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Daily Legislative Brief from January 30, 2018

Economic Development

SB 170-Relating to Rural Economic Development Initiative 

On Tuesday, January 30th, SB 170, by Senator Denise Grimsley (R-Lake Placid) was heard by the Senate Committee on Government Oversight and Accountability and passed by a vote of 5 yeas to 0 nays. AIF stood in support of this bill.

Currently, Florida’s rural communities are experiencing additional challenges compared to their urban counterparts in many quality of life indicators. The state has an opportunity to improve the economic competitiveness of Florida’s rural communities by reforming the Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI). 

This legislation accomplishes this by:

  • Reducing the number of specified agencies and organizations that are required to designate REDI representatives;
  • Clarifying which individuals from specified agencies and organizations must be designated as REDI representatives;
  • Providing for the appointment of five additional members from the private sector:
    • Three of the private sector members are to be appointed by the executive director of the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), one appointed by the President of the Senate, and one appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives;
  • Authorizing the creation of ad hoc committees and provides guidance for the organization of ad hoc committees;
  • Modifying the definition and designation criteria for a rural area of opportunity (RAO); 
  • Updating the annual reporting requirements; and 
  • Make conforming changes to address cross-references in numerous sections of the Florida Statutes.

SB 170 will go on to the Senate Committee on Rules to be heard.

AIF SUPPORTS efforts to increase economic development in Florida’s rural areas by increasing job growth. 


HB 961- Relating to Beverage Law

On Tuesday, January 30th, HB 961 by Representative Joe Gruters (R- Sarasota) was heard before the House Careers and Competition Subcommittee and passed. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, stood in support of this bill.

Currently, vendors must purchase beer or malt beverage branded glassware from distributors for use in their establishments. This legislation allows for retailers to accept malt or beer beverage branded glassware from a wholesaler at no cost. The bill stipulates that the distributor may give no more than 15 cases (that include up to 24 pieces per case), per calendar year.

HB 961 will go on to be heard in the House Commerce Committee.

AIF SUPPORTS legislation that will reduce costs on Florida’s businesses by allowing distributors to provide vendors, at no cost, glassware to use in their establishments.