Daily Legislative Brief from February 25, 2020
SB 714 – Relating to Testing for and Treatment of Influenza and Streptococcus
On Tuesday, February 25, SB 714 by Senator Travis Hutson (R-Palm Coast) was heard by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services and was reported favorable with 6 yeas and 2 nays. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, stood in support of this legislation.
Pharmacy is the third largest health profession behind nursing and medicine and the Board of Pharmacy, in conjunction with the Department of Health, regulates the practice of pharmacists and pharmacies.
The bill amends the definition of the “practice of the profession of pharmacy” to include the testing for and treatment of influenza (flu) and streptococcus (the bacteria that causes strep throat) by a pharmacist.
SB 714 will now move to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
AIF supports increased access to care which keeps healthcare and insurance costs low for businesses while providing a healthy workforce.
Legal & Judicial
HB 903 – Relating to Fines and Fees
On Tuesday, February 25, HB 903 by Representative Byron Donalds (R-Naples) was heard by the House Appropriations Committee and was reported favorable with 27 yeas and 0 nays. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, stood in support of this legislation.
Each of the 67 Florida counties has a clerk of court, an elected constitutional officer who oversees judiciary functions as the clerk of the county and circuit courts. The clerks are authorized to charge fees for performing various functions and collect court costs and fines related to a court disposition.
An indigent person may ask the clerk of court to allow them to enter into a payment plan for outstanding financial obligations owed to the clerk. If a fee, service charge, fine, or court cost remains unpaid for 90 days, and the clerk has attempted to collect the unpaid amount through an internal process, the clerk may forward the unpaid accounts to an attorney or collection agent.
Under current law, a person's driver license can be suspended for various reasons, including:
- Failure to a pay a court fee or fine.
- Failure to comply with or appear at a traffic summons.
- Having unpaid citations in another state.
The bill requires clerks of court to actively attempt to collect fines, service charges, fees, or costs owed before revoking the driver license of the person who owes the funds. Specifically, a clerk of court must notify a person owing funds of the potential to enroll in a payment plan to defer the payment of the amounts owed before revoking the person’s driver license. Once a payment plan is established, the clerk may provide a person who does not make a required payment with a delinquency notice and a grace period before revoking the person’s license. Additionally, the bill gives courts authority to waive, modify, or convert the outstanding amounts to community service, if the individual is indigent or due to compelling circumstances is unable to comply with a payment plan.
HB 903 will now move to the House Judiciary Committee.
AIF supports legislation that clarifies regulations and keeps Florida businesses operating on our roadways.
HB 7097 – Relating to Taxation
On Tuesday, February 25, HB 7097, sponsored by the House Ways & Means Committee, was heard by the House Appropriations Committee and was reported favorable with 25 yeas and 4 nays. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, stood in support of this legislation.
The bill provides for several tax reductions and other tax-related modifications designed to directly impact both families and businesses. Specifically, the bill provides for a 0.5 percentage point reduction in the state communications services tax. Several provisions related to sales tax are included:
- A reduction in the tax rate for commercial property rentals from 5.5% to 5.4%;
- A three-day “back-to-school” tax holiday for certain clothing, school supplies, and personal computers; and a seven-day “disaster preparedness” tax holiday in May and June of 2020 for specified disaster preparedness items;
- A requirement that School Capital Outlay sales surtaxes approved in the future be proportionately shared with charter schools;
- A change in distributions made under the Tax Collection Enforcement Diversion Program; and
- Future sunset of the Charter County and Regional Transportation System Sales Surtax currently levied in Miami-Dade County, and a requirement that any future levy of the tax in any eligible county be limited to 20 years in duration.
The bill also provides for a one-time increase of $8.2 million available for the brownfields tax credit program and includes a provision that amends the calculation of a taxpayer’s “final tax liability” for purposes of calculating certain corporate income tax refunds.
HB 7097 will now move to the House floor.
AIF supports legislative actions that reduce taxes on businesses which allows further growth and employment opportunities.