systems” in fire stations. (Branch/Hughes) ...

HB 85 (Casello) requires the Florida Building Commission to incorporate into the Florida Building Code specified requirements relating to the installation of “diesel exhaust capture systems” in fire stations. (Branch/Hughes)

Florida Building Code (Watch)

SB 710 (Albritton) establishes new requirements to the Florida Building Code that the entire envelope of multistory residential buildings, certain new coastal construction, new residential construction in a high-velocity hurricane zone and hurricane shelters be constructed with high wind-resistant construction materials. The bill requires that all parts or systems of a building or structure envelope meet impact test criteria. (Branch) ...

SB 710 (Albritton) establishes new requirements to the Florida Building Code that the entire envelope of multistory residential buildings, certain new coastal construction, new residential construction in a high-velocity hurricane zone and hurricane shelters be constructed with high wind-resistant construction materials. The bill requires that all parts or systems of a building or structure envelope meet impact test criteria. (Branch)

Fire-Safety and Prevention (Watch)

CS/SB 1594 (Powell) and HB 1263 (Watson, C.) prohibit individuals from influencing fire-safety inspectors by threatening, coercing, or attempting to interfere with an inspection. The bills also provide criminal penalties for these violations. (Branch) ...

CS/SB 1594 (Powell) and HB 1263 (Watson, C.) prohibit individuals from influencing fire-safety inspectors by threatening, coercing, or attempting to interfere with an inspection. The bills also provide criminal penalties for these violations. (Branch)

Placement of Electronic Billboards (Watch)

SB 1666 (Albritton) and HB 619 (Overdorf) authorize that electronic billboards may be placed on lands designated as agricultural lands if: ...

SB 1666 (Albritton) and HB 619 (Overdorf) authorize that electronic billboards may be placed on lands designated as agricultural lands if: •the parcel can accommodate the billboard.  •there are sufficient utilities to support the operation.  • local government zoning ordinances allow the placement. (Branch)

Other Bills of Interest 

SB 732 (Gruters) and HB 511 (Fine) – Insulation Products ...

SB 732 (Gruters) and HB 511 (Fine) – Insulation Products SB 1380 (Albritton) HB 1441 (Maggard) – Construction Contracts

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Regional Rural Development Grants Program (Support)

CS/SB 426 (Montford) and CS/CS/HB 1139 (Clemons) revise how the Regional Rural Development Grants Program and the Rural Infrastructure Fund operates. Specifically, the bills: ...

CS/SB 426 (Montford) and CS/CS/HB 1139 (Clemons) revise how the Regional Rural Development Grants Program and the Rural Infrastructure Fund operates. Specifically, the bills: •require grant recipients to serve or be located within a rural area of opportunity.  •authorize organizations that serve an entire rural area of opportunity to receive grants of up to $50,000 annually.  •increase the maximum amount of funds the Department of Economic Opportunity may expend for the program from $750,000 to $1 million annually.  •reduce the percentage of grant funds that must be matched with non-state funds from 100 percent to 30 percent of the state’s contribution.  •specify that regional economic development organizations may use grant funds to build their professional capacity and provide technical assistance.  •add as eligible use of funds: upgrades to or development of public tourism infrastructure and improvements to broadband internet service access in unserved or underserved rural communities. •require projects that improve service and access to be through a partnership that was publicly noticed and competitively bid. •establish certain contract and public notice requirements. (Cook) CS/CS/HB 1139 was amended to remove the provision that increased the amount DEO may expend on Regional Rural Development Grants from $750,000 to $1 million. The bill also reduces the percentage of grant funds that must be matched with nonstate funds from 100 percent to 25 percent of the state’s contribution. CS/SB 426 still includes this provision. (Cook)

Economic Development (Support)

HB 779 (Roach) and CS/CS/SB 922 (Gruters) amend current law to extend special economic development to qualified businesses located in a county affected by Hurricane Michael. The bills authorize the Department of Economic Opportunity to waive certain wage or financial support eligibility requirements for certain businesses expanding its existing operations or relocating to a county affected by Hurricane Michael and increases the maximum tax refund payment from $6,000 to $10,000 multiplied per job specified in the tax refund agreement. (Cook) ...

HB 779 (Roach) and CS/CS/SB 922 (Gruters) amend current law to extend special economic development to qualified businesses located in a county affected by Hurricane Michael. The bills authorize the Department of Economic Opportunity to waive certain wage or financial support eligibility requirements for certain businesses expanding its existing operations or relocating to a county affected by Hurricane Michael and increases the maximum tax refund payment from $6,000 to $10,000 multiplied per job specified in the tax refund agreement. (Cook)

Visit Florida Reauthorization (Watch) 

SB 362 (Hooper) and HB 213 (Ponder) revise the scheduled repeal of Visit Florida from July 1, 2020, to October 1, 2028. (Cook) ...

SB 362 (Hooper) and HB 213 (Ponder) revise the scheduled repeal of Visit Florida from July 1, 2020, to October 1, 2028. (Cook)

Opportunity Zoning (Watch)

HB 1429 (Omphroy) and SB 1612 (Powell) deal with Opportunity Zones. The bills create a process whereby cities could apply to the Department of Economic Opportunity for approval for the designated Opportunity Zones to receive state incentives. The bills require local governments to provide specific information relating to the designated Opportunity Zones to be eligible for state incentives. (Cook) ...

HB 1429 (Omphroy) and SB 1612 (Powell) deal with Opportunity Zones. The bills create a process whereby cities could apply to the Department of Economic Opportunity for approval for the designated Opportunity Zones to receive state incentives. The bills require local governments to provide specific information relating to the designated Opportunity Zones to be eligible for state incentives. (Cook)

Sports Development Program (Watch)

HB 6057 (Avila) and HB 1369 (Pigman) repeal provisions relating to state funding for constructing, reconstructing, renovating or improving facilities primarily used for sporting events. HB 6057 repeals the Sports Development program in current law that provides an avenue for sports facilities to apply for a distribution from the state to fund the construction of or improvements to a professional sports franchise facility. Since the program was enacted in 2014, no application has been approved by the Legislature. The bills also make conforming changes to other statutes, related to Sports Development program distributions and reporting requirements. (Cook) ...

HB 6057 (Avila) and HB 1369 (Pigman) repeal provisions relating to state funding for constructing, reconstructing, renovating or improving facilities primarily used for sporting events. HB 6057 repeals the Sports Development program in current law that provides an avenue for sports facilities to apply for a distribution from the state to fund the construction of or improvements to a professional sports franchise facility. Since the program was enacted in 2014, no application has been approved by the Legislature. The bills also make conforming changes to other statutes, related to Sports Development program distributions and reporting requirements. (Cook)

Other Bills of Interest 

HB 71 (Santiago) and SB 130 (Hutson) – Florida Job Growth Grant Fund ...

HB 71 (Santiago) and SB 130 (Hutson) – Florida Job Growth Grant Fund

EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

Commercial Service Airports (Oppose – Mandate)

CS/SB 1258 (Diaz) and CS/CS/HB 915 (Avila) revise several provisions to enhance transparency and accountability for large-hub commercial service airports. The bills require that at least once every seven years the auditor general conduct operational and financial audits of the state’s large-hub commercial service airports. The bills also require the members of the governing bodies of large-hub commercial service airports to submit the more detailed financial disclosure (Form 6) to the Commission on Ethics. The bills mandate the governing body of each commercial service airport to establish and maintain a website containing specified information including meeting notices, agendas, ...

CS/SB 1258 (Diaz) and CS/CS/HB 915 (Avila) revise several provisions to enhance transparency and accountability for large-hub commercial service airports. The bills require that at least once every seven years the auditor general conduct operational and financial audits of the state’s large-hub commercial service airports. The bills also require the members of the governing bodies of large-hub commercial service airports to submit the more detailed financial disclosure (Form 6) to the Commission on Ethics. The bills mandate the governing body of each commercial service airport to establish and maintain a website containing specified information including meeting notices, agendas, approved budgets and certain documents submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration. (Branch)

Emergency Mitigation and Response (Support)

CS/SB 502 (Montford) creates the Hurricane Michael Recovery Task Force under the Division of Emergency Management. The purpose of the task force is to make recommendations to the Legislature regarding additional assistance needed from the effects of Hurricane Michael. (Branch)  ...

CS/SB 502 (Montford) creates the Hurricane Michael Recovery Task Force under the Division of Emergency Management. The purpose of the task force is to make recommendations to the Legislature regarding additional assistance needed from the effects of Hurricane Michael. (Branch)

State Preemption of the Regulation of Hoisting Equipment (Support)

SB 272 (Rodriguez) creates an exception to a state preemption preventing local governments from regulating hoisting equipment at local worksites. This preemption would not apply as it relates to precautions specific to hurricane preparedness. (Branch) ...

SB 272 (Rodriguez) creates an exception to a state preemption preventing local governments from regulating hoisting equipment at local worksites. This preemption would not apply as it relates to precautions specific to hurricane preparedness. (Branch)

Emergency Reporting (Watch)

CS/CS/SB 538 (Diaz) and CS/HB 865 (Rodriguez, Anthony) require a municipality or county to report certain emergency incidents to the State Watch Office within the Division of Emergency Management as soon as practicable following the initial response of the local government. The DEM will be required to notify county and municipal emergency mangers, the speaker of the House of Representatives and the president of the Senate when the list of reportable incidents is amended by the division director. (Branch) ...

CS/CS/SB 538 (Diaz) and CS/HB 865 (Rodriguez, Anthony) require a municipality or county to report certain emergency incidents to the State Watch Office within the Division of Emergency Management as soon as practicable following the initial response of the local government. The DEM will be required to notify county and municipal emergency mangers, the speaker of the House of Representatives and the president of the Senate when the list of reportable incidents is amended by the division director. (Branch)

Other Bills of Interest 

SB 264 (Farmer) – Strategic Fuel Reserve  ...

SB 264 (Farmer) – Strategic Fuel Reserve  SB 402 (Harrell) and HB 767 (Grant, M.) – Assisted Living Facilities SB 1272 (Montford) – Statewide Emergency Shelter Task Force SB 752 (Bean) and HB 705 (Killebrew) – Emergency Sheltering of Persons with Pets

ETHICS & ELECTIONS

Local Government Accountability (Oppose – Preemption)

SB 766 (Perry) and HB 611 (Sabatini) impose mandatory lobbyist registration requirements on all governmental entities as defined in the bill, including all municipalities and counties. The bills also amend statutory meeting notice requirements for cities and counties. ...

SB 766 (Perry) and HB 611 (Sabatini) impose mandatory lobbyist registration requirements on all governmental entities as defined in the bill, including all municipalities and counties. The bills also amend statutory meeting notice requirements for cities and counties. The bills require the Florida Commission on Ethics to create the Local Government Lobbyist Registration System, and beginning October 2020, any local government lobbyist registration ordinance or requirement is preempted by the state system. The bills define lobbying, provide exceptions and specify activities that do not constitute lobbying. A person may not lobby a government entity (which includes any municipality or county) until the person has electronically registered as a lobbyist with the commission. The bills appear to prohibit separate registration fees for each municipality in a county, as they authorize separate registration submissions for each county and prohibits additional fees for governmental entities within each county. The bills specify information to be included in the lobbyist registration. Registration is renewable annually and must include authorization from each principal identified. HB 611 directs the Commission on Ethics to set the annual lobbying registration fee by rule but provides the fee shall not exceed $20 for each principal represented within a county and governmental entities therein and that it may not exceed $5 for each additional principal represented. Registration fee limits and penalty amounts are addressed in a separate Senate bill, SB 768 (Perry).   The bills require the commission to publish lobbyist registration information on the internet. It requires a governmental entity to make reasonable efforts to ascertain whether a person who lobbies that entity is registered with the commission. Upon discovery of a violation of requirements of these provisions, the bill authorizes a person or governmental entity to file a complaint with the commission. If probable cause is found, a person may be subject to reprimand, censure, assessment of a civil penalty not to exceed $500 per violation or suspension from lobbying for a specified period. HB 611 authorizes governmental entities to impose additional civil penalties not to exceed $500 per violation or a suspension from lobbying the entity for up to two years. The bills prohibit a governmental entity from requiring classes, certifications or additional requirements as a requisite for lobbyist registration. They authorize a governmental entity to require lobbyist compensation reporting and disclosure of lobbyist contacts with government officials and authorizes restrictions on the exchange of money or things of value between lobbyists and government officials.   By January 2021, a governmental entity shall notify the commission of any local requirement that imposes additional or more stringent obligations with respect to lobbyist compensation reporting or other lobbying activities and provide this information and any associated forms to the commission. By January 2022, each governmental entity shall conform its lobbyist regulation system, if any, to the commission’s system to eliminate duplicative requirements. The bill authorizes the commission to adopt rules to implement its provisions. Lastly, the bills amend statutory meeting notice requirements for municipalities and counties. Except in the case of emergency meetings, the governing body of a municipality or governing board of a county must provide notice of any meeting of the body or board at least seven days in advance by posting a notice on body or board’s website. The meeting notice must include a statement of the general subject matter to be considered by the body or board. (O’Hara)

Elections (Oppose – Preemption)

CS/SB 1372 (Brandes) makes technical, election administration changes recommended by the Florida State Supervisors of Elections Association for the 2020 general election cycle. In addition, the bill expressly preempts a local government from enacting or imposing any limitation on contributions to a political committee or electioneering communications organization, or limitations on any expenditures for an electioneering organization or an independent expenditure. (O’Hara) ...

CS/SB 1372 (Brandes) makes technical, election administration changes recommended by the Florida State Supervisors of Elections Association for the 2020 general election cycle. In addition, the bill expressly preempts a local government from enacting or imposing any limitation on contributions to a political committee or electioneering communications organization, or limitations on any expenditures for an electioneering organization or an independent expenditure. (O’Hara)

Local Government Lobbyist Registration Fees (Oppose – Preemption and Mandate)

SB 768 (Perry) is linked to SB 766 (Perry). SB 768 establishes a statewide local government lobbyist registration fee. It provides the fee may not exceed $40 for each principal represented for one county and governmental entities therein or exceed $5 for each principal represented for each additional county and governmental entities therein. The bill prohibits a local government from charging a fee for the registration of lobbyists or principals, or for the enforcement of lobbyist regulation except as may be reasonable and necessary to cover the cost of such enforcement. Enforcement fees may be charged only if ...

SB 768 (Perry) is linked to SB 766 (Perry). SB 768 establishes a statewide local government lobbyist registration fee. It provides the fee may not exceed $40 for each principal represented for one county and governmental entities therein or exceed $5 for each principal represented for each additional county and governmental entities therein. The bill prohibits a local government from charging a fee for the registration of lobbyists or principals, or for the enforcement of lobbyist regulation except as may be reasonable and necessary to cover the cost of such enforcement. Enforcement fees may be charged only if enforcement action is initiated and are limited to the direct and actual cost of the enforcement action. (O’Hara)

Public Officers & Employees (Support)

CS/SB 1490 (Bradley) and HB 1435 (Williamson) authorize specified reporting individuals or procurement employees as defined in the Code of Ethics (but not including any elected officer) to accept gifts or compensation to be used toward costs incurred due to serious bodily injury or disease of the individual or child of such person. The bills authorize any legislative or executive branch lobbyist or principal to make, and an employee of the legislative or executive branch to accept, expenditures for donations toward care and treatment of a serious bodily injury or illness of the employee or child of the ...

CS/SB 1490 (Bradley) and HB 1435 (Williamson) authorize specified reporting individuals or procurement employees as defined in the Code of Ethics (but not including any elected officer) to accept gifts or compensation to be used toward costs incurred due to serious bodily injury or disease of the individual or child of such person. The bills authorize any legislative or executive branch lobbyist or principal to make, and an employee of the legislative or executive branch to accept, expenditures for donations toward care and treatment of a serious bodily injury or illness of the employee or child of the employee. (O’Hara)

Primary Elections (Watch)

SB 442 (Rader) requires a universal primary to be held to select candidates for any state office, U.S. representative or senator, or any county, municipal or district office. The bill requires all candidates to appear on a single ballot. The two candidates receiving the highest and next highest number of votes for that office would advance to the general election, regardless of party affiliation. The bill permits all qualified electors, regardless of party affiliation, to vote in the primary election. (O’Hara) ...

SB 442 (Rader) requires a universal primary to be held to select candidates for any state office, U.S. representative or senator, or any county, municipal or district office. The bill requires all candidates to appear on a single ballot. The two candidates receiving the highest and next highest number of votes for that office would advance to the general election, regardless of party affiliation. The bill permits all qualified electors, regardless of party affiliation, to vote in the primary election. (O’Hara)

Prohibition Against Abuse of Public Position (Watch)

HB 7009 (Committee on Public Integrity & Ethics) and SB 7006 (Ethics and Elections Committee) reenact provisions of the Florida Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees that provide penalties for violations of the statute. Re-enactment of the provision will make the statutory penalties applicable to amendments to the Florida Constitution by Amendment 12 adopted in the 2019 general election, which prohibits a public officer or public employee from abusing her or her public office to obtain a disproportionate benefit. (O’Hara) ...

HB 7009 (Committee on Public Integrity & Ethics) and SB 7006 (Ethics and Elections Committee) reenact provisions of the Florida Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees that provide penalties for violations of the statute. Re-enactment of the provision will make the statutory penalties applicable to amendments to the Florida Constitution by Amendment 12 adopted in the 2019 general election, which prohibits a public officer or public employee from abusing her or her public office to obtain a disproportionate benefit. (O’Hara)

Ethics Reform (Watch)

CS/HB 1185 (Brannon) and SB 1530 (Baxley) make changes to the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees (Code). The bills prohibit a governmental entity or person acting on its behalf, or an elected official, from authorizing the use of an elected official’s name, likeness or other symbol of office in a public service announcement during the elected official’s qualifying period prior to election or re-election, if such announcement is paid for with public funds or if the time or space for such announcement is donated by the media. The bills provide exceptions for certain charitable organizations, ...

CS/HB 1185 (Brannon) and SB 1530 (Baxley) make changes to the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees (Code). The bills prohibit a governmental entity or person acting on its behalf, or an elected official, from authorizing the use of an elected official’s name, likeness or other symbol of office in a public service announcement during the elected official’s qualifying period prior to election or re-election, if such announcement is paid for with public funds or if the time or space for such announcement is donated by the media. The bills provide exceptions for certain charitable organizations, bona fide news events and publicly broadcasted debates. The bills modify the conflicting employment or contractual relationship prohibition in the Code to provide that a public officer or employee may not hold an employment or contractual relationship with an entity that is subject to the regulation of or is doing business with the officer or employee’s agency, rather than any agency. The bills clarify the continuing conflicts prohibition in the Code and require disclosure by an agency or solicited business entity if a public officer or employee solicits an employment or a contractual relationship that is prohibited by the Code and provide such disclosure may be investigated by the Commission on Ethics as if it was a complaint. The bills provide additional standards and disclosures for statewide elected officers, legislators, state officers and state agency employees regarding solicitation of employment while an officer or candidate for office and authorize the Commission to investigate a disclosure as if it was a complaint. The bills modify lobbyist registration and reporting requirements applicable to lobbying before the executive branch. (O’Hara)

Fiduciary Duty of Care for Appointed Public Officers and Executive Officers (Watch)

HB 1113 (Beltran) and CS/CS/SB 1270 (Lee) create a new statute establishing standards for the fiduciary duty of care for appointed public officers and executive officers of specified governmental entities. “Appointed public official” is defined to include “state officers” as well as “local officers,” such as appointed members of the governing body of a municipality, a board authorized to enforce local code provisions, a board having the power to recommend, create or modify land planning or zoning (but not citizen advisory committees) and community redevelopment boards. “Executive officer” is defined as the chief executive officer of a governmental ...

HB 1113 (Beltran) and CS/CS/SB 1270 (Lee) create a new statute establishing standards for the fiduciary duty of care for appointed public officers and executive officers of specified governmental entities. “Appointed public official” is defined to include “state officers” as well as “local officers,” such as appointed members of the governing body of a municipality, a board authorized to enforce local code provisions, a board having the power to recommend, create or modify land planning or zoning (but not citizen advisory committees) and community redevelopment boards. “Executive officer” is defined as the chief executive officer of a governmental entity. The bills provide that each appointed public official and executive officer has a fiduciary duty of care to the governmental entity served and has a duty to act in accordance with laws and terms governing the office or employment, act with the care and competence normally exercised by reasonably prudent persons in similar corporate positions, act only within the scope of authority, refrain from conduct likely to damage the economic interests of the governmental entity. Further, such persons must become reasonably informed in connection with any decision-making function and keep reasonably informed concerning the performance of a governmental entity’s officers, agents and employees. The bills impose training requirements on appointed public officers and executive officers that require completion of at least five hours of board governance training per term served. The bills require the Department of Business and Professional Regulation to approve a web-based training program or publish a list of approved training providers. The bills specify the minimum content of such training programs, including board governance best practices and fiduciary duty of care and liabilities imposed by the new law. The bills provide that governmental entities with annual revenues of less than $300,000 may have governance training provided by in-house counsel of the governmental entity. Governmental entities whose annual revenues are less than $100,000 and appointed officials who hold elected office in another capacity are exempt from the training requirement. The bills provide that all legal counsel employed by a governmental entity must represent the legal interest and position of the governing body of the governmental entity and not the interest of any individual or employee of the governmental entity, unless such representation is directed by the governmental entity. (O’Hara)

Government Integrity (Watch)

SB 1538 (Gruters) and CS/HB 1111 (Tomkow) establish various provisions to promote integrity in government and to prevent fraud, waste and abuse relating to the expenditure of public funds. The bills create the Florida Integrity Office and the position of Florida integrity officer within the Office of the Auditor General. The bills authorize the integrity officer to investigate complaints alleging waste, fraud, abuse, misconduct or gross mismanagement (as defined in the bills) in connection with the expenditure of public funds within and by state and local government. The bills authorize the integrity officer to refer a matter to ...

SB 1538 (Gruters) and CS/HB 1111 (Tomkow) establish various provisions to promote integrity in government and to prevent fraud, waste and abuse relating to the expenditure of public funds. The bills create the Florida Integrity Office and the position of Florida integrity officer within the Office of the Auditor General. The bills authorize the integrity officer to investigate complaints alleging waste, fraud, abuse, misconduct or gross mismanagement (as defined in the bills) in connection with the expenditure of public funds within and by state and local government. The bills authorize the integrity officer to refer a matter to the auditor general, the appropriate law enforcement agency, the Commission on Ethics, the chief financial officer, the Office of the Chief Inspector General or the appropriate agency inspector general. The bills direct the auditor general and the integrity officer to conduct random audits and inspections of appropriations projects appropriated in the prior year. The bills authorize the auditor general and the Florida integrity officer to investigate or audit the activities of any political subdivision, unit of local authority or local council or commission. The bills amend the definition for “abuse” and define “misconduct” relating to audits by the auditor general. The bills define “fraud,” “waste,” “abuse” and “misconduct” relating to duties of the chief inspector general and provide procedures for the Inspector General to report on activities by public officials or agencies to the Florida integrity officer. The bills impose personal liability for repayment of funds upon persons or officials responsible for determinations of fraud, waste, abuse, mismanagement or misconduct in government. The bills authorize the chief financial officer to commence investigations based on complaints or referral from any source. The bills require reporting from agency inspectors general on savings or recovery of public funds resulting from reports under the state Whistleblower Act. The bills remove “gross mismanagement” from the definitions of mismanagement in the state Whistleblower Act and specify conditions for whistleblower awards. The bills require certain proposals that exceed $50,000 that are exempted from competitive procurement requirements to include a good faith estimate of gross profit for each year of the proposed contract and require the procuring agency to make a written determination that the estimated gross profit is not excessive prior to awarding the contract. The bills prohibit the use of state or local incentive funds to be paid to a state contractor or subcontractor for services provided or expenditures incurred pursuant to a state contract. (O’Hara)

Standards of Conduct (Watch)

HB 1417 (Polo) amends the conflicting and continuing conflict employment provisions of the state Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees. It provides that officers of a legislative body may not receive compensation for serving on a board, commission, committee, council or authority, other than his or her assigned legislative committee, as part of his or her employment or contractual relationship with an entity that is regulated by another agency (and not the legislative body). (O’Hara) ...

HB 1417 (Polo) amends the conflicting and continuing conflict employment provisions of the state Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees. It provides that officers of a legislative body may not receive compensation for serving on a board, commission, committee, council or authority, other than his or her assigned legislative committee, as part of his or her employment or contractual relationship with an entity that is regulated by another agency (and not the legislative body). (O’Hara)

Voting Conflicts (Watch)

SB 1850 (Rodriguez) would require a state officer who abstains from voting due to a prohibited conflict to publicly disclose, prior to the vote being taken, the nature and manner of the conflict. The bill amends voting conflict disclosure requirements for local officers by requiring the disclosure of the time and manner in which the officer became aware of the conflict. (O’Hara) ...

SB 1850 (Rodriguez) would require a state officer who abstains from voting due to a prohibited conflict to publicly disclose, prior to the vote being taken, the nature and manner of the conflict. The bill amends voting conflict disclosure requirements for local officers by requiring the disclosure of the time and manner in which the officer became aware of the conflict. (O’Hara)

Other Bills of Interest

SB 516 (Gruters) – Campaign Financing ...

SB 516 (Gruters) – Campaign Financing HB 491 (Payne) – Disposition of Surplus Funds by Candidates SB 1162 (Cruz) – Legislature SB 1110 (Baxley) and HB 1325 (Aloupis)– Repeal of Public Campaign Financing Requirement SB 1108 (Baxley) – Campaign Finance SB 1312 (Montford) and HB 1005 (Byrd) – Voting Systems HB 1305 (Thompson) and SB 1806 (Stewart) – Elections SB 1354 (Brandes) – Statewide Voter Registration Application SB 1816 (Powell) – Free and Fair Elections HB 1159 (Hill) – Vote-by-Mail Ballots SB 1820 (Rader) – Mail Ballot Elections SB 1840 (Powell) – Election Security Measures

FINANCE & TAXATION

Communication Services Tax (Oppose – Mandate)

HB 701 (Fischer) and SB 1174 (Hutson) reform the communications services tax (CST) to clarify that certain streaming services are subject to the tax and create uniform rates. The bills reduce the local CST rate to 5% or less by January 1, 2021, and 4% or less by January 1, 2022. The bills also reduce the state CST rate from 4.92% to 4.9% and the noncharter county CST rate to 2% by January 1, 2022. The bills repeal the local option sales surtax conversion that is levied on communications services. The Revenue Estimating Conference has partially determined the ...

