SB 76 – Relating to Use of Wireless Communication Devices While Driving
On Tuesday, February 19, SB 76 by Senator Wilton Simpson (R-Spring Hill) was heard before the Senate Infrastructure and Security Committee and was voted 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, 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. This bill would change the current enforcement from a secondary offense to a primary offense for all distracted driving, 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 head to the Senate Innovation, Industry, and Technology Committee.
AIF supports legislation that addresses the issue of distracted driving and will ensure public safety for all on Florida’s roadways.
SB 180 – Relating to Lost or Abandoned Property
On Wednesday, February 20, SB 180 by Senator Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland) was heard in the Senate Rules Committee and was voted favorably with 16 yeas and 0 nays. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, stood in support of this legislation.
This bill allows an owner or operator of a theme park, entertainment complex, zoo, museum, aquarium, public food service establishment, or public lodging establishment to elect to dispose of or donate lost or abandoned property found on its premises. Under the bill, an owner or operator who elects to dispose of or donate lost or abandoned property must first take charge of the property, maintain a record of the property, and hold the property for at least 30 days. The bill prohibits the owner or operator from selling the property. If the property remains unclaimed after 30 days, the owner or operator must dispose of or donate the property to a charitable institution. If a charitable institution accepts certain electronic devices, the bill requires the charitable institution to make a reasonable effort to delete all personal data from the device before its sale or disposal. The bill also provides that the rightful owner of the property may reclaim the property at any time before its disposal or donation.
SB 180 will now go to the Senate floor for consideration.
AIF supports the right of property owners to hold and donate lost or abandoned property thereby eliminating the burden of contacting law enforcement for lost personal belongings.
HB 3 – Relating to Preemption of Local Regulations
On Thursday, February 21, HB 3 by Representative Michael Grant (R-Port Charlotte) was heard before the House Business and Professions Subcommittee and was reported favorably with 9 yeas and 5 nays. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, stood in support of this legislation.
This bill aims to preempt authority to the state and away from local governments when it comes to business regulations. Both big and small businesses must abide by the rules and regulations set in place by their local governments, regardless of if that rule or regulation differs from city to city, or county to county. This circumstance causes those who conduct business in multiple cities or counties throughout the state to abide by a myriad of rules that are inconsistent and must be complied with in order to continue their business. AIF believes that preempting business regulation to the state will allow for a streamline system that businesses, (old and new, small and large) can easily follow when conducting business across the State of Florida.
HB 3 will now move to the House Local, Federal and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee.
AIF SUPPORTS legislation that will streamline business regulation throughout the state.