HB 859 – Relating to Expiration of Permits and Agreements During Natural Emergencies

On Tuesday, April 6, HB 859 by Representative Michael Grant (R-Port Charlotte) was heard by the House State Affairs Committee and was reported favorable with 21 yeas and 0 nays. AIF stood in support of this legislation.

The bill adds certain permits and development agreements, including consumptive use permits and local government development agreements, to the current emergency tolling statute. The tolling statute allows for the tolling of the time of the state of emergency plus an additional six months. For example, if a state of emergency is declared for a hurricane that lasts for two months, at the end of the state of emergency, a permit holding entity can exercise the tolling option and receive those two months back to the permitted time allotment and add on an additional six months. The bill is retroactive to include the entirety of the COVID-19 state of emergency.

HB 859 will now go to the House floor for consideration.

AIF supports legislation that prevents Florida businesses from being penalized on permitted time due to a state of emergency that is out of their control. Economic recovery after an emergency is imperative and businesses drive recovery via employment and production, none of which is possible if an operating permit has expired.


SB 1734 – Relating to Consumer Data Privacy

On Tuesday, April 6, SB 1734 by Senator Jennifer Bradley (R-Orange Park) was heard by the Senate Rules Committee and was reported favorable with 11 yeas and 5 nays. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, spoke in opposition to this legislation and stood in support of Amendment 968992. AIF appreciates the Senate removing the private right of action and narrowing the threshold of businesses impacted by the bill. While AIF supports and appreciates those changes, the legislation is still confusing and will be very costly for Florida businesses to comply with.

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.

To businesses, the bill has an estimated total cost of compliance of $36.5 billion.

SB 1734 will now go to the Senate floor for consideration.

AIF opposes legislation that imposes onerous and costly mandates on private businesses. The expense created by this legislation will be passed on to the consumer. This legislation casts a wide net that will catch and harm small businesses that drive Florida’s economy.