HB 701 (Fischer) and SB 1174 (Hutson) reform the communications services tax (CST) to clarify that certain streaming services are subject to the tax and create uniform rates. The bills reduce the local CST rate to 5% or less by January 1, 2021, and 4% or less by January 1, 2022. The bills also reduce the state CST rate from 4.92% to 4.9% and the noncharter county CST rate to 2% by January 1, 2022. The bills repeal the local option sales surtax conversion that is levied on communications services. The Revenue Estimating Conference has partially determined the fiscal impact of this bill. It is estimated to negatively impact local government revenues by $190 million each year. (Hughes)

Supermajority Vote Required to Impose, Authorize or Raise Local Taxes or Fees (Oppose – Mandate)

HJR 477 (Rommel) proposes an amendment to the Florida Constitution requiring that any local tax or fee that is imposed, authorized or raised by a local jurisdiction, including municipalities, be approved by two-thirds of the membership of the jurisdiction. “Fee” is defined as any charge or payment required by ordinance or regulation. The proposed amendment requires any local tax or fee imposed or raised under this section to be contained in a separate resolution or ordinance. This proposed amendment would require 60 percent approval of the electorate for passage. (Hughes)  ...

HJR 477 (Rommel) proposes an amendment to the Florida Constitution requiring that any local tax or fee that is imposed, authorized or raised by a local jurisdiction, including municipalities, be approved by two-thirds of the membership of the jurisdiction. “Fee” is defined as any charge or payment required by ordinance or regulation. The proposed amendment requires any local tax or fee imposed or raised under this section to be contained in a separate resolution or ordinance. This proposed amendment would require 60 percent approval of the electorate for passage. (Hughes)

Local Government Fiscal Transparency (Oppose – Mandate)

HB 1149 (DiCeglie) and SB 1702 (Diaz) amend multiple provisions related to local government financial transparency. The bills expand public notice and public hearing requirements for local option tax increases, other than property taxes and taxes adopted by referendum, and new long-term tax-supported debt issuances. Each local government is required to prominently post on its website the voting records on any action taken by its governing board related to tax increases and new tax-supported debt issuances. The bills impose requirements on county property appraisers and local governments relating to Truth in Millage (TRIM) notices, millage rate history and ...

HB 1149 (DiCeglie) and SB 1702 (Diaz) amend multiple provisions related to local government financial transparency. The bills expand public notice and public hearing requirements for local option tax increases, other than property taxes and taxes adopted by referendum, and new long-term tax-supported debt issuances. Each local government is required to prominently post on its website the voting records on any action taken by its governing board related to tax increases and new tax-supported debt issuances. The bills impose requirements on county property appraisers and local governments relating to Truth in Millage (TRIM) notices, millage rate history and the amount of tax levied by each taxing authority on each parcel. Additionally, local governments will be required to conduct a debt affordability analysis prior to approving the issuance of new long-term tax-supported debt. The bills require the local government annual audit reports to include information regarding compliance with the requirements of this newly created section of law. Failure to comply would result in the withholding of state-shared revenues. The bills revise the local government reporting requirements for economic development incentives. They require each municipality to report to the Office of Economic and Demographic Research whether the incentive is provided directly to an individual business or by another entity on behalf of the local government and the source of dollars obligated for the incentive (including local, state and federal). (Hughes)

Local Government Reporting (Oppose – Mandate)

SB 1512 (Diaz) and HB 7069 (State Affairs) repeal an existing reporting requirement that municipalities report certain budget and economic data to the Office of Economic and Demographic Research and replace it with a new reporting requirement. The bills require municipalities and counties to electronically submit to the Department of Financial Services all necessary information needed to facilitate the department preparing a local government report and interactive website that can be used to compare and rank local governments. Some of the information that may need to be submitted includes government spending per capita, government debt per capita, crime ...

SB 1512 (Diaz) and HB 7069 (State Affairs) repeal an existing reporting requirement that municipalities report certain budget and economic data to the Office of Economic and Demographic Research and replace it with a new reporting requirement. The bills require municipalities and counties to electronically submit to the Department of Financial Services all necessary information needed to facilitate the department preparing a local government report and interactive website that can be used to compare and rank local governments. Some of the information that may need to be submitted includes government spending per capita, government debt per capita, crime rates, school grades, median income and unemployment. The department will adopt, by rule, the method and format of the required reporting. Given the difference in the scope and breadth of the services provided by cities, ranking and comparing municipalities will generate data that may have no value and in fact could cause confusion among residents. (Hughes)

Sales and Use Tax (Support)

SB 126 (Gruters) and HB 159 (Clemons) require retailers with no physical presence in Florida to collect Florida’s sales tax on sales of taxable items delivered to purchasers in Florida if the retailer makes a substantial number of sales into Florida or provides for the taxation of sales facilitated through a marketplace provider. The bill also deletes a provision that exempts an out-of-state dealer which makes retail sales into this state from collecting and remitting any local option surtax. (Hughes) ...

SB 126 (Gruters) and HB 159 (Clemons) require retailers with no physical presence in Florida to collect Florida’s sales tax on sales of taxable items delivered to purchasers in Florida if the retailer makes a substantial number of sales into Florida or provides for the taxation of sales facilitated through a marketplace provider. The bill also deletes a provision that exempts an out-of-state dealer which makes retail sales into this state from collecting and remitting any local option surtax. (Hughes)

Tax Administration (Watch)

SB 7060 (Finance and Tax) makes changes to tax-related statutes as recommended by the Department of Revenue. Of note to municipalities, the bill extends, from three to five years, the time for commencement of repairs to property damaged by Hurricane Michael without the property owner losing the prior assessment limitation. The bill also updates real property classification language to classify apartments with more than nine units as commercial property. The bill also updates DOR’s tax roll review requirements by deleting the requirement that the department do in-depth reviews of tangible personal property and the requirement that the department ...

SB 7060 (Finance and Tax) makes changes to tax-related statutes as recommended by the Department of Revenue. Of note to municipalities, the bill extends, from three to five years, the time for commencement of repairs to property damaged by Hurricane Michael without the property owner losing the prior assessment limitation. The bill also updates real property classification language to classify apartments with more than nine units as commercial property. The bill also updates DOR’s tax roll review requirements by deleting the requirement that the department do in-depth reviews of tangible personal property and the requirement that the department calculate a confidence interval for an entire property roll. (Hughes)

Taxation (Watch)

HB 7097 (Ways and Means) is the House “tax package” for the 2020 Session and includes several tax reductions and other tax-related modifications. Of note, the bill includes a 0.5 percent rate reduction for both the state communications services tax and the direct-to-home satellite services. The sales tax rate on commercial leases is reduced from 5.5 to 5.4 percent. The bill includes two sales tax holidays: a three-day “back-to-school” holiday and a seven-day “disaster preparedness” holiday. The bill includes a requirement that school capital outlay sales surtaxes approved in the future be proportionately shared with charter schools. The ...

HB 7097 (Ways and Means) is the House “tax package” for the 2020 Session and includes several tax reductions and other tax-related modifications. Of note, the bill includes a 0.5 percent rate reduction for both the state communications services tax and the direct-to-home satellite services. The sales tax rate on commercial leases is reduced from 5.5 to 5.4 percent. The bill includes two sales tax holidays: a three-day “back-to-school” holiday and a seven-day “disaster preparedness” holiday. The bill includes a requirement that school capital outlay sales surtaxes approved in the future be proportionately shared with charter schools. The bill restructures the authorized uses of tourist development, convention development and local option food and beverage taxes levied by Miami-Dade County. The bill also expands the allowable uses for tourist development tax revenues to include water quality improvement and parks and trails projects. The bill makes multiple changes to property taxes including amending the requirements for hospitals to qualify for a charitable tax exemption and updates the qualifying operations for the deployed servicemember tax exemption. The bill provides for a one-time increase of $8.2 million available for the brownfields tax credit equal to the amount of the current backlog of approved tax credits. The bill provides for an approximately one-third reduction in the aviation fuel tax paid by commercial air carriers. The bill also includes several provisions proposed by the Department of Revenue designed to enhance its administration of state taxes and oversight of property taxation. Additionally, the bill provides for a future sunset of the Charter County and Regional Transportation System Sales Surtax currently levied in Miami-Dade County and a requirement that any future levy of the tax in any eligible county be limited to 20 years in duration. The total local government revenue impact of the bill in fiscal year 2020-21 is -$17.8 million (-$24.8 million recurring). (Hughes)

Public Records Exemption – Email Addresses/Tax Notices (Support)

HB 7007 (Oversight, Transparency & Public Management Subcommittee) and SB 7004 (Finance and Tax) maintain the current public record exemption for taxpayer e-mail addresses held by tax collectors for certain tax notice purposes. (Hughes) ...

HB 7007 (Oversight, Transparency & Public Management Subcommittee) and SB 7004 (Finance and Tax) maintain the current public record exemption for taxpayer e-mail addresses held by tax collectors for certain tax notice purposes. (Hughes)

Public Deposits (Support)

SB 990 (Hutson) and HB 721 (Roth) allow the state's chief financial officer to designate credit unions as qualified public depositories after meeting certain criteria. (Hughes) ...

SB 990 (Hutson) and HB 721 (Roth) allow the state's chief financial officer to designate credit unions as qualified public depositories after meeting certain criteria. (Hughes)

Public Record Exemption: Taxpayer Information (Support)

SB 930 (Gainer) and HB 769 (Trumbull) exempt from public records requirements certain financial and taxpayer personal identifying information held by a county or municipality in connection with the collection or administration of a local business tax. (Hughes) ...

SB 930 (Gainer) and HB 769 (Trumbull) exempt from public records requirements certain financial and taxpayer personal identifying information held by a county or municipality in connection with the collection or administration of a local business tax. (Hughes)

Local Option Sales Tax (Support)

SB 1016 (Rouson) refines the term “infrastructure” for purposes of the Local Government Infrastructure Surtax to include authorized expenditures for certain affordable residential housing. (Hughes) ...

SB 1016 (Rouson) refines the term “infrastructure” for purposes of the Local Government Infrastructure Surtax to include authorized expenditures for certain affordable residential housing. (Hughes)

Senior Citizen and Teacher Property Tax Protection (Watch)

HB 141 (Bush) prohibits tax collectors from assessing or collecting certain charges on property tax bills from low-income seniors and schoolteachers at public schools who meet certain requirements. The bill also prohibits tax collectors from authorizing a debt collection entity to collect certain charges on property tax bills for those identified groups and prohibits tax collectors from selling tax certificates on certain properties if outstanding amounts due are only for delinquent payment of property tax. The bill requires the Department of Revenue to work with tax collectors to identify mechanisms, strategies and funding sources for helping certain populations ...

HB 141 (Bush) prohibits tax collectors from assessing or collecting certain charges on property tax bills from low-income seniors and schoolteachers at public schools who meet certain requirements. The bill also prohibits tax collectors from authorizing a debt collection entity to collect certain charges on property tax bills for those identified groups and prohibits tax collectors from selling tax certificates on certain properties if outstanding amounts due are only for delinquent payment of property tax. The bill requires the Department of Revenue to work with tax collectors to identify mechanisms, strategies and funding sources for helping certain populations pay for delinquent charges. (Hughes)

Constitutional Amendment: Homestead Property Tax Increased Portability Period (Watch)

SJR  146 (Brandes) and HJR 369 (Roth) propose an amendment to the state constitution to increase the period from two to three years when accrued Save-Our-Homes benefits may be transferred from a prior homestead to a new homestead. These proposed amendments require 60% approval of the electorate for passage. (Hughes) ...

SJR  146 (Brandes) and HJR 369 (Roth) propose an amendment to the state constitution to increase the period from two to three years when accrued Save-Our-Homes benefits may be transferred from a prior homestead to a new homestead. These proposed amendments require 60% approval of the electorate for passage. (Hughes)

Implementing Bill: Homestead Property Tax Increased Portability Period (Watch)

CS/SB 148 (Brandes) and HB 371 (Roth) increase the timeframe, from two to three years, during which the accrued benefit from specified limitations on homestead property tax assessments may be transferred from a prior homestead to a new homestead. The bills also revise the timeframe during which an owner of homestead property significantly damaged or destroyed by a named tropical storm or hurricane must establish a new homestead to make a certain election and requires the passage of the amendment to the state Constitution proposed by SJR 146, HJR 369 or a similar joint resolution having substantially the ...

CS/SB 148 (Brandes) and HB 371 (Roth) increase the timeframe, from two to three years, during which the accrued benefit from specified limitations on homestead property tax assessments may be transferred from a prior homestead to a new homestead. The bills also revise the timeframe during which an owner of homestead property significantly damaged or destroyed by a named tropical storm or hurricane must establish a new homestead to make a certain election and requires the passage of the amendment to the state Constitution proposed by SJR 146, HJR 369 or a similar joint resolution having substantially the same specific intent and purpose. (Hughes)

Special Election (Watch)

HB 671 (Roth) provides for a special election to be held on Tuesday, August 18, 2020, to approve or reject HJR 369 (Roth) or a similar joint resolution if approved by three-fourths of the membership of each chamber of the Legislature. (Hughes) ...

HB 671 (Roth) provides for a special election to be held on Tuesday, August 18, 2020, to approve or reject HJR 369 (Roth) or a similar joint resolution if approved by three-fourths of the membership of each chamber of the Legislature. (Hughes)

Homestead Exemptions (Watch)

CS/HB 223 (Buchanan) and CS/SB 514 (Gruters) provide that a person receiving a homestead ad valorem tax exemption in Florida and simultaneously receiving a similar exemption in another state that requires permanent residency in that state is entitled to the Florida homestead exemption if that person or family unit can demonstrate that they did not apply for the exemption and that they have relinquished the exemption in the other state. The bills require forms to claim homestead exemption that are promulgated by the Department of Revenue to ask the taxpayer whether he or she receives an ad valorem ...

CS/HB 223 (Buchanan) and CS/SB 514 (Gruters) provide that a person receiving a homestead ad valorem tax exemption in Florida and simultaneously receiving a similar exemption in another state that requires permanent residency in that state is entitled to the Florida homestead exemption if that person or family unit can demonstrate that they did not apply for the exemption and that they have relinquished the exemption in the other state. The bills require forms to claim homestead exemption that are promulgated by the Department of Revenue to ask the taxpayer whether he or she receives an ad valorem tax exemption or tax credit in another state where permanent residency is required as a basis for the granting of that exemption. (Hughes)

First Responder Property Tax Exemption (Watch)

HB 281 (Hattersley) and SB 484 (Simmons) expands the definition of “first responder” for purposes of eligibility for specified property tax exemptions to include a law enforcement officer or firefighter who, before becoming a resident of this state, sustained a total and permanent disability in the line of duty while serving as a full-time paid law enforcement officer or firefighter in another state. This change would apply to the 2021 tax rolls. (Hughes) ...

HB 281 (Hattersley) and SB 484 (Simmons) expands the definition of “first responder” for purposes of eligibility for specified property tax exemptions to include a law enforcement officer or firefighter who, before becoming a resident of this state, sustained a total and permanent disability in the line of duty while serving as a full-time paid law enforcement officer or firefighter in another state. This change would apply to the 2021 tax rolls. (Hughes)

Tourist Development Tax (Watch)

SB 334 (Stewart) expands the authorized use of the tourist development tax to include promoting or incentivizing film or television productions in this state. (Hughes) ...

SB 334 (Stewart) expands the authorized use of the tourist development tax to include promoting or incentivizing film or television productions in this state. (Hughes)

Education Property Tax Exemption (Watch)

CS/SB 1236 (Gruters) expands the current ad valorem exemption for property used for educational purposes to exempt land that is not owned by the educational institution but is used for educational purposes under a lease. This provision applies only if the educational institution is responsible for any taxes owed and for ongoing maintenance and operational expenses for the land and buildings. Additionally, the property must have been used for educational purposes and has been receiving the exemption under this section of law for at least 10 years. (Hughes) ...

CS/SB 1236 (Gruters) expands the current ad valorem exemption for property used for educational purposes to exempt land that is not owned by the educational institution but is used for educational purposes under a lease. This provision applies only if the educational institution is responsible for any taxes owed and for ongoing maintenance and operational expenses for the land and buildings. Additionally, the property must have been used for educational purposes and has been receiving the exemption under this section of law for at least 10 years. (Hughes)

Constitutional Amendment: Surviving Spouse Ad Valorem Tax Reduction (Watch)

HJR 877 (Killebrew) and SJR 1076 (Wright) propose an amendment to the Florida Constitution to allow the same ad valorem tax discount on homestead property for combat-disabled veterans age 65 or older to carry over to the surviving spouse of a veteran receiving the discount if the surviving spouse holds legal title to the homestead and permanently resides there. The discount would apply to the property until the surviving spouse remarries, sells or otherwise disposes of the property. If the surviving spouse sells the property, the discount may be transferred to the surviving spouse’s new residence if the ...

HJR 877 (Killebrew) and SJR 1076 (Wright) propose an amendment to the Florida Constitution to allow the same ad valorem tax discount on homestead property for combat-disabled veterans age 65 or older to carry over to the surviving spouse of a veteran receiving the discount if the surviving spouse holds legal title to the homestead and permanently resides there. The discount would apply to the property until the surviving spouse remarries, sells or otherwise disposes of the property. If the surviving spouse sells the property, the discount may be transferred to the surviving spouse’s new residence if the residence is used as the surviving spouse’s permanent residence and he or she does not remarry. (Hughes)

Implementing Bill: Surviving Spouse Ad Valorem Tax Reduction (Watch)

HB 879 (Killebrew) and CS/SB 1074 (Wright) implement HJR 877, SJR 1076 or similar joint resolution if approved by the voters. (Hughes) ...

HB 879 (Killebrew) and CS/SB 1074 (Wright) implement HJR 877, SJR 1076 or similar joint resolution if approved by the voters. (Hughes)

Special Election (Watch)

HB 881 (Killebrew) and CS/SB 1078 (Wright) provide for a special election to be held on Tuesday, August 18, 2020, to approve or reject HJR 877 (Killebrew), SJR 1076 (Wright) or a similar joint resolution having substantially the same specific intent and purpose. (Hughes) ...

HB 881 (Killebrew) and CS/SB 1078 (Wright) provide for a special election to be held on Tuesday, August 18, 2020, to approve or reject HJR 877 (Killebrew), SJR 1076 (Wright) or a similar joint resolution having substantially the same specific intent and purpose. (Hughes)

Homestead Exemptions (Watch)

HB 6079 (Mariano) deletes gross income requirements for a totally and permanently disabled person to qualify for specified homestead exemptions. (Hughes) ...

HB 6079 (Mariano) deletes gross income requirements for a totally and permanently disabled person to qualify for specified homestead exemptions. (Hughes)

Municipal Service Taxing Units and Municipal Service Benefit Units (Watch)

SB 1330 (Gruters) require that establishment, merger, or abolishment of a municipal service taxing (MSTU) or municipal service benefit unit (MSBU) be approved by majority vote of certain qualified electors who would be or are subject to any service charge, special assessment, or tax within the unit in an election that is called for such purpose by the governing body of the county. The boundaries of an MSTU or MSBU may include all or part of the boundaries of a municipality if, in addition to the majority approval of qualified electors, consent by ordinance of the governing body ...

SB 1330 (Gruters) require that establishment, merger, or abolishment of a municipal service taxing (MSTU) or municipal service benefit unit (MSBU) be approved by majority vote of certain qualified electors who would be or are subject to any service charge, special assessment, or tax within the unit in an election that is called for such purpose by the governing body of the county. The boundaries of an MSTU or MSBU may include all or part of the boundaries of a municipality if, in addition to the majority approval of qualified electors, consent by ordinance of the governing body of the affected municipality is given either annually or for a term of years. This bill provides procedures for the dissolution of an MSTU or MSBU that is created after July 1, 2020 and does not achieve the majority vote of qualified electors. (Hughes)

Information About Municipalities and Counties (Watch)

SJR 1502 (Diaz) and HB 7061 (State Affairs Committee) propose an amendment to the Florida Constitution requiring Florida’s chief financial officer to annually provide information about counties and municipalities to residents in a manner that allows residents to compare economic and noneconomic factors of each local government. (Hughes) ...

SJR 1502 (Diaz) and HB 7061 (State Affairs Committee) propose an amendment to the Florida Constitution requiring Florida’s chief financial officer to annually provide information about counties and municipalities to residents in a manner that allows residents to compare economic and noneconomic factors of each local government. (Hughes)

Other Bills of Interest 

SB 54 (Book) and HB 87 (Mercado) – Sales Tax Exemption: Diapers and Incontinence Products  ...

SB 54 (Book) and HB 87 (Mercado) – Sales Tax Exemption: Diapers and Incontinence Products  HB 93 (Casello) and SB 192 (Berman) – Sales Tax Exemption: Assist Living Facilities SJR 282 (Diaz) – Constitutional Amendment: Homestead Assessment Limitation for Certain Persons  SB 284 (Diaz) – Implementation Bill: Homestead Assessments for Certain Persons SB 296 (Albritton) – Property Assessment Administration  HB 429 (Valdes) and SB 508 (Baxley) – Sales Tax Absorption  SB 524 (Gruters) – Sales Tax Holiday for Disaster Preparedness Supplies HB 527 (Hill) – Sales Tax Exemption: Industrial Machinery and Equipment SB 542 (Perry) – Back-to-school Sales Tax Holiday SJR 396 (Rodriguez) – Single Subject Limitation for Taxation and Budget Reform Commission HB 555 (Aloupis) and SB 844 (Taddeo) – Sales Tax Exemption for Hurricane Shutters and Impact-resistant Windows SB 654 (Lee) – Sales Tax Refund for Eligible Job Training Organizations HB 1077 (LaMarca) and SB 1404 (Perry) – Department of Financial Services SB 1052 (Taddeo) – Small Business Saturday Sales Tax Holiday HB 1141 (Caruso) and SB 1778 (Gruters) – Taxation of Real Property HB 1249 (Sullivan) and SB 1662 (Albritton) – Transfer of Tax Exemption for Veterans SB 1310 (Mayfield) – Hunting and Fishing Sales Tax Holiday HB 811 (Geller) and SB 1306 (Thurston) – Transfers in Divorce SB 2500 (Appropriations Committee) and HB 5001 (Appropriations) – General Appropriations Act SB 2502 (Appropriations) HB 5003 (Appropriations) – Implementing the 2020-2021 General Appropriations Act HB 919 (Caruso) – Property Tax Exemptions Used by Hospitals

HOUSING

Housing (Oppose – Preemption)

CS/CS/SB 998 (Hutson) and CS/CS/HB 1339 (Yarborough) makes varied and comprehensive changes to Florida law impacting affordable housing. Of concern to municipalities, the bills permit a mobile home park damaged or destroyed by wind, water or other natural force to be rebuilt on the same site with the same density as was approved, permitted or built before being damaged or destroyed. (Branch) ...

CS/CS/SB 998 (Hutson) and CS/CS/HB 1339 (Yarborough) makes varied and comprehensive changes to Florida law impacting affordable housing. Of concern to municipalities, the bills permit a mobile home park damaged or destroyed by wind, water or other natural force to be rebuilt on the same site with the same density as was approved, permitted or built before being damaged or destroyed. (Branch)

State Housing Trust Fund (Support)

SB 306 (Mayfield) and HB 381 (Silvers) specify that funds deposited in the State Housing Trust Fund and the Local Government Housing Trust Fund may not be transferred or used for any other purpose. (Branch) ...

SB 306 (Mayfield) and HB 381 (Silvers) specify that funds deposited in the State Housing Trust Fund and the Local Government Housing Trust Fund may not be transferred or used for any other purpose. (Branch)

Assisted and Independent Living Facility Task Force (Support)

CS/CS/SB 364 (Rader) and CS/CS/CS/HB 39 (Gottlieb) create the Assisted and Independent Living Facility Task Force within the Agency for Person with Disabilities. The task force must develop and evaluate policy proposals that incentivize developers or contractors to dedicate space for assisted living facilities or independent living facilities within mixed-use developments to house individuals with an intellectual disability, autism or mental illness. The task force membership includes a representative from the Florida League of Cities. (Branch) ...

CS/CS/SB 364 (Rader) and CS/CS/CS/HB 39 (Gottlieb) create the Assisted and Independent Living Facility Task Force within the Agency for Person with Disabilities. The task force must develop and evaluate policy proposals that incentivize developers or contractors to dedicate space for assisted living facilities or independent living facilities within mixed-use developments to house individuals with an intellectual disability, autism or mental illness. The task force membership includes a representative from the Florida League of Cities. (Branch)

Other Bills of Interest 

SB 1466 (Baxley) and HB 855 (Payne) – Special Districts  ...

SB 1466 (Baxley) and HB 855 (Payne) – Special Districts  SB 856 (Pizzo) and HB 1459 (Silvers) – Affordable Housing Tax Reduction SB 1434 (Torres) and HB 493 (Cortes) – Community Development Districts HB 163 (Altman) and SB 68 (Book) - Homelessness

INTERGOVERNMENTAL

Dissolution of Municipalities (Oppose)

SB 1522 (Broxson) and CS/HB 1209 (Fischer) expand the instances whereby voters can vote to dissolve a municipality. Under the bills, a municipality can be dissolved by a referendum by a majority vote of qualified voters. The referendum must be held if a municipality meets one or more of the following criteria: the municipality has been in a state of financial emergency for two years or more, a financial emergency board has been established in response to a financial emergency and the municipality has failed to comply with the terms included in a signed agreement with the Governor's ...

SB 1522 (Broxson) and CS/HB 1209 (Fischer) expand the instances whereby voters can vote to dissolve a municipality. Under the bills, a municipality can be dissolved by a referendum by a majority vote of qualified voters. The referendum must be held if a municipality meets one or more of the following criteria: the municipality has been in a state of financial emergency for two years or more, a financial emergency board has been established in response to a financial emergency and the municipality has failed to comply with the terms included in a signed agreement with the Governor's office, the municipality has submitted its annual financial report or annual financial audit report significantly late for two or more years consecutively or a grand jury or auditor general audit report issued within the past three years identifies significant problems with the municipality. Within 30 days after one of the above criteria are met, the governing body of the municipality or, in the event the municipal government does not act, the governing body of the county or counties that the municipality is in, shall set the date of the referendum to dissolve the municipality. The referendum shall be at the next regularly scheduled election or a special election can be called. The election shall be noticed at least once a week for two weeks before the election in a newspaper of general circulation in the municipality. (Cruz)

Legislative Preemption (Support)

SB 1674 (Farmer) provides that the legislature may not preempt to the state a field of regulation or other subject of legislation unless it is passed by a two-thirds vote of each house. The bill also requires a supermajority vote of each house for a general law that preempts a subject of legislation to the state. (Cruz) ...

SB 1674 (Farmer) provides that the legislature may not preempt to the state a field of regulation or other subject of legislation unless it is passed by a two-thirds vote of each house. The bill also requires a supermajority vote of each house for a general law that preempts a subject of legislation to the state. (Cruz)

Legislation by Initiative (Watch)

HB 545 (Geller) and SB 1452 (Torres) create the right for citizens to propose legislation by ballot initiative. The bills define the process by which proposed legislation by ballot initiative would need to abide by, as well as the criteria that said legislation must comply with. The bills also set forth the process by which laws adopted by citizen initiative could be changed or repealed. The bills provide exceptions for types of proposed legislation if said legislation is proposed by legislative initiative. Of interest to cities: laws that change the boundaries of any municipality, county or special legislative ...

