Welcome to the New Website for Associated Industries of Florida the Voice of Florida Business!

Weekly Interim Brief from November 9, 2017

Economic Development

SB 170-Relating to Rural Economic Development Initiative 

On Monday, November 6th, SB 170, by Senator Denise Grimsley (R-Lake Placid) was heard by the Senate Committee on Commerce and Tourism and passed by a vote of 8 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 Agriculture to be heard.

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


SB 88-High School Graduation Requirements

On Wednesday, November 8th, SB 88, by Senator Dorothy Hukill (R-Port Orange), was heard by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Pre-K – 12 Education and passed by a vote of 6 yeas to 0 nays. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, stood in support of this bill.

Currently, based on Next Generation Sunshine State Standards, high school students receive financial literacy instruction as part of the one-half Economics course credit required for graduation. The bill revises that standard to require students entering grade 9 in the 2018-2019 school year and thereafter to complete a one-half standalone course credit in personal financial literacy.

SB 88 will go on to the Senate Committee on Appropriations.

AIF SUPPORTS legislation that provides students the tools to learn about relevant, and real-life subjects that will prepare them for the workforce in the future.


HB 353-Relating to Autonomous Vehicles

On Wednesday, November 8th, HB 353, relating to Autonomous Vehicles, by Rep. Jason Fischer (R-Jacksonville) was heard by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee and passed by a vote of 13 yeas to 0 nays. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, stood in support of this bill.

This bill authorizes the use of vehicles in autonomous mode. The autonomous technology would be considered the human operator of the motor vehicle and provides that various provisions of law regarding motor vehicles such as rendering aid in the event of a crash do not apply to vehicles in autonomous mode where a human operator is not physically present as long as the vehicle owner promptly contacts law enforcement. The bill also addresses the applicability of laws regarding unattended motor vehicles and passenger restraint requirements as they relate to vehicles operating in autonomous mode where a human operator is not physically present in the vehicle.

HB 353 will now move on to the House Appropriations Committee

AIF SUPPORTS legislation that authorizes the use of autonomous vehicles and regulates the responsible party should there be an incident.