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2015 Session

Florida Legislature Sets Special Session on Redistricting for August 10-21

7/21/2015 

The Florida Legislature issued a joint proclamation Monday setting the dates for the upcoming special session on redistricting for Aug. 10-21. Read More


Joint Proclamation


Procedure for Special Session

 

Senate Committee on Reapportionment

 

Memorandum



Governor Scott Signs Budget and Releases Veto List

6/23/2015 

Governor Rick Scott released his Veto Message and Veto List for 2015A's appropriations bill -- SB 2500A -- signed into law earlier this morning. The governor vetoed a total of $461.4 million. 


Read the Governor's transmittal letter, budget highlights and veto message.

 

Click here for a list of vetoes in the "KEEP FLORIDA WORKING" budget.

 

Click here for the transmittal letter filed today for the Implementing and Conforming bills.

 


Surveillance by a Drone Bill Signed into Law by Governor Scott

5/19/2015  

CS/CS/HB 766 by Sen. Hukill (R-Port Orange) and Rep. Metz (R-Groveland)
The bill prohibits a person flying a UAV for surveillance to capture an image without written consent. It authorizes a civil action with accompanying attorneys' fees and punitive damages. It includes a specific exemption for a person or entity engaged in a business or profession licensed by the state if the drone is only being used to perform tasks related to the scope and practice permitted under the license. 

This law will be effective July 1st.

Success of the exemption for surveyors and mappers being included in the bill was by the effort of our FSMS Legislative Committee and Lobbyist. This is a benefit of membership.

 


A Special Session Joint Proclamation

5/18/2015 

Senate President Andy Gardiner (R-Orlando) and House Speaker Steve Crisafulli (R-Merritt Island) reached agreement on the joint proclamation for the June 1-20 Special Session to complete the Legislature's work on a balanced budget. Read the proclamation.

The proclamation includes the budget and conforming bills which were poised for conference during the 2015 Regular Legislative Session. Also included in the call are health care reform legislative priorities and tax relief. At this time, budget allocations have not been agreed to by the President and the Speaker, but will be reached before the beginning of Special Session on June 1, 2015.

"Florida will have a balanced budget by June 30," said President Gardiner. "Narrowing the set of issues to those outlined in today's proclamation enables us to focus on the critical work before us and to meet our constitutional obligation in the open and transparent manner the people of Florida expect."

"I'd like to thank President Gardiner for his partnership in developing the scope of our work during the upcoming Special Session," said Speaker Crisafulli. "Today is an important milestone. Although we differ on policy approaches regarding health care, the House welcomes the opportunity to have a vigorous debate over the issue. We look forward to working with our Senate partners to craft a balanced budget that supports our schools, our environment and provides tax relief to Florida's hard-working families."

 


Three-Week Special Session to Begin June 1st

5/7/2015

Miami Herald

It's a start. After dissolving the annual legislative session last week over a budget and health care impasse, House and Senate leaders have now agreed on one thing: the dates of the special session to finish their work.

In a joint press release issued Wednesday, House Speaker Steve Crisafulli and Senate President Andy Gardiner announced that they will convene a "tentatively scheduled" special session on Monday, June 1, and conclude it on Saturday, June 20.

Lawmakers must return to the state capital to finish the budget by June 30 and, integral to that decision is addressing the question of how much federal government the state can expect to get to provide hospital compensation for charity care under the Low Income Pool program.

Disagreement over how to handle that money, which the federal government is phasing out, led to the stalemate. The Senate leaders want to expand Medicaid and draw down federal money to compensate for the loss of LIP money in the future. The House leadership refuses to expand Medicaid and prefers to rely on the LIP money for another year.

Still unresolved is the scope of the session. "A proclamation will be issued in the near future,'' the statement said. 

The agreement on the session dates also avoids having Gov. Rick Scott call the session, and dictate the terms. Scott met with Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell on Wednesday to remind her of the state's budgetary deadline and asked her to approve the state's proposal for LIP funding.

"We want the HHS Secretary to approve our LIP waiver,'' Scott said in a statement. "That is what we asked her to do today. I hope we made some progress, but we will only have real resolution on this when we get their official approval. We need that approval immediately so we can start a special session and pass a budget."

Burwell responded that the state's proposal for the LIP waiver is inadequate, hinted that the state's Medicaid reimbursement rates are too low, and said the state is expecting more LIP money than its going to get.

"...the proposal currently posted for public comment in Florida falls short of the key principles HHS will use in considering proposals regarding uncompensated care pool programs, and the size of the proposed LIP appears larger than what matches the principles,'' a statement released after the meeting said.

Here is HHS's full statement: 

Today, Secretary Burwell met with Florida Governor Rick Scott to discuss the importance of access to high quality health care coverage for all Floridians.

As HHS communicated to the state in July 2014, the state's Low Income Pool (LIP), an optional time-limited demonstration program, will not be extended in its current form beyond June 2015. The three principles by which the LIP and other uncompensated care pool proposals will be reviewed are:

* Coverage rather than uncompensated care pools is the best way to secure affordable access to health care for low-income individuals, and uncompensated care pool funding should not pay for costs that would be covered in a Medicaid expansion;
* Medicaid payments should support services provided to beneficiaries and low-income uninsured individuals; and
* Provider payment rates must be sufficient to promote provider participation and access, and should support plans in managing and coordinating care.

Secretary Burwell shared a preliminary view that the proposal currently posted for public comment in Florida falls short of the key principles HHS will use in considering proposals regarding uncompensated care pool programs, and the size of the proposed LIP appears larger than what matches the principles.

HHS is continuing to engage with Florida on the state's LIP proposal, even as the period for public comment in Florida is underway. HHS heard the Governor's request for a timely response to help the state meet its budget timeline. HHS believes completion of the public comment period, on-going discussions with the state, and the state's submission of its proposal to CMS are the next steps in the process.

Regarding Medicaid expansion, Secretary Burwell reaffirmed that whether a state receives federal funding for an uncompensated care pool is not dependent on whether it expands Medicaid, and that the decision to expand Medicaid, or not, is a state decision. HHS has continuously worked with states interested in expanding Medicaid.

Secretary Burwell urged Governor Scott to consider Medicaid expansion, saying it is an important element to providing access to quality health care and reducing hospital costs that are typically passed on to taxpayers. She reiterated that, if Florida decides to pursue Medicaid expansion, HHS stands ready to work with the state to design a program that would be good for the economy and health of Florida, and tailored to Florida's needs.


Legislative Report

5/4/2015

Legislative Report

   

The 2015 Legislative Session has finally ended. The Florida House of Representatives adjourned sine die on Tuesday of this week, while the State Senate kept working. Left unfinished is the only bill they are required to pass, a balanced state budget for FY 15-16. Holding up their ability to craft a budget are differing opinions on how to handle Medicaid expansion and the concern the federal government may not approve funding to hospitals through the Low Income Pool or LIP. To complete their work they will now need to call a special session for later this year. While it is unclear when they will make the call for the special session, the current fiscal year ends June 30. Additionally, the 2016 Legislative Session begins in January 2016 rather than the traditional March 2016 which will require legislative committees begin their work earlier than normal. It looks to be a fun summer!