HB 545 (Geller) and SB 1452 (Torres) create the right for citizens to propose legislation by ballot initiative. The bills define the process by which proposed legislation by ballot initiative would need to abide by, as well as the criteria that said legislation must comply with. The bills also set forth the process by which laws adopted by citizen initiative could be changed or repealed. The bills provide exceptions for types of proposed legislation if said legislation is proposed by legislative initiative. Of interest to cities: laws that change the boundaries of any municipality, county or special legislative or congressional district may not be proposed by initiative. (Cruz)

Constitutional Amendments Proposed by Initiative (Watch)

CS/HB 7037 (Judiciary Committee) and SB 1794 (Rader) strengthen the requirements and processes for amending the Florida constitution by petition. The legislation creates additional requirements for petition circulators and political action committees that back petitions. The bills increase the number of signatures that must be gathered from 10% to 50% before the secretary of state refers the petition to the attorney general. CS/HB 7037 was amended to require the signature threshold for starting the referral process be met in half of the state's 29 Congressional districts. The amendment provides each county supervisor of elections an extra 30 days ...

CS/HB 7037 (Judiciary Committee) and SB 1794 (Rader) strengthen the requirements and processes for amending the Florida constitution by petition. The legislation creates additional requirements for petition circulators and political action committees that back petitions. The bills increase the number of signatures that must be gathered from 10% to 50% before the secretary of state refers the petition to the attorney general. CS/HB 7037 was amended to require the signature threshold for starting the referral process be met in half of the state's 29 Congressional districts. The amendment provides each county supervisor of elections an extra 30 days to verify any petitions submitted before December 1 of an odd-numbered year. The amendment removed requirements that required a group sponsoring an amendment to disclose the percentage of contributions received from in-state persons and required that a  percentage of contributions obtained from in-state donors must appear on the ballot. The amendment clarified that petitions gathered before the bill's effective date are governed by the law in effect when the petitions were gathered. (Cruz)

LAND USE & COMPREHENSIVE PLANNING

Private Property Rights (Oppose)

CS/HB 519 (Grant, J.) and CS/SB 1766 (Lee) open the door for an explosion of potential lawsuits against cities by making one-sided changes to the Bert J. Harris Act and leaving taxpayers to pay the price. The Harris Act gives landowners a way to seek compensation when a local government takes action that impacts the use/potential use of their property. The Harris Act is detailed and fair. It allows local governments to negotiate with property owners who are filing a claim and calls on courts to consider the unique conditions of each claim. ...

CS/HB 519 (Grant, J.) and CS/SB 1766 (Lee) open the door for an explosion of potential lawsuits against cities by making one-sided changes to the Bert J. Harris Act and leaving taxpayers to pay the price. The Harris Act gives landowners a way to seek compensation when a local government takes action that impacts the use/potential use of their property. The Harris Act is detailed and fair. It allows local governments to negotiate with property owners who are filing a claim and calls on courts to consider the unique conditions of each claim. The bills require any settlement reached on a Bert Harris claim to be automatically applied by the government entity to all "similarly situated" residential properties that are subject to the same rules or regulations. In essence, this provision would undo legislative action a government entity undertakes by requiring a settlement on one case to be applied across the board, turning Harris Act settlements into quasi class-action lawsuits. The bills do not define what a similarly situated property is, which opens the door for more litigation. The bills significantly amend the attorney fee provisions of the Harris Act, allowing only property owners to recover costs if they prevail. Additionally, the legislation would now include business losses as part of a Bert Harris claim. The Florida League of Cities opposes making one-sided changes to the Harris Act that only benefit attorneys and leaves taxpayers footing the bill. CS/HB 519 was amended in the House Civil Justice Committee to provide an additional avenue for resolving disputes concerning comprehensive plan amendments. The amendment allows comprehensive plan amendment challenges initiated by citizens to now follow the dispute process from the Florida Land Use and Environmental Dispute Resolution Act. CS/SB 1766 was substantially amended in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Senate bill no longer contains the similarly situated concept. It no longer has any provisions affecting how attorney fees are determined, nor does it open the door to include business damages as part of any Harris claim. Currently, the Senate bill reduces the presuit timeframe to respond to claims from 150 days to 90 days and a provision that address the “ripeness” of claims by allowing a property owner to bring a claim prior to being officially denied a permit. (Cruz)

Growth Management (Oppose – Unfunded Mandate)

CS/SB 410 (Perry) and CS/CS/HB 203 (McClain) would require local governments to adopt by July 1, 2023, a new mandatory element in their comprehensive plans that addresses the protection of private property rights. CS/SB 410 was amended to require the Department of Economic Opportunity to give funding preference for technical assistance to certain counties and municipalities. CS/CS/HB 203 now provides that a municipality may not annex an area within another municipal jurisdiction without consent from the other municipality. The amended bill also provides that a Development of Regional Impact may be amended by the development order process, allowing ...

CS/SB 410 (Perry) and CS/CS/HB 203 (McClain) would require local governments to adopt by July 1, 2023, a new mandatory element in their comprehensive plans that addresses the protection of private property rights. CS/SB 410 was amended to require the Department of Economic Opportunity to give funding preference for technical assistance to certain counties and municipalities. CS/CS/HB 203 now provides that a municipality may not annex an area within another municipal jurisdiction without consent from the other municipality. The amended bill also provides that a Development of Regional Impact may be amended by the development order process, allowing a change in land use if the change does not increase impact to public facilities. The bill now allows existing Developments of Regional Impact agreements that are classified as essentially built out and were valid on or before April 6, 2018, to exchange land uses under certain circumstances. As amended the bill now provides that on or after July 1, 2020, a municipality may not extend new water or sewer services into the unincorporated area of a county without consent of the county if the county already provides the same service. The amended bill requires that all utility permit applications for use of the public right of way be processed within the timeframe that currently applies only to permit applications submitted by communications services providers (See also HB 7099). The bill now requires the Department of Economic Opportunity to give preference to counties and municipalities with populations less than 200,000 when selecting applications for funding for technical assistance related to certain determinations that need to be made when developing or amending a local government's comprehensive plan. Lastly, the amended bill allows the prevailing party in a challenge to certain local ordinances for local growth policy and land development regulation to seek attorney fees and costs. (Cruz)

Recreational Vehicle Parks (Oppose – Preemption)

SB 772 (Hutson) and CS/CS/CS/HB 647 (Drake) preempt local government regulations to allow any recreational vehicle park that is damaged or destroyed as a result of wind, water or other natural disaster to be rebuilt on the same site using the same density standards that were approved or permitted before the park was damaged or destroyed. CS/CS/CS/HB 647 adds an exemption from supervision and regulation by the Department of Health for certain surf pools. (Cruz)   ...

SB 772 (Hutson) and CS/CS/CS/HB 647 (Drake) preempt local government regulations to allow any recreational vehicle park that is damaged or destroyed as a result of wind, water or other natural disaster to be rebuilt on the same site using the same density standards that were approved or permitted before the park was damaged or destroyed. CS/CS/CS/HB 647 adds an exemption from supervision and regulation by the Department of Health for certain surf pools. (Cruz)

Home-Based Businesses (Oppose – Preemption)

CS/HB 537 (Donalds) and SB 778 (Perry) define a "home-based business" and preempt local governments from licensing and regulating home-based businesses. Local governments would be prohibited from enacting or enforcing any ordinance, regulation or policy regarding home-based businesses. However, such home-based businesses could not substantially increase traffic, noise, waste or recycling.  CS/HB 537 was amended to specify that a home-based business may not be regulated or licensed in a manner that is different from other businesses within a local government's jurisdiction. The bill now allows a party to challenge any local government action that violates the preemption. The ...

CS/HB 537 (Donalds) and SB 778 (Perry) define a "home-based business" and preempt local governments from licensing and regulating home-based businesses. Local governments would be prohibited from enacting or enforcing any ordinance, regulation or policy regarding home-based businesses. However, such home-based businesses could not substantially increase traffic, noise, waste or recycling.  CS/HB 537 was amended to specify that a home-based business may not be regulated or licensed in a manner that is different from other businesses within a local government's jurisdiction. The bill now allows a party to challenge any local government action that violates the preemption. The prevailing party is entitled to recover attorney's fees and costs. (Cruz)

Impact Fees (Oppose – Preemption)

CS/CS/HB 637 (DiCeglie) and CS/CS/SB 1066 (Gruters) are comprehensive bills regarding impact fees. The bills require a financial report for each impact fee trust fund annually. Local governments would be prohibited from collecting impact fees earlier than the date the building permit is issued. The bills allow impact fee credits to be transferred from one development to another within the same impact fee jurisdiction for the same type of facility. Each municipality is required to establish an impact fee review committee composed of two members from the local government, two members of the business community, two local contractors ...

CS/CS/HB 637 (DiCeglie) and CS/CS/SB 1066 (Gruters) are comprehensive bills regarding impact fees. The bills require a financial report for each impact fee trust fund annually. Local governments would be prohibited from collecting impact fees earlier than the date the building permit is issued. The bills allow impact fee credits to be transferred from one development to another within the same impact fee jurisdiction for the same type of facility. Each municipality is required to establish an impact fee review committee composed of two members from the local government, two members of the business community, two local contractors and one at large member. CS/CS/HB 637 was amended in committee to define the term infrastructure and in doing so, limit the use of impact fee revenue to capital expenditures specifically listed in the definition. This would include any fixed capital expenditure or fixed capital outlay associated with the construction, reconstruction or improvement of public facilities that have a life expectancy of five or more years; any related land acquisition, land improvement, design, engineering and permitting costs; and all other professional and related costs required to bring the public facilities into service. Previously under CS/SB 1066, an impact fee was not necessarily required to be used in the area that was impacted by development. However, CS/SB 1066 was amended in committee to further restrict the transferability of impact fees to allow, for purposes of impact fee credit transfers, that a benefit be recognized within any zone or district located within five miles of the zone or district where the credit was generated. (Cruz)

Takings Claims Within Areas of Critical State Concern (Support)

SB 748 (Flores) and HB 587 (Rashcein) provides that a local government entity located within an area of critical state concern shall split with the state any award of compensation, costs, attorney fees and prejudgment interest awarded to a property owner if the court has found liability against the state and the local government. The bills also state that a governmental entity is not liable for post-judgement interest on a judgement entered against another governmental entity. (Cruz) ...

SB 748 (Flores) and HB 587 (Rashcein) provides that a local government entity located within an area of critical state concern shall split with the state any award of compensation, costs, attorney fees and prejudgment interest awarded to a property owner if the court has found liability against the state and the local government. The bills also state that a governmental entity is not liable for post-judgement interest on a judgement entered against another governmental entity. (Cruz)

Real Property (Support)

HB 6063 (Jenne) and SB 1680 (Berman) repeal legislation passed in 2018 regarding customary use. Under current law, a governmental entity may not maintain an ordinance or rule that is based on customary use granting access to the public on private property of a beach above the mean high-water line unless it is based on a judicial declaration. (Cruz) ...

HB 6063 (Jenne) and SB 1680 (Berman) repeal legislation passed in 2018 regarding customary use. Under current law, a governmental entity may not maintain an ordinance or rule that is based on customary use granting access to the public on private property of a beach above the mean high-water line unless it is based on a judicial declaration. (Cruz)

Local Government Efficiency and Crime Task Forces (Watch)

HB 7101 (State Affairs Committee) establishes the Local Government Efficiency Task Force within the Legislature. The task force will consist of six members (two members each will be appointed by the Governor, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the President of the Senate. The bill directs the task force to convene its first meeting by November 2020 and submit a report to the governor and the legislature by June 2022. The bill directs the task force to review the governance structure and function of local governments and whether any changes are necessary to make such governments ...

HB 7101 (State Affairs Committee) establishes the Local Government Efficiency Task Force within the Legislature. The task force will consist of six members (two members each will be appointed by the Governor, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the President of the Senate. The bill directs the task force to convene its first meeting by November 2020 and submit a report to the governor and the legislature by June 2022. The bill directs the task force to review the governance structure and function of local governments and whether any changes are necessary to make such governments more efficient. In addition, the bill establishes the Urban Core Crime and Violence Task Force within the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The nine-member task force (comprised of three members each appointed by the governor, House Speaker and Senate President) is directed to review system failures and causes of crime and violence in urban core neighborhood and communities, and to develop recommendations to help facilitate the reduction of crime and violence. The task force is given authority to request and access information or records pertaining to crime or violent incidents, including exempt and confidential records (the task force may not disclose such records). The task force is directed to submit a report on its findings to the Governor, House Speaker and Senate President by June 2021. (O’Hara)

Development Orders (Watch)

SB 250 (Berman) and HB 6019 (Casello) would repeal a provision of HB 7103 that was passed during the 2019 session regarding challenges of development orders. Current law now allows the prevailing party in a challenge to a development order to recover reasonable attorney fees and costs incurred in defending the development order. SB 250 and HB 6019 bill would repeal this attorney fees provision. (Cruz) ...

SB 250 (Berman) and HB 6019 (Casello) would repeal a provision of HB 7103 that was passed during the 2019 session regarding challenges of development orders. Current law now allows the prevailing party in a challenge to a development order to recover reasonable attorney fees and costs incurred in defending the development order. SB 250 and HB 6019 bill would repeal this attorney fees provision. (Cruz)

Marketable Record Title Act (Watch)

CS/CS/HB 733 (Smith, D.) and CS/SB 802 (Perry) revise the Marketable Record Title Act (MRTA) to clarify an exception to its main provisions and to bolster the current prohibition on discriminatory deed provisions. Specifically, the bills amend Section 712.04, Florida Statutes, to include covenants or restrictions based on a zoning requirement or development permit among the types of interests extinguished by MRTA. The bills, in contrast to a recent court opinion, provide that the rights extinguished by MRTA include restrictive covenants that were recorded in connection with a zoning regulation. The bills provide for summary removal of discriminatory ...

CS/CS/HB 733 (Smith, D.) and CS/SB 802 (Perry) revise the Marketable Record Title Act (MRTA) to clarify an exception to its main provisions and to bolster the current prohibition on discriminatory deed provisions. Specifically, the bills amend Section 712.04, Florida Statutes, to include covenants or restrictions based on a zoning requirement or development permit among the types of interests extinguished by MRTA. The bills, in contrast to a recent court opinion, provide that the rights extinguished by MRTA include restrictive covenants that were recorded in connection with a zoning regulation. The bills provide for summary removal of discriminatory restrictions from the governing documents of a property owners’ association. (Cruz)

Other Bills of Interest

HB 283 (Toledo) and CS/SB 802 (Judiciary) – Liens and Bonds  ...

HB 283 (Toledo) and CS/SB 802 (Judiciary) – Liens and Bonds

OTHER

Pet Stores (Oppose – Preemption)

HB 1237 (Avila), SB 1698 (Diaz) and SB 1700 (Diaz) preempt any local government ordinance or regulation that prohibits or regulates pet stores. The bills specify requirements for sourcing, sale or transfer of animals from a pet store as well as impose inspections and other conditions on the pet store. SB 1698 creates the Florida Pet Protection Act requiring the Florida Department of Professional Regulation to adopt procedures and oversee the licensures and inspections of pet stores. SB 1700 requires a fee of $25 to acquire or maintain a pet store license. (Cook) ...

HB 1237 (Avila), SB 1698 (Diaz) and SB 1700 (Diaz) preempt any local government ordinance or regulation that prohibits or regulates pet stores. The bills specify requirements for sourcing, sale or transfer of animals from a pet store as well as impose inspections and other conditions on the pet store. SB 1698 creates the Florida Pet Protection Act requiring the Florida Department of Professional Regulation to adopt procedures and oversee the licensures and inspections of pet stores. SB 1700 requires a fee of $25 to acquire or maintain a pet store license. (Cook)

Towing and Immobilizing Vehicles and Vessels (Oppose – Preemption)

CS/CS/HB 133 (McClain) and CS/CS/SB 1332 (Hooper) require local governments to establish maximum rates for the towing and immobilization of vessels and prohibit a county or municipality from enacting a rule or ordinance that imposes a fee or charge on authorized wrecker operators. The bills provide that an authorized wrecker operator may impose and collect an administrative fee and is required to remit the fee to the county or municipality only after it has been collected. The bills prohibit local governments from adopting or enforcing ordinances or rules that impose fees on the registered owner or lien holder ...

CS/CS/HB 133 (McClain) and CS/CS/SB 1332 (Hooper) require local governments to establish maximum rates for the towing and immobilization of vessels and prohibit a county or municipality from enacting a rule or ordinance that imposes a fee or charge on authorized wrecker operators. The bills provide that an authorized wrecker operator may impose and collect an administrative fee and is required to remit the fee to the county or municipality only after it has been collected. The bills prohibit local governments from adopting or enforcing ordinances or rules that impose fees on the registered owner or lien holder of a vehicle or vessel removed and impounded by an authorized wrecker operator. The bills provide that a wrecker operator that recovers, removes or stores a vehicle or vessel must have a lien on the vehicle or vessel that includes the value of the reasonable administrative fee or charge imposed by a county or municipality. The bills exempt certain counties with towing or immobilization licensing, regulatory or enforcement programs as of January 1, 2020, from the prohibition on imposing a fee or charge on an authorized wrecker operator or on a towing business. The bill prohibits a municipality or county from enacting an ordinance or rule requiring an authorized wrecker operator or towing business to accept credit cards as a form of payment. CS/CS/SB 1332 was amended to remove the lien holder of a vehicle or vessel as an entity that may be assessed a charge or fee by a county or city when the vehicle or vessel is towed from public property by a towing business or by an authorized wrecker operator. (Cook)

Monuments and Memorials (Oppose – Preemption)

HB 31 (Hill) preempts the ability of local governments to remove, alter, rename or otherwise disturb a memorial or monument on public property placed in memory of a veteran or war. This preemption includes the removal of Civil War memorials made to honor or commemorate the war, soldiers or government officials that aided the war effort. The legislation specifies that a remembrance erected, named or dedicated on or after March 22, 1822, on public property may be relocated, removed, altered, renamed, rededicated or otherwise disturbed only if necessary to accommodate construction, repair or improvements to the remembrance or ...

HB 31 (Hill) preempts the ability of local governments to remove, alter, rename or otherwise disturb a memorial or monument on public property placed in memory of a veteran or war. This preemption includes the removal of Civil War memorials made to honor or commemorate the war, soldiers or government officials that aided the war effort. The legislation specifies that a remembrance erected, named or dedicated on or after March 22, 1822, on public property may be relocated, removed, altered, renamed, rededicated or otherwise disturbed only if necessary to accommodate construction, repair or improvements to the remembrance or to the surrounding property on which the remembrance is located. Additionally, the bill requires that a remembrance on public property that is sold or repurposed must be relocated to a location of equal prominence as the original location. (Cruz)

Legal Notices (Support)

CS/HB 7 (Fine) and SB 1340 (Gruters) allow a governmental agency the option to publish legally required advertisements and notices on a publicly accessible website if certain conditions are met. The bills require a governmental agency to publish a notice at least once a year in a newspaper of general circulation that the resident or property owner may receive legally required notices or advertisements via first class mail or email by registration of his or her name, address and email address with the local governmental agency. (Cook) ...

CS/HB 7 (Fine) and SB 1340 (Gruters) allow a governmental agency the option to publish legally required advertisements and notices on a publicly accessible website if certain conditions are met. The bills require a governmental agency to publish a notice at least once a year in a newspaper of general circulation that the resident or property owner may receive legally required notices or advertisements via first class mail or email by registration of his or her name, address and email address with the local governmental agency. (Cook)

State Cyber Resiliency Act (Support)

HM 525 (Hill) is a memorial bill urging Congress to support the State Cyber Resiliency Act and to direct the United States Department of Homeland Security to administer state and local cybersecurity grants to assist state, local and tribal governments in preventing, preparing for, protecting against and responding to cyberthreats. (Cook) ...

HM 525 (Hill) is a memorial bill urging Congress to support the State Cyber Resiliency Act and to direct the United States Department of Homeland Security to administer state and local cybersecurity grants to assist state, local and tribal governments in preventing, preparing for, protecting against and responding to cyberthreats. (Cook)

Civic Education (Support)

HB 581 (Aloupis) and SB 918 (Brandes) establish minimum requirements for a student to complete a civic literacy practicum beginning with the 2021-2022 school year to help students evaluate the roles, rights and responsibilities of United States citizens and determine methods of active participation in society, government and the political system. The civic literacy practicum must be nonpartisan, focus on addressing at least one community issue and promote civil discourse. (Cook) ...

HB 581 (Aloupis) and SB 918 (Brandes) establish minimum requirements for a student to complete a civic literacy practicum beginning with the 2021-2022 school year to help students evaluate the roles, rights and responsibilities of United States citizens and determine methods of active participation in society, government and the political system. The civic literacy practicum must be nonpartisan, focus on addressing at least one community issue and promote civil discourse. (Cook)

Substance Abuse Services (Support)

CS/CS/SB 1120 (Harrell) and CS/CS/CS/HB 649 (Caruso) address individuals who have been disqualified for employment with substance abuse service providers following a failed background screening. The bills require the Department of Children and Families to provide exemptions from employment disqualification for certain offenses and condense several background screening sections of current law into a single set of requirements. The bills modify patient-brokering laws to exempt discount, waivers of payment, or payments not prohibited by federal anti-kickback statutes. The bills also apply such exemptions to all payment methods by a federal health care program and provide that patient-brokering constitutes ...

CS/CS/SB 1120 (Harrell) and CS/CS/CS/HB 649 (Caruso) address individuals who have been disqualified for employment with substance abuse service providers following a failed background screening. The bills require the Department of Children and Families to provide exemptions from employment disqualification for certain offenses and condense several background screening sections of current law into a single set of requirements. The bills modify patient-brokering laws to exempt discount, waivers of payment, or payments not prohibited by federal anti-kickback statutes. The bills also apply such exemptions to all payment methods by a federal health care program and provide that patient-brokering constitutes a first-degree misdemeanor. Finally, the bills provide that any person who willfully and knowingly facilitates patient brokering is guilty of a first-degree misdemeanor. (Cook)

Cyber Florida – Local Government Training and Technical Assistance (Support)

HB 4533 (Antone) appropriates $5 million to the Department of Management Services to fund a grant program through Cyber Florida – Local Government Training and Technical Assistance. (Cook) ...

HB 4533 (Antone) appropriates $5 million to the Department of Management Services to fund a grant program through Cyber Florida – Local Government Training and Technical Assistance. (Cook)

Public Nuisances (Watch)

CS/CS/HB 625 (Newton) and SB 888 (Perry) address public nuisance properties. The bills: ...

CS/CS/HB 625 (Newton) and SB 888 (Perry) address public nuisance properties. The bills: •extend and increase the frequency of notice so a property owner has sufficient time to receive notice and correct the use of the property.  •allow for shorter notice where the public nuisance presents a danger of immediate and irreparable injury.  •provide more detail on what must be provided in the notice and serving the notice. •delete the requirement that a criminal gang or member or associate of such gang must use a location “on two or more occasions” for the purpose of engaging in a criminal gang-related activity for such use to qualify as a public nuisance that can be abated or enjoined. •provide that any place or premises that has been used on more than two occasions within a six-month period as the site of dealing in stolen property, assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, burglary, theft or robbery by sudden snatching may be declared a public nuisance and may be abated or enjoined.  •provide that a rental property that is declared a public nuisance based upon the previously described circumstances may not be abated or subject to forfeiture under the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act if the nuisance was committed by someone other than the owner of the property and the property owner commences rehabilitation of the property within 30 days after the property is declared a public nuisance and completes the rehabilitation within a reasonable time thereafter. (Cook)

Universal Changing Places (Watch)

HB 669 (Newton) and SB 1106 (Baxley) require local governments and other entities that operate a place of public accommodation or public building or facility to install and maintain at least one universal changing place at locations in a family or assisted-use restroom facility for persons of either sex who have a physical disability. (Cook) ...

HB 669 (Newton) and SB 1106 (Baxley) require local governments and other entities that operate a place of public accommodation or public building or facility to install and maintain at least one universal changing place at locations in a family or assisted-use restroom facility for persons of either sex who have a physical disability. (Cook)

Law Enforcement Vehicles (Watch)

CS/SB 476 (Hooper) and CS/HB 307 (LaMarca) provide that community associations may not prohibit a law enforcement officer who is a unit owner from parking his or her law enforcement vehicle in an area where the unit owner or his or her guest otherwise has a right to park. (Cook) ...

CS/SB 476 (Hooper) and CS/HB 307 (LaMarca) provide that community associations may not prohibit a law enforcement officer who is a unit owner from parking his or her law enforcement vehicle in an area where the unit owner or his or her guest otherwise has a right to park. (Cook)

Fireworks (Watch)

HB 6015 (Andrade) repeals provisions relating to the testing and approval of sparklers, sale of fireworks, seizure of illegal fireworks, restrictions upon storage of sparklers and penalties for violations. (Cook)  ...

HB 6015 (Andrade) repeals provisions relating to the testing and approval of sparklers, sale of fireworks, seizure of illegal fireworks, restrictions upon storage of sparklers and penalties for violations. (Cook)

Government-Sponsored Recreation Programs (Watch)

HB 83 (Duran) and SB 668 (Book) define specified afterschool recreation programs as “government-sponsored recreation programs,” such programs are exempt from specified child care facility requirements and are authorized such programs to waive such exemption by notifying the Department of Children and Families. (O’Hara)  ...

HB 83 (Duran) and SB 668 (Book) define specified afterschool recreation programs as “government-sponsored recreation programs,” such programs are exempt from specified child care facility requirements and are authorized such programs to waive such exemption by notifying the Department of Children and Families. (O’Hara)

Constitution Revision Commission (Watch)

SB 142 (Brandes), SB 176 (Rodriguez), HB 303 (Drake) and HB 301 (Drake) all involve the Constitution Revision Commission (CRC). Due to criticism of how the 2018 CRC handled the bundling of constitutional amendments on the 2018 ballot, SB 142, HB 301 and HB 303 seek to abolish the CRC. SB 176 does not seek to abolish the CRC but would require that any future CRC proposals be limited to a single subject. (Cruz) ...

SB 142 (Brandes), SB 176 (Rodriguez), HB 303 (Drake) and HB 301 (Drake) all involve the Constitution Revision Commission (CRC). Due to criticism of how the 2018 CRC handled the bundling of constitutional amendments on the 2018 ballot, SB 142, HB 301 and HB 303 seek to abolish the CRC. SB 176 does not seek to abolish the CRC but would require that any future CRC proposals be limited to a single subject. (Cruz)

Legislative Review of Occupational Regulations (Watch)

CS/HB 707 (Renner) and CS/SB 1124 (Diaz) establish a schedule for systematic review of the costs and benefits of occupational regulatory programs. The bills require the Legislature to review each program before the scheduled date on which each occupational regulatory program is set to expire to determine whether to allow the program to expire, renew the program without modifications, renew the program with modifications or provide for other appropriate actions. Of note to local governments, any state program that expires through scheduled repeal may not then be regulated by a local government unless regulation of such occupations is ...

