Daily Legislative Brief from April 26, 2023
HB 1191- Relating to Use of Phosphogypsum
On Wednesday, April 26, HB 1191 by Representative Lawrence McClure (R-Dover) was heard on the House Floor and was reported favorably with 81 yeas and 25 nays.
HB 1191 directs the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to experiment the use of Phosphogypsum (PG) as a road construction aggregate material. Phosphate is produced at a rapid rate in Florida and PG is a byproduct of the manufacturing process. For every ton of phosphate manufactured, 5 tons of PG is made. PG is used primarily for agricultural purposes; however, it can also be used for roadway paving materials. HB 1191 would allow the first step to take place in determining PG’s viability as an aggregate to be used on Florida’s roadways.
HB 1191 has no further action in the House. The Senate counterpart, SB 1258, awaits further approval on the Senate Floor.
AIF supports efforts to utilize manufacturing byproducts for beneficial purposes. Expanding the use of Phosphogypsum will directly address critical infrastructure needs and will create jobs.
HB 637 - Relating to Motor Vehicle Sales
On Wednesday, April 26, HB 637 by Representative Jason Shoaf (R-Port St. Joe) was heard on the House Floor and was reported favorably with 113 yeas and 2 nays.
HB 637 amends the Florida Automobile Dealers Act, which primarily regulates the contractual business relationship between franchised motor vehicle dealers (dealers), and manufacturers, factory branches, distributors, and importers (manufacturers) and provides for the licensure of manufacturers. One provision of particular concern legislatively sets a profit-sharing arrangement for over-the-air updates. AIF stood in opposition to the bill during the committee hearings because arrangements like these should be negotiated between private entities, not the legislature.
HB 637 has no further action in the House. The Senate counterpart, SB 712, was reported favorably by the Senate Rules Committee on Monday, April 24. SB 712 awaits further consideration on the Senate Floor.
AIF OPPOSES legislation that would intervene in any contractual agreement voluntarily entered into by a franchise and a manufacturer.
HB 761 – Relating to Telephone Solicitation
On Wednesday, April 26, HB 761 by Representative Tom Fabricio (R-Miami) was heard on the House Floor and was reported favorably with 99 yeas and 14 nays.
HB 761 seeks to close a loophole created by a 2021 consumer protection bill that limited unsolicited telephone sales calls. While the 2021 bill has increased consumer protection, it has allowed for increased litigation on businesses contacting their customers for legitimate reasons. By clarifying language and defining what is a solicited and unsolicited call, HB 761 will prevent crafty plaintiff’s bar attorneys from suing businesses attempting to legitimately contact customers. This bill will not remove any consumer protections originally passed in 2021.
HB 761 has no further action in the House. The Senate counterpart, SB 1308, was passed by the Senate Rules Committee on Monday, April 24, and awaits further consideration on the Senate Floor.
AIF supports legislative efforts removing loopholes that help to enrich trial lawyers at the expense of businesses that produce goods and services on which all Floridians rely.
HB 1279/SB 1164 – Relating to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
On Wednesday, April 26, HB 1279 by Representative Danny Alvarez (R-Fishhawk) was heard on the House Floor and was reported favorably with 109 yeas and 0 nays.
SB 1164 by Senator Jay Collins (R-Tampa) was introduced on the Senate Floor. Following the passage of HB 1279, the bill appeared in Senate messages and was placed on final passage. The Senate passed HB 1279 with 40 yeas and 0 nays.
This bill primarily creates a program for sales tax exemptions for production materials used by agricultural producers. The program will allow farmers to apply for and use a Farm Tax Exempt Agricultural Materials (TEAM) card to receive the exemptions. This program works similarly in Georgia and is beneficial to the agriculture community there as well. The bill requires state agencies, universities, and colleges to give preference to food commodities grown or produced in Florida under certain purchasing agreements. Among other mostly technical changes, this bill also revises and eliminates several advisory councils under the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
HB 1279/SB 1164 will now go to the Governor for approval.
AIF supports sales tax exemptions for Florida’s agricultural producers and efforts to make these exemptions easier to access. “If you eat, you’re involved in agriculture.” Lowering costs for agricultural producers trickles down to lower prices for the consumer.