HB 57 – Relating to Percentage of Elector Votes Required to Approve an Amendment or a Revision
On Monday, March 25, HB 57 by Representative Rick Roth (R-Palm Beach Gardens) was heard in the House Civil Justice Subcommittee and was reported favorably with 10 yeas and 5 nays. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, stood in support of this legislation.
This bill changes the vote threshold for amendments and revisions to Florida’s constitution from the current 60% of elector votes to 66 and 2/3%.
HB 57 will now move to the House State Affairs Committee.
AIF supports the measures contained in this bill to prevent interest groups’ circumvention of the legislature in revising Florida’s constitution.
SB 76 – Relating to Distracted While Driving
On Monday, March 25, SB 76 by Senator Wilton Simpson (R-Spring Hill) was heard before the Senate Judiciary Committee and was reported favorably with 5 yeas and 1 nay. AIF 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 rename the “Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law” to the “Florida Driving While Distracted Law.” This bill would change the current enforcement from a secondary offense to a primary offense for all distracted driving and handheld use of wireless communication devices, not just texting and emailing, allowing law enforcement officers to stop a vehicle solely for driving while distracted. The main goal of this legislation is to eliminate a component that contributes to distracted driving on Florida’s roadways.
SB 76 will now move to the Senate Rules Committee.
AIF supports legislation that addresses the issue of distracted driving and will ensure public safety for all on Florida’s roadways.
SB 772 – Relating to Liens Against Motor Vehicles and Vessels
On Monday, March 25, SB 772 by Senator Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland) was heard in the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee and was reported favorably with 8 yeas and 0 nays. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, stood in support of this legislation.
Currently, towing companies and auto repair shops, among others, may impose a lien on automobiles for towing and storage charges, as well as unpaid repair costs. The current statute requires the lienor to give the auto owner and all parties that have a financial interest in the auto notice of the lien and the public sale of the auto to cover paying off the lien.
Unfortunately, some “bad actors” in Florida have been abusing our current system by:
- Manipulating the time period for sending the notice of lien and notice of sale to eliminate the owner or finance company’s ability to pay the charges and recover the auto;
- Sending empty envelopes to the entity that has lien on the auto for providing the financing of the auto;
- Imposing very high administrative fees for perfecting the lien and enforcing the lien;
- Adding unreasonable or fraudulent charges to the towing or repair bill to justify the sale of the auto and keeping all proceeds of the sale.
SB 772 will now move to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
AIF supports legislation that prevents the increase in insurance rates. When ‘bad actor’ companies take advantage of the current lien laws, insurance rates become improperly inflated and has a harmful effect on many sectors of the business community.
HB 1153 – Relating to Biometric Information Privacy
On Monday, March 25, HB 1153 by Representative Bobby DuBose (D-Fort Lauderdale) was heard in the House Civil Justice Subcommittee and was reported favorably with 14 yeas and 1 nays. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, spoke in opposition to this legislation.
“Biometric data” is a term for a measurable biological and behavioral characteristic that can be used for automatic recognition, such as fingerprints. This bill requires that a private entity:
- In possession of biometric data (defined as retina or iris scan, fingerprint, voiceprint, or scan of hand or face geometry) have a written policy establishing a retention schedule and guidelines for permanently destroying such data.
- May not collect, capture, purchase, receive through trade, or otherwise obtain biometric data unless it informs the subject that the data is being stored and the manner of storage, and receives a written release from the subject.
- May not profit from a person’s biometric data.
- May not disseminate a person’s biometric data unless the subject consents, is authorized by the subject, or is required by law or a valid warrant or subpoena.
- Must store, transmit, and protect biometric data with a reasonable standard of care and in a manner as or more protective as other confidential and sensitive information.
HB 1153 will now move to the House Commerce Committee.
AIF does not believe the Florida legislature currently knows enough about what Florida businesses use biometric information for and how they gather and store it, to properly formulate legislative language dealing with it. AIF and our members recommend putting together a task force to look into this area before addressing it legislatively.