CS/HB 707 (Renner) and CS/SB 1124 (Diaz) establish a schedule for systematic review of the costs and benefits of occupational regulatory programs. The bills require the Legislature to review each program before the scheduled date on which each occupational regulatory program is set to expire to determine whether to allow the program to expire, renew the program without modifications, renew the program with modifications or provide for other appropriate actions. Of note to local governments, any state program that expires through scheduled repeal may not then be regulated by a local government unless regulation of such occupations is expressly authorized by law. (Cruz)

Other Bills of Interest 

HB 447 (DiCeglie) and SB 740 (Diaz) – Real Estate ...

HB 447 (DiCeglie) and SB 740 (Diaz) – Real Estate HB 497 (Buchanan) and SB 530 (Gruters) – Entertainment Industry HB 623 (Shoaf), SB 1154 (Baxley) and HB 1257 (Tomkow) – Community Association  HB 855 (Payne) – Special Districts SB 910 (Torres) and HB 6013 (Eskamani) – Rent Control Methods SB 1410 (Cruz) – Public School Transportation SB 912 (Diaz) and HB 689 (Rodriguez, Anthony) – Department of Business and Professional Regulation SB 694 (Mayfield) and SB 810 (Simmons) – Nicotine and Tobacco Products  HB 729 (Rodrigues) and SB 1238 (Diaz) – Regulatory Reform HB 907 (Bell) and SB 1202 (Powell) – Care for Retired Law Enforcement Dogs SB 470 (Brandes) – Searches of Cellular Phones and Other Electronic Devices SB 980 (Brandes) and HB 685 (Silvers) – Lost, Stray, Unwanted or Homeless Dogs and Cats HB 1195 (Plakon) – Gaming HB 1315 (Fernandez) and SB 1752 (Pizzo) – Condominium Associations HB 1059 (Grall) and SB 1634 (Stargel) – Parental Rights SB 1280 (Diaz) – Automated License Plate Recognition Systems

PARKS & RECREATION

Smoking (Support SB 630)

SB 630 (Mayfield), CS/SB 670 (Gruters) and HB 457 (LaMarca) are bills filed relating to smoking. SB 630 authorizes cities to restrict smoking within the bounds of municipally owned public parks. SB 670 and HB 457 authorize counties to restrict smoking within any public beaches or parks. CS/SB 670 was amended with language allowing cities to also restrict smoking within public beaches and parks they own. Additionally, the bills prohibit smoking within the boundaries of a state park. (Cook) ...

SB 630 (Mayfield), CS/SB 670 (Gruters) and HB 457 (LaMarca) are bills filed relating to smoking. SB 630 authorizes cities to restrict smoking within the bounds of municipally owned public parks. SB 670 and HB 457 authorize counties to restrict smoking within any public beaches or parks. CS/SB 670 was amended with language allowing cities to also restrict smoking within public beaches and parks they own. Additionally, the bills prohibit smoking within the boundaries of a state park. (Cook)

Government-sponsored Recreation Programs (Watch)

HB 83 (Duran) creates a waiver of exemption from childcare facility licensing requirements for government-sponsored recreation programs that meet certain criteria, including having adopted their own standards of care. CS/CS/SB 668 (Book) revises the definition of the term “childcare facility” to exclude government-sponsored recreation programs. The bill allows counties, other municipalities and school districts to create and operate recreation programs for children at least five years old and requires such programs to offer four programming hours per day the bill specifies standards of care relating to staffing ratios, minimum staff qualifications, health and safety standards, and a level ...

HB 83 (Duran) creates a waiver of exemption from childcare facility licensing requirements for government-sponsored recreation programs that meet certain criteria, including having adopted their own standards of care. CS/CS/SB 668 (Book) revises the definition of the term “childcare facility” to exclude government-sponsored recreation programs. The bill allows counties, other municipalities and school districts to create and operate recreation programs for children at least five years old and requires such programs to offer four programming hours per day the bill specifies standards of care relating to staffing ratios, minimum staff qualifications, health and safety standards, and a level 2 background screening requirement for all staff and volunteers. CS/CS/SB 668 also requires such programs to notify parents of all children participating that the program is not state-licensed, clarifies that the program may not advertise itself as a child care facility and requires the program to provide all parents with the county or municipality’s standards of care. (Cook)

Youth Athletic Activities (Watch)

HB 99 (Andrade) and SB 1406 (Broxson)require entities that administer high-risk youth athletic activities or training related to such activities on land owned, leased, operated or maintained by the state or a political subdivision to require any unpaid or volunteer athletics personnel to complete a course approved by the Department of Health that provides information on how to prevent or decrease the chances of a participant from sustaining a serious physical injury. High-risk youth athletic activity is defined as any organized sport for children 14 years of age or younger in which there is a significant possibility for ...

HB 99 (Andrade) and SB 1406 (Broxson)require entities that administer high-risk youth athletic activities or training related to such activities on land owned, leased, operated or maintained by the state or a political subdivision to require any unpaid or volunteer athletics personnel to complete a course approved by the Department of Health that provides information on how to prevent or decrease the chances of a participant from sustaining a serious physical injury. High-risk youth athletic activity is defined as any organized sport for children 14 years of age or younger in which there is a significant possibility for the child to sustain a serious physical injury. The term includes football, basketball, baseball, volleyball, soccer, ice or field hockey, cheerleading and lacrosse. (Cook)

PERSONNEL

Firefighters' Bill of Rights (Oppose – Preemption)

HB 215 (Casello) and CS/SB 620 (Hooper) revise the current process that must be followed for the interrogation of firefighters. The bills revise the definition of “interrogation” to include questioning related to informal inquiries. The bills require all witnesses to be interviewed prior to beginning the interrogation of the firefighter when possible. The bills also require that the firefighter be provided the complaint, all witness statements and all other existing evidence before the interrogation. A firefighter being interrogated may not be threatened with transfer, dismissal or disciplinary action. The bills also set a timeline for certain information to ...

HB 215 (Casello) and CS/SB 620 (Hooper) revise the current process that must be followed for the interrogation of firefighters. The bills revise the definition of “interrogation” to include questioning related to informal inquiries. The bills require all witnesses to be interviewed prior to beginning the interrogation of the firefighter when possible. The bills also require that the firefighter be provided the complaint, all witness statements and all other existing evidence before the interrogation. A firefighter being interrogated may not be threatened with transfer, dismissal or disciplinary action. The bills also set a timeline for certain information to be provided to the firefighter and prohibit any retaliatory action against the firefighter for exercising his or her rights. The complaint and other investigative information are confidential and exempt from public records pursuant to the current law, and the “informal inquiry” does not include discussions such as safety sessions, normal operations fire debriefings and routine work-related discussions. (Hughes)

Preemption of Conditions of Employment (Oppose – Preemption)

HB 305 (Rommel) and SB 1126 (Gruters) prohibit a political subdivision, including a municipality, from establishing, mandating or otherwise requiring an employer to offer conditions of employment not otherwise required by state or federal law. An “employer” is defined as any person who is engaged in any activity, enterprise or business in this state and employs at least one employee. The bills expressly preempt the regulation of minimum wage and other conditions of employment to the state. The bills do not limit the authority of a political subdivision to regulate minimum wage or to require conditions of employment ...

HB 305 (Rommel) and SB 1126 (Gruters) prohibit a political subdivision, including a municipality, from establishing, mandating or otherwise requiring an employer to offer conditions of employment not otherwise required by state or federal law. An “employer” is defined as any person who is engaged in any activity, enterprise or business in this state and employs at least one employee. The bills expressly preempt the regulation of minimum wage and other conditions of employment to the state. The bills do not limit the authority of a political subdivision to regulate minimum wage or to require conditions of employment for employees of the political subdivision, employees of a contractor or subcontractor who provides goods or services to the political subdivision and employees of an employer receiving a direct tax abatement or subsidy from the political subdivision as a condition of the direct tax abatement or subsidy. Any ordinance, regulation or policy of a political subdivision that is preempted by the bills and which existed before or on the effective date of this act is void. (Hughes)

Fire Prevention and Control (Support)

CS/HB 487 (Fetterhoff) and SB 1092 (Bean) create the Firefighter Cancer Decontamination Grant Program. The grant will provide financial assistance to help fire departments procure equipment, supplies, and education training designed to mitigate exposure to hazardous, cancer-causing chemicals. The Division of State Fire Marshal within the Department of Financial Services will administer the program and annually award grants to fire departments on an as-needed basis. (Hughes) ...

CS/HB 487 (Fetterhoff) and SB 1092 (Bean) create the Firefighter Cancer Decontamination Grant Program. The grant will provide financial assistance to help fire departments procure equipment, supplies, and education training designed to mitigate exposure to hazardous, cancer-causing chemicals. The Division of State Fire Marshal within the Department of Financial Services will administer the program and annually award grants to fire departments on an as-needed basis. (Hughes)

Salary Incentives for Law Enforcement Officers (Watch)

HB 75 (Hill) revises payment amounts under the salary incentive program for law enforcement officers. Beginning in January 2021, the bill provides for annual inflation adjustment amounts. (Hughes) ...

HB 75 (Hill) revises payment amounts under the salary incentive program for law enforcement officers. Beginning in January 2021, the bill provides for annual inflation adjustment amounts. (Hughes)

FRS: Special Risk Cost-of-Living Adjustment (Watch)

HB 425 (Clemons) and CS/SB 858 (Gruters) require the Department of Management Services to calculate a cost-of-living factor for each retiree and beneficiary who was a member of the Special Risk Class on June 30, 2011, is a member of the Special Risk Class on his or her effective date of retirement and retires on or after July 1, 2011, with service credit earned before July 1, 2011. This factor shall equal the product of 3 percent multiplied by the quotient of the sum of the member's service credit earned for service before July 1, 2011, divided by ...

HB 425 (Clemons) and CS/SB 858 (Gruters) require the Department of Management Services to calculate a cost-of-living factor for each retiree and beneficiary who was a member of the Special Risk Class on June 30, 2011, is a member of the Special Risk Class on his or her effective date of retirement and retires on or after July 1, 2011, with service credit earned before July 1, 2011. This factor shall equal the product of 3 percent multiplied by the quotient of the sum of the member's service credit earned for service before July 1, 2011, divided by the sum of the member's total service credit earned as of June 30, 2020. CS/SB 858 was amended to include the increased required employer contribution rates for members of the Florida Retirement System to fund these benefit changes. (Hughes)

Verification of Employment Eligibility (Watch)

HB 1265 (Byrd) and SB 1822 (Gruters) require public employers, contractors and subcontractors to register with and use the E-Verify system to verify the work authorization status of all newly hired employees. E-Verify is a United States Department of Homeland Security website that allows businesses to determine the eligibility of their employees, both U.S. and foreign citizens, to work in the United States. The bills also require private employers to verify a person’s employment eligibility either through the E-Verify system or by requiring other specified documentation. (Hughes) ...

HB 1265 (Byrd) and SB 1822 (Gruters) require public employers, contractors and subcontractors to register with and use the E-Verify system to verify the work authorization status of all newly hired employees. E-Verify is a United States Department of Homeland Security website that allows businesses to determine the eligibility of their employees, both U.S. and foreign citizens, to work in the United States. The bills also require private employers to verify a person’s employment eligibility either through the E-Verify system or by requiring other specified documentation. (Hughes)

Verification of Employment Eligibility (Watch)

CS/CS/SB 664 (Lee) requires public employers that enter into contracts in excess of $35,000 to register with and use an employment verification system to validate the work authorization status of all new employees and identify whether an employee is an unauthorized alien. Additionally, certain contractors and subcontractors who have entered into, or are attempting to enter into, a contract with a public employer must register with and use an employment verification system. Only those contractors or subcontractors that have more than 10 employees in Florida and that have contracts with a public employer that are valued in excess ...

CS/CS/SB 664 (Lee) requires public employers that enter into contracts in excess of $35,000 to register with and use an employment verification system to validate the work authorization status of all new employees and identify whether an employee is an unauthorized alien. Additionally, certain contractors and subcontractors who have entered into, or are attempting to enter into, a contract with a public employer must register with and use an employment verification system. Only those contractors or subcontractors that have more than 10 employees in Florida and that have contracts with a public employer that are valued in excess of $35,000 are required to comply with these requirements. These requirements take effect for public employers and their contractors and subcontractors on July 1, 2021. CS/CS/SB 664 also requires specific private employers to register with and use the E-Verify system or an alternative verification system to verify the employment eligibility of new employees. The requirement that private employers use an employment verification system will generally apply to employers that have 20 or more Florida employees once it has been phased in on a specified schedule. (Hughes)

Peer-to-peer Support for First Responders (Watch)

CS/SB 160 (Perry) and CS/CS/HB 573 (Casello) provides confidentiality for peer-to-peer communications between first responders, such as law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians/paramedics, public safety communications officers and dispatchers. The bills provide that such peer-to-peer communications are confidential and prevent first responders from testifying to the contents of such communications during legal proceedings and disciplinary hearings. The bills also create several exceptions to the confidentiality. (Hughes) ...

CS/SB 160 (Perry) and CS/CS/HB 573 (Casello) provides confidentiality for peer-to-peer communications between first responders, such as law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians/paramedics, public safety communications officers and dispatchers. The bills provide that such peer-to-peer communications are confidential and prevent first responders from testifying to the contents of such communications during legal proceedings and disciplinary hearings. The bills also create several exceptions to the confidentiality. (Hughes)

Background Screening (Watch)

SB 616 (Powell) and HB 473 (Omphroy) prohibit a public employer from inquiring into or considering an applicant’s criminal history on an initial employment application unless otherwise required by law. A public employer could inquire into or consider an applicant’s criminal history only after the applicant’s qualifications have been screened and the employer has determined the applicant meets the minimum employment requirements for the position. (Hughes) ...

SB 616 (Powell) and HB 473 (Omphroy) prohibit a public employer from inquiring into or considering an applicant’s criminal history on an initial employment application unless otherwise required by law. A public employer could inquire into or consider an applicant’s criminal history only after the applicant’s qualifications have been screened and the employer has determined the applicant meets the minimum employment requirements for the position. (Hughes)

Prohibited Discrimination (Watch)

CS/SB 566 (Bracy) and HB 761 (Brown) amend the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992 to incorporate certain hairstyles as protected from discrimination. The bills prohibit employers from discriminating against an individual for having a protected hairstyle. (Hughes) ...

CS/SB 566 (Bracy) and HB 761 (Brown) amend the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992 to incorporate certain hairstyles as protected from discrimination. The bills prohibit employers from discriminating against an individual for having a protected hairstyle. (Hughes)

FRS: Special Risk Class -1 (Watch)

SB 1630 (Flores) and HB 785 (Rodriguez, Anthony) adds employees of water, sewer or other public works departments of participating employers who work in hazardous conditions to the Special Risk Class of the Florida Retirement System. (Hughes) ...

SB 1630 (Flores) and HB 785 (Rodriguez, Anthony) adds employees of water, sewer or other public works departments of participating employers who work in hazardous conditions to the Special Risk Class of the Florida Retirement System. (Hughes)

FRS: Special Risk Class -2 (Watch)

HB 1033 (Raschein) extends membership in the Special Risk Class to individuals employed by a local government as a pilot or registered nurse and who perform their primary duties on an air ambulance service and operated by the local government. (Hughes) ...

HB 1033 (Raschein) extends membership in the Special Risk Class to individuals employed by a local government as a pilot or registered nurse and who perform their primary duties on an air ambulance service and operated by the local government. (Hughes)

Employee Organization Dues and Uniform Assessments (Watch)

SB 804 (Brandes) and CS/HB 1 (Grant, J.) revise the requirements for an employee to authorize the deduction and collection of dues and uniform assessments by an employer. The bills require a public employee who desires to join an employee organization must sign a membership authorization form that contains a specific acknowledgement. The bill requires that dues and uniform assessments may not be deducted from an employee’s salary until the employer receives a signed authorization form from the bargaining agent and is able to confirm with the employee that he or she authorized such deductions. The deductions are ...

SB 804 (Brandes) and CS/HB 1 (Grant, J.) revise the requirements for an employee to authorize the deduction and collection of dues and uniform assessments by an employer. The bills require a public employee who desires to join an employee organization must sign a membership authorization form that contains a specific acknowledgement. The bill requires that dues and uniform assessments may not be deducted from an employee’s salary until the employer receives a signed authorization form from the bargaining agent and is able to confirm with the employee that he or she authorized such deductions. The deductions are in force until the certified bargaining agent ratifies a new collective bargaining agreement with the public employer or for three years after the date the deduction begins, whichever is earlier. (Hughes)

Disability Retirement Benefits (Watch)

SB 936 (Gainer) and HB 593 (Williamson) allow a Florida Retirement System member who is receiving care at a federal Veterans’ Health Administration facility to provide certification by two licensed physicians employed by the facility as proof of total and permanent disability; regardless of the state in which the physicians are licensed. (Hughes) ...

SB 936 (Gainer) and HB 593 (Williamson) allow a Florida Retirement System member who is receiving care at a federal Veterans’ Health Administration facility to provide certification by two licensed physicians employed by the facility as proof of total and permanent disability; regardless of the state in which the physicians are licensed. (Hughes)

FRS: Employer Contribution Rates (Watch)

SB 7044 (Government Oversight and Accountability) and HB 5007 (Appropriations Committee) revise the required employer retirement contribution rates for each membership class and subclass of the Florida Retirement System. The aggregate employer contributions anticipated to be paid into the Florida Retirement System Trust Fund in Fiscal Year 2020-2021 will increase by approximately $404.5 million when compared to the employer contributions paid in Fiscal Year 2019-2020. (Hughes) ...

SB 7044 (Government Oversight and Accountability) and HB 5007 (Appropriations Committee) revise the required employer retirement contribution rates for each membership class and subclass of the Florida Retirement System. The aggregate employer contributions anticipated to be paid into the Florida Retirement System Trust Fund in Fiscal Year 2020-2021 will increase by approximately $404.5 million when compared to the employer contributions paid in Fiscal Year 2019-2020. (Hughes)

FRS: Investment Plan (Watch)

SB 992 (Brandes) makes several changes related to employer and employee contributions, as well as account allocations, under the Florida Retirement System Investment Plan. SB 992 clarifies that if an employee defaults into the investment plan retroactively to the date of employment, the employee and employer begin paying employee and employer contributions at the applicable rate for investment plan members only after the default has occurred and not retroactively to the date of hire. The bill would also allow FRS investment plan members to make voluntary, after-tax employee contributions to their investment plan accounts, up to the maximum ...

SB 992 (Brandes) makes several changes related to employer and employee contributions, as well as account allocations, under the Florida Retirement System Investment Plan. SB 992 clarifies that if an employee defaults into the investment plan retroactively to the date of employment, the employee and employer begin paying employee and employer contributions at the applicable rate for investment plan members only after the default has occurred and not retroactively to the date of hire. The bill would also allow FRS investment plan members to make voluntary, after-tax employee contributions to their investment plan accounts, up to the maximum allowed by IRS rules. Employee contribution rates to the investment plan are currently 3% of gross compensation. Beginning July 1, 2021, SB 992 would increase member contribution rates for investment plan members initially enrolled before July 1, 2020, until the rate of all membership classes under the investment plan is 5%. The bill incrementally increases allocations to investment plan accounts. In order to fund the increased allocations to investment plan member accounts under SB 992, required employer contribution rates would be increased by an amount that has yet to be determined by the Legislature. Finally, the bill requires the State Board of Administration to prepare a report that examines the adequacy and use of current annuity options available to members of the investment plan. (Hughes)

Other Bills of Interest 

HB 453 (Duggan) and SB 884 (Hooper) – Law Enforcement and Correctional Officers ...

HB 453 (Duggan) and SB 884 (Hooper) – Law Enforcement and Correctional Officers SB 456 (Rodriguez) and HB 691 (Jacquet) – Minimum Wage  HB 161 (Toledo) and SB 206 (Rouson) – Prohibited Discrimination SB 90 (Stewart) and HB 739 (Thompson) – Discrimination in Labor and Employment HB 589 (Duggan) and SB 1142 (Hooper) – Offenses against Firefighters HB 635 (Watson) and HB 863 (Watson) – Unlawful Discrimination SB 644 (Braynon) – Florida Civil Rights Act HB 795 (Joseph) – Pregnant Employees HB 889 (Davis) and SB 1194 (Cruz) – Employee Practices SB 1168 (Braynon) – Public Records/Complaints Related to Discrimination Based on Height or Weight HB 3297 (Aloupis) – Firefighter Cancer Initiative SB 760 (Brandes) and HB 1331 (Roach) – Intergovernmental Programs SB 1734 (Taddeo) – Reemployment After Retirement of Instructional Personnel SB 1586 (Perry) – First Responders Suicide Deterrence Task Force

PUBLIC RECORDS & PUBLIC MEETINGS

PUBLIC SAFETY

Public Safety Communication Systems (Oppose – Mandate)

SB 1472 (Book) authorizes the governor to mandate certain improvements to a local government’s public safety communications system if the Department of Management Services finds that the system is inadequate. A system can be found “inadequate” if the system is unable to support the public safety needs of a community based on the age of the system, the number of towers available within the community or the ability of the system as a whole to withstand high volumes of radio and cellular traffic during a specific timeframe. The bill requires local governments to reimburse the state for improvements ...

SB 1472 (Book) authorizes the governor to mandate certain improvements to a local government’s public safety communications system if the Department of Management Services finds that the system is inadequate. A system can be found “inadequate” if the system is unable to support the public safety needs of a community based on the age of the system, the number of towers available within the community or the ability of the system as a whole to withstand high volumes of radio and cellular traffic during a specific timeframe. The bill requires local governments to reimburse the state for improvements made to inadequate community communication systems. (Cook)

Public Swimming Pools (Oppose – Mandate)

HB 1405 (Greico) requires public swimming pools to have a telephone available for all public swimming pool users in case of an emergency. (Cook) ...

HB 1405 (Greico) requires public swimming pools to have a telephone available for all public swimming pool users in case of an emergency. (Cook)

Red Light Cameras (Oppose – Preemption) 

HB 6083 (Rodriguez, Anthony) preempts cities, counties and the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles from installing, maintaining, or utilizing red light cameras effective July 1, 2023. (Branch) ...

HB 6083 (Rodriguez, Anthony) preempts cities, counties and the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles from installing, maintaining, or utilizing red light cameras effective July 1, 2023. (Branch)

Drones (Support) 

CS/SB 520 (Gruters) and HB 1433 (Yarborough) allow police and fire departments to use drones to manage crowd control and traffic as well as gather evidence at a crime or traffic crash scene. The bills also permit a state agency or political subdivision to operate drones for assessing damage after a natural disaster. (Branch) ...

CS/SB 520 (Gruters) and HB 1433 (Yarborough) allow police and fire departments to use drones to manage crowd control and traffic as well as gather evidence at a crime or traffic crash scene. The bills also permit a state agency or political subdivision to operate drones for assessing damage after a natural disaster. (Branch)

Preemption of Firearms and Ammunition (Support)

SB 134 (Taddeo) and HB 6009 (Daley) repeal the current statutory preemption prohibiting cities from regulating firearms and ammunition. (Cook) ...

SB 134 (Taddeo) and HB 6009 (Daley) repeal the current statutory preemption prohibiting cities from regulating firearms and ammunition. (Cook)

Use of Wireless Communications Devices While Driving “Hands-Free” (Watch)

HB 249 (Slosberg) prohibits a person from operating a motor vehicle while holding or touching a wireless communication device. This bill does provide several exceptions such as first responders performing in their official capacity or drivers accessing safety-related information including emergency, traffic or weather alerts. (Branch) ...

HB 249 (Slosberg) prohibits a person from operating a motor vehicle while holding or touching a wireless communication device. This bill does provide several exceptions such as first responders performing in their official capacity or drivers accessing safety-related information including emergency, traffic or weather alerts. (Branch)

Fireworks (Watch)

CS/CS/CS/SB 140 (Hutson) and CS/CS/HB 65 (Rodriguez, A.M.) create an exemption allowing for the use of fireworks on four days: New Year’s Day (January 1), Independence Day (July 4) and New Year’s Eve (December 31). The bills were amended with language clarifying that any local government regulations relating to the use of fireworks are still in effect. (Cook) ...

CS/CS/CS/SB 140 (Hutson) and CS/CS/HB 65 (Rodriguez, A.M.) create an exemption allowing for the use of fireworks on four days: New Year’s Day (January 1), Independence Day (July 4) and New Year’s Eve (December 31). The bills were amended with language clarifying that any local government regulations relating to the use of fireworks are still in effect. (Cook)

Cannabis Offenses (Watch)

SB 242 (Braynon) and HB 25 (Jones) reduce criminal penalties for possession of 20 grams or less of cannabis and products containing less than 600 milligrams of THC and specify that first-time juvenile violators are eligible for civil citation or other prearrest diversion programs. (Cook) ...

SB 242 (Braynon) and HB 25 (Jones) reduce criminal penalties for possession of 20 grams or less of cannabis and products containing less than 600 milligrams of THC and specify that first-time juvenile violators are eligible for civil citation or other prearrest diversion programs. (Cook)

Prohibited Places for Weapons and Firearms -1 (Watch)

CS/HB 183 (Ponder) and SB 1524 (Gainer) authorize city and county commissioners who are appropriately licensed to carry concealed weapons or firearms to a meeting of the governing body of which he or she is a member. (Cook) ...

CS/HB 183 (Ponder) and SB 1524 (Gainer) authorize city and county commissioners who are appropriately licensed to carry concealed weapons or firearms to a meeting of the governing body of which he or she is a member. (Cook)

Prohibited Places for Weapons and Firearms -2 (Watch)

SB 428 (Braynon) adds performing arts centers or legitimate theaters to the list of places where weapons or firearms are prohibited. (Cook) ...

SB 428 (Braynon) adds performing arts centers or legitimate theaters to the list of places where weapons or firearms are prohibited. (Cook)

Carrying of Firearms (Watch)

HB 273 (Sabatini) removes a requirement that a license is needed to carry a concealed weapon or firearm. (Cook) ...

HB 273 (Sabatini) removes a requirement that a license is needed to carry a concealed weapon or firearm. (Cook)

Use of Force by Law Enforcement Officers (Watch)

SB 562 (Bracy) revises the circumstances under which a law enforcement officer is authorized to use objectively reasonable force. The bill prohibits the use of deadly force against a person based on the danger that person poses to the law enforcement officer, if an objectively reasonable law enforcement officer would believe that the person does not pose an imminent threat of death or serious physical harm to the law enforcement officer or others. (Cook) ...

SB 562 (Bracy) revises the circumstances under which a law enforcement officer is authorized to use objectively reasonable force. The bill prohibits the use of deadly force against a person based on the danger that person poses to the law enforcement officer, if an objectively reasonable law enforcement officer would believe that the person does not pose an imminent threat of death or serious physical harm to the law enforcement officer or others. (Cook)

Statewide Active Shooter Response Planning (Watch)

CS/SB 788 (Book) and HB 997 (Casello) require the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), in consultation with law enforcement agencies throughout the state, to establish a uniform statewide rule on preparing for and responding to an active assailant. The bills also require each law enforcement agency to adopt an active shooter policy or rule, as appropriate, by January 1, 2021. (Cook) ...

