Legislative Status Report
Final Report for 2018 Regular Session

The Daytona Regional Chamber works closely with our Volusia County delegation and others to relay the local business viewpoint on matters that come before the State government. In an effort to keep our members informed, we present our Legislative Status Report.  If you have any questions regarding its content, please contact 
Jim Cameron at 386.566.2140.

 Legislatures Adjourns 4:15 pm Sunday 

Legislature adjourned "sine-die" at 4:15 pm Sunday after they finalized an $88.7 billion budget (H 5001) and a tax package (H 7087). See articles below. 

 FY 2018-19 Budget

FY 2018-19 Budget 

House and Senate members approved an $88.7 billion budget. The House voted 95-12  ( Reps  Tom Leek Paul Renner  voted YES )
and the Senate voted 31-5  (Sens Dorothy Hukill Travis  Hutson
voted YES).
Both the House and Senate discussed the budget bill H 5001  on Friday (the last scheduled day of the session); but the House Speaker and Senate President extended the session through Sunday final vote was taken on the FY 2018-19 budget, which begins July 1.

$21.1 billion K-12 budget provides an average $101 increase in per-student funding (or $485 million overall ) , a 1.39 percent increase over FY 2018-19 budget. It also adds significant funding to renovate/maintain charter schools (per their comprehensive education bill H 7055.
K-12 Appropriations will NOT mean a property tax increase required of local school boards (based on increased values on homes and businesses) BUT it DOES include $107 million in local property taxes reflecting new construction.

Visit Florida was funded at $76 million and $85 million was allocated to the Fla Job Growth Fund (Volusia County received a $1.9 million grant for toward the $7.4 million 4-laning project to expand Williamson Blvd which will include office and commercial/retail development with estimated assessed value for tax purposes likely to exceed $70 million and employ more than 500 people - County Mgr Jim Dinneen). 

It also provides $3.3 billion in reserves. 

Click here for more information.

Click here for Volusia projects. 
School Safety, Fire Arms, Mental Health
Gov Rick Scott
House/Senate Approves School Safety, Fire Arms, Mental Health....Gov Scott signs the bill
By a 20-18 vote, the Senate approved  S 7026  (Sens Travis  HutsonDavid Simmons voted YES; Sen Dorothy Hukill voted NO) and 2 days later, the House approved the measure b y a 67-50 vote ( Reps Tom Leek Paul Renner, David Santiago voted YES; Rep Patrick Henry voted NO).
Overall, the bill tightens regulations regarding the sale of firearms and to enhance school safety and as well as mental health measures. It also seeks to improve communication between schools, law enforcement and state agencies.
Just prior to final passage, the Senate sought a compromise by amending the bill to stipulate that classroom teachers/ instructional personnel would NOT be armed if a school district decides to participate in the so-called "school marshal" program. However, other school personnel, including "support staff" such as custodians, principals, counselors, coaches current or former servicemen or ROTC instructors, would be able to carry firearms.
The Florida Education Association as well as the Florida NRA opposed the bill. T he Governor discussed the legislation with the " Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS  families" before he agreed to sign it.

Click here for specifics for S 7026.
Workers' Compensation
Workers' Comp/First Responders

H 227  by Rep Willhite / S 376 by Sen Book would extend benefits to first responders suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) if they are diagnosed by a professional psychiatrist for a traumatizing incident/
work-related injury. 

Currently, first responders
with PTSD do not receive  workers comp benefits unless they have a physical injury as well.

After H 227 was amended, the Florida League of Cities supported the bill. CFO Jimmy Patronis was the lead support for the bill. 
Governor Scott has stated he will sign H 227 .  
Workers' Comp - Immigrant Employees 

S 1568  by  Sen Farmer  would require that an injured employee must not be denied workers comp benefits based on any incomplete or inaccurate information relating to their citizenship, residency, or other employment status provided to an employer/carrier.

