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Daily Legislative Brief from March 27, 2017


HB 859 & SB 668-Relating to Postsecondary Distance Education
On Monday, March 27th, HB 859, by Representative Amber Mariano (R-Port Richey), was heard by the House Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee and passed unanimously by a vote of 12 yeas to 0 nays.  AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis stood in support of this bill.

Also on Monday, March 27th, SB 668, by Senator Aaron Bean (R-Jacksonville), was heard by the Senate Committee on Education and passed unanimously by 9 yeas to 0 nays. AIF stood in support of this bill.

This legislation seeks to authorize Florida’s participation in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement known as “SARA” created by the Southern Regional Education Board and the National Council on State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements. This would allow for Florida’s postsecondary institutions to voluntarily participate in what is a multi-state reciprocity agreement allowing them to offer online education without excessive fees and regulatory compliance processes.  This reciprocity offers student’s greater access to more distance education, enhances oversight of distance education offerings to Florida students by another state, and expands experiential learning opportunities across state lines.  Not only is this good for students but it also helps lessen the burden on Florida businesses and taxpayers to fund construction and facility costs.

HB 859 will move on to the House Education Committee for its third hearing.

SB 668 will move on to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Higher Education.

AIF SUPPORTS our independent colleges and universites continued efforts to address the growing challenges that comes with increased enrollment.


HB 1299-Relating to Preinsurance Inspection
On Monday, March 27th, HB 1299, by Representative Bobby DuBose (D-Fort Lauderdale), was heard by the House Insurance and Banking Subcommittee and passed. AIF stood in support of this bill.

This bill repeals an antiquated vehicle inspection program only required in a handful of counties in Florida. Initially designed to prevent "phantom vehicles," its usefulness has been eroded due to technological advancements such as VIN numbers and automated car reporting. Currently, insurers and premium payers bear the cost of this program which, according to the NICB, has only led to the successful recovery of one vehicle in several years.

HB 1299 will go to the House Commerce Committee for its next hearing.

AIF SUPPORTS repealing outdated programs to ensure low costs for businesses and consumers.


HB 265-Relating to Computer Coding Instruction
On Monday, March 27th, HB 265 by Representative Elizabeth Porter (R-Lake City), was heard by the House PreK-12 Quality Subcommittee and passed unanimously by a vote of 14 yeas to 0 nays. AIF stood in support of this bill.

HB 265 would allow high school students the option of taking computer coding courses along with a related industry certification to satisfy the foreign language requirement currently in place. Under this bill high schools will provide students the opportunity to substitute two credits in computer coding and a related industry certification for two credits sequential foreign language courses (i.e. Spanish I and Spanish II; Latin I and Latin II; French I and French II; etc.). Furthermore, HB 265, would require the Florida College System institutions and state universities to acknowledge computer coding course credits as foreign language credits.

HB 265 will now go to its second committee stop in the House PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee.

AIF SUPPORTS legislation that will provide Florida’s students the opportunity to become proficient in computer coding, which will in turn prepare our states next generation for a technology driven economy.

Legal & Judicial

SB 466-Relating to Motor Vehicle Warranty Repairs and Recall Repairs
On Monday, March 27th, SB 466, by Senator Travis Hutson (R-Palm Coast), was heard in Senate Committee on Commerce and Tourism and passed by a vote of 8 yeas to 0 nays. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, spoke in opposition to this bill.

This bill prohibits a licensee, except as authorized by law, from denying a dealer’s claim, reducing the dealer’s compensation, or processing a chargeback to a dealer for performing covered warranty or recall repairs on a used motor vehicle under specified circumstances. The bill alters the playing field and may have a chilling effect on manufacturing in general. The complex issue surrounding safety recalls should be a federal matter, better addressed at the national level with the goal of creating uniform public policy that improves motor vehicle safety, encourages technological innovation, and protects our planet.

SB 466 will move on to the Senate Committee on Rules to be heard..

AIF OPPOSES legislation that would intervene in any contractual agreement between a dealer franchise and an auto manufacturer, voluntarily entered by each party, and dictate new terms and conditions of such mutual agreement that favor one party over the other.


SB 596-Relating to Utilities
On Tuesday, March 7th, SB 596, by Senator Travis Hutson (R-Palm Coast), was heard by the Senate Committee on Governmental Oversight and Accountability and passed. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, stood in support of this bill.

This bill creates the Advanced Wireless Infrastructure Deployment Act which would ultimately allow for 5G technology throughout the state of Florida.

SB 596 will now go to its third committee hearing in the Senate Committee on Rules.

AIF SUPPORTS legislation that accommodates for the increasing need for reliable wireless networks to help support communities and businesses of the future.