CS/SB 788 (Book) and HB 997 (Casello) require the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), in consultation with law enforcement agencies throughout the state, to establish a uniform statewide rule on preparing for and responding to an active assailant. The bills also require each law enforcement agency to adopt an active shooter policy or rule, as appropriate, by January 1, 2021. (Cook)

911 Public Safety Telecommunicators (Watch – Mandate)

HB 995 (Davis) and SB 1014 (Rouson) require certain 911 public safety telecommunicators to receive telephone cardiopulmonary resuscitation training and the Department of Health to establish a procedure to monitor adherence to this training. (Cook) ...

HB 995 (Davis) and SB 1014 (Rouson) require certain 911 public safety telecommunicators to receive telephone cardiopulmonary resuscitation training and the Department of Health to establish a procedure to monitor adherence to this training. (Cook)

Public Safety (Watch)

SB 7028 (Infrastructure and Security) addresses a number of issues related to public safety. The proposed bill: ...

SB 7028 (Infrastructure and Security) addresses a number of issues related to public safety. The proposed bill: •requires select health care practitioners, emergency medical technicians and paramedics to disclose confidential communications to a law enforcement agency to the extent necessary to communicate a specific threat of serious bodily injury or death. •specifies a documentation process to use for the sale of a firearm when the seller is not a federal firearm licensee (FFL) and chooses not to use an FFL to complete the transaction. •creates a new section of statute to provide that a person may not sell, offer for sale, transfer or deliver any firearm to another person for consideration when any part of a transaction is conducted on property to which the public has the right of access, unless a criminal history records check of background information has been completed and a unique approval number has been obtained from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). •provides an FFL may charge a fee to cover administrative costs for facilitating the sale or transfer of a firearm. •revises current requirements related to the safe storage of firearms to provide that loaded firearms must be securely stored to prevent access by minors under the age of 18, instead of the current threshold of 16, and expands the safe storage requirement to include preventing access by a person of unsound mind of any age. •provides that the FDLE will develop a statewide strategy for targeted violence prevention (STVP). •provides for the 2020-2021 fiscal year, 37 full-time equivalent positions and the recurring sum of $4,827,538 and the nonrecurring sum of $1,043,415 from the General Revenue Fund to the FDLE to implement a statewide STVP. (Cook)

Other Bill of Interest 

SB 23 (Gottlieb) and SB 70 (Book) – Panic Alarms in Public Schools ...

SB 23 (Gottlieb) and SB 70 (Book) – Panic Alarms in Public Schools SB 94 (Book) – Transfer of Firearms HB 451 (Good) – Weapons and Firearms HB 37 (Zika) and SB 290 (Hooper) – School Bus Safety HB 43 (Latvala) and SB 122 (Rouson) – Child Welfare SB 210 (Thurston) – State Taxes and Fees SB 266 (Farmer) – Safe Storage of Loaded Firearms SB 270 (Farmer) – Sale and Delivery of Firearms SB 304 (Cruz) and HB 1167 (Polsky) – School Safety Funding SB 548 (Rodriguez) – Firearms  HB 809 (Fernandez) – Licenses to Carry Concealed Weapons or Firearms HB 839 (Daniels) – School District Police Chiefs HB 6003 (Hill) – Firearms SB 704 (Rouson) – Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders HB 149 (Overdorf) – Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers HB 797 (Thompson) and SB 212 (Thurston) – Medical Marijuana Retail Facilities SB 1508 (Taddeo) and HB 1281(McGhee) – Police Vehicles SB 736 (Diaz) and HB 747 (Williamson) – Coverage for Air Ambulance Services HB 507 (Smith, D.) and SB 842 (Wright) – Injured Police Canines  SB 320 (Stewart) – Emergency Medical Air Transportation Services HB 245 (Polo) and SB 398 (Berman) – Concealed Weapons and Firearms SB 1860 (Brandes) and HB 1389 (Smith, C.) – Availability for Marijuana for Adult Use SB 7032 (Criminal Justice) and HB 7015 (Oversight, Transparency & Public Management) – Body Camera Recordings HB 7065 (Education Committee/Massullo) – School Safety

SHORT-TERM RENTALS

Vacation Rentals (Oppose – Preemption)

CS/SB 1128 (Diaz) and CS/CS/HB 1011 (Fischer) change current law relating to vacation rentals, also known as short-term rentals (STRs). The bills were amended to: ...

CS/SB 1128 (Diaz) and CS/CS/HB 1011 (Fischer) change current law relating to vacation rentals, also known as short-term rentals (STRs). The bills were amended to: •clarify the definition of an advertising platform and narrow it by removing print advertisements from its scope. •allow a “grandfathered” city to amend its short-term rental regulations if the amendment makes the regulation less restrictive. •require the department to maintain vacation rental property license information in an accessible electronic format. •require advertising platforms to verify a property’s license number prior to publishing its advertisement on its platform and every quarter thereafter. •require advertising platforms to quarterly provide the department with the physical address of the vacation rental properties that advertise on their platforms. •impose a duty on advertising platforms to collect and remit taxes in relation to the rental of a vacation rental property through its platform. •establish requirements that advertising platforms adopt an anti-discrimination policy and inform their users of the public lodging discrimination prohibition found in current law. •clarify that the provision of the bill shall not supersede any current or future community association governing document. Additionally, CS/CS/HB 1011 now requires sexual predators to notify the sheriff's office of a temporary residence within 24 hours of arrival. Language carving out the Florida Keys from certain elements of the preemption was also added to the bill. (Cook)

TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Broadband Mapping (Support)

HB 1309 (Ausley) and SB 1776 (Montford) require the Department of Management Services to develop geographic information system maps in collaboration with internet service providers. These maps must identify geographic areas and locations in the state where broadband-capable networks exist, and broadband internet service is available to end users and the download and upload data transmission speeds available in each geographic area. The bills require DMS to annually update the maps and establish a mechanism to receive and verify public input related to broadband internet service. DMS must also monitor, participate in and provide input in proceedings of ...

HB 1309 (Ausley) and SB 1776 (Montford) require the Department of Management Services to develop geographic information system maps in collaboration with internet service providers. These maps must identify geographic areas and locations in the state where broadband-capable networks exist, and broadband internet service is available to end users and the download and upload data transmission speeds available in each geographic area. The bills require DMS to annually update the maps and establish a mechanism to receive and verify public input related to broadband internet service. DMS must also monitor, participate in and provide input in proceedings of the Federal Communications Commission related to broadband service. (Hughes)

Broadband Mapping Appropriation (Support)

HB 9221 (LaMarca) provides a $500,000 appropriation for the Study of Broadband Service and Infrastructure Investment. (Hughes)  ...

HB 9221 (LaMarca) provides a $500,000 appropriation for the Study of Broadband Service and Infrastructure Investment. (Hughes)

Communications Services – Department of Economic Opportunity (Support)

CS/HB 969 (Drake) and CS/SB 1166 (Albritton) designate the Department of Economic Opportunity as lead state agency to facilitate expansion of broadband internet service. The bills require DEO to work collaboratively with certain entities including local governments. The bills create the Florida Office of Broadband within DEO for the purpose of developing, marketing and promoting broadband internet services in this state. The bills allocate $5 million of the funds transferred to Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise for the Multiuse Corridors of Regional Economic Significance (M-CORES) program to be used for projects that assist in the development of broadband infrastructure within ...

CS/HB 969 (Drake) and CS/SB 1166 (Albritton) designate the Department of Economic Opportunity as lead state agency to facilitate expansion of broadband internet service. The bills require DEO to work collaboratively with certain entities including local governments. The bills create the Florida Office of Broadband within DEO for the purpose of developing, marketing and promoting broadband internet services in this state. The bills allocate $5 million of the funds transferred to Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise for the Multiuse Corridors of Regional Economic Significance (M-CORES) program to be used for projects that assist in the development of broadband infrastructure within or adjacent to a multiuse corridor. (Hughes)

Communications Services (Support)

HB 6075 (Eskamani) and SB 1848 (Albritton) delete certain provisions that limit the authority of way. The bills also repeal the Advanced Wireless Infrastructure Deployment Act that relates primarily to the installation of small wireless facilities in public rights of way. (Hughes) ...

HB 6075 (Eskamani) and SB 1848 (Albritton) delete certain provisions that limit the authority of way. The bills also repeal the Advanced Wireless Infrastructure Deployment Act that relates primarily to the installation of small wireless facilities in public rights of way. (Hughes)

TORT LIABILITY

Sovereign Immunity (Oppose)

CS/SB 1302 (Flores) designates the "Florida Fair Claims Act" and waives the sovereign immunity of the state and its agencies and subdivisions (includes cities) for tort claims for damages resulting from the actions of government employees acting in the scope of employment, if those actions are in bad faith, with a malicious purpose, or in a manner exhibiting a disregard for human rights, safety or property. As amended in committee, the bill also increases the per-occurrence limit on the collectability of judgments against government entities from $300,000 to $500,00 and eliminates the $200,000-per-claimant limit. These new limits will ...

CS/SB 1302 (Flores) designates the "Florida Fair Claims Act" and waives the sovereign immunity of the state and its agencies and subdivisions (includes cities) for tort claims for damages resulting from the actions of government employees acting in the scope of employment, if those actions are in bad faith, with a malicious purpose, or in a manner exhibiting a disregard for human rights, safety or property. As amended in committee, the bill also increases the per-occurrence limit on the collectability of judgments against government entities from $300,000 to $500,00 and eliminates the $200,000-per-claimant limit. These new limits will apply to lawsuits that have not been adjudicated before the effective date of the bill. Thus, making the new higher monetary limits retroactive. The bill further allows government entities to settle claims in any amount without the approval of a claim bill by the Legislature. In contrast, current law allows government entities to settle and pay amounts exceeding the sovereign immunity caps only to the extent of insurance coverage. Otherwise, current law requires that the payment of the portion of a claim or judgment exceeding the sovereign immunity caps be approved by the Legislature in a claim bill. (Cruz)

Deregulation of Professions (Oppose – Preemption)

CS/HB 3 (Grant, M.) and CS/SB 1336 (Perry) expressly preempt the licensing of occupations to the state. The bill defines occupation to include a paid job, work, trade, employment or profession and defines licensing to include any training, education, test, certification, registration, procedure or license that are required for a person to perform an occupation. The bills provide limited exceptions for specified local licenses and any local government licensing of occupations that was expressly authorized by general law. The bills will prohibit a local government from requiring a person to obtain a license for a job scope that ...

CS/HB 3 (Grant, M.) and CS/SB 1336 (Perry) expressly preempt the licensing of occupations to the state. The bill defines occupation to include a paid job, work, trade, employment or profession and defines licensing to include any training, education, test, certification, registration, procedure or license that are required for a person to perform an occupation. The bills provide limited exceptions for specified local licenses and any local government licensing of occupations that was expressly authorized by general law. The bills will prohibit a local government from requiring a person to obtain a license for a job scope that does not substantially correspond to the job scope of certain contractor categories set forth in Chapter 489, Florida Statutes. In addition, the bills will authorize local governments to issue journeyman licenses in specified trades. The bills are effective July 1, 2020. CS/SB 1336, was amended in committee to grandfather all existing local regulations on professions. (Cruz)

Local Licensing (Oppose)

SB 890 (Perry) and HB 1161 (Plakon) provide that an individual with a valid active local license may work in any local government jurisdiction without having to obtain additional local licensing, take additional examinations or pay additional local licensing fees. The bills explicitly state that this multijurisdictional approval does not impede a local government's ability to collect business taxes from businesses operating within the local government's boundaries. Local governments' disciplinary jurisdiction for licenses within their jurisdictions is also retained. The bills detail the process for a local government to execute its disciplinary jurisdiction. (Cruz) ...

SB 890 (Perry) and HB 1161 (Plakon) provide that an individual with a valid active local license may work in any local government jurisdiction without having to obtain additional local licensing, take additional examinations or pay additional local licensing fees. The bills explicitly state that this multijurisdictional approval does not impede a local government's ability to collect business taxes from businesses operating within the local government's boundaries. Local governments' disciplinary jurisdiction for licenses within their jurisdictions is also retained. The bills detail the process for a local government to execute its disciplinary jurisdiction. (Cruz)

Attorney Contingency Fees (Oppose)

SB 1574 (Baxley) prohibits local or regional governmental entities from entering into contingency fee contracts with a private attorney or law firm to receive an aggregate contingency fee more than a specified amount when handling a lawsuit on behalf of the government entity. The bill establishes the rates that a private attorney or law firm may receive up to 5% recovery over $25 million and up to 25% recovery over $10 million. The aggregate contingency fee is capped at $20 million, not including reasonable costs and expenses. (Cruz) ...

SB 1574 (Baxley) prohibits local or regional governmental entities from entering into contingency fee contracts with a private attorney or law firm to receive an aggregate contingency fee more than a specified amount when handling a lawsuit on behalf of the government entity. The bill establishes the rates that a private attorney or law firm may receive up to 5% recovery over $25 million and up to 25% recovery over $10 million. The aggregate contingency fee is capped at $20 million, not including reasonable costs and expenses. (Cruz)

Hospital Districts (Oppose)

HB 535 (Santiago) and SB 1072 (Wright) exempt special district hospital districts from contributing to a redevelopment trust fund of a community redevelopment agency if the community redevelopment agency extends the time certain for completing redevelopment financing on or after July 1, 2016. (Cruz) ...

HB 535 (Santiago) and SB 1072 (Wright) exempt special district hospital districts from contributing to a redevelopment trust fund of a community redevelopment agency if the community redevelopment agency extends the time certain for completing redevelopment financing on or after July 1, 2016. (Cruz)

Legislative Review of Proposed Regulation of Unregulated Functions (Watch)

HB 1155 (Hage) and SB 1614 (Perry) create a process by which any legislation that proposes to regulate a profession not currently regulated by the state must adhere to in order to become law. The process requires the legislation to be the least restrictive alternative consistent with the public interest and must consider the impact of the proposed regulation on small businesses, private-sector job creation and additional costs for individuals. (Cruz) ...

HB 1155 (Hage) and SB 1614 (Perry) create a process by which any legislation that proposes to regulate a profession not currently regulated by the state must adhere to in order to become law. The process requires the legislation to be the least restrictive alternative consistent with the public interest and must consider the impact of the proposed regulation on small businesses, private-sector job creation and additional costs for individuals. (Cruz)

Deregulation of Professions and Occupations (Watch)

HB 1193 (Ingoglia) and CS/CS/SB 474 (Albritton) designates the Occupational Freedom and Opportunity Act. This comprehensive 127-page bill removes regulations on certain professions currently overseen by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. These professions include hair braiders, hair and body wrappers, boxing timekeepers and announcers. The bill revises current general licensing provisions to require that a department or board of specified professions and occupations enter into a reciprocal licensing agreement with other states if the practice permits such agreements. The bill also requires that boards or departments post online which jurisdictions have similar licensing agreements or licenses ...

HB 1193 (Ingoglia) and CS/CS/SB 474 (Albritton) designates the Occupational Freedom and Opportunity Act. This comprehensive 127-page bill removes regulations on certain professions currently overseen by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. These professions include hair braiders, hair and body wrappers, boxing timekeepers and announcers. The bill revises current general licensing provisions to require that a department or board of specified professions and occupations enter into a reciprocal licensing agreement with other states if the practice permits such agreements. The bill also requires that boards or departments post online which jurisdictions have similar licensing agreements or licenses or examinations. (Cruz)

Specialty Contracting Services (Watch)

CS/HB 1169 (McClure) and CS/SB 1102 (Gruters) allow any person not required under current law to be certified or registered to perform specialty contracting services if they work under the supervision of a person who is certified or registered. Contractors that are currently required to be certified or registered include sheet metal contractors, roofing contractors, class A air-conditioning contractors, class C air conditioning contractors and mechanical contractors. The specialty contracting services specified include the construction, remodeling, repair or improvement of commercial or residential swimming pools, hot tubs or spas, or interactive water features. (Cruz) ...

CS/HB 1169 (McClure) and CS/SB 1102 (Gruters) allow any person not required under current law to be certified or registered to perform specialty contracting services if they work under the supervision of a person who is certified or registered. Contractors that are currently required to be certified or registered include sheet metal contractors, roofing contractors, class A air-conditioning contractors, class C air conditioning contractors and mechanical contractors. The specialty contracting services specified include the construction, remodeling, repair or improvement of commercial or residential swimming pools, hot tubs or spas, or interactive water features. (Cruz)

Other Bills of Interest

SB 450 (Brandes) – Whistleblower's Act 2020 ...

SB 450 (Brandes) – Whistleblower's Act 2020 HB 255 (Antone) and SB 726 (Rouson) – Florida Commission on Human Relations

TRANSPORTATION

Traffic and Pedestrian Safety (Oppose – Unfunded Mandate)

CS/CS/SB 1000 (Perry) and CS/CS/HB 1371 (Fine) require that crosswalks located at any place other than an intersection of a public street, highway or road be controlled by pedestrian and traffic signals that meet requirements of the Florida Department of Transportation Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. (Branch) ...

CS/CS/SB 1000 (Perry) and CS/CS/HB 1371 (Fine) require that crosswalks located at any place other than an intersection of a public street, highway or road be controlled by pedestrian and traffic signals that meet requirements of the Florida Department of Transportation Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. (Branch)

Tax on Aviation Fuel (Oppose – Unfunded Mandate)

SB 1192 (Gruters) and HB 6061 (Roach) repeal the excise tax imposed on aviation fuel, aviation gasoline and kerosene sold or brought into the state. Under current law, the monies from this tax are deposited into the State Transportation Trust Fund to fund various program areas. Repealing the excise tax on aviation fuel will reduce the money going to the STTF. This reduction in revenues will negatively affect the ability of cities to adequately maintain and improve critical infrastructure needed to meet the ever-changing transportation demands. Additionally, repealing the aviation fuel tax will impact the Aviation Grant Program. ...

SB 1192 (Gruters) and HB 6061 (Roach) repeal the excise tax imposed on aviation fuel, aviation gasoline and kerosene sold or brought into the state. Under current law, the monies from this tax are deposited into the State Transportation Trust Fund to fund various program areas. Repealing the excise tax on aviation fuel will reduce the money going to the STTF. This reduction in revenues will negatively affect the ability of cities to adequately maintain and improve critical infrastructure needed to meet the ever-changing transportation demands. Additionally, repealing the aviation fuel tax will impact the Aviation Grant Program. This grant money, which local governments can apply for, is used to fund projects relating to airport planning, capital improvement, land acquisition and economic development. (Branch)

Electric Bicycles (Oppose CS/HB971 – Preemption, Support CS/SB 1148)

CS/HB 971 (Grant, M.) and CS/SB 1148 (Brandes) create regulations governing the operation of e-bikes and provide that an e-bike or an operator of an e-bike must be afforded all the rights and privileges of a bicycle. The bills authorize an e-bike to operate where bicycles are allowed, including, but not limited to, streets, highways, roadways, shoulders and bicycle lanes. However, local governments are authorized to regulate the operation of e-bikes on the prescribed areas. Additionally, following notice and a public hearing, a municipality or county may restrict or prohibit the operation of an e-bike on the path ...

CS/HB 971 (Grant, M.) and CS/SB 1148 (Brandes) create regulations governing the operation of e-bikes and provide that an e-bike or an operator of an e-bike must be afforded all the rights and privileges of a bicycle. The bills authorize an e-bike to operate where bicycles are allowed, including, but not limited to, streets, highways, roadways, shoulders and bicycle lanes. However, local governments are authorized to regulate the operation of e-bikes on the prescribed areas. Additionally, following notice and a public hearing, a municipality or county may restrict or prohibit the operation of an e-bike on the path if the entity finds that such a restriction is necessary in the interest of public safety or to comply with other laws or legal obligations. CS/SB 1148 was amended in committee to remove the preemption language. The FLC now supports CS/SB 1148. (Branch)

Transportation Network Companies (Oppose – Preemption)

CS/SB 1352 (Brandes) and CS/HB 1039 (Rommel) establish a regulatory framework for digital advertising on transportation network company vehicles and for luxury ground transportation network company vehicles, preempting such regulation to the state. The bills would also preempt local governments who are currently collecting revenue from the regulation of digital advertising on vehicles. (Branch) ...

CS/SB 1352 (Brandes) and CS/HB 1039 (Rommel) establish a regulatory framework for digital advertising on transportation network company vehicles and for luxury ground transportation network company vehicles, preempting such regulation to the state. The bills would also preempt local governments who are currently collecting revenue from the regulation of digital advertising on vehicles. (Branch)

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Infrastructure (Oppose – Mandate)

CS/SB 7018 (Infrastructure and Security) and HB 7099 (State Affairs) require the Public Service Commission (PSC), in coordination with the Department of Transportation and the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, to develop and recommend a plan for the development of electric vehicle charging station infrastructure along the State Highway System. The plan must include recommendations for legislation and may include other recommendations as determined by the PSC. The bills require the recommended plan to be developed and submitted to the Governor, the Senate President, and the House Speaker by July 1, 2021. CS/SB 7018 was amended in ...

CS/SB 7018 (Infrastructure and Security) and HB 7099 (State Affairs) require the Public Service Commission (PSC), in coordination with the Department of Transportation and the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, to develop and recommend a plan for the development of electric vehicle charging station infrastructure along the State Highway System. The plan must include recommendations for legislation and may include other recommendations as determined by the PSC. The bills require the recommended plan to be developed and submitted to the Governor, the Senate President, and the House Speaker by July 1, 2021. CS/SB 7018 was amended in committee to expand the shot clock and “deemed approved” requirements to permit applications for all utilities in the right of way. The bill would also allow agricultural property owners who have granted a conservation easement over their property to unilaterally encumber the conservation easement by allowing the use of the land for a linear facility and related appurtenances. (Branch, O’Hara)

Traffic Offenses (Support) 

SB 308 (Baxley) and HB 455 (McClain) provide criminal penalties for a person who commits a moving violation that causes serious bodily injury to or causes the death of a vulnerable road user. Of interest to cities, current law defines “vulnerable road user” to include a person engaged in work on a highway such as a utility service worker. (Branch) ...

SB 308 (Baxley) and HB 455 (McClain) provide criminal penalties for a person who commits a moving violation that causes serious bodily injury to or causes the death of a vulnerable road user. Of interest to cities, current law defines “vulnerable road user” to include a person engaged in work on a highway such as a utility service worker. (Branch)

Fees/Electric Vehicle (Support) 

SB 1346 (Brandes) and HB 1221 (Slosberg) create additional fees and a licensing tax for electric and hybrid vehicles. The proceeds from these additional fees and taxes will be deposited equally into the State Transportation Trust Fund and the newly created Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Grant Program. If passed, this legislation will sunset on July 1, 2030. (Branch) ...

SB 1346 (Brandes) and HB 1221 (Slosberg) create additional fees and a licensing tax for electric and hybrid vehicles. The proceeds from these additional fees and taxes will be deposited equally into the State Transportation Trust Fund and the newly created Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Grant Program. If passed, this legislation will sunset on July 1, 2030. (Branch)

Electric Vehicle (Support) 

SB 1230 (Brandes) and HB 1219 (Toledo) create the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Grant Program to provide financial assistance to municipalities and other entities for the installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure. The bills authorize the Department of Transportation to develop and publish criteria for the grant application. SB 1230 is linked to SB 1346 and HB 1219 is linked to HB 1221 (see above) which provides for the allocation of funds from a licensing tax and additional fees on electric and hybrid vehicles. The proceeds from these fees will increase available revenues for the State Transportation Trust Fund. ...

SB 1230 (Brandes) and HB 1219 (Toledo) create the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Grant Program to provide financial assistance to municipalities and other entities for the installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure. The bills authorize the Department of Transportation to develop and publish criteria for the grant application. SB 1230 is linked to SB 1346 and HB 1219 is linked to HB 1221 (see above) which provides for the allocation of funds from a licensing tax and additional fees on electric and hybrid vehicles. The proceeds from these fees will increase available revenues for the State Transportation Trust Fund. (Branch)

Motor Vehicle Rentals (Support) 

CS/SB 478 (Perry) and CS/CS/HB 377 (Latvala) require peer-to-peer (P2P) car-sharing service sites to impose a $2 per day surcharge upon lease or rental motor vehicle through the P2P car-sharing program, which is similar to the requirements of a traditional car rental company. (Branch) ...

CS/SB 478 (Perry) and CS/CS/HB 377 (Latvala) require peer-to-peer (P2P) car-sharing service sites to impose a $2 per day surcharge upon lease or rental motor vehicle through the P2P car-sharing program, which is similar to the requirements of a traditional car rental company. (Branch)

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations (Watch) 

SB 452 (Rodriguez) and HB 943 (Daley) require the Department of Transportation, with the Office of Energy within the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Florida Clean Cities Coalitions, to develop a master plan for installing electric vehicle charging stations on the state highway system. (Branch) ...

SB 452 (Rodriguez) and HB 943 (Daley) require the Department of Transportation, with the Office of Energy within the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Florida Clean Cities Coalitions, to develop a master plan for installing electric vehicle charging stations on the state highway system. (Branch)

High-speed Passenger Rail (Watch) 

CS/SB 676 (Mayfield) and HB 465 (Sirois) provide guidelines for the creation of safe and cost-effective transportation options for residents and visitors of this state, including a high-speed rail system. The bills enhance the safety requirements of high-speed passenger rail in order to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public. The bills also require the Florida Division of Emergency Management to offer training to local emergency officials on responding to an accident involving rail passengers or hazardous materials. (Branch)  ...

CS/SB 676 (Mayfield) and HB 465 (Sirois) provide guidelines for the creation of safe and cost-effective transportation options for residents and visitors of this state, including a high-speed rail system. The bills enhance the safety requirements of high-speed passenger rail in order to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public. The bills also require the Florida Division of Emergency Management to offer training to local emergency officials on responding to an accident involving rail passengers or hazardous materials. (Branch)

Emergency Staging Areas (Watch)

SB 7020 (Infrastructure and Security) authorizes the Florida Department of Transportation to plan, design and construct staging areas for emergencies as part of the turnpike system. These sites are intended to be designated staging areas for emergency supplies to facilitate the prompt provision of emergency assistance to the public in response to a declared state of emergency. (Branch) ...

SB 7020 (Infrastructure and Security) authorizes the Florida Department of Transportation to plan, design and construct staging areas for emergencies as part of the turnpike system. These sites are intended to be designated staging areas for emergency supplies to facilitate the prompt provision of emergency assistance to the public in response to a declared state of emergency. (Branch)

Other Bills of Interest 

SB 368 (Rouson) and HB 503 (Diamond) – Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority ...