The intent was to  ensure workers injured on the job because of a dangerous workplace condition or something happened on the job, receive workers' compensation benefits regardless of their immigration status

Died in Committee.  
Economic Development / Tourism
Tourist Development Tax 

H 585 - by Rep Fine / S 658 by Sen
Brandes would have  a uthorized a county government that collects a tourist development tax to use tax revenues for infrastructure purposes. 

An amendment was added requiring that a county's governing board must approve the use of bed tax money for the proposed public facilities by a two-thirds vote; no more than 70% of the cost of the proposed project will be paid for with tourist development tax revenues. 

See amendment to H 7087. 

The Chamber opposed both bills.
Community Redevelopment Agencies
Community Redevelopment Agencies (CRAs)  - 

H 883  by  Rep Ingoglia  would have tightened rules and regulations for CRA's including annual ethics training, establishing financial reporting requirements; eventually phases out CRAs after designated time period or require legislative approval for any new CRAs. 

Died in Committee.
Insurance Issues
Property Insurance Assignment Agreements (AOBs)

H 7105  by  Rep Trumbull  would have prohibited certain fees and altering of policy provisions related to managed repairs in an assignment agreement; and transfers certain duties under the insurance contract to the assignee that are a prerequisite for filing a lawsuit, and duties that shift the burden to the assignee to prove why any failure to carry out such duties has not limited the insurer's ability to perform under the contract; and limits an  assignee' s ability to recover certain costs directly from the insured.

Died in Committee.  

H 7105 was a Chamber priority
Vacation Rentals

Vacation Rentals -  H 773  by Rep LaRosa / S 1400 by Sen Steube would have prohibited local government ordinances regulating residential vacation units and shifting regulatory authority to the Dept of Business & Professional Regulation. 

Died between the House and Senate.  

The Chamber opposed this legislation 
Education - Charter Schools
H 7055 by Rep Bileca
creates the Hope Scholar-
ship Program for students subjected to "bullying" in public schools; it also 
reorganizes monitoring and oversight provisions for private school scholarship programs; requires teachers unions to get 50 percent of eligible teachers in a district to become paying members or face recertification; allows the state's Gardiner scholarship program  for students with disabilities to tap into sales tax revenue. 

Passed...en route to the Governor.
National Statuary Hall

Mary McLeod-Bethune National Statuary  Hall - Washington DC
H 139  /S 472  by  Reps 
Patrick Henry  and  Tom
Leek , locates a statue of Mary McLeod-Bethune in National Statuary Hall in Washington. 

This bill was a Chamber priority. 

Governor Scott has stated he will sign the bill .  

Supermajority Vote Required to Increase Taxes/Fees

HJR 7001  by Reps Tom Leek will place on the 2018 ballot an amendment to the Fla Constitution that requires a two-thirds "supermajority" vote by the legislature in order to make increases to taxes and fees or to eliminate or decrease any existing tax exemptions. 
This amendment will appear on the November 6 ballot.  
Impact Fees

H 697 by  Rep Miller  - would have tightened ways, means and reg- ulations for local governments imposing impact fees on new con-
struction. It would have prohibited local govern- 
ments from requiring in a specific area plan that a developer pay part or all the of costs to buy land or expand public facilities unless that local government has an ordinance requiring developers outside of the area plan to contribute a proportionate share of the funds, land, or public facilities necessary to offset the impacts of the development. It could have had a potential effect on private financing in timing of collecting the fees.

Died in Committee.
House Tax Package

H 7087  by  Rep  Paul Renner   it will reduce the sales tax on commercial real estate rent 5.8 to 5.5%; provides for a 10-day back-to-school sales tax holiday; and three 7-day disaster prepareness
sales tax holidays; several provisions desig-ned to provide tax relief to citizens adversely affected by Hurricane Irma. It would have prevented local ordinances banning the sale of any item that is subject to sales tax and was expected to reduce the corporate income tax liability for certain taxpayers that utilize the tax credit programs. Total cost - $168 million.