On legislation we were tracking:

Growth Management

CS/CS/SB 1216 by Sen. Simpson (R- New Port Richey) and Rep. LaRosa (R-St. Cloud)

The legislation amends several provisions in the state's growth management laws. The bill allows a conservation easement to be based on a survey or digital orthophotography prepared by a licensed surveyor. SB 1216 passed the State Senate by a vote of 39-0 and the State House of Representatives by a vote of 83-31 and will now head to Governor Scott for his consideration. Review SB 1216.

Surveillance by a Drone

CS/CS/SB 766 by Sen. Hukill (R-Port Orange) and Rep. Metz (R-Groveland)

This legislation would prohibit a person flying a UAV for surveillance to capture an image without written consent. The legislation authorizes a civil action with accompanying attorneys' fees and punitive damages. This bill includes a specific exemption for a person or entity engaged in a business or profession licensed by the state if the drone is only being used to perform tasks related to the scope and practice permitted under the license. SB 766 passed the State Senate by a vote of 37-2 and the House of Representatives by a vote of 117-0 and will now head to Governor Scott for his consideration.Review CS for SB 766.

Peril of Flood - Flood Certifications by Licensed Surveyor

CS/CS/CS/SB 1094 by Sen. Brandes (R- St. Petersburg) and Rep. Ahern (R-St. Petersburg)

This legislation deals with coastal management plans and flood insurance. As it relates to surveyors the bills would require that licensed surveyors and mappers complete and submit elevation certificates to the Division of Emergency Management within a specified time period. SB 1094 passed the State Senate by a vote of 39-0 and the State House of Representatives by a vote of 89-26. This legislation will now head to Governor Scott for his consideration. Review SB 1094.

Public Records - Lawsuit Abuse

CS/CS/SB 224 by Sen. Simpson (R - New Port Richey) and Rep. Beshears (R- Monticello)

This legislation is an attempt to shut down a lawsuit abuse scam involving public records and private contractors. The bill as amended would only make a contractor liable for attorney fees if the public records request if made to the contractor's registered agent. SB 224 passed the full State Senate by a 36-0 vote. It was amended by the House of Representatives and passed by a vote of 114-0 and headed back to the State Senate for a final vote where the legislation died in returning messages.

Public Private Partnerships

HB 63 by Rep. Steube (R-Sarasota) - SB 824 by Sen. Evers (R-Pensacola)

This years public private partnership legislation primarily incorporated the recommendations of the Partnership for Public Facilities and Infrastructure Act Guidelines Task Force's Final Report and Recommendations. One of the recommendations of the Task Force was to create a loophole that allowed P3 projects to escape the requirements of 278.055 F.S. entirely. Rep. Steube is aware of our concerns with this language and has amended his originally filed bill at its first committee stop to eliminate this loophole. Sen. Greg Evers filed the Senate version of the bill without this particular Task Force recommendation. The language of this legislation was also incorporated into section 8 of HB 7067 and economic development bill. Public private partnership legislation did not become law in 2015.

Florida Drone Privacy Act

SB 1178 by Sen. Richter - HB 979 by Rep. Smith (R-Inverness)

This legislation would require the Department of Law Enforcement to develop guidelines for the use of drones by state or local law enforcement agencies and specifies situations in which it is lawful to capture an image with a drone. This language did not become law during the 2015 Legislative Session.

Consumer Licensing bill by FDACS -

HB 995 by Rep. Trumbull (R- Panama City) - SB 1444 by Sen. Richter (R-Naples)

This legislation is the Department's consumer licensing bill that opens chapter 472 to waive the initial licensing fees for veterans and their spouses for license applications submitted within 60 months of the veteran's discharge from any branch of the United States Armed Services. The fee waive provision applies to several industries regulated under the Division of Consumer Services including surveyors and mappers, health studios, telemarketing, intrastate movers, sellers of liquified petroleum gasoline, pawn broking, motor vehicle repair and sellers of travel. This legislation did not become law during the 2015 Legislative Session.


Special Session

4/30/2015

Florida Senate President Andy Gardiner Proposes 

June 1-20 Special Session

 

Senate President Andy Gardiner sent a Senate offer of a draft proclamation for a special session beginning June 1 and ending June 20 to Speaker Crisafulli and Governor Rick Scott.  


THE FLORIDA SENATE

SENATOR ANDY GARDINER

President

 

April 30, 2015

 

The Honorable Steve Crisafulli, Speaker

Florida House of Representatives

420 The Capitol

402 South Monroe Street

Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300

 

Mr. Speaker:

 

Thank you for your prompt response to the Senate's request that the House of Representatives reconvene to continue the exchange of legislative work product contemplated by our constitution.

 

While the Senate maintains its belief that the House's adjournment sine die clearly violates both the spirit and letter of our constitutional principles, the House has clearly indicated it has no intention of reconvening prior to the scheduled expiration of the 2015 Regular Session at 11:59 p.m. on May 1. For this reason, I have enclosed a draft call for a special session of the Florida Legislature to begin on June 1, 2015, and to conclude on June 20, 2015.

 

The Senate hopes to complete our budget work as soon as possible. Given the stark differences between the House and Senate approaches to health care funding and coverage, we believe clear guidance from the federal government is crucial regarding funding for services to the uninsured which hospitals across our state are legally required to provide regardless of compensation. Beginning our special session on June 1 will provide additional time to receive a response from the federal government and we can conclude with ample time for Governor Scott to review the budget prior to June 30.

 

While a federal response would clearly be most beneficial to the furtherance of negotiations, I believe it is prudent to continue to account for the potential of a complete elimination of Low Income Pool funding. In fact, the Senate Budget, unanimously passed nearly a month ago, left unallocated sufficient recurring general revenue dedicated to health care contingencies.

 

For the last three years our chambers have had, and continue to maintain, significant policy differences relating to health care coverage for uninsured Floridians. Last Friday, the House indicated a willingness to move from your initial offer of $200 million closer to the Senate position. As indicated in our response to House Offer #2 last Friday, the Senate remains open to reviewing a spreadsheet offer that reflects this position at your earliest convenience.

 

Again, given the severity of these issues, I believe an agreement to begin a special session on June 1 will provide the Legislature the maximum flexibility to complete our work on the 2015-16 General Appropriations Act in an efficient and transparent manner. With an initial agreement on a call for special session, we can then begin to discuss a specific schedule that would allow us to inform our respective chambers of when their presence in Tallahassee will be required. I look forward to your response to this important and time sensitive matter.

 

Respectfully,

 

Andy Gardiner

President


Cc: The Honorable Rick Scott, Governor

 


President Gardiner Sends Message

4/30/2015

President Gardiner Sends Message to Speaker Crisafulli

  

Senate President Gardiner sent the following letter to Speaker Crisafulli yesterday requesting the House reconvene.  The Speaker responded the House will not return.

 

Mr. Speaker,

 

On Tuesday, April 28, 2015, you adjourned the Florida House of Representatives in contravention of express provisions of the Florida Constitution.  Accordingly, I respectfully request that you reconvene your chamber to finish the important work of the people of Florida.