SB 368 (Rouson) and HB 503 (Diamond) – Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority SB 1172 (Albritton) HB 395 (Andrade) – Transportation SB 636 (Stargel) and HB 435 (Valdes) – Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles SB 7054 (Infrastructure and Security) and HB 1315 (Fetterhoff) – Transportation

UTILITIES & NATURAL RESOURCES

Environmental Protection Act (Oppose – Preemption)

HB 1199 (Ingoglia) and CS/SB 1382 (Albritton) prohibit local governments from recognizing or granting certain legal rights to the natural environment (e.g., granting legal standing to waterbodies) or granting enforcement of such rights to persons or political subdivision. (O’Hara) ...

HB 1199 (Ingoglia) and CS/SB 1382 (Albritton) prohibit local governments from recognizing or granting certain legal rights to the natural environment (e.g., granting legal standing to waterbodies) or granting enforcement of such rights to persons or political subdivision. (O’Hara)

Clean Energy Programs (Oppose – Preemption)

HB 225 (Zika) and SB 824 (Hooper) amend current law relating to “Property Assessed Clean Energy” (PACE) programs and requirements. The bill provides definitions for PACE administrator, PACE contractor, PACE loan, PACE loan contract, qualifying commercial real property and qualifying residential property. It provides that a local government may enter an agreement with a PACE administrator to administer the program and specifies that local government or PACE administrator may enter into a PACE loan contract only with the record owner of the property. It eliminates current language in law stating that a recorded PACE loan contract provides constructive ...

HB 225 (Zika) and SB 824 (Hooper) amend current law relating to “Property Assessed Clean Energy” (PACE) programs and requirements. The bill provides definitions for PACE administrator, PACE contractor, PACE loan, PACE loan contract, qualifying commercial real property and qualifying residential property. It provides that a local government may enter an agreement with a PACE administrator to administer the program and specifies that local government or PACE administrator may enter into a PACE loan contract only with the record owner of the property. It eliminates current language in law stating that a recorded PACE loan contract provides constructive notice that the assessment to be levied constitutes a lien of equal dignity to county taxes and assessments. The bill includes new provisions regarding a PACE loan’s lien position. It provides that a PACE loan is: subordinate to all liens on the property recorded before the PACE lien notice is recorded; subordinate to a first mortgage on the property recorded after the PACE notice is recorded; and superior to any lien recorded after the PACE notice is recorded. The bill imposes substantial new requirements on local governments financing for qualifying residential property (maturity date of PACE loan, limits on loan amount, total combined debt may not exceed 75 percent of assessed value). The bill specifies required contents for PACE loan contracts for residential real property and prohibits such contracts from resulting in negative amortization, charging any interest upon interest or fees or containing any provision requiring forced arbitration or restricting class action. The bill prohibits a residential PACE contract from being entered until it has been verified the property owner has the ability to repay the loan: owner’s monthly debt to income ratio does not exceed 43 percent and must have sufficient residual income to meet basic living expenses. The bill specifies methodology and sources for verification of property owner’s income, debt and expenses. The bill requires the local government or PACE administrator, prior to execution of a contract, to confirm the key terms of the PACE agreement and scope of energy improvement work with the property owner in a live, recorded telephone conversation. The bill requires specific disclosures be made to the owner during the telephone call. The bill requires that prior to entering a PACE loan on residential property, the household be screened for eligibility for low-or no-cost programs that may be provided by government or utility service providers. The bill prohibits a local government from permitting a property owner from entering a contract unless the owner is given a right to cancel the contract within a specified timeframe. It requires the use of a specified financing estimate and disclosure form and that such form be provided to an owner at least three business days before a contract is signed. The bill delineates prohibited practices by PACE administrators or PACE contractors. The bill prohibits a local government or PACE administrator from entering into a PACE contract unless written notice has been provided to, and written consent obtained from, each of the holders of any mortgage on the qualifying residential or commercial property. It provides that a PACE loan shall not be made unless the holder of any mortgage on the qualifying property provides signed confirmation that entering into the loan contract does not constitute an event of default or give rise to any remedies under the terms of the mortgage loan. The bill provides for preservation of claims and defenses for successors in interest to property owners and provides for attorney fees and costs for aggrieved residential property owners. (O’Hara)

Discharge of Domestic Wastewater (Oppose – Mandate)

SB 454 (Rodriguez) prohibits the construction of new deep injection wells for domestic wastewater discharge or the expansion of existing wells. It limits the discharge capacity of domestic wastewater deep well injection and required current ocean outfall and deep well injection permitholders to install a functioning reuse system by specified dates. The bill prohibits the discharge of domestic wastewater through ocean outfalls and deep injection wells after specified dates and requires current deep injection well permitholders to submit a plan with specified requirements and annual progress reports to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. (O’Hara) ...

SB 454 (Rodriguez) prohibits the construction of new deep injection wells for domestic wastewater discharge or the expansion of existing wells. It limits the discharge capacity of domestic wastewater deep well injection and required current ocean outfall and deep well injection permitholders to install a functioning reuse system by specified dates. The bill prohibits the discharge of domestic wastewater through ocean outfalls and deep injection wells after specified dates and requires current deep injection well permitholders to submit a plan with specified requirements and annual progress reports to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. (O’Hara)

Recycled/Reclaimed Water (Oppose – Mandate)

CS/HB 715 (Maggard) and CS/CS/SB 1656 (Albritton) prohibit domestic wastewater utilities from disposing of effluent, reclaimed water or reuse water by surface water discharge beginning January 2026. The bills exempt the following discharges from this prohibition: indirect potable reuse projects; permitted wet weather discharges; discharges into stormwater management systems that are subsequently withdrawn for irrigation; projects where reclaimed water is recovered from an aquifer recharge system and subsequently discharged for potable reuse; wetlands creation, restoration and enhancement projects; surface water minimum flows and levels recovery and prevention projects; and domestic water utilities in fiscally constrained counties or municipalities ...

CS/HB 715 (Maggard) and CS/CS/SB 1656 (Albritton) prohibit domestic wastewater utilities from disposing of effluent, reclaimed water or reuse water by surface water discharge beginning January 2026. The bills exempt the following discharges from this prohibition: indirect potable reuse projects; permitted wet weather discharges; discharges into stormwater management systems that are subsequently withdrawn for irrigation; projects where reclaimed water is recovered from an aquifer recharge system and subsequently discharged for potable reuse; wetlands creation, restoration and enhancement projects; surface water minimum flows and levels recovery and prevention projects; and domestic water utilities in fiscally constrained counties or municipalities in rural areas of opportunity; and wastewater treatment facilities located in municipalities that have less than $10 million in total annual revenue. The bills recognize potable reuse as an alternative water supply and provide that potable reuse projects are eligible for alternative water supply funding and that such projects may not be excluded from regional water supply plans. The bills direct the Department of Environmental Protection to develop rules relating to the beneficial reuse of water for public water supply purposes that are protective of the environment and public health, building on the guiding principles and goals set forth in the Potable Reuse Commission’s 2019 report on advancing potable reuse in Florida. The bills specify the rules should require the treatment of reclaimed water to drinking water standards. The bills include provisions to ensure that projects do not cause harm to the state’s aquifer and surface waters by requiring such projects do not cause or contribute to violations of water quality standards and that when such water is released into surface or groundwater, consideration of emerging constituents may be required. The bills direct DEP to adopt rules for implementation of potable water reuse projects and specify minimum requirements for the rules, authorize DEP to revise existing drinking water and reclaimed water rules, and authorize DEP to convene technical advisory committees to coordinate the rule review and rulemaking required in the bills. The bills direct DEP and the water management districts to execute a memorandum of agreement providing optional processes for coordinated review of any permits associated with indirect potable reuse projects. The bills authorize potential incentives for public-private partnerships for water recycling projects including expedited permitting and tax credits. The bills require local governments to authorize the use of residential graywater technologies and provide incentives (density bonuses, waiver of fees, etc.) to developers to fully offset the developer’s cost of providing such technology in proposed developments containing 25 or more residential units. (O’Hara)

Renewable Energy (Oppose – Mandate)

SB 446 (Brandes) allows the owner of a business or contracted third party to install, maintain and operate a renewable energy source device on or about the structure in which the business operates or on any property the business leases. The bill provides the business owner or third party may sell the electricity that is generated from the device to another business immediately adjacent to or within the same parcel as the business, and such sales shall not be considered or regulated as retail sales of electricity. The bill provides that if the energy-producing business or its customers ...

SB 446 (Brandes) allows the owner of a business or contracted third party to install, maintain and operate a renewable energy source device on or about the structure in which the business operates or on any property the business leases. The bill provides the business owner or third party may sell the electricity that is generated from the device to another business immediately adjacent to or within the same parcel as the business, and such sales shall not be considered or regulated as retail sales of electricity. The bill provides that if the energy-producing business or its customers require additional related services from a utility, such as backup generation capacity or transmission services, the utility may recover the full cost of providing those services. The bill authorizes a utility to enter a contract with a business to install, maintain or operate any type of renewable energy source device on or about the structure from which the business operates and to sell the electricity to an adjacent business, and provides that such electricity sales shall not be considered or regulated as retail sales of electricity. The bill specifies that if the Public Service Commission determines that the level of reduction in electricity purchases by customers using renewable energy source devices is significant enough to adversely impact the rates that other customers pay in the rate territory, the commission may approve a utility’s requests to recover its costs of providing the electricity needed by all customers, including customers using a renewable energy source device. The bill provides for methodology of such cost recovery, a process for customers to challenge the cost recovery and authorized rulemaking by the commission. The bill may have a negative fiscal impact on municipal revenues, including potential impacts to municipal electric franchise revenues and municipal public service utility taxes. (O’Hara)

Clean Energy (Oppose – Mandate)

HB 1419 (Good) authorizes a local government, college or university to install and operate renewable energy systems on any property owned by the entity to offset the entity’s electricity requirements. Electricity generated by such devices is deemed customer-owned generation without regard to ownership of the device by a contracted third-party. The bill authorizes a contracted third-party to sell the electricity generated by a renewable energy generating system to a local government, college or university and provide that such sales shall not be deemed retail sales of electricity. The bill authorizes a local government, college or university with multiple ...

HB 1419 (Good) authorizes a local government, college or university to install and operate renewable energy systems on any property owned by the entity to offset the entity’s electricity requirements. Electricity generated by such devices is deemed customer-owned generation without regard to ownership of the device by a contracted third-party. The bill authorizes a contracted third-party to sell the electricity generated by a renewable energy generating system to a local government, college or university and provide that such sales shall not be deemed retail sales of electricity. The bill authorizes a local government, college or university with multiple meters to aggregate its electricity consumption by totaling the consumption on all meters and offset such aggregated consumption requirements with customer-owned renewable energy generation under the electric utility’s net metering program. The bill requires electric utilities to offer all public customers a method to aggregate meters consistent with its net metering program and its standard interconnection agreement for customer-owned renewable energy generation. The bill requires each public utility to file with the Public Service Commission a program that offers a renewable energy tariff for all nonresidential customers to purchase renewable energy from the utility to meet up to 100% of the customer’s electricity requirements. The bill requires municipal electric utilities to offer a renewable energy tariff for all nonresidential customers as well. If a utility does not have sufficient renewable energy available to meet a customer’s requirements within a specified time period, the bill authorizes the customer to contract with a third party to purchase renewable energy from generating systems interconnected with the utility’s grid or transmission lines. (O’Hara)

Environmental Resource Management (Oppose – Preemption)

SB 1382 (Albritton) is a comprehensive bill that prohibits local governments from recognizing or granting certain legal rights to the natural environment (e.g., granting legal standing to waterbodies) or granting enforcement of such rights to persons or political subdivision. The bill also authorizes basin management action plans to include a cooperative agricultural regional water quality management element or a cooperative urban, suburban, commercial or institutional regional water quality improvement element. The agricultural element shall be adopted by the Department of Environmental Protection and may include cost-effective and financially feasible cooperative agricultural nutrient reduction projects intended to reduce nutrient ...

SB 1382 (Albritton) is a comprehensive bill that prohibits local governments from recognizing or granting certain legal rights to the natural environment (e.g., granting legal standing to waterbodies) or granting enforcement of such rights to persons or political subdivision. The bill also authorizes basin management action plans to include a cooperative agricultural regional water quality management element or a cooperative urban, suburban, commercial or institutional regional water quality improvement element. The agricultural element shall be adopted by the Department of Environmental Protection and may include cost-effective and financially feasible cooperative agricultural nutrient reduction projects intended to reduce nutrient impacts from agricultural operations. Participants in the plan must have already implemented interim measures, best management practices or other measures adopted by DEP. The cooperative urban, et al. element shall be developed by DEP and may include cost- effective, financially practical regional nutrient reduction projects that may be implemented to reduce nutrient impacts from urban, suburban, commercial or institutional operations. The bills direct DEP to work with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to improve the accuracy of data in BMAPs and shall work with producers to identify technologies for implementation. The bills establish a nutrient reduction cost-share program within DEP that authorizes the agency to fund projects that may reduce nutrient pollution, including projects identified in the new plan elements authorized by the bills. The bills specify funding priority for certain projects and require projects to have a 50% match of local funds. (O’Hara)

Displacement of Private Waste Companies (Oppose)

CS/CS/CS/SB 996 (Albritton) and HB 639 (McClure) require a local government that displaces an existing solid waste provider to, in addition to the procedural and three-year notice requirements in current law, pay the provider an amount equal to the company’s preceding 18 months’ gross receipts for the service in the displaced area. In addition, CS/CS/SB 996 makes a technical clarification to the current law definition of “displacement.” The bill also exempts fiscally constrained counties from statutory recycling goals and creates a recycled materials management pilot program for Polk County in coordination with the University of Florida. (O’Hara) ...

CS/CS/CS/SB 996 (Albritton) and HB 639 (McClure) require a local government that displaces an existing solid waste provider to, in addition to the procedural and three-year notice requirements in current law, pay the provider an amount equal to the company’s preceding 18 months’ gross receipts for the service in the displaced area. In addition, CS/CS/SB 996 makes a technical clarification to the current law definition of “displacement.” The bill also exempts fiscally constrained counties from statutory recycling goals and creates a recycled materials management pilot program for Polk County in coordination with the University of Florida. (O’Hara)

Municipal Electric Utilities (Oppose – Mandate)

HB 653 (Caruso) prohibits municipal electric utilities from using revenues generated from the electric utility to finance general government functions and provides that electric utility revenues must be used exclusively for electric utility functions or improving infrastructure of the electric utility. (O’Hara) ...

HB 653 (Caruso) prohibits municipal electric utilities from using revenues generated from the electric utility to finance general government functions and provides that electric utility revenues must be used exclusively for electric utility functions or improving infrastructure of the electric utility. (O’Hara)

Utility Construction Contracting Services (Oppose – Mandate)

SB 1710 (Torres) prohibits investor-owned utilities and municipal electric utilities or an affiliate of such utility from engaging in construction contracting as defined in Chapter 489, Florida Statutes, and prohibits such utility or affiliate from providing bookkeeping, billing, financial, legal or insurance products or services that are related to construction contracting, including warranty products or construction liens. The bill prohibits such utilities or affiliates from engaging in construction contracting services in a manner that subsidizes the activities of the utility to the extent of changing rates or service charges. Affiliates or contractors are prohibited from using any utility ...

SB 1710 (Torres) prohibits investor-owned utilities and municipal electric utilities or an affiliate of such utility from engaging in construction contracting as defined in Chapter 489, Florida Statutes, and prohibits such utility or affiliate from providing bookkeeping, billing, financial, legal or insurance products or services that are related to construction contracting, including warranty products or construction liens. The bill prohibits such utilities or affiliates from engaging in construction contracting services in a manner that subsidizes the activities of the utility to the extent of changing rates or service charges. Affiliates or contractors are prohibited from using any utility asset, the cost of which is recoverable in the utility’s regulated rates, to engage in construction contracting services unless the utility is compensated for use of the asset. (O’Hara)

Vessels (Support)

HB 1407 (Webb) and CS/SB 1378 (Rouson) prohibit the operation of vessels faster than slow speed, minimum wake upon approaching within 300 feet of any emergency vessel with its emergency lights activated or upon approaching within 300 feet of any construction vessel or barge when the vessel is displaying an orange flag in a specified manner. The bills specify penalties for violations of these requirements. The bills also prohibit the anchoring or mooring of vessels within 20 feet of a mangrove or to upland vegetation on public lands. Specified law enforcement officers and agencies are authorized under the ...

HB 1407 (Webb) and CS/SB 1378 (Rouson) prohibit the operation of vessels faster than slow speed, minimum wake upon approaching within 300 feet of any emergency vessel with its emergency lights activated or upon approaching within 300 feet of any construction vessel or barge when the vessel is displaying an orange flag in a specified manner. The bills specify penalties for violations of these requirements. The bills also prohibit the anchoring or mooring of vessels within 20 feet of a mangrove or to upland vegetation on public lands. Specified law enforcement officers and agencies are authorized under the bill to relocate an at-risk vessel that violates this. (O’Hara)

Climate Change (Support)

CS/SB 1572 (Stewart) is a resolution of the Legislature expressing its recognition of the state’s susceptibility to climate change and its intention to adopt policies to combat climate change and sea-level rise. (O’Hara) ...

CS/SB 1572 (Stewart) is a resolution of the Legislature expressing its recognition of the state’s susceptibility to climate change and its intention to adopt policies to combat climate change and sea-level rise. (O’Hara)

Brownfields Site Rehabilitation (Support)

CS/SB 1152 (Broxson) provides that potential brownfield sites owned by the state or a local government that are impacted by certain substances used in fire suppressants and firefighting foams (perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances or “PFAS”) are eligible to participate in a brownfield site rehabilitation agreement regardless of whether such contamination was caused by or contributed by the state or local government after July 1997. (O'Hara) ...

CS/SB 1152 (Broxson) provides that potential brownfield sites owned by the state or a local government that are impacted by certain substances used in fire suppressants and firefighting foams (perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances or “PFAS”) are eligible to participate in a brownfield site rehabilitation agreement regardless of whether such contamination was caused by or contributed by the state or local government after July 1997. (O'Hara)

Water Resources (Support)

HB 147 (Jacobs) and SB 690 (Albritton) direct the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to develop a comprehensive and quantitative needs-based overview of the state’s water resources. To determine the level of need, the overview must include an assessment of funds necessary for current and future demands with respect to infrastructure, including amounts necessary to address hazard mitigation, infrastructure replacement costs, future capacity costs, natural resources protection and restoration, and flood protection. The overview must cover short-term (five-year) and long-term (20-year) planning timeframes. In addition, the overview must identify potential funding options to meet anticipated demands. The initial ...

HB 147 (Jacobs) and SB 690 (Albritton) direct the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to develop a comprehensive and quantitative needs-based overview of the state’s water resources. To determine the level of need, the overview must include an assessment of funds necessary for current and future demands with respect to infrastructure, including amounts necessary to address hazard mitigation, infrastructure replacement costs, future capacity costs, natural resources protection and restoration, and flood protection. The overview must cover short-term (five-year) and long-term (20-year) planning timeframes. In addition, the overview must identify potential funding options to meet anticipated demands. The initial overview must be submitted to the governor and Legislature by January 1, 2022, with subsequent reports due every five years thereafter. (O’Hara)

Energy 2040 Task Force (Support)

SB 144 (Brandes) creates the Energy 2040 Task Force within the Florida Public Service Commission to project the state’s electric energy needs over the next 20 years and determine how to best meet those needs while increasing competition and consumer choice. It directs the task force to recommend appropriate electric policies and statutory changes, including consideration of the effects of allowing nonutility retail sales of renewable energy, the use of microgrids, emerging electric technologies and concepts, the impacts of state and local government taxes on government revenues and the electric supply, and the environmental impact of electricity production, ...

SB 144 (Brandes) creates the Energy 2040 Task Force within the Florida Public Service Commission to project the state’s electric energy needs over the next 20 years and determine how to best meet those needs while increasing competition and consumer choice. It directs the task force to recommend appropriate electric policies and statutory changes, including consideration of the effects of allowing nonutility retail sales of renewable energy, the use of microgrids, emerging electric technologies and concepts, the impacts of state and local government taxes on government revenues and the electric supply, and the environmental impact of electricity production, generation and transmission. The bill specifies task force members, authorizes the task force to establish any necessary advisory committees and directs the task force to submit its recommendations to the governor and Legislature by January 2022. (O’Hara)

Environmental Contamination (Support)

SB 702 (Albritton) and CS/HB 609 (Perez) address aspects of the Petroleum Restoration Program within the Department of Environmental Protection, which establishes requirements and procedures for cleaning up petroleum-contaminated land and the circumstances under which the state will pay for the cleanup. In addition, CS/HB 609 addresses a current law provision in section 376.313, Florida Statutes, which provides a cause of action for damages resulting from discharges or other conditions of pollution. The bill clarifies that in such actions, damages may include damages to real or personal property resulting from the pollution rather than all damages resulting from ...

SB 702 (Albritton) and CS/HB 609 (Perez) address aspects of the Petroleum Restoration Program within the Department of Environmental Protection, which establishes requirements and procedures for cleaning up petroleum-contaminated land and the circumstances under which the state will pay for the cleanup. In addition, CS/HB 609 addresses a current law provision in section 376.313, Florida Statutes, which provides a cause of action for damages resulting from discharges or other conditions of pollution. The bill clarifies that in such actions, damages may include damages to real or personal property resulting from the pollution rather than all damages resulting from the pollution. (O’Hara)

Environmental Protection (Support)

CS/SB 1878 (Bradley) requires a minimum annual appropriation for Everglades restoration and the protection of water resources in the state and provides requirements for the allocation of such funding. Beginning fiscal year 2020-21 and every year thereafter, the bill specifies a minimum of $625 million for such purposes. The bill allocates this funding as follows: $236 million for the Everglades Agricultural Area reservoir project; $64 million for the South Florida Water Management District for aquifer storage and recovery wells; $50 million funding for springs restoration as provided in law; $40 million for alternative water supplies or water conservation; ...

CS/SB 1878 (Bradley) requires a minimum annual appropriation for Everglades restoration and the protection of water resources in the state and provides requirements for the allocation of such funding. Beginning fiscal year 2020-21 and every year thereafter, the bill specifies a minimum of $625 million for such purposes. The bill allocates this funding as follows: $236 million for the Everglades Agricultural Area reservoir project; $64 million for the South Florida Water Management District for aquifer storage and recovery wells; $50 million funding for springs restoration as provided in law; $40 million for alternative water supplies or water conservation; $25 million for watersheds of the St. Johns River, Suwannee River, and the Apalachicola River; $10 million for the Florida Resilient Coastline Initiative; $15 million for Indian River Lagoon projects; $10 million for coral reefs; $4 million for red tide research; and any remaining balance for water quality programs, alternative water supplies, Indian River Lagoon projects, algae bloom prevention and land acquisition pursuant to the Florida Forever program or Rural and Family Lands program. (O’Hara)

Advanced Well Stimulation Treatment – Fracking (Support)

SB 200 (Montford) and HB 547 (Fitzenhagen) prohibit the performance of “high-pressure well stimulation” and “matrix acidization” (commonly referred to as “fracking”) as defined in the bills. (O’Hara) ...

SB 200 (Montford) and HB 547 (Fitzenhagen) prohibit the performance of “high-pressure well stimulation” and “matrix acidization” (commonly referred to as “fracking”) as defined in the bills. (O’Hara)

Climate Fiscal Responsibility (Support) 

SB 280 (Rodriguez) directs the state Economic Estimating Conference to annually prepare a climate fiscal responsibility report in cooperation with various state agencies. The bill requires the report to analyze the estimated impact of climate change on the state’s general obligation credit rating, debt capacity and tax base associated with increased frequency and intensity of natural disasters, as well as long-term trends like sea-level rise and global temperature changes. The report must also recommend actions to be taken over the next five, 10 and 20 years. (O’Hara) ...

SB 280 (Rodriguez) directs the state Economic Estimating Conference to annually prepare a climate fiscal responsibility report in cooperation with various state agencies. The bill requires the report to analyze the estimated impact of climate change on the state’s general obligation credit rating, debt capacity and tax base associated with increased frequency and intensity of natural disasters, as well as long-term trends like sea-level rise and global temperature changes. The report must also recommend actions to be taken over the next five, 10 and 20 years. (O’Hara)

Climate Health Planning (Support) 

SB 278 (Rodriguez) requires the Florida Department of Health to prepare an annual climate health planning report to assess the threat to human health caused by climate change and to develop strategies to help the state’s communities prepare for the health effects of climate change. The bill directs the DOH to consult with various state and local agencies in preparing the report and include one-year, five-year, 10-year and 20-year recommendations for policy and budget priorities associated with identified threats. (O’Hara) ...

SB 278 (Rodriguez) requires the Florida Department of Health to prepare an annual climate health planning report to assess the threat to human health caused by climate change and to develop strategies to help the state’s communities prepare for the health effects of climate change. The bill directs the DOH to consult with various state and local agencies in preparing the report and include one-year, five-year, 10-year and 20-year recommendations for policy and budget priorities associated with identified threats. (O’Hara)

Identification of Underground Facilities (Support)

SB 592 (Pizzo) and HB 6039 (Duran) delete a preemption in existing state law that prohibits local governments from regulating the types of paint or marking device, or from requiring removal of such marks used to identify underground facilities. (O’Hara) ...

SB 592 (Pizzo) and HB 6039 (Duran) delete a preemption in existing state law that prohibits local governments from regulating the types of paint or marking device, or from requiring removal of such marks used to identify underground facilities. (O’Hara)

Preemption of Recyclable and Polystyrene Materials (Support)

SB 182 (Stewart) deletes existing statutory preemptions of local laws relating to the regulation of auxiliary containers, wrappings or disposable plastic bags and repeals the statutory preemption of local laws regarding the use or sale of polystyrene products to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. (O’Hara) ...

SB 182 (Stewart) deletes existing statutory preemptions of local laws relating to the regulation of auxiliary containers, wrappings or disposable plastic bags and repeals the statutory preemption of local laws regarding the use or sale of polystyrene products to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. (O’Hara)

Preemption of Tree Pruning, Trimming and Removal (Support)

HB 6077 (Eskamani) repeals provisions of law enacted in the 2019 Legislative Session that imposed requirements and restrictions on local regulation of tree pruning, trimming or removal on residential property. (O’Hara) ...

HB 6077 (Eskamani) repeals provisions of law enacted in the 2019 Legislative Session that imposed requirements and restrictions on local regulation of tree pruning, trimming or removal on residential property. (O’Hara)

Land Acquisition Trust Fund (Support)

SB 332 (Stewart) and HB 849 (Altman) appropriate $100 million annually from the state Land Acquisition Trust Fund to the Florida Forever Trust Fund and prohibit the use of moneys in the state Land Acquisition Trust Fund from being used for agency executive direction and support services. HB 849 also revises the date by which bonds issued to the Florida Forever Act are intended to be retired (from 2040 to 2054). (O’Hara) ...

