DAILY LEGISLATIVE BRIEF FROM MARCH 23, 2021
HB 919 – Relating to Preemption Over Restriction of Utility Services
On Tuesday, March 23, HB 919 by Representative Josie Tomkow (R-Auburndale) was heard by the House Local Administration & Veterans Affairs Subcommittee and was reported favorable with 14 yeas and 4 nays. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, stood in support of this legislation.
The bill preempts municipalities, counties, special districts, or other political subdivisions of the state from restricting utility service choice, regardless of fuel source. The bill prohibits these entities from enacting or enforcing any resolutions, ordinances, rules, codes, or policies that restrict a property owner, tenant, or utility service customer’s choice of utility service type from a utility service provider.
HB 919 will now go to the House Commerce Committee.
AIF supports legislation that enhances free market decisions by consumers and allows Florida businesses equal opportunity to serve and operate in the various corners of the state.
SB 1132 – Relating to Personal Care Attendants
On Tuesday, March 23, SB 1132 by Senator Aaron Bean (R-Jacksonville) was heard by the Senate Children, Families, and Elder Affairs Committee 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 allows nursing homes to employ personal care attendants (PCA) and to allow a PCA to work as a nursing assistant (and count as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) for the purposes of staffing requirements) for a period of up to four months if the PCA is participating in the PCA training program established by the Agency for Health Care Administration in consultation with the Board of Nursing. The training program must consist of at least 16 hours of education which will lead to a PCA becoming a CNA. The bill defines a PCA as a person who provides care to and assists residents with tasks related to the activities of daily living and prohibits a PCA from performing any task that requires clinical assessment, interpretation, or judgment, or from working as a PCA for more than one nursing home before becoming a CNA.
SB 1132 will now go to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
AIF supports legislative efforts that expand access to care and keep health care costs low for Florida businesses.
LEGAL & JUDICIAL
HB 969 – Relating to Consumer Data Privacy
On Tuesday, March 23, HB 969 by Representative Fiona McFarland (R-Sarasota) was heard by the House Civil Justice & Property Rights Subcommittee and was reported favorable with 17 yeas and 0 nays. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, spoke in opposition to this legislation.
The bill gives consumers certain rights related to personal information collected by a business. It requires businesses to comply with consumer requests on stored information and make the information available on the businesses’ website. The bill allows the Department of Legal Affairs to bring an action against, and collect civil penalties from, a business who violates these requirements. Consumers whose personal information is the subject of a data breach may also bring a cause of action against the business.
The bill also creates a new private cause of action that could open up employers to class action lawsuits.
HB 969 will now go to the House Commerce Committee.
AIF opposes legislation that imposes onerous mandates on private businesses. This legislation will negatively impact businesses that have more than 137 website visitors per day and/or any business that processes 14 credit card transactions per hour, annually. This legislation casts a wide net that will catch and harm small businesses that drive Florida’s economy.