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Daily Legislative Brief from January 25, 2018

Legal & Judicial

HB 33- Relating to Texting while Driving

On Thursday, January 25th, HB 33, by Representative Jackie Toledo (R-Tampa) and Representative Emily Slosberg (D-Delray Beach) was heard by the House Judiciary Committee and passed by a vote of 17 yeas to 1 nay. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, stood in support of this legislation.

Currently, Florida law prohibits a person from texting, emailing, and instant messaging while driving, however, enforcement of this is a secondary offense, which means a law enforcement officer must detain a driver for another traffic offense in order to cite the driver for texting while driving. The bill would change the current enforcement of the ban on texting while driving from a secondary offense to a primary offense, allowing law enforcement officers to stop a vehicle solely for texting while driving. The main goal of this legislation is to eliminate a component that contributes to distracted driving on Florida’s roadways.

HB 33 will go on to the House Government Accountability Committee for its next hearing.

AIF supports legislation that addresses the issue of distracted driving and will ensure public safety for all on Florida’s roadways.


SB 1412-Relating to Office of the Judges of Compensation Claims

On Thursday, January 25th, SB 1412 by Senator David Simmons (R-Longwood) was heard before the Senate Committee on Judiciary and passed by a vote of 9 yeas to 0 nays. AIF stood in support of this bill.

This bill increases the initial term of judges of compensation claims to 6 years, which is 2 more than under current law, and provides that they “shall receive a salary equal to that of a county court judge.”

SB 1412 will go on to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government to be heard.

AIF supports legislation that increases the salary of judges of compensation claims, in order to attract the talent that is needed to handle the increasing amount of claims files due to the court rulings on workers’ compensation.


HB 623-Relating to Grounds for Nonrecognition or Out-of-Country Foreign Judgments

On Thursday, January 25th, HB 623, by Representative Cord Byrd (R-Jacksonville) read for a third time on the House floor and passed unanimously by a vote of 107 yeas to 0 nays.

This legislation amends the Uniform Out-Of-Country Foreign Money - Judgment Recognition Act, codified in chapter 55 F.S., to add two additional permissive grounds for nonrecognition of a foreign money judgment by a Florida court. The Act currently provides three mandatory grounds for nonrecognition and eight permissive grounds for nonrecognition of a foreign judgment. Of the mandatory grounds that are similar to those in the bill, the Act requires nonrecognition where the foreign country’s court system is systematically unfair, failing to provide impartial tribunals and compatible due process of law.

This bill adds two permissive grounds for when a Florida court may decline to recognize a foreign judgment on more individualized due process grounds: 

  • There is “substantial doubt” about the “integrity” of the particular foreign court that rendered the judgment. 
  • The particular foreign court that rendered the judgment failed to afford due process in the proceedings.

HB 623 will go on to the Senate floor for consideration.

AIF SUPPORTS legislation to clarify existing law and protect Florida businesses from foreign judgments that are not compatible with the requirements of due process of law.