An amendment was added that expands the use of tourist development tax (see  H 585 by Rep Fine/ S 658 by Sen Brandes)....However, it stipulates "In the county fiscal year.....at least $10 million in tourist development tax revenue was received"

An amendment by Sen Bradley relating to "marketplace contractors".

Afterwards, the Senate passed the bill 33-3 (
T ravis Hutson
, David Simmons  
voted YES)  and the House concurred 93 - 12  ( Reps  Patrick Henry,   Tom Leek, Paul Renner v oted YES) .

H 7087 is en route to the Governor.

The Chamber supports the "biz rent" reduction and several other provisions in the bill. 
Workforce Housing 
Workforce Housing

S 1328  by Sen Perry / H 987 by Rep Cortes would have allocated $62.8 million to the Fla Housing Finance Corporationto spur additional affordable housing to meet the needs created by the recent hurricanes. It would have required state agencies to work with the Fla Housing Finance Corporation to assess surplus lands for suitability for residential affordable housing and to offer such parcels to the county or cities. It prohibits local entities from assessing impact fees for affordable housing for a 5-year period beginning July 1, 2018; and expedited the local permit approval process. 

Died on the House and Senate calendars.

The Chamber supported these bills.
Beach Access

Possession of Real Property/Public Beach Access  

S 804  by Sen Passidomo was merged with 
H 631 
by Rep Edwards -
  The key subject was private property rights but the critical phrase was  customary-use.... the key to guaranteeing public beach access. Otherwise, a new procedure would require cities/counties go before a judge and argue why a portion of private beach should be open for public use because it has been used continually for recreation  before landowners purchased the property . Only after a judge's approval could local governments adopt protections for sunbathing, walking and other "customary uses".  

An amended H 631 was approved...en route to the Governor.

Rep  Tom Leek   added an  amendment  to the bill whereby it would not impact Volusia's beaches. 

The Chamber stated to the Volusia delegation that public beach access is paramount. Both bills were on the Chamber's Watch List.
Casino Gambling 
Casinos/Card Rooms

House and Senate leaders were unable to  find consensus on a proposed gambling overhaul that would maintain the breadth of the compact with the Seminole Tribe. 

H 7067 by Rep La Rosa would have set a flat 20-year extension to the Seminole Compact allowing the Tribe to keep black-jack at their existing 5 facilities and maintains the status quo for lottery games. The Tribe has always frowned on State-sanctioned competition. A similar Senate version S 840 by Sen Travis Hutson was approved by the Senate but non final agreement with the House.

Some say this session might be the last chance for lawmakers to legislate gambling. A proposed constitutional amendment is heading for the ballot in November that would give voters control over any future changes to casino gambling. 

Died in House/Senate negotiations.
Transportation Planning

H 575 by  Rep
Beshears / S 1516  by 
Sen Perry /  H 1287 by Rep Drake / S 984 by Brandes  would have reduced the maximum number of members on a TPO Board and limits the number of members based on the metropolitan area's population. It would have also prohibited an entire county council from serving as TPO Board members, required by-laws for TPOs, and prohibits weighted voting structure; and limited TPO's Board membership to two 4-year terms (amended in committee to 12 years).

Died in Committee.  
Direct Primary Care Agreements

H 37  by Rep Burgess/ S 80  by Sen Lee   DPC is a primary care medical practice model whereby patients pay a monthly fee ($25 to $100 per person) to a primary care provider for defined primary care services.

Upon paying this fee, patients can utilize all services under the agreement at no extra charge. Different models can be based on routine preventative services, women's health services, pediatric care, urgent care, wellness education, chronic disease management, and home visits.

Note - the Office of Insurance Regulation does not currently regulate DPC agreements; AND either party can terminate the agreement by written notice followed by, at least, a 30 day waiting period OR immediate termination for agreement violations;

H 37 is en route to the Governor.
Prescription Drug Pricing Transparency  

H 351  by Rep David Santiago requires pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) involved in acquisition/distribution of prescription drugs to register with the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR); requiring that any contract between a PBM and a health plan not inhibit patient access to pricing information. 

