HB 1193 – Relating to Deregulation of Professions and Occupations
On Tuesday, January 28, HB 1193 by Representative Blaise Ingoglia (R-Spring Hill) was heard by the House Government Operations & Technology Appropriations Subcommittee and was reported favorable with 10 yeas and 2 nays. AIF stood in support of this legislation.
An occupational or professional license is a form of regulation that requires individuals who want to perform certain types of work, such as contractors and cosmetologists, to obtain permission from the government to perform the work. In the 1950s, less than five percent of U.S. workers were required to have an occupational license to do their jobs. Since then, the number of workers required to have a license has risen to more than one-quarter of U.S. workers, and an estimated 28.7 percent of the Florida workforce requires a license from the state.
In 2015, The White House published a report on the current state of occupational licensing in the nation. The report found that when designed and implemented carefully, requiring occupational licenses offers important health and safety protections to consumers, as well as benefits to workers. However, the report also found that too often licensing requirements are inconsistent, inefficient, arbitrary, and there is evidence that the current licensing regimes in the U.S. raise the price of goods and services, restrict employment opportunities, and make it more difficult for workers to take their skills across state lines.
Specifically, the bill, cited as the “Occupational Freedom and Opportunity Act,” does the following:
- Interior designers and interior design businesses, hair braiders, hair wrappers, and body wrappers, nail polishers and makeup applicators, and boxing announcers and timekeepers.
- Partially deregulates:
- Auctioneers, talent agents, and labor organizations.
- Eliminates the additional business license for:
- Asbestos abatement consultants and contractors, architects, landscape architects, and geologists.
- Reduces the hours of training required to obtain a license for:
- Barbers and restricted barbers, and nail, facial and full specialists.
- Adds new ways for out of state professionals to obtain a license in the state for:
- Veterinarians, construction and electrical contractors, landscape architects, geologists, engineers, certified public accountants, home inspectors, building code professionals, and cosmetologists barbers.
- Reduces the number of members on the Florida Building Commission.
- Authorizes unlicensed individual to provide compensated dietary and nutritional information if such individuals do not represent that they are licensed dieticians or nutritionists.
- Prohibits DBPR from disciplining or revoking a licensee based solely on defaulting on a student loan.
HB 1193 will now move to the House Commerce Committee.
AIF supports legislative action to lessen burdensome and unnecessary regulations on Florida businesses.
SB 362 – Relating to Florida Tourism Marketing
On Wednesday, January 29, SB 362 by Senator Ed Hooper (R-Palm Harbor) was heard by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development and was reported favorable with 8 yeas and 0 nays. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, stood in support of this legislation.
The bill extends the scheduled repeal date for the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation, doing business as VISIT FLORIDA, until October 1, 2028, and removes the scheduled repeal date for the Division of Tourism Marketing within Enterprise Florida, Inc. Without the bill, the statutory provisions for these entities will be repealed on July 1, 2020.
SB 362 will now move to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
AIF supports investment in building a world-class marketing engine with top talent, analytics, and funding that develops and executes data-driven branding strategies.
HB 115 – Relating to Keep Our Graduates Working Act
On Wednesday, January 29, HB 115 by Representative Nicholas Duran (D-Miami) was read a second and third time on the House floor and passed with a vote of 118 yeas and 0 nays.
The bill removes the state authority to take disciplinary action against a healthcare practitioner who defaults on a student loan or who fails to comply with the terms of a service scholarship. Under the bill, a healthcare practitioner may not have his or her license suspended or revoked by the Department of Health (DOH) solely because of a loan default or failure to complete service scholarship obligations.
Additionally, the bill specifies that a state authority may not suspend or revoke a license that it has issued to a person who is in default on or delinquent in the payment of his or her student loans solely on the basis of such default or delinquency. The bill defines the term “state authority” to mean any department, board, or agency with the authority to grant a license to any person in this state.
HB 115 will now go to the Senate for consideration.
AIF supports efforts to protect Florida’s workforce from professional license revocation exclusively due to loan default.