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Daily Legislative Brief from April 4, 2017

Legal & Judicial

HB 727-Relating to Accessibility of Places of Public Accommodation
On Tuesday, April 4th, HB 727, by Representative Tom Leek (R-Daytona Beach), was heard by the House Government Operations & Technology Appropriations Subcommittee and passed unanimously by a vote of 14 yeas to 0 nays. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, stood in support of this bill.

Congress enacted the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990 prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, state and local government, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunications. One of the goals of the ADA is to guarantee that individuals with disabilities are offered full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations offered by a place of public accommodation.

However, individuals with disabilities may sue places of public accommodation including private businesses for alleged violations of the ADA, a problem that is currently rampant throughout the state.

The bill would:

  • Create a license type for ADA experts;
  • Require the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) to establish licensing requirements and regulation for ADA experts;  
  • Allow ADA experts to determine if the businesses are compliant with the ADA;  
  • Allow businesses to hire ADA experts and file ADA expert reports with DBPR;
  • Allow businesses to file remediation plans with DBPR if they are not in compliance with the ADA;
  • Require DBPR to establish a public website with a registry of remediation plans and certifications of conformity; and
  • Require courts to consider remediation plans to determine if a plaintiff filed a claim in good faith and whether the plaintiff is entitled to attorney’s fees in lawsuits involving alleged violations of the ADA.

HB 727 will go on to the House Commerce Committee for its next hearing.

AIF SUPPORTS legislation that makes filing frivolous lawsuits against Florida’s businesses more difficult to accomplish.

SB 832-Relating to Drones
On Tuesday, April 4th, SB 832, by Senator Dana Young (R-Tampa) was heard in Senate Committee on Transportation and passed by a vote of 4 yeas to 0 nays. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, stood in support of this bill.

This bill will ensure a consistent framework for the use of drones. As the use of drones becomes increasingly more common in many different sectors of the business community throughout the state, implementing statewide regulations will establish safeguards while operating drones.

SB 832 will go to the Senate Committee on Communications, Energy, and Public Utilities for its third hearing.

AIF SUPPORTS legislation that will streamline business regulation throughout the state.

SB 1678-Relating to Motor Vehicle Manufacturers and Dealers
On Tuesday, April 4th, SB 1678 , by Senator Rene Garcia (Hialeah), was heard before the Senate Committee on Transportation and passed by a vote of 3 yeas to 1 nay. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, spoke in opposition to this bill.

The bill provides additional grounds to deny, suspend, or revoke a license held by a motor vehicle manufacturer, factory branch, distributor, or importer (“manufacturer”) within their contractual agreement. The bill prohibits manufacturers from taking certain actions against motor vehicle dealers and requires certain procedures be followed by the manufacturer when dealing with motor vehicle dealers.

SB 1678 will move on to the Senate Committee on Commerce and Tourism for its next hearing.

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.

Please see below press release on behalf of our Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, regarding SB 1678:

AIF Opposes Motor Vehicle Dealers Legislation

Tallahassee, Fla. – The Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) today released the following statement on behalf of its Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs Brewster Bevis regarding its opposition to Senate Bill 1678, by Senator Rene Garcia, relating to Motor Vehicle Dealers.  SB 1678 was today heard in the Senate Transportation Committee, its first committee of reference. 

“The best way to allow Florida businesses to flourish is to have the least bit of government involved in how businesses operate.  SB 1678 goes against this very premise.

“SB 1678 allows government to directly interfere in contracts between two private companies.  AIF and our members believe this legislation does not foster a business-friendly environment and sets a bad precedent here in the Sunshine State.

“As the state affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers, AIF encourages state lawmakers to oppose SB 1678.  Florida cannot afford to weaken the standards regarding the way we do business in Florida.”

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