 

Article III, section 3 of the Florida Constitution, plainly states: "Neither house shall adjourn for more than seventy-two consecutive hours except pursuant to concurrent resolution."  Further support for this reading is found in the following subsection of Article III, section 3, granting the Governor the authority to adjourn a session, including the adjournment sine die.  This framework, modeled after the United States Constitution, sets up a constitutional framework encouraging cooperation between our chambers and designating the Governor to resolve disputes when our chambers cannot agree on a time to adjourn.

 

This constitutional parliamentary requirement could not be clearer and trumps our own respective chamber's parliamentary rules.  The course of action you have taken is not only unconstitutional; it is unprecedented under our present state constitution.  In fact, the last time there was a disagreement between the chambers on when to adjourn, it was resolved by Governor LeRoy Collins in 1956.  

 

While our current parliamentary practices may gloss over this requirement where consent of the other chamber is taken for granted, such consent should never be assumed, particularly where one chamber transmits their bills and abruptly adjourns more than three days early in the 60 day regular session, effectively depriving the other chamber of providing meaningful legislative consent and dialogue. 

 

Your own rules do not support the unilateral actions you have taken.  House Rule 13.1 cites Mason's Manual of Legislative Procedure as highly influential in interpreting the House's rules.  Section 204-3 of Mason's provides "[n]either the senate nor the house can constitutionally adjourn sine die without the other."

 

The Senate will remain available to conduct business upon the call of the President until the scheduled expiration of the 2015 Regular Session at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, May 1, 2015.


Thank you for your prompt attention to this critical constitutional issue.


Respectfully,


Andy Gardiner, President

 


Special Message

4/28/2015

Special Message Alert from Smith, Bryan & Myers, Inc.

  

The House announced this afternoon that due to the budget impasse with the Senate, the Florida House would adjourn the 2015 regular legislative session Sine Die.

Speaker Crisafulli Remarks on the

House's Fulfillment of Work Plan 2015 Agenda

Tallahassee, FL - Following the House's adjournment Sine Die for the 2015 Legislative Session today, House Speaker Steve Crisafulli (R-Merritt Island) issued the following statement:

I want to thank the Florida House for their commitment to the 2015 Work Plan joint agenda with the Senate. The Florida House passed legislation that covered every principle in the joint plan.

During session, the House worked tirelessly to implement the Work Plan developed in partnership with the Senate to pave a stronger future for Florida families.

Together, the Florida House passed bills to cut taxes by $690 million, create a comprehensive water policy bill, establish a transparent structure for Amendment 1 funding, reduce student testing while maintaining accountability (signed into law), lower tuition, strengthen families by promoting adoptions (on the Governor's desk), and secure pathways to economic independence for persons with disabilities. I firmly believe that each of these bills will greatly benefit Floridians.

Despite our differences on Medicaid expansion, it is noteworthy that the House and Senate appear to have found common ground on long contentious issues such as PSC reform, ALF reform, comprehensive Department of Corrections reform, mental health reform, and Grandparents' Rights (sent to the Governor).

We look forward to returning to Tallahassee for a special session to complete our work on the budget prior to the July 1 deadline.


 

Legislative Report

4/28/2015

There has been no movement on the state budget and it is all but certain that the will either extend the Legislative Session or call a Special Session later in the year to craft and pass a balanced state budget. Our current budget year ends June 30. There are recent rumors of a June 15th Special Session but again these are just rumors. The primary issue is the federal government refusing to extend the low income pool financing of Florida hospitals. Essentially, the federal government said that there is a program to help poor Floridians with medical costs and that is Medicaid and they want Florida to expand it. The State Senate is willing to expand, the Governor supported expansion until recently and the House of Representatives refuses to consider Medicaid expansion. Until this issue gets resolved it will be difficult to craft Florida's budget.


Growth Management
SB 1216 by Sen. Simpson (R- New Port Richey) and Rep. LaRosa (R-St. Cloud)
The legislation amends several provisions in the state's growth management laws. The bill allows a conservation easement to be based on a survey or digital orthophotography prepared by a licensed surveyor. Review SB 1216. 

SB 1216 passed the State Senate by a vote of 39-0 and the State House of Representatives by a vote of 83-31. SB 1216 will now head to the Governor for his consideration.

Public Private Partnerships
HB 63 by Rep. Steube (R-Sarasota) - SB 824 by Sen. Evers (R-Pensacola)

Rep. Greg Steube has once again filed public private partnership legislation for consideration. This years bill, as it was originally filed, represent the recommendations of the Partnership for Public Facilities and Infrastructure Act Guidelines Task Force's Final Report and Recommendations. One of the recommendations of the Task Force was to create a loophole that allowed P3 projects to escape the requirements of 278.055 F.S. entirely. Rep. Steube is aware of our concerns with this language and has amended his originally filed bill at its first committee stop to eliminate this loophole. Sen. Greg Evers has agreed to file the senate bill and his original draft filed does not include this particular Task Force recommendation

HB 63 is awaiting action by the House Appropriations Committee. SB 824 passed the Senate Fiscal Policy Committee by unanimous vote and is awaiting action by the State Senate.

Public Records - Lawsuit Abuse
SB 224 by Sen. Simpson (R - New Port Richey) and Rep. Beshears (R- Monticello)

This legislation is an attempt to shut down a lawsuit abuse scam involving public records and private contractors. The bill as amended would only make a contractor liable for attorney fees if the public records request if made to the contractor's registered agent. SB 224 was amended with the current language by the Florida House and will need to head to the State Senate again for passage. Review House Amendment to SB 224.

SB 224 passed the full State Senate by a 36-0 vote. It was amended by the House of Representatives and passed by a vote of 114-0. This legislation will need to head back to the State Senate for final passage.

UAVs and Surveillance
SB 766 by Sen. Hukill (R-Port Orange) and Rep. Metz (R-Groveland)

This legislation would prohibit a person flying a UAV for surveillance to capture an image without written consent. The legislation authorizes a civil action with accompanying attorneys' fees and punitive damages. This bill now includes a specific exemption for a person or entity engaged in a business or profession licensed by the state if the drone is only being used to perform tasks related to the scope and practice permitted under the license. Review SB 766.

SB 766 passed the State Senate by a vote of 37-2 and is awaiting third reading in the House of Representatives.

Florida Drone Privacy Act
SB 1178 by Sen. Richter - HB 979 by Rep. Smith (R-Inverness)

This legislation would require the Department of Law Enforcement to develop guidelines for the use of drones by state or local law enforcement agencies and specifies situations in which it is lawful to capture an image with a drone.

SB 1178 was taken up and passed by the Senate Criminal Justice Committee by unanimous vote. It is now awaiting action by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice Committee.

HB 979 is awaiting action by its first committee of reference, the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee.

Peril of Flood - Flood Certifications by Licenses Surveyor
SB 1094 by Sen. Brandes (R- St. Petersburg) and Rep. Ahern (R-St. Petersburg)

This legislation deals with coastal management plans and flood insurance. As it relates to surveyors the bills would require that licensed surveyors and mappers complete and submit elevation certificates to the Division of Emergency Management within a specified time period. Review SB 1094.

SB 1094 passed the State Senate by a vote of 39-0 and the State House of Representatives by a vote of 89-26. This legislation will now head to Governor Scott for his consideration.

