Legislative Status Report
April 23, 2021
Since 1987, the Daytona Regional Chamber worked closely with our Volusia delegation and others to relay the local business viewpoint on matters that come before State government. In an effort to keep you, our members, informed of the Session in Tallahassee, we present our Legislative Status Report. If you have any questions regarding its content, please contact Jim Cameron at 386.566.2140.
Governor Ron Desantis
Gov DeSantis signed into law S 50 to require out-of-state online retailers to collect sales taxes on purchases made by Floridians, with the estimated $1 billion a year in revenue going to curb a pair of taxes on Florida businesses.

He faced a Monday 12 midnight deadline for signing, vetoing or letting the online tax bill become law without his signature and his signature was confirmed at 11:30 pm.

Since 2007, Daytona Regional Chamber has lobbied to require out-of-state retailers to collect and remit sales taxes i.e. it is a matter of fairness and this new law creates a “level playing field” for all businesses. The sales-tax revenue will be used to replenish a depleted unemployment trust fund and then will go toward reducing a commercial rent tax.
Legislature Session Report 
NOTE - 80% of all bills approved pass in the last two weeks of Session.
Educational Opportunities Leading to Employment S 366 by Sen Travis Hutson revises Dept of Education duties regarding apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs; revises membership of the State Apprenticeship Advisory Council; providing that apprenticeship or preapprenticeship program sponsors are responsible for the selection and training of certain personnel. 
S 366 was approved by the Senate (Sens Travis Hutson, Tom Wright, Jason Brodeur voted YES) and sent over to the House.

A similar H 791 Workforce and Postsecondary Education by Rep Harding is on the House calendar.
Unemployment Benefits
Unemployment Benefits - S 1906 by Sen Jason Brodeur which would
increase weekly benefits from $275 to $375 and extend eligibility to 14 weeks passed the Senate (Sens Jason Brodeur, Travis Hutson, Tom Wright voted YES)….meanwhile, the House turned back an attempt to increase benefits to $375. Gov DeSantis has stated that he’s opposed to the increase. 
Do you support increasing maximum benefits from $275 to $375?
A somewhat related House version, H 1463 by Rep LaMarca was approved by the Commerce Committee (Rep Webster Barnaby voted Yes). Not moving.
Property Insurance
Citizens Property Insurance Corp
S 1574 by Sen Brandes revises the method for determining the amounts of potential surcharges to be levied against policyholders when a Citizens’ account shortfall is projected; it defines “primary residence” as the dwelling that the insured represented as their permanent home on the insurance application;

it allows a new surcharge on Citizens’ policyholders when a legal expense deficit exists. Such additional surcharges could lead to additional costs for policyholders. It passed the Appropriations Committee (Sen Travis Hutson voted YES).

There is no House version of this bill.
Tax Issues
Corporate Income Tax S 7082 updates Florida’s corporate income tax code by conforming it to the federal Internal Revenue Code and other United States statutes relating to federal income tax in effect on January 1, 2021. By doing so, taxpayers will generally use the same calculations to determine both their federal and state taxable income.

It passed the Senate (Sens Travis Hutson, Tom Wright, Jason Brodeur voted YES).

A similar House version H 7059 is on the House calendar.
Manufacturing Legislation
Relating to Florida Small Manufacturing Business Recovery Act S 1444 by Sen Tom Wright - the Dept of Economic Opportunity (DEO) will manage this new program which will use tax credits against the state insurance premium tax to incentivize investors to give funds, known as “relief contributions,” to certified relief funds that will make capital or equity investments or loans with a maturity date of at least 2 years in an impact business.
The total relief investment authorities are capped at $100 million and relief contributions are capped at $80 million.

Click here for more information.
Governor and Seminoles Agree on New Compact
Gov Ron Desantis and Marcellus Osceola Jr Chairman of the Seminole Tribe
Gov DeSantis announced a new 30-year gaming compact between the State and Seminole Tribe which will generate a minimum of $2.5 billion in new revenue over the next five years and an estimated $6 billion through 2030. 

