SB 1730 – Relating to Community Development and Housing
On Tuesday, April 9, SB 1730 by Senator Tom Lee (R-Brandon) was heard in the Senate Infrastructure and Security Committee and was reported favorably with 7 yeas and 1 nay. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, stood in support of this legislation.
This bill amends various statutes relating to growth management, restricts the ability of a county or municipality to adopt and enforce inclusionary housing ordinances or regulations, and sets timeframe parameters for building application approval or denial. After receiving a development permit application, the county and municipality must review the application for completeness and issue a response within 30 days. The bill also requires the collection of impact fees, which are an important source of revenue for local governments to fund infrastructure projects. Additionally, the bill prohibits a local government from charging an impact fee for the development or construction of affordable housing but provides an exception under certain circumstances.
SB 1730 will now move to the Senate Rules Committee.
AIF supports legislative efforts to maintain our state’s infrastructure and assist Florida’s workforce with access to affordable housing.
HB 17 – Relating to Damages
On Tuesday, April 9, HB 17 by Representative Tom Leek (R-Daytona Beach) was heard in the House Judiciary Committee and was reported favorably with 12 yeas and 6 nays. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, stood in support of this legislation.
Florida currently has the highest tort system costs among U.S. states as a percentage of state GDP, at 3.6%. In 2016, the total amount paid in costs and compensation within Florida's tort system averaged $4,442 for each Florida household.
A flawed tort system generates exorbitant damages and unpredictability, causing:
- Increased economic costs and increased risks of doing business;
- Higher insurance premiums;
- Increased healthcare costs and declining availability of medical services; and
- Deterrence of economic development and job creation activities.
HB 17 will now move to the House floor.
AIF supports tort reforms which will dramatically reduce the costs of the tort system in Florida while providing a better business climate in the state.
SB 7096 – Relating to Constitutional Amendments
On Tuesday, April 9, SB 7096, sponsored by the Senate Judiciary Committee, was heard in the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development and was reported favorably with 5 yeas and 3 nays. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, stood in support of this legislation.
This bill changes the process for amending the constitution by citizen initiative by:
- Requiring petition gatherers to be Florida residents and registered with the Secretary of State;
- Disqualifying petitions collected by unregistered petition gatherers from counting toward the number of petitions required for an initiative amendment to appear on the ballot;
- Prohibiting compensation to petition-gatherers on a per-signature basis; and
- Requiring the ballot for an initiative amendment include:
- A bold-font, capitalized statement regarding the financial impact to the state if the Financial Impact Estimating Conference determines that the measure will increase costs, decrease revenue, or have an indeterminate fiscal impact;
- A “yes” or “no” determination by the Florida Supreme Court as to whether the policy in the amendment could instead be accomplished by the Legislature instead of through the initiative amendment; and
- The name of the amendment’s sponsor and the percentage of contributions received by the sponsor from in-state contributors.
SB 7096 will now move to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
AIF supports legislation that adds transparency and accountability to amending the Florida constitution by citizen imitative.