Consumer Licensing bill by FDACS -
HB 995 by Rep. Trumbull (R- Panama City) - SB 1444 by Sen. Richter (R-Naples)

This legislation is the Department's consumer licensing bill that opens chapter 472 to waive the initial licensing fees for veterans and their spouses for license applications submitted within 60 months of the veteran's discharge from any branch of the United States Armed Services. The fee waive provision applies to several industries regulated under the Division of Consumer Services including surveyors and mappers, health studios, telemarketing, intrastate movers, sellers of liquified petroleum gasoline, pawn broking, motor vehicle repair and sellers of travel. Review HB 995.

HB 995 passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 114-0. SB 1444 is set for consideration by the State Senate on April 30th.


Legislative Report

4/20/2015

Week 7 of the Legislative Session brought no resolution to the current budget impasse.  It appears almost certain that the 2015 Legisative Session will either be extended or requrie a special session to pass a balanced budget.  The issue remains how to balance a budget without the federal government funding the Low Income Pool (LIP) program.  The federal government has attempted to tie renewed approval of the LIP program directly to Medicaid Expansion.  The leaders in the Florida House refuse to expand Medicaid.  Until this issue is resolved between the Senate President and the House Speaker, the state budget cannot be crafted.

 

Growth Management

HB 933 by Rep. LaRosa (R - St. Cloud) - SB 1216 by Sen. Simpson (R- New Port Richey)

 

This legislation was amended in the House Economic Development and Tourism Subcommittee to place several growth management bills into HB 933.  The legislation amends numerous provisions in the state's growth management laws including developments of regional impact, regional planning councils, sector plans, concurrency and impact fees, vegetation removal, private property rights, connected-city corridors, constrained agricultural parcels among other areas.  The original bill would allow for a conservation easement to be based on aerial photographs without the need for a survey.  We were able to convince the supporters of the bill that if they wanted another option besides a full survey they should consider utilizing digital orthophotography but in either case, a full survey or orthophotography, would be completed by a licensed surveyor.

 

HB 933 passed the House Economic Affairs Committee by a vote of 14-2.  It is now prepared for consideration by the full House of Representatives.  SB 1216 will pass the State Senate during Week 8 and head to the House of Representatives to be paired with HB 933.


Public Private Partnerships

HB 63 by Rep. Steube (R-Sarasota) - SB 824 by Sen. Evers (R-Pensacola)

 

Rep. Greg Steube has once again filed public private partnership legislation for consideration.  This years bill, as it was originally filed, represent the recommendations of the Partnership for Public Facilities and Infrastructure Act Guidelines Task Force's Final Report and Recommendations.  One of the recommendations of the Task Force was to create a loophole that allowed P3 projects to escape the requirements of 278.055 F.S. entirely.  Rep. Steube is aware of our concerns with this language and has amended his originally filed bill at its first committee stop to eliminate this loophole.  Sen. Greg Evers has agreed to file the senate bill and his original draft filed does not include this particular Task Force recommendation.

 

Lobbyists for the original language providing a loophole to evade qualifications based selection by utilizing P3 projects are raising concerns about their language being removed earlier and have been drafting changes to the P3 proposed law in hopes of passing an amendment onto the bill.  We will continue to monitor the legislation and look for bad amendments to defeat.  

 

HB 63 is awaiting action by the House Appropriations Committee.  SB 824 will be taken up by the Senate Fiscal Policy Committee during Week 8.

 

Public Records - Lawsuit Abuse

SB 224 by Sen. Simpson (R - New Port Richey) - HB 163 by Rep. Beshears (R- Monticello)

 

This legislation is an attempt to shut down a lawsuit abuse scam involving public records and private contractors.  The bill would amend Florida's public record laws to require that a contractor must provide access to public records but only upon the request of the agency's public record custodian.  The bill further requires that public record requests regarding contracts be made directly to the agency rather than the contractor.  Finally the bill allows costs and attorneys fees related to these lawsuits only if the plaintiff sends a certified letter to the public agency custodian or contractor in advance of filing a lawsuit.

 

SB 224 passed the full State Senate by a 36-0 vote.  It will now head to the House of Representatives. HB 163 passed the House State Affairs Committee by unanimous vote.  It has passed the final committee of reference and will now be placed on the second reading calendar.

 

UAVs and Surveillance

SB 766 by Sen. Hukill (R-Port Orange) - HB 649 by Rep. Metz (R-Groveland)

 

This legislation would prohibit a person flying a UAV for surveillance to capture an image without written consent.  The legislation authorizes a civil action with accompanying attorneys' fees and punitive damages.  This bill now includes a specific exemption for a person or entity engaged in a business or profession licensed by the state if the drone is only being used to perform tasks related to the scope and practice  permitted under the license.

 

SB 766 is scheduled to be taken up on the Senate Special Order Calendar during Week 8.  HB 649 has now passed all committees of reference and is awaiting action on the floor of the House of Representatives.

 

Florida Drone Privacy Act

SB 1178 by Sen. Richter - HB 979 by Rep. Smith (R-Inverness)

 

This legislation would require the Department of Law Enforcement to develop guidelines for the use of drones by state or local law enforcement agencies and specifies situations in which it is lawful to capture an image with a drone.

 

SB 1178 was taken up and passed by the Senate Criminal Justice Committee by unanimous vote.  It is now awaiting action by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice Committee.

 

HB 979 is awaiting action by its first committee of reference, the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee.  At this point in the legislative session subcommittees have completed their work for 2015 and would need special consideration from Speaker Crisafulli to hold another meeting.  This legislation is facing long odds to make it over the line during the 2015 Legislative Session. 

 

Peril of Flood - Flood Certifications by Licenses Surveyor

SB 1094 by Sen. Brandes (R- St. Petersburg) - HB 895 by Rep. Ahern (R-St. Petersburg)

 

This legislation deals with coastal management plans and flood insurance.  As it relates to surveyors the bills would require that licensed surveyors and mappers submit elevation certificates to the Division of Emergency Management within a specified time period. 

 

SB 1094 is scheduled for final passage during Week 8.  HB 895 passed the House Regulatory Affairs Committee by unanimous vote.  This bill has now passed all committees of reference and will now be placed on the second reading calendar.

 

Consumer Licensing bill by DOACS -

HB 995 by Rep. Trumbull (R- Panama City) - SB 1444 by Sen. Richter (R-Naples)

 

This legislation is the Department's consumer licensing bill that opens chapter 472 to waive the initial licensing fees for veterans and their spouses for license applications submitted within 60 months of the veteran's discharge from any branch of the United States Armed Services.  The fee waive provision applies to several industries regulated under the Division of Consumer Services including surveyors and mappers, health studios, telemarketing, intrastate movers, sellers of liquified petroleum gasoline, pawn broking, motor vehicle repair and sellers of travel.  

 

HB 995 is on the second reading calendar and is ready to be taken up by the full House of Representatives.  SB 1444 passed the Senate Appropriations Committee by unanimous vote and is prepared for consideration by the full State Senate.