SB 332 (Stewart) and HB 849 (Altman) appropriate $100 million annually from the state Land Acquisition Trust Fund to the Florida Forever Trust Fund and prohibit the use of moneys in the state Land Acquisition Trust Fund from being used for agency executive direction and support services. HB 849 also revises the date by which bonds issued to the Florida Forever Act are intended to be retired (from 2040 to 2054). (O’Hara)

Property Assessed Clean Energy Program (Support)

HB 365 (Watson, B.) and SB 770 (Rodriguez) expand qualifying improvements under the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program. PACE is a means for property owners to voluntarily finance private property improvements related to renewable energy and energy efficiency through assessments levied on their property tax bill. The bills include sewage treatment and seawall improvements as “qualifying improvements” eligible for PACE financing. In addition, SB 770 includes in the program improvements to the underground infrastructure of homes to promote greater resiliency, such as raising electrical boxes or home foundations. (O’Hara) ...

HB 365 (Watson, B.) and SB 770 (Rodriguez) expand qualifying improvements under the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program. PACE is a means for property owners to voluntarily finance private property improvements related to renewable energy and energy efficiency through assessments levied on their property tax bill. The bills include sewage treatment and seawall improvements as “qualifying improvements” eligible for PACE financing. In addition, SB 770 includes in the program improvements to the underground infrastructure of homes to promote greater resiliency, such as raising electrical boxes or home foundations. (O’Hara)

Sargassum Seaweed Matching Grant Program (Support)

SB 648 (Berman) directs the Department of Environmental Protection to develop a Sargassum Seaweed Matching Grant Program to provide annual grants, subject to legislative appropriation, to qualified local government entities to fund projects related to the buildup of Sargassum seaweed in coastal communities. The bill directs the grant program to require a 50 percent match of local funds and requires the department to provide annual reports regarding the projects funded. (O’Hara) ...

SB 648 (Berman) directs the Department of Environmental Protection to develop a Sargassum Seaweed Matching Grant Program to provide annual grants, subject to legislative appropriation, to qualified local government entities to fund projects related to the buildup of Sargassum seaweed in coastal communities. The bill directs the grant program to require a 50 percent match of local funds and requires the department to provide annual reports regarding the projects funded. (O’Hara)

Stormwater Management Systems (Support)

SB 686 (Gruters) and HB 405 (Good) direct the Department of Environmental Protection to adopt statewide environmental resource permitting rules for stormwater management in coordination with the water management districts. The bills direct the water management districts to adopt rules governing design and performance standards that increase the removal of nutrients from stormwater discharges from all new development and redevelopment projects, and direct DEP to incorporate the design and performance standards by reference for use within each district to ensure that new pollutant loadings are not discharged into water bodies. The bills direct that by December 2020, the ...

SB 686 (Gruters) and HB 405 (Good) direct the Department of Environmental Protection to adopt statewide environmental resource permitting rules for stormwater management in coordination with the water management districts. The bills direct the water management districts to adopt rules governing design and performance standards that increase the removal of nutrients from stormwater discharges from all new development and redevelopment projects, and direct DEP to incorporate the design and performance standards by reference for use within each district to ensure that new pollutant loadings are not discharged into water bodies. The bills direct that by December 2020, the department and districts shall amend the applicant’s handbook to include revised best management practices design criteria, low-impact design best management practices and design criteria that increase the removal of nutrients from stormwater discharges from all new development and redevelopment and measure for consistent application of net improvement performance standards to ensure that new pollutant loadings are not discharged into impaired water bodies. The bills provide for a rebuttable presumption that a stormwater system designed, constructed and maintained in accordance with the criteria adopted by the DEP and districts and a valid permit issued pursuant to such standards does not cause or contribute to violations of applicable water quality standards. The bills require training and assessment of government staff including coordination of field inspections of publicly and privately owned stormwater controls. The bills require the rules to be updated based on new scientific information by July 2021. Finally, the bills modify requirements for electronic self-certification by registered professionals for stormwater system permits serving project areas of 10 acres or less. (O’Hara)

Boating-Restricted Areas (Support)

SB 1788 (Stewart) authorizes counties and municipalities to establish by ordinance boating-restricted areas within 200 feet of any shoreline. (O’Hara) ...

SB 1788 (Stewart) authorizes counties and municipalities to establish by ordinance boating-restricted areas within 200 feet of any shoreline. (O’Hara)

Brownfields (Support)

CS/CS/HB 1001 (Stone) and CS/SB 1350 (Baxley) revise provisions of the Florida Brownfields program, including conditions under which an applicant that has rehabilitated a contaminated site may receive tax credits. In addition, the bills set forth defenses to certain causes of action concerning specified discharges or other types of pollution resulting from specified discharges. CS/SB 1350 also clarifies that actions for damages under Section 376.313, Florida Statutes, that result from a discharge or other condition of pollution apply to damages to real or personal property where the discharge or condition was not authorized by any governmental approval or ...

CS/CS/HB 1001 (Stone) and CS/SB 1350 (Baxley) revise provisions of the Florida Brownfields program, including conditions under which an applicant that has rehabilitated a contaminated site may receive tax credits. In addition, the bills set forth defenses to certain causes of action concerning specified discharges or other types of pollution resulting from specified discharges. CS/SB 1350 also clarifies that actions for damages under Section 376.313, Florida Statutes, that result from a discharge or other condition of pollution apply to damages to real or personal property where the discharge or condition was not authorized by any governmental approval or permit. (O’Hara)

Florida Climate and Resiliency Research Program (Support)

SB 1232 (Rouson) and HB 913 (Diamond) establish an interagency Florida Climate and Resiliency Research Program within the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to assist the state in assessing and responding to the effects of climate change. The bills identify agencies and entities as participants in the program and direct the program to prepare an assessment of the effects of climate change on various metrics, including natural resources and environment, human health, infrastructure, energy and the economy. The bills require the program to deliver an annual Florida Resiliency Plan to the Legislature beginning January 2021, which shall include ...

SB 1232 (Rouson) and HB 913 (Diamond) establish an interagency Florida Climate and Resiliency Research Program within the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to assist the state in assessing and responding to the effects of climate change. The bills identify agencies and entities as participants in the program and direct the program to prepare an assessment of the effects of climate change on various metrics, including natural resources and environment, human health, infrastructure, energy and the economy. The bills require the program to deliver an annual Florida Resiliency Plan to the Legislature beginning January 2021, which shall include the program's assessment of climate effects and recommendations on mitigation strategies. (O’Hara)

Recyclable Materials (Support)

SB 1722 (Taddeo) requires the Department of Environmental Protection to review and updates its 2010 Retail Bags Report and analyze the need for regulation of auxiliary containers, wrappings or disposable plastic bags. The bill requires the updated report be provided to the Legislature by December 2020. It further provides that until the Legislature adopts the recommendations of the report or until July 2021, whichever is earlier, a local government may not regulate such products. (O’Hara) ...

SB 1722 (Taddeo) requires the Department of Environmental Protection to review and updates its 2010 Retail Bags Report and analyze the need for regulation of auxiliary containers, wrappings or disposable plastic bags. The bill requires the updated report be provided to the Legislature by December 2020. It further provides that until the Legislature adopts the recommendations of the report or until July 2021, whichever is earlier, a local government may not regulate such products. (O’Hara)

Statewide Office of Resiliency (Support)

SB 7016 (Infrastructure & Security Committee) and HB 1073 (Stevenson) establish the Statewide Office of Resiliency within the Executive Office of the Governor and provide for the establishment of a chief resiliency officer by the governor. The bills create the Statewide Sea-Level Rise Task Force within the Department of Environmental Protection for the purpose of recommending consensus projections of the anticipated sea-level rise and flooding impacts along the state’s coastline. The bills direct the Task Force to submit its recommended consensus projections to the Environmental Regulation Commission by January 2021, which shall adopt or reject the recommendations. If ...

SB 7016 (Infrastructure & Security Committee) and HB 1073 (Stevenson) establish the Statewide Office of Resiliency within the Executive Office of the Governor and provide for the establishment of a chief resiliency officer by the governor. The bills create the Statewide Sea-Level Rise Task Force within the Department of Environmental Protection for the purpose of recommending consensus projections of the anticipated sea-level rise and flooding impacts along the state’s coastline. The bills direct the Task Force to submit its recommended consensus projections to the Environmental Regulation Commission by January 2021, which shall adopt or reject the recommendations. If adopted by the ERC, the bills direct the projections shall serve as the state’s official estimate of sea-level rise and flooding impacts along the state’s coastline and must be used for developing future state projects, plans and programs. (O’Hara)

Statewide Sea Level Tracking Program (Support)

HB 4999 (Ingoglia) provides $5.9 million to the Department of Financial Services to fund the Statewide Sea Level Rise Tracking Program. The program will provide additional GPS monitoring of land subsidence at various points around the state to evaluate the rate of land subsidence in Florida. (O’Hara) ...

HB 4999 (Ingoglia) provides $5.9 million to the Department of Financial Services to fund the Statewide Sea Level Rise Tracking Program. The program will provide additional GPS monitoring of land subsidence at various points around the state to evaluate the rate of land subsidence in Florida. (O’Hara)

Everglades Protection Area (Watch)

CS/HB 775 (Aloupis) and SB 1390 (Simmons) require comprehensive plans and plan amendments adopted by local governments whose boundaries include the Everglades Protection Area to follow the state coordinated review process for state agency compliance review under Part II, Chapter 163, Florida Statutes, and require the Department of Environmental Protection to coordinate with the affected local governments on mitigation measures for plans or plan amendments that would impact Everglades restoration. CS/HB 775 was amended to address the geographical scope of the bill and now requires the state coordinated review process for plans and plan amendments that “apply” to ...

CS/HB 775 (Aloupis) and SB 1390 (Simmons) require comprehensive plans and plan amendments adopted by local governments whose boundaries include the Everglades Protection Area to follow the state coordinated review process for state agency compliance review under Part II, Chapter 163, Florida Statutes, and require the Department of Environmental Protection to coordinate with the affected local governments on mitigation measures for plans or plan amendments that would impact Everglades restoration. CS/HB 775 was amended to address the geographical scope of the bill and now requires the state coordinated review process for plans and plan amendments that “apply” to land that, in whole or in part, is within the EPA or is located within two miles of the EPA. CS/HB 775 prevents such plan amendments from being adopted by a local government if the local government fails to modify the amendment to address DEP’s concerns. Lastly, the amended bill requires counties that include any part of the EPA and all municipalities within such counties to transmit copies of all small-scale plan amendments to the DEP within 10 days after adoption of the amendment. (O’Hara)

Department of Environmental Protection (Watch)

HB 5401 (Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations) transfers the powers, duties and functions of the Office of Energy from the Department of Agriculture to the Department of Environmental Protection. (O’Hara) ...

HB 5401 (Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations) transfers the powers, duties and functions of the Office of Energy from the Department of Agriculture to the Department of Environmental Protection. (O’Hara)

Environmental Enforcement (Watch)

CS/HB 1091 (Fine) and CS/CS/SB 1450 (Gruters) increase penalties by 50% for violations of state environmental laws, including laws relating to pollution of groundwater and surface water, litter, coral reefs, aquatic preserves and solid waste. The bills provide that each day a violation occurs shall constitute a separate offense. CS/CS/SB 1450 also encourages counties and municipalities to establish an evaluation and rehabilitation program for “sanitary sewer laterals” on residential and commercial properties to identify and reduce extraneous flow from leaking laterals. The bill specifies contents of the program, including the establishment of a publicly accessible database to store ...

CS/HB 1091 (Fine) and CS/CS/SB 1450 (Gruters) increase penalties by 50% for violations of state environmental laws, including laws relating to pollution of groundwater and surface water, litter, coral reefs, aquatic preserves and solid waste. The bills provide that each day a violation occurs shall constitute a separate offense. CS/CS/SB 1450 also encourages counties and municipalities to establish an evaluation and rehabilitation program for “sanitary sewer laterals” on residential and commercial properties to identify and reduce extraneous flow from leaking laterals. The bill specifies contents of the program, including the establishment of a publicly accessible database to store information concerning properties where a defective lateral has been identified. In addition, the bill requires sellers to real property to disclose to prospective purchasers any known defects in the properties’ sanitary sewer lateral. (O’Hara)

Environmental Protection (Watch)

SB 1798 (Bradley) requires water management district governing boards to charge a fee of at least $1 million for a consumptive use permit to directly or indirectly use water derived from a spring for bottled drinking water. The bill directs proceeds from the fee to be used for springs restoration. (O’Hara) ...

SB 1798 (Bradley) requires water management district governing boards to charge a fee of at least $1 million for a consumptive use permit to directly or indirectly use water derived from a spring for bottled drinking water. The bill directs proceeds from the fee to be used for springs restoration. (O’Hara)

Construction Materials Mining Activities (Watch)

SB 1560 (Braynon) and HB 1431 (Polo) address duties of the state fire marshal relating to construction materials mining and blasting activities. The bills make findings about impacts on blasting in areas low to the water table and specify intent for the chief financial officer to administer duties to protect homes from damages caused by blasting in such areas. The bills require all blasting reports to be submitted to the chief financial officer and state fire marshal and be made publicly available. HB 1431 also provides limits on blasting limits in areas having a low depths to the ...

SB 1560 (Braynon) and HB 1431 (Polo) address duties of the state fire marshal relating to construction materials mining and blasting activities. The bills make findings about impacts on blasting in areas low to the water table and specify intent for the chief financial officer to administer duties to protect homes from damages caused by blasting in such areas. The bills require all blasting reports to be submitted to the chief financial officer and state fire marshal and be made publicly available. HB 1431 also provides limits on blasting limits in areas having a low depths to the water table and authorizes a cause of action for civil damage for persons to recover damages resulting from the use of explosives in connection with mining activities. (O’Hara)

Diesel Exhaust Fluid (Watch)

CS/HB 569 (Overdorf) and CS/SB 1036 (Albritton) require the presence, storage or use of diesel exhaust fluid on the premises of a public airport to be phased out by October 2030. The bills require the managers of public airports to create a diesel exhaust fluid safety mitigation and exclusion plan containing specified contents and data. The plan must be approved by the regulatory agency having jurisdiction over the airport by September 2020 and must be submitted to the Department of Transportation by October 2020. The bills require the plan to be fully implemented on the premises of the ...

CS/HB 569 (Overdorf) and CS/SB 1036 (Albritton) require the presence, storage or use of diesel exhaust fluid on the premises of a public airport to be phased out by October 2030. The bills require the managers of public airports to create a diesel exhaust fluid safety mitigation and exclusion plan containing specified contents and data. The plan must be approved by the regulatory agency having jurisdiction over the airport by September 2020 and must be submitted to the Department of Transportation by October 2020. The bills require the plan to be fully implemented on the premises of the airport by January 2021. The bills provide for annual review, update and submission of the plan to DOT for certification. (O’Hara)

Energy (Watch)

HB 1351 (Fernandez) and SB 1824 (Rader) revise an existing law prohibition against local governments, deed restrictions or other agreements having the effect of prohibiting solar collectors or renewable energy devices from being installed on buildings. The term “solar collector” is replaced with “cool roofs.” The bills authorize the Board of Trustees for the Internal Improvement Trust Fund to lease the use of manmade stormwater management systems for floating solar energy systems. They create a greenhouse gas reporting system in the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to track data from reporting entities. State agencies are required ...

HB 1351 (Fernandez) and SB 1824 (Rader) revise an existing law prohibition against local governments, deed restrictions or other agreements having the effect of prohibiting solar collectors or renewable energy devices from being installed on buildings. The term “solar collector” is replaced with “cool roofs.” The bills authorize the Board of Trustees for the Internal Improvement Trust Fund to lease the use of manmade stormwater management systems for floating solar energy systems. They create a greenhouse gas reporting system in the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to track data from reporting entities. State agencies are required to report greenhouse gas emissions data to the system, and local governments and private entities are encouraged to report such data. The bills create the Climate Adaptation Research Grant Program in FDACS to provide grants to educational institutions for research pertaining to climate change and strategies for adapting to climate change. They create the Clean Energy Research, Development, Demonstration and Deployment Center program in FDACS to provide grants to educational institutions for development of a clean energy center focused on research, development and deployment of clean energy technology. The bills create the Farm Renewable and Efficiency Demonstration program in FDACS to promote adoption of practices that increase energy efficiency and water conservation. They create an Agriculture Resiliency Grant program within FDACS to provide research grants for improving systems' resilience and efficiency. The bills modify current law provisions relating to the Florida Energy Systems Consortium within FDACS. (O’Hara)

Acquisition of Water & Wastewater Systems (Watch)

HB 207 (McClain) and CS/SB 658 (Albritton) would authorize a public water or wastewater utility to establish the rate base of an existing water or wastewater system it acquires using the fair market value of the utility, require the Florida Public Service Commission to provide specified information relating to utility valuation and require the commission to develop related rules. CS/SB 658 would also require a municipality providing water or sewer service to customers in another municipality from infrastructure located in the recipient municipality to charge customers in the recipient municipality the same rates as it does customers inside ...

HB 207 (McClain) and CS/SB 658 (Albritton) would authorize a public water or wastewater utility to establish the rate base of an existing water or wastewater system it acquires using the fair market value of the utility, require the Florida Public Service Commission to provide specified information relating to utility valuation and require the commission to develop related rules. CS/SB 658 would also require a municipality providing water or sewer service to customers in another municipality from infrastructure located in the recipient municipality to charge customers in the recipient municipality the same rates as it does customers inside its own municipal boundaries. (O’Hara)

Anchoring Limitation Areas (Watch)

SB 606 (Bean) and HB 417 (Duggan) add the Ortega River and the Cedar River in Duval County as statutorily designated “anchoring limitation areas.” (O’Hara) ...

SB 606 (Bean) and HB 417 (Duggan) add the Ortega River and the Cedar River in Duval County as statutorily designated “anchoring limitation areas.” (O’Hara)

Apalachicola Environmental Stewardship Act (Watch)

SB 638 (Montford) and CS/HB 1347 (Shoaf) amend Florida Forever Trust Fund allocations to direct specified allocations to areas within the Apalachicola Area of Critical State Concern. SB 638 appropriates at least $12 million annually from the Florida Forever for five years to the Apalachicola Area of Critical State Concern. It renames the area as the Apalachicola Area of Critical State Concern. The bill provides additional principles for guiding development within the area to include land acquisition and projects for stormwater facilities, central sewage facilities, onsite sewage treatment systems and other projects that protect and improve surface and ...

SB 638 (Montford) and CS/HB 1347 (Shoaf) amend Florida Forever Trust Fund allocations to direct specified allocations to areas within the Apalachicola Area of Critical State Concern. SB 638 appropriates at least $12 million annually from the Florida Forever for five years to the Apalachicola Area of Critical State Concern. It renames the area as the Apalachicola Area of Critical State Concern. The bill provides additional principles for guiding development within the area to include land acquisition and projects for stormwater facilities, central sewage facilities, onsite sewage treatment systems and other projects that protect and improve surface and groundwater quality. HB 1347 is similar to SB 638, except that it directs that the existing 3% of Florida Forever proceeds allocated for public access projects include projects for affordable housing. In addition, HB 1347 directs that for a five-year period, 35% of Florida Forever proceeds be directed to projects to improve surface water and groundwater quality within the Apalachicola River and in Apalachicola Bay. CS/HB 1347 directs that for a five-year period at least $5 million of Florida Forever proceeds be directed to projects to improve surface water and groundwater quality within the Apalachicola Bay Area of Critical State Concern. (O’Hara)

Basin Management Action Plans (Watch)

CS/HB 1363 (Overdorf) imposes additional requirements on entities and agencies subject to Basin Management Action Plans established to achieve Total Maximum Daily Load requirements. The bill requires a nonagricultural and agricultural nonpoint source owner or operator who discharges into a basin included in an adopted BMAP to comply with interim measures, best management practices or other measures adopted by rule within five years after the date of BMAP adoption. The bill requires that implementation of such actions be verified by the responsible agency by a site visit at least once every two years. The bill requires the adoption ...

CS/HB 1363 (Overdorf) imposes additional requirements on entities and agencies subject to Basin Management Action Plans established to achieve Total Maximum Daily Load requirements. The bill requires a nonagricultural and agricultural nonpoint source owner or operator who discharges into a basin included in an adopted BMAP to comply with interim measures, best management practices or other measures adopted by rule within five years after the date of BMAP adoption. The bill requires that implementation of such actions be verified by the responsible agency by a site visit at least once every two years. The bill requires the adoption of a cooperative agricultural regional water quality improvement element as part of a BMAP if: adopted agricultural measures have been implemented and the water body remains impaired; agricultural nonpoint sources contribute to at least 20% of nonpoint source nutrient discharges, and Department of Environmental Protection determines that additional measures are necessary to meet the TMDL. The bill requires the development of a cooperative urban, suburban, commercial or institutional regional water quality improvement element as part of a BMAP in which: nonagricultural interim measures and best management practices have been implemented and the waterbody remains impaired, nonagricultural nonpoint sources contribute at least 20% of nonpoint source nutrient discharges, and DEP determines additional measures are needed to achieve the TMDL. The bill establishes a nutrient reduction cost-share program within DEP to provide funding for specified projects in a BMAP, including projects identified in the new plan elements as authorized by the bill. The bill provides funding priority for projects and requires a 50% match of local funds. The bill exempts rural homesteads as defined in the bill from BMAP requirements, so long as the activity on such homestead does not rise to the level of bona fide agricultural activity and is classified as agricultural for tax assessment purposes. (O’Hara)

Beverage Container Deposits (Watch)

SB 50 (Rader) would require consumers to pay deposit fees on specified beverage containers at the point of sale. The bill establishes requirements and registration processes for the operation of beverage container redemption centers by local governments, nonprofit agencies and other individuals for refunding beverage container deposits and arranging for the recovery and recycling of the beverage containers. The bill preempts local governments from imposing or collecting any assessment or fee on deposit beverage containers for the same purposes as specified in the bills. (O’Hara) ...

SB 50 (Rader) would require consumers to pay deposit fees on specified beverage containers at the point of sale. The bill establishes requirements and registration processes for the operation of beverage container redemption centers by local governments, nonprofit agencies and other individuals for refunding beverage container deposits and arranging for the recovery and recycling of the beverage containers. The bill preempts local governments from imposing or collecting any assessment or fee on deposit beverage containers for the same purposes as specified in the bills. (O’Hara)

Biosolids Management (Watch)

HB 1267 (Grall) and SB 1654 (Mayfield) prohibit the land application of biosolids on sites where the application zone interacts with the seasonal high-water table and prohibit the Department of Environmental Protection from issuing or renewing certain permits for such sites. The bills direct DEP to initiate rulemaking on site-specific requirements for biosolids application by a specified date, adopt rules and implement a water quality monitoring program sufficient to determine impacts from the application of biosolids to surface water and groundwater quality. Class AA biosolids are exempted from these requirements. The bills provide for continuing application of local ...

HB 1267 (Grall) and SB 1654 (Mayfield) prohibit the land application of biosolids on sites where the application zone interacts with the seasonal high-water table and prohibit the Department of Environmental Protection from issuing or renewing certain permits for such sites. The bills direct DEP to initiate rulemaking on site-specific requirements for biosolids application by a specified date, adopt rules and implement a water quality monitoring program sufficient to determine impacts from the application of biosolids to surface water and groundwater quality. Class AA biosolids are exempted from these requirements. The bills provide for continuing application of local ordinances relating to Class B biosolids until the DEP rules are adopted. (O’Hara)

Bottled Water Excise Tax (Watch)

SB 1112 (Taddeo) would impose an excise tax upon bottled water operators at a rate of 12.5 cents per gallon of water extracted from waters of the state. It directs proceeds of the tax to be deposited into the Wastewater Treatment and Stormwater Management Revolving Loan Trust Fund and directs that proceeds must be used to provide grants and loans to local governments, with priority given to projects that connect septic systems to central wastewater facilities. (O’Hara) ...

SB 1112 (Taddeo) would impose an excise tax upon bottled water operators at a rate of 12.5 cents per gallon of water extracted from waters of the state. It directs proceeds of the tax to be deposited into the Wastewater Treatment and Stormwater Management Revolving Loan Trust Fund and directs that proceeds must be used to provide grants and loans to local governments, with priority given to projects that connect septic systems to central wastewater facilities. (O’Hara)

Bottled Water Fees (Watch)

SB 1098 (Cruz) directs the Department of Environmental Protection to assess bottled water companies a fee of 5 cents per gallon on water extracted for the production of bottled water, including water from an approved source (e.g., a water utility). The bill provides for fees to be deposited into the Water Protection and Sustainability Trust Fund. SB 1096 (Cruz) is a companion bill that is contingent on the passage of SB 1098. SB 1096 requires DEP to monitor the consumptive use permits for all bottled water companies to ensure compliance with limits of allowable water extraction and water ...

SB 1098 (Cruz) directs the Department of Environmental Protection to assess bottled water companies a fee of 5 cents per gallon on water extracted for the production of bottled water, including water from an approved source (e.g., a water utility). The bill provides for fees to be deposited into the Water Protection and Sustainability Trust Fund. SB 1096 (Cruz) is a companion bill that is contingent on the passage of SB 1098. SB 1096 requires DEP to monitor the consumptive use permits for all bottled water companies to ensure compliance with limits of allowable water extraction and water from an approved source. It imposes a daily fine for bottled water companies that withhold the payment of fees and provides an exception for bottled water companies extracting less than 55 million gallons per year. (O’Hara)

Environmental Regulation (Watch)

CS/SB 326 (Perry) and CS/HB 73 (Overdorf) would require that contracts between local governments and vendors for the collection, transport and processing of residential recycling materials must include terms and conditions to define and reduce levels of contamination. Specifically, the bills provide that a recyclable materials collector or facility is not required to collect, transport or process “contaminated recyclable material,” as defined in the appropriate contract. Each contract is required to define “contaminated recyclable material.” The bills specify that contracts should define the term in a manner that is appropriate for the local community, based on available markets ...

CS/SB 326 (Perry) and CS/HB 73 (Overdorf) would require that contracts between local governments and vendors for the collection, transport and processing of residential recycling materials must include terms and conditions to define and reduce levels of contamination. Specifically, the bills provide that a recyclable materials collector or facility is not required to collect, transport or process “contaminated recyclable material,” as defined in the appropriate contract. Each contract is required to define “contaminated recyclable material.” The bills specify that contracts should define the term in a manner that is appropriate for the local community, based on available markets and other relevant factors. Contracts must include provisions for identifying and documenting contamination, as well as the respective obligations of the parties regarding education and enforcement, but specific terms are left to the discretion of the contracting parties. The new requirements would apply to new contracts and contracts extended after October 1, 2020. In addition, the bills clarify an exemption in current law from state environmental permitting requirements for various projects by specifying that local governments may not require a person to provide additional verification from the Department of Environmental Protection of entitlement to such an exemption. Also, the bills modify an existing state permit exemption for the replacement and repair of existing docks and piers, by specifying the replacement or repair must be “within 5 feet of the same location and no larger in size," and that no additional aquatic resources may be adversely impacted. (O’Hara)

Fish and Wildlife Activities (Watch)

HB 777 (Gregory) and CS/SB 1414 (Mayfield) expand current law that prohibits any person from interfering with the lawful taking of fish, game or other nongame animals by another person within wildlife or fish management areas to include the lawful taking of game, fish or nongame animals in or on any public lands or in or on any public waters. CS/SB 1414 also prohibits the sale, importing or possession of green iguanas or tegu lizards. In addition, HB 777 provides a sales tax holiday for the retail sale of certain hunting, fishing and camping supplies. The Senate version ...