The Seminole Tribe agreed to allow designated player games as part of a new Compact. They opposed these games in the past which was why they ceased payments to the state in 2018.
Parimutuels will be allowed to maintain any designated player games they have now, but can't add new games….but they can add more tables. Sports betting wagers will be split on a 60/40 basis.

The Tribe praised Gov Desantis for working with them to reach agreement.

Most notably, the compact modernizes the gaming industry through the authorization of sports betting in Florida through the Tribe. The agreement also provides protections for pari-mutuel operations and the opportunity to participate in sports betting offered by the Tribe.
By some estimates, sports betting is expected to create over 2,200 jobs for Floridians. A copy of the compact is available HERE
Gaming Enforcement - SPB 7076 would establish the Florida Gaming Control Commission within the Office of the Attorney General. The five-member committee would have law enforcement authority over gaming laws.

Public Records and Public Meetings Exemptions/Florida Gaming Control Commission - S 7078 deals with public records to keep details of the Gaming Control Commission’s criminal investigations out of the public eye.

Requirements for Pari-mutuel Permitholders to Conduct Live Racing or GamesS 7080 allows “decoupling” whereby pari-mutuals would no longer be required to provide live racing events in order to operate poker and slot machine rooms.

Meanwhile, House leaders say a Special Session could be called to deal with the compact and the gaming bills since there is not enough time left in the Session to take up a new agreement.

House versions (below) have moved through committees....
H 7053 – Gaming Enforcement –
H 7055 – Public Records/Public Meetings Exemptions/Florida Gaming Control Commission
H 7057 – Requirements for Pari-mutuel Permitholders to Conduct Live Racing or Games

A Special Session is slated for week of May 17 to address these bills and ratify the newly agreed Compact.
On the Radar Screen
Impact Fees H 337 by Rep DiCeglie (a substitute for S 750 by 
Sen Gruters) was approved by the House (Reps Webster Barnaby, Elizabeth Fetterhoff, Tom Leek, Paul Renner voted YES).

The bill sets perimeters on the imposition of impact fees.

It's estimated the bill will have a negative indeterminate impact on local government revenues. 
Home-based Businesses S 266 by Sen Perry would prevent counties/cities from regulating many aspects of businesses that operate inside of a home; the Rules Committee approved a Committee Substitute version with new provisions.

Volusia County limits home-based businesses to no more than 25 percent of the habitable floor area of the residence.
Do you support allowing retail shops, cafes, etc to operate in residential neighborhoods?
Vacation Rental Units S 522 by Sen Diaz preempts local authority to regulate short-term rentals i.e. shifts regulation by cities/counties to the State’s Division of Hotels/Restaurants (under Dept of Business & Professional Regulation). It's still on the Rules Committee agenda..April 20..was temporarily postponed...on life support.......

A similar House version H 219 by Rep Fischer is still before the Ways & Means Committee....not moving.
Aerospace Issues
Click here for more information.
Recovery of Spaceflight Assets
S 936 by Sen Tom Wright prohibits anyone from taking a fallen space- flight asset for their own use…clarifies that rocket parts that fall to Earth belong to the rocket companies; instead, that person must report the asset’s location to law enforcement; defines penalties for failing to do so.

It may have a positive fiscal impact as it helps guard expensive spaceflight assets from theft of proprietary technology and intellectual property that could be discovered by examining a spaceflight asset.

It was approved by the Appropriations Committee (Sen Travis Hutson voted YES)
Chamber's 2021 Legislative Priorities
Click 2021 Legislative Priorities to see the Chamber's recommendations for the Session. Compiled by our Advocacy Action Council - Dwight Durant, Chair (Zev Cohen & Associates), this list was presented to the Volusia delegation at their December 14 meeting.  

These recommendations will be tracked throughout the session and reported each week in the Chamber's Legislative Status Report.
Contact Your House and Senate Members
Click here to see Volusia's House/Senate contact information
as well as new committee assignment.

Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce
126 E. Orange Avenue, Daytona Beach, FL 32114
386.255.0981 | info@daytonachamber.com

Your Chamber of Influence