 


Legislative Report

4/13/2015

Week 6 brought little movement on budget negotiations between the House and Senate. The next step in this process is for the Senate President and House Speaker to agree on a specific number for allocations in each budget subcommittee. Until allocations are decided, all other budget negotiations will remain at a standstill and that is where we are. While there is still time to work out an agreement, time is quickly running out to either end on time or avoid a special session later during the year.

Growth Management

HB 933 by Rep. LaRosa (R - St. Cloud) - SB 1216 by Sen. Simpson (R- New Port Richey)

This legislation was amended in the House Economic Development and Tourism Subcommittee to place several growth management bills into HB 933. The legislation amends numerous provisions in the state's growth management laws including developments of regional impact, regional planning councils, sector plans, concurrency and impact fees, vegetation removal, private property rights, connected-city corridors, constrained agricultural parcels among other areas. The bill would allow for a conservation easement to be based on aerial photographs without the need for a survey.

We were able to meet with representatives of the community developers to explain our concern with their language and we identified a workable solution that allowed them the option to utilize digital orthophotography rather than only a full survey to set a conservation easement boundary in a detailed specific area plan and that it had to be produced by a licensed surveyor. (Section 4 of the bill) This language was then added to SB 1216 in the Senate Fiscal Policy Committee during Week 6. I expect HB 933 to be conformed to SB 1216 in the House Economic Affairs Committee during Week 7. Read the Bill. Read the Staff Analysis.

HB 933 will be taken up by the House Economic Affairs Committee during Week 7. SB 1216 is scheduled to be taken up by the full Senate during Week 7.

Public Private Partnerships

HB 63 by Rep. Steube (R-Sarasota) - SB 824 by Sen. Evers (R-Pensacola)

Rep. Greg Steube has once again filed public private partnership legislation for consideration. This years bill, as it was originally filed, represent the recommendations of the Partnership for Public Facilities and Infrastructure Act Guidelines Task Force's Final Report and Recommendations. One of the recommendations of the Task Force was to create a loophole that allowed P3 projects to escape the requirements of 278.055 F.S. entirely. Rep. Steube is aware of our concerns with this language and has amended his originally filed bill at its first committee stop to eliminate this loophole. Sen. Greg Evers has agreed to file the senate bill and his original draft filed does not include this particular Task Force recommendation.

HB 63 is awaiting action by the House Appropriations Committee. SB 824 is awaiting action by the Senate Fiscal Policy Committee.

Public Records - Lawsuit Abuse

SB 224 by Sen. Simpson (R - New Port Richey) - HB 163 by Rep. Beshears (R- Monticello)

This legislation is an attempt to shut down a lawsuit abuse scam involving public records and private contractors. The bill would amend Florida's public record laws to require that a contractor must provide access to public records but only upon the request of the agency's public record custodian. The bill further requires that public record requests regarding contracts be made directly to the agency rather than the contractor. Finally the bill allows costs and attorneys fees related to these lawsuits only if the plaintiff sends a certified letter to the public agency custodian or contractor in advance of filing a lawsuit.

SB 224 passed the full State Senate by a 36-0 vote. It will now head to the House of Representatives. HB 163 is awaiting action by the House State Affairs Committee.

UAVs and Surveillance

SB 766 by Sen. Hukill (R-Port Orange) - HB 649 by Rep. Metz (R-Groveland)

This legislation would prohibit a person flying a UAV for surveillance to capture an image without written consent. The legislation authorizes a civil action with accompanying attorneys' fees and punitive damages. This bill now includes a specific exemption for a person or entity engaged in a business or profession licensed by the state if the drone is only being used to perform tasks related to the scope and practice permitted under the license.

SB 766 was amended to conform to HB 649 and passed the Senate Appropriations Committee by unanimous vote. This legislation is scheduled to be taken up on the floor of the State Senate during Week 7. HB 649 has now passed all committees of reference and is awaiting action on the floor of the House of Representatives.

Florida Drone Privacy Act

SB 1178 by Sen. Richter - HB 979 by Rep. Smith (R-Inverness)

This legislation would require the Department of Law Enforcement to develop guidelines for the use of drones by state or local law enforcement agencies and specifies situations in which it is lawful to capture an image with a drone.

SB 1178 was scheduled to be taken up by the Senate Criminal Justice Committee during Week 5, however, the legislation ran into trouble in committee and needed to be temporarily postponed. This legislation is again scheduled to be taken up in Senate Criminal Justice Committee during Week 6. We will be submitting language to Sen. Richter that will exempt out surveyors and mappers from the bill should it pass the Senate Criminal Justice Committee.

HB 979 is awaiting action by its first committee of reference, the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee. At this point in the legislative session subcommittees have completed their work for 2015 and would need special consideration from Speaker Crisafulli to hold another meeting. This legislation is facing long odds to make it over the line during the 2015 Legislative Session.

Peril of Flood - Flood Certifications by Licenses Surveyor

SB 1094 by Sen. Brandes (R- St. Petersburg) - HB 895 by Rep. Ahern (R-St. Petersburg)

This legislation deals with coastal management plans and flood insurance. As it relates to surveyors the bills would require that licensed surveyors and mappers submit elevation certificates to the Division of Emergency Management within a specified time period.

SB 1094 will be taken up on the floor of the Senate during Week 7. HB 895 is awaiting action by the House Regulatory Affairs Committee.

Consumer Licensing bill by FDACS -

HB 995 by Rep. Trumbull (R- Panama City) - SB 1444 by Sen. Richter (R-Naples)

This legislation is the Department's consumer licensing bill that opens chapter 472 to waive the initial licensing fees for veterans and their spouses for license applications submitted within 60 months of the veteran's discharge from any branch of the United States Armed Services. The fee waive provision applies to several industries regulated under the Division of Consumer Services including surveyors and mappers, health studios, telemarketing, intrastate movers, sellers of liquified petroleum gasoline, pawn broking, motor vehicle repair and sellers of travel.  

HB 995 passed the House Regulatory Affairs Committee by unanimous vote. This legislation has passed all committees of reference and is ready to be taken up by the full House of Representatives. SB 1444 is awaiting consideration by the Senate Appropriations Committee.


Legislative Report 

4/6/2015

Week 5 saw the Florida Senate and Florida House of Representatives pass their respective budgets out of each chamber and organize themselves for budget conference committee. The spending bills are nearly $5 billion apart as the Senate has crafted their budget without the inclusion of the Low Income Pool funding for hospitals that the federal government is threatening to withhold since Florida refuses to expand Medicaid. The House of Representatives believes the money will eventually be worked out and has included in their package a nearly $700 million tax relief package. What was being thought of as an easier legislative session is turning out to be tougher than expected with rumors of a special session on the budget in June. More to come I'm sure.

Growth Management

HB 933 by Rep. LaRosa (R - St. Cloud) - SB 832 by Sen. Simpson (R- New Port Richey)

This legislation was amended in the House Economic Development and Tourism Subcommittee to place several growth management bills into HB 933. The legislation amends numerous provisions in the state's growth management laws including developments of regional impact, regional planning councils, sector plans, concurrency and impact fees, vegetation removal, private property rights, connected-city corridors, constrained agricultural parcels among other areas. The bill would allow for a conservation easement to be based on aerial photographs without the need for a survey.