HB 777 (Gregory) and CS/SB 1414 (Mayfield) expand current law that prohibits any person from interfering with the lawful taking of fish, game or other nongame animals by another person within wildlife or fish management areas to include the lawful taking of game, fish or nongame animals in or on any public lands or in or on any public waters. CS/SB 1414 also prohibits the sale, importing or possession of green iguanas or tegu lizards. In addition, HB 777 provides a sales tax holiday for the retail sale of certain hunting, fishing and camping supplies. The Senate version of this sales tax holiday is contained in a separately filed bill, SB 1310 (Mayfield). (O’Hara)

Florida Drug and Cosmetic Act (Watch)

SB 172 (Bradley) and HB 113 (Roach) preempt the regulation of over-the-counter proprietary drugs or cosmetics to the state. (O’Hara) ...

SB 172 (Bradley) and HB 113 (Roach) preempt the regulation of over-the-counter proprietary drugs or cosmetics to the state. (O’Hara)

Florida Forever (Watch)

SB 7024 (Committee on the Environment & Natural Resources) adds connection of wildlife habitat with wildlife crossings as a permissible purpose for land acquisition under the Florida Forever program. It requires the Department of Environmental Protection to consult with other state agencies about the acquisitions of lands subject to coastal flooding as a result of sea-level rise to complement other agencies’ projects. The bill allocates $10 million annually from the Florida Forever Trust Fund for conservation lands or lands subject to coastal flooding from sea-level rise in areas impacted by hurricanes in the immediately preceding five-year fiscal year. ...

SB 7024 (Committee on the Environment & Natural Resources) adds connection of wildlife habitat with wildlife crossings as a permissible purpose for land acquisition under the Florida Forever program. It requires the Department of Environmental Protection to consult with other state agencies about the acquisitions of lands subject to coastal flooding as a result of sea-level rise to complement other agencies’ projects. The bill allocates $10 million annually from the Florida Forever Trust Fund for conservation lands or lands subject to coastal flooding from sea-level rise in areas impacted by hurricanes in the immediately preceding five-year fiscal year. It directs the state Acquisition and Restoration Council to give increasing priority to acquiring lands subject to coastal flooding from sea-level rise. (O’Hara)

Florida Land Subsidence Research Initiative (Watch)

HB 1157 (Ingoglia) and SB 1284 (Diaz) create the Florida Land Subsidence Research Initiative as a partnership between the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Florida International University to determine the rate of land subsidence in the state by measuring changes in land elevation. The goal of the initiative is to collect and analyze data to understand natural hazards, such as land subsidence and sinkholes, and their effects on sea-level rise. The bills require an annual report to the Legislature on a biennial basis, starting July 2022, and require a final report to be submitted by July 2030. ...

HB 1157 (Ingoglia) and SB 1284 (Diaz) create the Florida Land Subsidence Research Initiative as a partnership between the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Florida International University to determine the rate of land subsidence in the state by measuring changes in land elevation. The goal of the initiative is to collect and analyze data to understand natural hazards, such as land subsidence and sinkholes, and their effects on sea-level rise. The bills require an annual report to the Legislature on a biennial basis, starting July 2022, and require a final report to be submitted by July 2030. The final report shall include an estimation of current and future sea-level risks. (O’Hara)

Florida National Estuary Program Act (Watch)

HB 791 (Fitzenhagen) and SB 1608 (Mayfield) require the Department of Environmental Protection to give funding consideration to each of the state’s estuaries of national significance and require the funds be used for projects identified in the estuaries’ adopted comprehensive conservation and management plan. (O’Hara)  ...

HB 791 (Fitzenhagen) and SB 1608 (Mayfield) require the Department of Environmental Protection to give funding consideration to each of the state’s estuaries of national significance and require the funds be used for projects identified in the estuaries’ adopted comprehensive conservation and management plan. (O’Hara)

Florida Safe Drinking Water Act (Watch)

SB 1720 (Cruz) and HB 1427 (Diamond) direct the Department of Environmental Protection to implement rules for statewide drinking water maximum contaminant levels for specified substances, including perfluorooctanesulfonic acid and perfluorooctanoic acid, which are used in firefighting foam, and any other pollutant for which two or more states have issued guidance. The bills specify any maximum contaminant level established by rule must protect the public health and may not exceed any maximum contaminant level established by the Environmental Protection Agency. (O’Hara) ...

SB 1720 (Cruz) and HB 1427 (Diamond) direct the Department of Environmental Protection to implement rules for statewide drinking water maximum contaminant levels for specified substances, including perfluorooctanesulfonic acid and perfluorooctanoic acid, which are used in firefighting foam, and any other pollutant for which two or more states have issued guidance. The bills specify any maximum contaminant level established by rule must protect the public health and may not exceed any maximum contaminant level established by the Environmental Protection Agency. (O’Hara)

Indian River Lagoon State Matching Grant Program (Watch)

HB 153 (Fine) and SB 640 (Harrell) provide that certain projects identified in the Indian River Lagoon Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan are eligible for funding consideration from the Department of Environmental Protection (agency program funds). The bills direct DEP to coordinate with water management districts to identify projects and requires annual reports from local governments and the districts. Projects include upgrade of facilities to advanced waste treatment, expansion of service connections of wastewater facilities and septic-to-sewer-conversions. Projects require a 50% local match. The bills require annual reports by the DEP and require local governments receiving state funds ...

HB 153 (Fine) and SB 640 (Harrell) provide that certain projects identified in the Indian River Lagoon Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan are eligible for funding consideration from the Department of Environmental Protection (agency program funds). The bills direct DEP to coordinate with water management districts to identify projects and requires annual reports from local governments and the districts. Projects include upgrade of facilities to advanced waste treatment, expansion of service connections of wastewater facilities and septic-to-sewer-conversions. Projects require a 50% local match. The bills require annual reports by the DEP and require local governments receiving state funds to submit annual status reports. (O’Hara)

Land Acquisition Trust Fund -1 (Watch)

SB 438 (Harrell) and HB 489 (Plasencia) provide that 7.6% or $50 million must be appropriated each year from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund for projects dedicated to the conservation and management of the Indian River Lagoon. The bills specify the funds shall be used for grant funding of projects to implement the Indian River Lagoon Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan and specify that grants for sewer system connection projects and discharge management projects must require a minimum 50% local match. (O’Hara) ...

SB 438 (Harrell) and HB 489 (Plasencia) provide that 7.6% or $50 million must be appropriated each year from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund for projects dedicated to the conservation and management of the Indian River Lagoon. The bills specify the funds shall be used for grant funding of projects to implement the Indian River Lagoon Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan and specify that grants for sewer system connection projects and discharge management projects must require a minimum 50% local match. (O’Hara)

Land Acquisition Trust Fund -2 (Watch)

SB 722 (Montford) provides for $50 million to be allocated for a five-year period from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund for projects dedicated to conservation and management activities in specified counties impacted by Hurricane Michael. (O’Hara) ...

SB 722 (Montford) provides for $50 million to be allocated for a five-year period from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund for projects dedicated to conservation and management activities in specified counties impacted by Hurricane Michael. (O’Hara)

Local Government Recycling Programs (Watch)

HB 1031 (Killebrew) and SB 724 (Albritton) extend the date by which each county must meet a statutorily established 75% recycling goal for recyclable waste from 2020 to 2024 and exempts fiscally constrained counties from statutory recycling goals. The bill authorizes the Department of Environmental Protection to direct a county that fails to meet statutory recycling goals by January 2025 to develop a plan to expand recycling programs to existing commercial and multifamily dwellings. The bill directs the DEP to issue a report to the governor and Legislature by January 2021 identifying any additional programs or statutory changes ...

HB 1031 (Killebrew) and SB 724 (Albritton) extend the date by which each county must meet a statutorily established 75% recycling goal for recyclable waste from 2020 to 2024 and exempts fiscally constrained counties from statutory recycling goals. The bill authorizes the Department of Environmental Protection to direct a county that fails to meet statutory recycling goals by January 2025 to develop a plan to expand recycling programs to existing commercial and multifamily dwellings. The bill directs the DEP to issue a report to the governor and Legislature by January 2021 identifying any additional programs or statutory changes needed to achieve statutory recycling goals. (O’Hara)

Fossil Fuel Combustion Products in Landfills (Watch)

SB 1432 (Torres) prohibits landfills from receiving fossil fuel combustion products. (O’Hara)  ...

SB 1432 (Torres) prohibits landfills from receiving fossil fuel combustion products. (O’Hara)

Marina Evacuations (Watch)

CS/CS/SB 826 (Mayfield) and HB 1329 (Plasencia) prohibit vessels under 500 gross tons in weight from remaining in the waters of marinas in a deep-water seaport that have been deemed not suitable for refuge upon issuance of a hurricane watch affecting the waters of marinas located in the deep-water seaport. (O’Hara) ...

CS/CS/SB 826 (Mayfield) and HB 1329 (Plasencia) prohibit vessels under 500 gross tons in weight from remaining in the waters of marinas in a deep-water seaport that have been deemed not suitable for refuge upon issuance of a hurricane watch affecting the waters of marinas located in the deep-water seaport. (O’Hara)

Medically Essential Electric Utility Service (Watch)

HB 773 (Maggard) provides notification requirements for electric utilities relating to the certification process for obtaining medically essential electric service and service disconnection, including a requirement to post the certification process on their websites and to provide a written explanation of the certification process to each residential utility customer upon opening an account and at least semi-annually. The bill directs electric utilities to develop a standard certification form to be used by each residential customer who wishes for certification. The bill specifies minimum requirements for service disconnection for customers whose electric service is certified as medically essential and ...

HB 773 (Maggard) provides notification requirements for electric utilities relating to the certification process for obtaining medically essential electric service and service disconnection, including a requirement to post the certification process on their websites and to provide a written explanation of the certification process to each residential utility customer upon opening an account and at least semi-annually. The bill directs electric utilities to develop a standard certification form to be used by each residential customer who wishes for certification. The bill specifies minimum requirements for service disconnection for customers whose electric service is certified as medically essential and specifies circumstances under which health care practitioners may certify that a customer should qualify for medically essential electric utility service. (O’Hara)

Private Property Rights – Renewable Energy (Watch)

SB 288 (Rodriguez) exempts from the definition of “public utility” property owners who own and operate a renewable solar energy source device with a capacity of up to 2.5 megawatts on the property, produce renewable energy from that device and provide or sell the renewable energy to users located on that property. (O’Hara) ...

SB 288 (Rodriguez) exempts from the definition of “public utility” property owners who own and operate a renewable solar energy source device with a capacity of up to 2.5 megawatts on the property, produce renewable energy from that device and provide or sell the renewable energy to users located on that property. (O’Hara)

Prohibition of Plastic Carryout Bags and Straws (Watch)

SB 40 (Rader) would prohibit stores and food service businesses from providing plastic carryout bags to customers. The bill provides exceptions for specified items. In addition, the bill prohibits a food service business from selling or providing single-use plastic straws to customers. The business may provide a straw upon request to a person who requires a straw due to a disability or medical condition. The bill provides a $500 penalty for a first violation and up to $1,000 for a subsequent violation. (O’Hara) ...

SB 40 (Rader) would prohibit stores and food service businesses from providing plastic carryout bags to customers. The bill provides exceptions for specified items. In addition, the bill prohibits a food service business from selling or providing single-use plastic straws to customers. The business may provide a straw upon request to a person who requires a straw due to a disability or medical condition. The bill provides a $500 penalty for a first violation and up to $1,000 for a subsequent violation. (O’Hara)

Public Financing of Construction Projects (Watch)

CS/CS/SB 178 (Rodriguez) and CS/CS/HB 579 (Aloupis) require contractors to conduct a sea-level impact projection (SLIP) study on state-funded buildings within the coastal building zone. Buildings subject to this requirement would include construction projects of a municipality, county or any other public agency that is using state-appropriated funds for the project. The bills require the Department of Environmental Protection to develop rules for conducting a SLIP study and specifies required components to be addressed in the rules. In addition, DEP must also approve and publish copies of all SLIP studies for at least 10 years. (O'Hara) ...

CS/CS/SB 178 (Rodriguez) and CS/CS/HB 579 (Aloupis) require contractors to conduct a sea-level impact projection (SLIP) study on state-funded buildings within the coastal building zone. Buildings subject to this requirement would include construction projects of a municipality, county or any other public agency that is using state-appropriated funds for the project. The bills require the Department of Environmental Protection to develop rules for conducting a SLIP study and specifies required components to be addressed in the rules. In addition, DEP must also approve and publish copies of all SLIP studies for at least 10 years. (O'Hara)

Public Notification of Pollution (Watch)

SB 492 (Cruz) amends the Public Notification of Pollution statute to impose new duties on local governments, the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Health. The bill includes the discharge of perfluorooctanoic acid or perfluorooctanesulfonic acid as reportable releases of pollution under the statute, as well as the discharge of any substance that, if it impacted a water system, would result in a violation of state water quality standards. The bill requires DEP to notify by U.S. mail property owners with private wells in a 1-mile radius of any reported release or discharge under the law. ...

SB 492 (Cruz) amends the Public Notification of Pollution statute to impose new duties on local governments, the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Health. The bill includes the discharge of perfluorooctanoic acid or perfluorooctanesulfonic acid as reportable releases of pollution under the statute, as well as the discharge of any substance that, if it impacted a water system, would result in a violation of state water quality standards. The bill requires DEP to notify by U.S. mail property owners with private wells in a 1-mile radius of any reported release or discharge under the law. In addition, the bill requires the DOH or a local government entity to notify the DEP and the owner or operator of an installation within 24 hours of discovery of any reportable release as defined in the statute, regardless of whether the department or the local government was the owner or operator of the installation responsible for the release. (O’Hara)

Sanitary Sewer Laterals (Watch)

SB 150 (Brandes) encourages municipalities and counties to establish an evaluation and rehabilitation program for sanitary sewer laterals on residential and commercial properties within their respective jurisdictions to identify and reduce leakage from lateral lines. The voluntary program may encompass methods to identify damaged laterals, consider methods for property owners to repair or replace damaged laterals, and establish a publicly accessible database to store information on properties where defective laterals have been identified. The bill would also require sellers of property to disclose to prospective purchasers any known defects of the property’s sanitary sewer lateral to the purchaser. ...

SB 150 (Brandes) encourages municipalities and counties to establish an evaluation and rehabilitation program for sanitary sewer laterals on residential and commercial properties within their respective jurisdictions to identify and reduce leakage from lateral lines. The voluntary program may encompass methods to identify damaged laterals, consider methods for property owners to repair or replace damaged laterals, and establish a publicly accessible database to store information on properties where defective laterals have been identified. The bill would also require sellers of property to disclose to prospective purchasers any known defects of the property’s sanitary sewer lateral to the purchaser. (O’Hara)

State Renewable Energy Goals (Watch)

HB 97 (Eskamani) and SB 256 (Rodriguez) direct the Office of Energy within the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to develop a statewide plan to generate the state’s electricity from renewable energy by specified dates, requiring 40% renewable energy by 2030 and 100% by 2050. The bills would require state and public entities and utilities to cooperate as requested and would require the Office of Energy to submit the plan and updates to the governor and Legislature. In addition, SB 256 would require the Florida Public Service Commission to adopt rules by 2021 for ratification by the ...

HB 97 (Eskamani) and SB 256 (Rodriguez) direct the Office of Energy within the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to develop a statewide plan to generate the state’s electricity from renewable energy by specified dates, requiring 40% renewable energy by 2030 and 100% by 2050. The bills would require state and public entities and utilities to cooperate as requested and would require the Office of Energy to submit the plan and updates to the governor and Legislature. In addition, SB 256 would require the Florida Public Service Commission to adopt rules by 2021 for ratification by the Legislature providing for a renewable portfolio standard requiring each provider to supply renewable energy to its customers directly by procurement or through the purchase of renewable energy credits. (O’Hara)

Tax Credit for Carbon Farming (Watch)

SB 286 (Rodriguez) and HB 1069 (Joseph) establish a carbon tax credit to reward and incent farmers in Florida to maintain or adopt agricultural practices that help maximize the state’s carbon sequestration potential. The bills define “carbon farming” as the use of strategies to reduce, mitigate and sequester greenhouse gas emissions on land to support a farm operation using the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s COMET-Planner and other quantification tools. (O’Hara) ...

SB 286 (Rodriguez) and HB 1069 (Joseph) establish a carbon tax credit to reward and incent farmers in Florida to maintain or adopt agricultural practices that help maximize the state’s carbon sequestration potential. The bills define “carbon farming” as the use of strategies to reduce, mitigate and sequester greenhouse gas emissions on land to support a farm operation using the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s COMET-Planner and other quantification tools. (O’Hara)

Underground Facility Damage Prevention and Safety (Watch)

CS/HB 1095 (Fitizenhagen) and SB 1464 (Flores) provide for noncriminal infractions relating to the transportation of certain hazardous materials regulated by the United States Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and authorize the state fire marshal or fire chief of the county in which the infraction occurs to issue a citation to any excavator or member operator who commits such infraction. CS/HB 1095 was amended to include municipal fire chiefs within this grant of authority to issue citations (current law authorizes citations to also be issued by any local or state law enforcement operator, code inspector or code ...

CS/HB 1095 (Fitizenhagen) and SB 1464 (Flores) provide for noncriminal infractions relating to the transportation of certain hazardous materials regulated by the United States Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and authorize the state fire marshal or fire chief of the county in which the infraction occurs to issue a citation to any excavator or member operator who commits such infraction. CS/HB 1095 was amended to include municipal fire chiefs within this grant of authority to issue citations (current law authorizes citations to also be issued by any local or state law enforcement operator, code inspector or code enforcement officer). The bills provide for enhanced civil penalties and provide that if the citation is issued by one of the locally specified officers, the civil penalty collected by the clerk of court shall be distributed to the government entity of the employee issuing the citation. The bills specify that certain incident reports relating to the excavation of underground utilities must be submitted to the state fire marshal and specified local officers and authorize the fire marshal and local officers to issue citations and civil penalties. The bills remove provisions relating to the Division of Administrative Hearings of certain incidents relating to underground facility excavation. The bills create an underground facility damage prevention review panel under the state fire marshal to review complaints of alleged violations of the Underground Facility Damage Prevention and Safety Act to identify issues with damage prevention and enforcement. The panel is directed to determine if any statutory changes are needed to make pipes or facilities that transport hazardous materials safer and more resilient. The bills direct that panel members be appointed by Sunshine State One-Call of Florida and specify membership requirements of the panel. (O’Hara)

Vessel Safety (Watch)

SB 1786 (Stewart) prohibits a vessel operator from allowing passengers to ride on the bow of a vessel and sets forth circumstances under which causing wake to law enforcement vessels constitutes careless operation by a vessel operator. (O’Hara) ...

SB 1786 (Stewart) prohibits a vessel operator from allowing passengers to ride on the bow of a vessel and sets forth circumstances under which causing wake to law enforcement vessels constitutes careless operation by a vessel operator. (O’Hara)

Water Quality Improvements (Watch) 

CS/CS/SB 712 (Mayfield) and HB 1343 (Payne) make changes to current law relating to water quality improvements: septic systems, basin management action plans, stormwater management systems, land application of biosolids, sanitary sewer overflows and wastewater projects grants.  ...

CS/CS/SB 712 (Mayfield) and HB 1343 (Payne) make changes to current law relating to water quality improvements: septic systems, basin management action plans, stormwater management systems, land application of biosolids, sanitary sewer overflows and wastewater projects grants.  •Transfer of Septic Tank Program – The bills transfer regulation of septic tanks from the Department of Health to the Department of Environmental Protection and directs DEP to develop rules for the location of septic tanks to prevent groundwater and surface water contamination and to protect public health. The bills establish a septic tank technical advisory committee to submit recommendations for advanced nutrient removal technologies and other regulatory matters. HB 1343 includes additional provisions authorizing hardship variances for certain property subject to the one-septic tank/acre constraint in springs protection areas. •Stormwater – The bills direct the DEP and water management districts to initiate rulemaking for stormwater design criteria. CS/CS/CS/SB 712 further directs the agencies to revise stormwater best management practices by January 2021 to increase nutrient load removal and requires application of a “net improvement” performance standard. The Senate bill also directs DEP by January 2021 to evaluate performance data relating to stormwater “self-certification” and to recommend improvements to the program to the Legislature. DEP and the Department of Economic Opportunity, with local government cooperation, are charged with developing a model stormwater management program that will include model ordinances that target nutrient reduction and green infrastructure. •BMAPs – The bills require a BMAP to include a wastewater plan if DEP determines wastewater treatment facilities are contributing more than 20% of nutrient pollution or if deemed necessary to achieve the nutrient total maximum daily load (TMDL) for the BMAP. The wastewater plan is to be developed by each responsible local government, and the plan must address the facility upgrades or changes necessary to meet TMDL requirements. The wastewater plan must include a timeline for projects and estimated costs, and the plan must be adopted by July 2025. The bills prohibit DEP from requiring a higher cost project option for a wastewater plan if a lower cost option would achieve the same load reductions. The bills require a BMAP to include a septic remediation plan if DEP determines that septic tanks are contributing more than 20% of nutrient pollution or if deemed necessary to achieve the nutrient TMDL for the BMAP. The septic remediation plan must be developed by each responsible local government and must identify projects necessary to reduce nutrient loads and include an inventory of existing septic tanks. The septic remediation plan must also identify septic tanks that will be connected to central sewer, replaced or upgraded, and it must include estimated costs to implement projects. The septic remediation plan must be adopted as part of the BMAP by July 2025. The bills also require DEP to submit a report to the Legislature by July 2021 evaluating the costs of all septic system and wastewater treatment projects identified in BMAPs and identifying funding plans for the projects on a five-year basis. In addition, the bills require DEP to submit a report to the Legislature by July 2021 assessing the water quality monitoring being conducted for each BMAP that is subject to nutrient load reductions. •Agriculture – The bills require the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to collect fertilizer and nutrient records from producers enrolled in the agricultural best management practices program and provide such records to DEP. Both bills require DACS to conduct onsite inspections of enrollees every two years. CS/CS/CS/SB 712 also authorizes the creation of a “cooperative agricultural regional water quality improvement element” as part of a basin management action plan under specified conditions and establishes qualifications for participating in the element. •Wastewater Grant Program – The bills establish a wastewater grant program in DEP to provide a 50% match for specified projects intended to reduce nutrient loads.  •Biosolids – CS/CS/CS/SB 712 expresses legislative intent to expedite implementation of the Biosolids Technical Advisory Committee. Both bills direct DEP to adopt rules for biosolids. CS/CS/CS/SB 712 requires biosolids application sites to comply with DEP rules in effect at the time of permit renewal and requires such sites to be enrolled in the DACS best management practices program. In addition, the Senate bill requires a permittee to conduct the application of biosolids in accordance with an adopted BMAP and requires the use of groundwater monitoring for specified application sites. The Senate bill also limits or prohibits the application of biosolids on certain sites based on water table levels until the effective date of biosolids rules adopted by DEP. CS/CS/CS/SB 712 grandfathers certain existing local ordinances relating to biosolids adopted prior to November 2019.  •Sanitary Sewer Overflows – The bills require wastewater facilities to provide a power outage contingency plan and to develop an assessment, repair and replacement plan that complies with DEP rules. The bills direct DEP to conduct rulemaking on this subject. The plans shall be reported to DEP and must include expenditures taken for assessment, repair and replacement. A wastewater facility’s substantial compliance with these planning and reporting requirements may be evidence for mitigating applicable DEP environmental penalties. In addition, a facility may receive a 10-year operating permit if it is meeting the goals of its action plan. The bills require wastewater facilities to provide annual reports to DEP detailing revenues and expenditures as prescribed by DEP rule, and a facility’s substantial compliance with this requirement may be evidence for mitigating DEP penalties. CS/CS/CS/SB 712 requires DEP to submit an annual report to the Legislature detailing all facilities that experienced sanitary sewer overflows over the reporting period.  •Additional DEP and Agency Reports – The bills require DEP to report by July 2020 the status of upgrades by specified wastewater utilities that are required to meet advanced treatment standards under current law, and the bill also requires DEP to submit cost estimates for wastewater facility and septic system remediation projects to the Office of Economic and Demographic Research beginning July 2022. EDR is required to include these cost estimates in its annual water resources assessment. •Monetary Penalties – The bills modify current law requirements on administrative penalties assessed by DEP. Total administrative penalties increased from $10,000 to $50,000. Wastewater violation penalties are included under the defined administrative penalties, these penalties increased by 50%: from $1,000 to $2,000 and $2,000 to $4,000, respectively. •DEP Secretary – CS/CS/CS/SB 712 changes the appointment process for the DEP secretary, requiring the concurrence of only one member of the Cabinet rather than three members as provided in current law. •Bottled Water – CS/CS/CS/SB 712 requires a consumptive use permit for bottled water to be approved by unanimous vote of a water management district governing board. The bill also requires DEP to conduct a study on the bottled water industry in Florida and requires the subjects to be addressed in the study. It requires the report to be submitted to the governor and legislature by June 2021. •Water Management District Annual Reports – CS/CS/CS/SB 712 requires water management districts to submit a copy of their annual reports to the Office of Economic and Demographic Research and requires the reports to include in the listing of projects to implement a BMAP, any projects converting septic systems to sewer or enhanced nutrient reducing systems.  •Legal Standing – CS/CS/SB 712 prohibits local governments from recognizing or granting certain legal rights to the natural environment (e.g., granting legal standing to waterbodies) or granting enforcement of such rights to persons or political subdivision.  (O’Hara)

Other Bills of Interest

SB 168 (Cruz) and HB 139 (Jenne) – Drinking Water in Public Schools ...

SB 168 (Cruz) and HB 139 (Jenne) – Drinking Water in Public Schools SB 318 (Stewart) – Sale of Sunscreen SB 338 (Rodriguez) – Energy Efficiency in State Agencies HB 237 (Roth) – Agricultural Products SB 386 (Bradley) and HB 1333 (Stone) – Water Management District Boundaries Levy County HB 401 (Jacobs) and SB 680 (Hutson) – Shark Fins HB 921 (Brannan) and SB 1514 (Albritton) – Department of Agriculture & Consumer Service HB 935 (Webb) and SB 1290 (Berman) – Solar Energy Systems in Schools SB 1042 (Albritton) and HB 1061 (Massullo) – Nature Coast Aquatic Preserve  HB 1047 (Avila) and SB 1618 (Diaz) – Construction Materials Mining Activities  HB 1067 (Hattersley) and SB 1360 (Rodriguez) – Fla. Endangered & Threatened Species Act SB 1474 (Taddeo) and SB 1842 (Powell) – Required Flood Disclosures for Real Property Sales SB 1772 (Montford) – Environmental Value of Agricultural Lands HB 6081 (Eskamani) – Conservation Easements

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