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Daily Legislative Brief from May 1, 2017

Health Care

SB 888-Relating to Prescription Drug Price Transparency
On Monday, May 1st, SB 888, by Senator Aaron Bean (R-Jacksonville) was heard in the Senate Committee on Appropriations and unanimously passed by a vote of 17 yeas to 0 nays. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, stood in support of this bill.

Currently, law requires MyFloridaRX.com to provide the top 150 most prescribed drugs including their customary prices by pharmacies. This bill would double that number to 300 and codifies monthly reporting to the Agency for Health Care Administration (“AHCA”). The goal of HB 589 is to create more transparency in drug pricing, which in turn will give employers and consumers the ability to make more informed decisions regarding their health care spending. Prescription drug costs continue to rise, and become a larger percentage of the overall health care spend in Florida.

SB 888 will now go to the Senate floor to be considered.

AIF SUPPORTS transparency in drug pricing as a tool for reducing the cost of health care coverage on Florida’s employers and employees.


HB 7109-Relating to Taxation
On Monday, May 1st, HB 7109, by Representative Jim Boyd (R-Bradenton) and the House Ways and Means Committee, was heard by the Senate Committee on Appropriations and passed by a vote of 14 yeas to 3 nays. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, stood in support of this bill.

This tax package aims reduce taxes in the state of Florida for the 2017-2018 fiscal year by a nearly $300 million. HB 7109 provides for a wide range of tax reductions and modifications that affect households and businesses. Many of these reductions are of the utmost importance to our members and includes:

  • Reducing the state sales tax on the rental of commercial real estate (known as business rent tax) from 6.0 percent to 4.5 percent for two years, beginning January 1, 2018, then maintains a permanent tax rate reduction from 6.0 percent to 5.5 percent, beginning January 1, 2020;
  • Increasing the exempt sales price for farm trailers from $20,000 to $25,000;
  • Exempting from sales tax certain animal health products and other agricultural items;
  • Providing a ten-day “back-to-school” holiday for clothing, footwear, school supplies, and computers; and 
  • Providing a nine-day “disaster preparedness” holiday for certain items related to disaster preparedness.

For a full list of what HB 7109 includes please click here.

HB 7109 will go on the to the Senate floor for consideration.

AIF SUPPORTS reducing taxes, such as the business rent tax, to attract new businesses to the Sunshine State.

 Please see below statement from our President & CEO, Tom Feeney, regarding HB 7109:

AIF: House Tax Cut Package Allows Florida’s Pro-Business Environment to Flourish

Tallahassee, Fla. – The Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) today issued the following statement on behalf of its President & CEO Tom Feeney regarding support of House Bill 7109, by Representative Jim Boyd, relating to Taxation.  HB 7109 today passed the Senate Appropriations Committee.

“AIF supports reducing taxes, such as the business rent tax, to attract new businesses to the Sunshine State.  With Florida being the only state in the nation to charge taxes on the lease of commercial property, AIF supports a gradual reduction and eventual elimination of the business rent tax to the benefit of Florida small and large businesses.

“AIF commends members of Senate Appropriations for passing this good tax cut package today.  This tax cut package will allow Florida’s pro-business environment to flourish.”

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Legal & Judicial

HB 727 & SB 1398-Relating to Accessibility of Places of Public Accommodation
On Monday, May 1st, SB 1398, by Senator Linda Stewart (R-Orlando) was laid on the table and substituted for HB 727, by Representative Tom Leek (R-Daytona Beach). HB 727 was then read for a third time on the Senate floor and passed by a unanimous vote of 37 yeas to 0 nays. 

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 now go on to the desk of the Governor.

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