We were able to meet with Rep. LaRosa to express our concerns and we have agreed to work on some language for him to consider. Additionally, we are scheduled to meet with the lobbyist for the Association of Florida Community Developers, who is the prime driver of this language, to see if we can find some common ground. 

HB 933 is awaiting action by the House Transportation and Economic Affairs Appropriations Committee expected to take up the bill next week. SB 832 was amended in the Senate Community Affairs Committee to conform the language to the House version of the bill.

Public Private Partnerships

HB 63 by Rep. Steube (R-Sarasota) - SB 824 by Sen. Evers (R-Pensacola)

Rep. Greg Steube has once again filed public private partnership legislation for consideration. This years bill, as it was originally filed, represent the recommendations of the Partnership for Public Facilities and Infrastructure Act Guidelines Task Force's Final Report and Recommendations. One of the recommendations of the Task Force was to create a loophole that allowed P3 projects to escape the requirements of 278.055 F.S. entirely. Rep. Steube is aware of our concerns with this language and has amended his originally filed bill at its first committee stop to eliminate this loophole. Sen. Greg Evers has agreed to file the senate bill and his original draft filed does not include this particular Task Force recommendation.

HB 63 is awaiting action by the House Appropriations Committee. SB 824 passed the Senate Government Oversight & Accountability Subcommittee during Week 5 by unanimous vote.

Public Records - Lawsuit Abuse

SB 224 by Sen. Simpson (R - New Port Richey) - HB 163 by Rep. Beshears (R- Monticello)

This legislation is an attempt to shut down a lawsuit abuse scam involving public records and private contractors. The bill would amend Florida's public record laws to require that a contractor must provide access to public records but only upon the request of the agency's public record custodian. The bill further requires that public record requests regarding contracts be made directly to the agency rather than the contractor. Finally the bill allows costs and attorneys fees related to these lawsuits only if the plaintiff sends a certified letter to the public agency custodian or contractor in advance of filing a lawsuit.

SB 224 passed the full State Senate by a 36-0 vote. It will now head to the House of Representatives. HB 163 is awaiting action by the House State Affairs Committee.

UAVs and Surveillance

SB 766 by Sen. Hukill (R-Port Orange) - HB 649 by Rep. Metz (R-Groveland)

This legislation would prohibit a person flying a UAV for surveillance to capture an image without written consent. The legislation authorizes a civil action with accompanying attorneys' fees and punitive damages. This bill now includes a specific exemption for a person or entity engaged in a business or profession licensed by the state if the drone is only being used to perform tasks related to the scope and practice permitted under the license. Click here to read HB 649.

SB 766 is awaiting action by the Senate Appropriations Committee. HB 649 was taken up and passed by the House Judiciary Committee by unanimous vote during Week 5. HB 649 has passed all committees of reference and will now head to the full House of Representatives for consideration.

Florida Drone Privacy Act

SB 1178 by Sen. Richter - HB 979 by Rep. Smith (R-Inverness)

This legislation would require the Department of Law Enforcement to develop guidelines for the use of drones by stat or local law enforcement agencies and specifies situations in which it is lawful to capture an image with a drone.

SB 1178 is scheduled to be considered by the Senate Criminal Justice Committee during Week 5. HB 979 is awaiting action by its first committee of reference, the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee. At this point in the legislative session subcommittees have completed their work for 2015 and would need special consideration from Speaker Crisafulli to hold another meeting. This legislation is facing long odds to make it over the line during the 2015 Legislative Session. 

Peril of Flood - Flood Certifications by Licenses Surveyor

SB 1094 by Sen. Brandes (R- St. Petersburg) - HB 895 by Rep. Ahern (R-St. Petersburg)

This legislation deals with coastal management plans and flood insurance. As it relates to surveyors the bills would require that licensed surveyors and mappers submit elevation certificates to the Division of Emergency Management within a specified time period. 

SB 1094 passed the Senate Rules Committee by unanimous vote. This bill has passed all committees and is awaiting consideration by the full Senate. HB 895 passed the House Appropriations Committee 22-3. It will now be considered by the House Regulatory Affairs Committee. 

Consumer Licensing bill by DOACS -

HB 995 by Rep. Trumbull (R- Panama City) - SB 1444 by Sen. Richter (R-Naples)

This legislation is the Department's consumer licensing bill that opens chapter 472 to waive the initial licensing fees for veterans and their spouses for license applications submitted within 60 months of the veteran's discharge from any branch of the United States Armed Services. The fee waive provision applies to several industries regulated under the Division of Consumer Services including surveyors and mappers, health studios, telemarketing, intrastate movers, sellers of liquified petroleum gasoline, pawn broking, motor vehicle repair and sellers of travel.  

HB 995 passed the House Appropriations Committee during Week 5 by unanimous vote. The House bill will now head to the House Regulatory Affairs Committee for consideration. SB 1444 passed the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government 6-0 and will now head to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

 


Legislative Report

3/30/2015

Growth Management

HB 933 by Rep. LaRosa (R - St. Cloud) - SB 832 by Sen. Simpson (R- New Port Richey)

This legislation was amended in the House Economic Development and Tourism Subcommittee to place several growth management bills into HB 933. The legislation amends numerous provisions in the state's growth management laws including developments of regional impact, regional planning councils, sector plans, concurrency and impact fees, vegetation removal, private property rights, connected-city corridors, constrained agricultural parcels among other areas.

The bill would allow for a conservation easement to be based on aerial photographs without the need for a survey. Click here for HB 933 and click here for the staff analysis for HB 933 for your review.

HB 933 passed the House Economic Development and Tourism Subcommittee by a vote of 8-3. The bill has been re-referred to the House Transportation, Economic Development and Tourism Appropriations Committee and the Economic Affairs Committee. We have reached out to Rep. Mike LaRosa and expressed our concerns. We will be meeting with him during Week 5 to work out this issue. SB 832 is awaiting action by the Community Affairs Committee in the Senate. The Senate bill does not include this language yet. Sen. Simpson is aware we have an issue with this part of the House bill.

Public Private Partnerships

HB 63 by Rep. Steube (R-Sarasota) - SB 824 by Sen. Evers (R-Pensacola)

Rep. Greg Steube has once again filed public private partnership legislation for consideration. This years bill, as it was originally filed, represent the recommendations of the Partnership for Public Facilities and Infrastructure Act Guidelines Task Force's Final Report and Recommendations. One of the recommendations of the Task Force was to create a loophole that allowed P3 projects to escape the requirements of 278.055 F.S. entirely. Rep. Steube is aware of our concerns with this language and has amended his originally filed bill at its first committee stop to eliminate this loophole. Sen. Greg Evers has agreed to file the senate bill and his original draft filed does not include this particular Task Force recommendation.

HB 63 is awaiting action by the House Appropriations Committee. SB 824 will be taken up by the Government Oversight & Accountability Subcommittee during Week 5 of the Legislative Session.

Public Records - Lawsuit Abuse

SB 224 by Sen. Simpson (R - New Port Richey) - HB 163 by Rep. Beshears (R- Monticello)

This legislation is an attempt to shut down a lawsuit abuse scam involving public records and private contractors. The bill would amend Florida's public record laws to require that a contractor must provide access to public records but only upon the request of the agency's public record custodian. The bill further requires that public record requests regarding contracts be made directly to the agency rather than the contractor. Finally the bill allows costs and attorneys fees related to these lawsuits only if the plaintiff sends a certified letter to the public agency custodian or contractor at least three days prior to filing suit.

