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Weekly Legislative Update from March 2, 2018

Legal & Judicial

HB 775 & SB 822-Relating to Beverage Law

On Monday, February 26th, HB 775, by Representative Mike La Rosa (R-Saint Cloud), was heard before the House Commerce Committee and passed by a vote of 26 yeas to 0 nays. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, stood in support of this bill.

On Thursday, March 1st, SB 822 by Senator Travis Hutson (R-Palm Coast) was heard before the Senate Committee on Rules and passed by a vote of 12 yeas to 0 yeas. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, stood in support of this bill.

Florida’s “Tied House Evil Law,” s. 561.42, F.S., prohibits a manufacturer or distributor of alcoholic beverages from having a financial interest, directly or indirectly, in the establishment or business of a licensed vendor, and prohibits a manufacturer or distributor from giving gifts, loans, property, or rebates to retail vendors.

The bill exempts financial transactions between a vendor and a manufacturer from all tied evil house prohibitions if the following conditions are met:

  • The agreement is negotiated at arm’s length for no more than fair market value;
  • The vendor operates places of business where consumption on the premises is permitted, which premises are located within a theme park complex comprised of at least 25 contiguous acres owned and controlled by the same business entity and which contains permanent exhibitions and a variety of recreational activities and has a minimum of 1 million visitors annually through a controlled entrance to and exit;
  • The agreement does not involve the sale or distribution of malt beverages;
  • The vendor does not give preferential treatment to the alcoholic beverage brand(s) of the manufacturer or importer;
  • The agreement does not limit, directly or indirectly, the sale of alcoholic beverages of another manufacturer, importer or distributor;
  • A distributor does not, directly or indirectly, pay any portion of the agreement; and
  • Within 10 days after execution of the agreement, the vendor files a description of the written agreement for brand naming rights which includes the location, dates, and the name of the manufacturer or importer that entered into the agreement.

HB 775 will go to the House floor for consideration.

SB 822 will move on to the Senate floor for consideration.

AIF SUPPORTS legislation that removes burdensome regulations on Florida’s businesses.

HB 623 & SB 760 - Relating to Grounds for Nonrecognition or Out-of-Country Foreign Judgments

On Tuesday, February 27th, SB 760 by Senator Aaron Bean (R-Jacksonville) was laid on the table and substituted with HB 623, by Representative Cord Byrd (R-Jacksonville). HB 623 was read for a third time on the Senate floor and passed unanimously by a vote of 36 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 desk of the Governor.

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. 

HB 33- Relating to Texting while Driving

On Thursday, March 1st, HB 33, by Representative Jackie Toledo (R-Tampa) and Representative Emily Slosberg (D-Delray Beach) was read for a third time on the House floor and passed by a vote of 112 yeas to 2 nays.

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 is now in Senate messages.

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