Daily Legislative Brief from February 8, 2016
SB 1264- Relating to Sales Tax Exemptions for Agricultural Equipment
On Monday, February 8th, SB 1264, relating to Sales Tax Exemptions for Agricultural Equipment by Senator Wilton Simpson (R-Trilby) was heard in Senate Finance and Tax Committee and passed. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, stood in support of this bill.
SB 1264 increases the maximum sales price of farm trailers that are exempt from the sales and use tax from $20,000 to $25,000. This bill also expands the sales and use tax exemption for certain farm equipment to include:
- Hog wire and nylon mesh netting used on a farm for protection from predatory or destructive animals.
- Barbed wire fencing, including gates and materials used to construct or repair such fencing, used on a beef or dairy cattle farm.
- Compressed or liquefied oxygen used in aquaculture production
The next committee stop for SB 1264 will be in the Senate Appropriations Committee.
AIF supports the removal of sales tax on the purchase and repair of agricultural processing and packaging machinery, as well as the expansion of sales tax exemptions on items used in the production of agricultural products including fence materials, trailers and other items integral to the farm operation.
SB 1272- Relating to Florida Renewable Energy Production Credit
On Monday, February 8th, SB 1272, relating to Florida Renewable Energy Production Credit, by Senator Dorothy Hukill (R-Port Orange) was heard before the Senate Finance and Tax Committee and passed. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, stood in support of this bill.
SB 1272 makes the Florida renewable energy production credit statute, that was set to expire in 2017, permanent and increases the annual cap on the total credits from the current $10 million to $15 million per year. This bill also deletes a provision that states any unused credit funding in a fiscal year is to be used to fund renewable energy technologies and replaces it with a provision to carry forward the excess funds.
The next committee stop for SB 1272 will be in the Senate Appropriations Committee.
AIF supports legislation that will make the Florida renewable energy production credit permanent due to the cost savings it would provide Florida companies and due to it helping to diversify Florida's energy portfolio.
HB 7087-Relating to Telehealth
On Monday, February 8th, HB 7087, relating to Telehealth, by House Select Committee on Affordable Healthcare Access and Rep. Chris Sprowls (R-Clearwater) was heard by the House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee and passed by a vote of 9 yeas and 0 nays. AIF’s General Counsel, Tammy Perdue, stood in support of this bill.
The bill would authorize Florida licensed health care providers to use telehealth to deliver services within their scopes of practice. It would also allow out-of-state providers to deliver services through telehealth to Florida patients if they register with the Department of Health (DOH) or the applicable board, meet specific eligibility requirements, and pay an established fee. The out of state telehealth provider would be prohibited from opening an office in Florida and from providing in-person health care services to patients located in the state.
Additionally, a telehealth provider would be required to conduct an in-person physical exam prior to providing services through telehealth, unless the provider is capable of conducting a patient evaluation in a manner consistent with the applicable standard of care sufficient to diagnose and treat the patient when using telehealth.
HB 7087 was previously filed as SCAHA1 which was heard and passed by the House Select Committee on Affordable Healthcare Access. This bill has been referred to two committees now that it has been filed as HB 7087. The next and final committee stop for HB 7087 will be in the House Health & Human Services Committee.
AIF supports legislation that permits an unfettered role for telehealth services that will allow our citizens access to better quality care at lower costs.
HB 1033-Relating to Information Technology Security
On Wednesday, February 8th, HB 1033, relating to Information Technology Security, by Rep. Frank Artiles (R-Miami) was heard before the House Government Operations Appropriations Subcommittee and passed unanimously by a vote of 9 yeas and 0 nays. AIF stood in support of this bill.
HB 1033 will put into place procedures to, hopefully, prevent/aide state agencies in the event of a cyber-attack. The bill requires the Agency for State Technology (AST) to establish standards and processes consistent with best practices for both information technology (IT) security and cybersecurity. It also requires AST to develop and publish guidelines and processes for an IT security framework to be used by state agencies. In part, the guidelines and processes must address completing risk assessments administered by a third party, establishing a computer security incident response team (team), and establishing an IT incident reporting process.
The bill requires the information security manager of each state agency to establish a team to respond to a suspected computer security incident. It also requires each state agency head to conduct a risk assessment administered by a third party by July 31, 2017; conduct IT security and cybersecurity training for new employees; ensure that certain personnel understand their roles and responsibilities; develop notification procedures for reporting IT security incidents and breaches; and improve organizational response activities.
The bill requires the Technology Advisory Council within AST to have at least one member who is a cybersecurity expert.
The bill sponsor spoke on a recent cyber-attack in South Carolina in which thousands of resident’s social security numbers have been hacked. The goal of this bill is to prevent a threat such as that in the state of Florida.
The next committee stop for HB 1033 will be in the House State Affairs Committee.
AIF supports legislation that will bring our states cyber security measures up to date to protect Floridians and Florida’s businesses from potential cyber-attacks.
SB 802- Relating to Use Tax for Asphalt
On Monday, February 8th, SB 802, relating to Use Tax for Asphalt, sponsored by Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto (R-Fort Myers) was heard by the Senate Finance and Tax Committee and passed. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, stood in support of this bill.
SB 802 will phase out the tax on manufactured asphalt used for any federal, state, or local government public works project, which under current law this tax is reduced by 40 percent.
SB 802 will further reduce the tax on manufactured asphalt by 60 percent beginning July 1, 2016; by 80 percent beginning July 1, 2017; and by 100 percent beginning July 1, 2018.
The next committee stop for this SB 802 will be in the Senate Appropriations Committee.
AIF supports phasing out tax on road projects used for federal, state, or local government work.