SB 224 passed the Senate Fiscal Policy Committee by unanimous vote. This legislation has been placed on the Senate Special Order Calendar for April 1. HB 163 is awaiting action by the House State Affairs Committee.

UAVs and Surveillance

SB 766 by Sen. Hukill (R-Port Orange) - HB 649 by Rep. Metz (R-Groveland)

This legislation would prohibit a person flying a UAV for surveillance to capture an image without written consent. The legislation authorizes a civil action with accompanying attorneys' fees and punitive damages. This bill now includes a specific exemption for a person or entity engaged in a business or profession licensed by the state if the drone is only being used to perform tasks related to the scope and practice permitted under the license. Click herefor SB 766.

SB 766 passed the Senate Judiciary Committee by a vote of 9-0. The bill is awaiting action by the Senate Appropriations Committee. HB 649 was taken up and passed by the House Civil Justice Subcommittee by a 11-1 vote and is awaiting action by the House Judiciary Committee.

Florida Drone Privacy Act

SB 1178 by Sen. Richter - HB 979 by Rep. Smith (R-Inverness)

This legislation would require the Department of Law Enforcement to develop guidelines for the use of drones by stat or local law enforcement agencies and specifies situations in which it is lawful to capture an image with a drone.

These bills have not been taken up by either the House or Senate.

Peril of Flood - Flood Certifications by Licenses Surveyor

SB 1094 by Sen. Brandes (R- St. Petersburg) - HB 895 by Rep. Ahern (R-St. Petersburg)

This legislation deals with coastal management plans and flood insurance. As it relates to surveyors the bills would require that licensed surveyors and mappers submit elevation certificates to the Division of Emergency Management within a specified time period.

SB 1094 passed the Senate Community Affairs Committee. The legislation is now awaiting action by the Senate Rules Committee. HB 895 is awaiting action by the House Appropriations Committee.

 

NOTE:  This is one of many bills the Legislative Committee reviewed prior to the start of the Legislative Session.  The Committee had no issues with it and we especially liked the requirement for the Certificates to be completed by Licensed Surveyors.  It was discussed at the Board of Director's meeting in Gainesville and was also included in the March 23rd Legislative Email Bulletin (email attached).  It establishes new requirements for Counties coastal management procedures for flood insurance and it requires the Elevation Certificates be prepared by a Florida Licensed Professional Surveyor (not engineers, architects, contractors, etc.) in accordance with a checklist developed by the Division of Emergency Management and submitted to the Division within 30 days of its completion.

 

The Senate Bill is currently in the Rules Committee and the companion House Bill is in Appropriations Committee.  Click here to go to the Senate Website for the Bill Analyses, Amendments and the Bill itself for further reference.

 

A significant part is that finally a law identifies specifically who is required to prepare the elevation certificates.  I would also expect that since it is a new requirement and new instructions, there will be a procedure set up by each affected county to identify who will be responsible for receiving them and where.  It came to our attention last week that maybe not all coastal counties may be aware of the bill and new requirements.  We will continue to provide updates and additional information as it becomes available.

 

Consumer Licensing bill by DOACS -

HB 995 by Rep. Trumbull (R- Panama City) - SB 1444 by Sen. Richter (R-Naples)

This legislation is the Department's consumer licensing bill that opens chapter 472 to waive the initial licensing fees for veterans and their spouses for license applications submitted within 60 months of the veteran's discharge from any branch of the United States Armed Services. The fee waive provision applies to several industries regulated under the Division of Consumer Services including surveyors and mappers, health studios, telemarketing, intrastate movers, sellers of liquefied petroleum gasoline, pawn broking, motor vehicle repair and sellers of travel.  

HB 995 is awaiting action by the House Appropriations Committee. SB 1444 is awaiting action by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government.


Drone Bills in Florida Legislature

3/26/2015

Tuesday, bills regulating the use of Drones in Florida moved through the Florida Legislature.


HB 649, Surveillance by a Drone, by Rep. Metz passed in the House Civil Justice Committee, 11 to 1. It was amended to add an exception for use by person or entity or business, licensed in the state or their agent, employee, or contractor thereof in the performance of their licensed activities.


SB 766 Surveillance by a Drone, by Sen. Hukill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee 9 to 0. It too was amended to add the same exception.

 

Note also that the exception language includes or agents, employees or contractors. If you view the video, you will notice that both bill sponsors specifically mention use by surveyors and surveying when explaining the exception amendment language.


For FSMS and the Profession, David, Marilyn and I attended the Senate Committee meeting at 4:00 pm. Below are links to the video of both the House and Senate Committee meetings. 


http://www.flsenate.gov/media/videoplayer?EventID=2443575804_2015031438  Beginning at 17:10


http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/VideoPlayer.aspx?eventID=2443575804_2015031419&committeeID=2828  Beginning at 51:24


Each bill has to prevail in another Committee stop before moving to the Floor of the its respective chamber. Click here for the Senate exception amendment and below are links to the House and Senate websites for the bills and other amendments.


http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2015/0766#0766/?Tab=Amendments&_suid=142724282469607392560817087919


http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=53720


Also note that HB 979, Drone Surveillance, by Smith has not been heard in the first of its four Committee assignments and SB 1178, Drone Surveillance, by Richter has not been heard in the first of its two Committee assignments. This is the 4th week of session and there are 38 days until the end of Session.
 

 


Legislative Report

3/23/2015

Public Private Partnerships

HB 63 by Rep. Steube (R-Sarasota) - SB 824 by Sen. Evers (R-Pensacola)

Rep. Greg Steube has once again filed public private partnership legislation for consideration. This years bill, as it was originally filed, represent the recommendations of the Partnership for Public Facilities and Infrastructure Act Guidelines Task Force's Final Report and Recommendations. One of the recommendations of the Task Force was to create a loophole that allowed P3 projects to escape the requirements of 278.055 F.S. entirely. Rep. Steube is aware of our concerns with this language and has amended his originally filed bill at its first committee stop to eliminate this loophole. Sen. Greg Evers has agreed to file the senate bill and his original draft filed does not include this particular Task Force recommendation.

HB 63 is awaiting action by the Local Government Affairs Subcommittee. SB 824 passed the Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee by unanimous vote. The bill was amended in committee to include language that would require a responsible public entity to include a design criteria package in a solicitation that has been prepared by an architect or engineer. Click here to read the Bradley amendment. As you will remember Mike Huey approached us with some draft language similar to the amendment language. His client is the architects. Click here to read the Huey draft amendment.

Public Records - Lawsuit Abuse

SB 224 by Sen. Simpson (R - New Port Richey) - HB 163 by Rep. Beshears (R- Monticello)

This legislation is an attempt to shut down a lawsuit abuse scam involving public records and private contractors. The bill would amend Florida's public record laws to require that a contractor must provide access to public records but only upon the request of the agency's public record custodian. The bill further requires that public record requests regarding contracts be made directly to the agency rather than the contractor. Finally the bill allows costs and attorneys fees related to these lawsuits only if the plaintiff sends a certified letter to the public agency custodian or contractor at least three days prior to filing suit.