Passed...en route to the Governor.
Chamber's Radar Screen

Daytona Beach First Step Homeless Shelter -  H 2389 by Rep Patrick Henry  would provide $1.7 million matching funds to fund the $7.5 million dollar First Step Homeless Shelter. Died in Committee.

Land Acquisition Trust Fund  -  S 204  by Sen Bradley / Sens Dorothy, Travis Hutson  (co-sponsors)...increases funding funding from Land Acquisition Trust Fund (LATF) for spring restoration, protection, from $50 million to $75 million; also requires $50 million to St. Johns River WMD for restoration projects.   Died between House / Senate.
State Housing Trust Fund  S 874  by Sen Passidomo.......would have prevented diverting State Housing Trust Fund and Local Government Housing Trust Fund monies to the General Fund....House version  H 191  by Rep Shaw. Died in Committee.

Pt Orange Flood Mitigation/Stormwater Quality Improvement Phase II H 2805  by  Rep Tom Leek   a continuation of last year's project to assist flood control the City's flood control efforts.  In the budget...en route to the Governor.

Local Government Fiscal Transparency - H 7 by Rep Burton 
requires easy public access to local government governing boards' voting records related to tax increases and issuance of bonds; easy online access to property tax TRIM notices and a 4-year history of property tax rates
Died in Committee.
Volusia County Williamson Road Widening -  H 2343  by  Rep Tom Leek .
funding request for Williamson Rd Widening, a one - mile corridor in Daytona Beach to Ormond Beach (existing 2-lane road to 4 lanes) to enhance office and commercial/retail development opportunities. 
Passed...en route to the Governor.

Economic Development & Tourism Promotion Accountability - H 3 by Rep Grant and S  1714 by Sen
regulations on local tourism agencies including Daytona Beach CVB and economic development agencies including Team Volusia. Died in Committee.
Eggs & Issues / Legislative Delegation Breakfast

The Chamber's 35th Annual "Welcome Back Breakfast" for the Volusia Legislative delegation is set for Thursday, April 12, 7:30 am at LPGAClubhouse

At this event, our own House and Senate members will express their viewpoint on the legislative session along with questions from the audience. 


$15 for Chamber members with advance notice or $20 at the door. RSVP to ken@daytonachamber.com or call 523-3675. 


Sen Dorothy Hukill

Sen Travis Hutson

Sen David Simmons


Rep Patrick Henry

Rep Tom Leek

Rep Paul Renner

Rep David Santiago

Event sponsors include.....



2018 Constitutional Revision Commission Amendments
With the completion of the legislative session, the Chamber will shift its focus to the 2018 Constitutional amendments on the November 6 ballot. 

In addition, the Chamber will host a Tallahassee Speaker Series in August to review several of the proposed Constitutional Amendments on the November 6 ballot including Supermajority Approval of Tax/Fee Increases; additional $25,000 Homestead Exemption, Voter Control of Gambling and others. Look for more information to come!

2019 Legislative Session
Please note that the 2019 Legislative Session will be March 5 - May 3. The TENTATIVE dates for Volusia Days at the Capitol are March 20-21. More information will be forthcoming.  
Chamber's 2018 Legislative Priorities

Click Legislative Priorities to see the Chamber's recommendations for the 2018 Session. Compiled by our Legislative Action Committee -
Bob Williams, Chair (Halifax Health), this list was presented to the Volusia delegation at their December 

These recommendations were discussed during Volusia Days at the Capital on January 10-11 and were tracked throughout the session and reported each week in the Chamber's Legislative Status Report.
Legislative Directories

Click these links to contact YOUR

Each week, Chamber staff drafts this newsletter.
We try to emphasize business-related issues that affect Volusia County.

If you know of a legislative issue that you would like mentioned 
in  Legislative Status Report, please contact   Jim Cameron Sr Vice President, Government Relations, 386.523.3673.
Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce |126 E. Orange Ave., Daytona Beach | 386.255.0981 | Visit our Website