SB 224 is awaiting action by the Senate Fiscal Policy Committee. HB 163 passed the House Government Operations Appropriations Subcommittee by unanimous vote and is now awaiting action by the House State Affairs Committee.

UAVs and Surveillance

SB 766 by Sen. Hukill (R-Port Orange) - HB 649 by Rep. Metz (R-Groveland)

This legislation would prohibit a person flying a UAV for surveillance to capture an image without written consent. The legislation authorizes a civil action with accompanying attorneys' fees and punitive damages. I have spoke to the staff of Sen. Hukill about her intent on this bill and they do not believe that this language in their bill would prohibit our work as surveyors. I have expressed concerns that the language is quite broad and provided Sen. Hukill's staff with language to exempt licensed professional surveyors.

SB 766 was scheduled to be taken up by the Senate Judiciary Committee during Week 3, however, the meeting was cancelled. This legislation is now scheduled to be taken up during Week 4. HB 649 was taken up and passed unanimously by the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee during Week 4. It will now head to the House Civil Justice Subcommittee.

Florida Drone Privacy Act

SB 1178 by Sen. Richter - HB 979 by Rep. Smith (R-Inverness)

This legislation would require the Department of Law Enforcement to develop guidelines for the use of drones by stat or local law enforcement agencies and specifies situations in which it is lawful to capture an image with a drone.

These bills have not been taken up by either the House or Senate.

Peril of Flood - Flood Certifications by Licenses Surveyor

SB 1094 by Sen. Brandes (R- St. Petersburg) - HB 895 by Rep. Ahern (R-St. Petersburg)

This legislation deals with coastal management plans and flood insurance. As it relates to surveyors the bills would require that licensed surveyors and mappers submit elevation certificates to the Division of Emergency Management within a specified time period.  

SB 1094 is scheduled to be taken up by the Senate Community Affairs Committee during Week 4. HB 895 passed the House Insurance and Banking Subcommittee by unanimous vote. HB 895 will now head to the House Appropriations Committee for action.

Consumer Licensing bill by FDACS -

HB 995 by Rep. Trumbull (R- Panama City) - SB 1444 by Sen. Richter (R-Naples)

This legislation is the Department's consumer licensing bill that opens chapter 472 to waive the initial licensing fees for veterans and their spouses for license applications submitted within 60 months of the veteran's discharge from any branch of the United States Armed Services. The fee waive provision applies to several industries regulated under the Division of Consumer Services including surveyors and mappers, health studios, telemarketing, intrastate movers, sellers of liquified petroleum gasoline, pawn broking, motor vehicle repair and sellers of travel.  

HB 995 is awaiting action by the House Appropriations Committee. SB 1444 passed the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee during Week 3 by unanimous vote. It is now awaiting action by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government.


Legislative Report

3/16/2015

Public Private Partnerships
HB 63 by Rep. Steube (R-Sarasota) - SB 824 by Sen. Evers (R-Pensacola)

Rep. Greg Steube has once again filed public private partnership legislation for consideration. This years bill, as it was originally filed, represent the recommendations of the Partnership for Public Facilities and Infrastructure Act Guidelines Task Force's Final Report and Recommendations. One of the recommendations of the Task Force was to create a loophole that allowed P3 projects to escape the requirements of 278.055 F.S. entirely. Rep. Steube is aware of our concerns with this language and has amended his originally filed bill at its first committee stop to eliminate this loophole. Sen. Greg Evers has agreed to file the senate bill and his original draft filed does not include this particular Task Force recommendation.

HB 63 passed the Government Operations Subcommittee unanimously and is now awaiting action by the Local Government Affairs Subcommittee. SB 824 by Sen. Evers will be taken up by the Senate Community Affairs Committee during Week 3.

Public Records - Lawsuit Abuse
SB 224 by Sen. Simpson (R - New Port Richey) - HB 163 by Rep. Beshears (R- Monticello)

This legislation is an attempt to shut down a lawsuit abuse scam involving public records and private contractors. The bill would amend Florida's public record laws to require that a contractor must provide access to public records but only upon the request of the agency's public record custodian. The bill further requires that public record requests regarding contracts be made directly to the agency rather than the contractor. Finally the bill allows costs and attorneys fees related to these lawsuits only if the plaintiff sends a certified letter to the public agency custodian or contractor at least three days prior to filing suit.

SB 224 passed the Senate Judiciary Committee by unanimous vote during Week 2. It will now head to its final committee stop, the Senate Fiscal Policy Committee. HB 163 is awaiting action by the House Government Operations Appropriations Subcommittee.

UAVs and Surveillance
SB 766 by Sen. Hukill (R-Port Orange) - HB 649 by Rep. Metz (R-Groveland)

This legislation would prohibit a person flying a UAV for surveillance to capture an image without written consent. The legislation authorizes a civil action with accompanying attorneys' fees and punitive damages. I have spoke to the staff of Sen. Hukill about her intent on this bill and they do not believe that this language in their bill would prohibit our work as surveyors. I have expressed concerns that the language is quite broad and provided Sen. Hukill's staff with language to exempt licensed professional surveyors.

SB 766 will be taken up by the Senate Judiciary Committee during Week 3. HB 649 is scheduled to be taken up by the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee during Week 3.

Florida Drone Privacy Act
SB 1178 by Sen. Richter - HB 979 by Rep. Smith (R-Inverness)

This legislation would require the Department of Law Enforcement to develop guidelines for the use of drones by stat or local law enforcement agencies and specifies situations in which it is lawful to capture an image with a drone.

These bills have not been taken up by either the House or Senate.

Peril of Flood - Flood Certifications by Licenses Surveyor
SB 1094 by Sen. Brandes (R- St. Petersburg) - HB 895 by Rep. Ahern (R-St. Petersburg)

This legislation deals with coastal management plans and flood insurance. As it relates to surveyors the bills would require that licensed surveyors and mappers submit elevation certificates to the Division of Emergency Management within a specified time period. Read the bill. Read the staff analysis.


SB 1094 passed the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee by unanimous vote and is now awaiting action by the Senate Community Affairs Committee. HB 895 is awaiting action by the House Insurance and Banking Subcommittee.

Consumer Licensing bill by FDACS -
HB 995 by Rep. Trumbull (R- Panama City) - SB 1444 by Sen. Richter (R-Naples)

This legislation is the Department's consumer licensing bill that opens chapter 472 to waive the initial licensing fees for veterans and their spouses for license applications submitted within 60 months of the veteran's discharge from any branch of the United States Armed Services. The fee waive provision applies to several industries regulated under the Division of Consumer Services including surveyors and mappers, health studios, telemarketing, intrastate movers, sellers of liquified petroleum gasoline, pawn broking, motor vehicle repair and sellers of travel. Read for review.

HB 995 passed the House Business and Professions Subcommittee by unanimous vote during Week 2 and is awaiting action by the House Appropriations Committee. SB 1444 is scheduled to be taken up by the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee during Week 3.

 


2014 Session


2013 Session 


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