Legislative Status Report
March 12, 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 DeSantis
Gov Ron Desantis was in Port Orange today to promote COVID-19 vaccinations. Other vaccination sights are being scheduled each week.

Also this week, Gov DeSantis has signed an executive order waiving local government's imposed fines on people or businesses when it relates to COVID-19.
The executive order goes on to state that any fines imposed between March 1, 2020 and March 10, 2021 by any political subdivision of Florida is remitted
Chamber to Host VIRTUAL Volusia Days at the Capitol
VIRTUAL Volusia Days at the Capitol March 16-17.
The Chamber is coordinating Dept Administrators/Agency Execs to present the latest news regarding state government Tuesday afternoon (12:30 – 4:30 pm).

Wednesday morning (8:00 am – 12 noon), participants will hear from our Volusia delegation and other key House/Senate members regarding legislation affecting the business community.

The event's Red Sponsors include - Ghyabi Consulting & Management,
Daytona International Speedway, and Charter-Spectrum.
Issues to be discussed include COVID-19 related Business Liability Protection, Unemployment Compensation fund, K-12 education, Volusia infrastructure projects, E-Fairness/Internet Sales Tax, and the $2 billion state budget shortfall. 

Click here for more information.
COVID 19 Business Liability Protection
COVID-19-Claims Against Health Care Providers H 7005 by Rep Burton was approved by the Judiciary Committee (Rep Elizabeth Fetterhoff voted YES). It provides initial procedures for civil actions based on COVID-19-related claims; stipulates standard of proof required at trial for such claims and requires such claims to commence within a specified timeframe. Next stop is House floor vote.
The Daytona Regional Chamber supports H 7005 /S 74 and H 7 / S 72
A similar Senate version S 74 Sen Brandes is set to go the the full Senate.
COVID-19-Civil Liability for Damages CS/HB 7 by Rep McClure which passed the House last week, now moves to the Senate. It sets requirements for a civil action based on a COVID-19-related claim and stipulates that the plaintiff has the burden of proof, including statute of limitations; provides severability and retroactive applicability.

Similar Senate version S 72 by Sen Brandes is set go to the Senate floor.
The Chamber supports these bills to assist those businesses that follow CDC and Health Dept guidelines to keep their customers and employees safe.
SB 72 and SB 74 are advancing to the Senate floor after being merged in an effort to increase their chances of passing. Bills’ sponsor Sen Brandes stated both bills moving as one is better than the piecemeal approach
Economic Development
S 982 Tax Refund Program for Qualified Target Industry Businesses by Sen Gruters reauthorizes the Qualified Target Industry (QTI) Tax Refund Program by repealing the June 30, 2020, deadline for applicants to be certified for the program. It has a $35 million cap. 

It passed that Commerce and Tourism Committee (Sen Tom Wright voted YES) and now goes to the Finance and Tax (Sen Tom Wright – member). 
Identical House version H 6071 by Rep LaMarca is before the Tourism, Infrastructure & Energy Subcommittee.

The Chamber supports S 982 and H 6071. The QTI is a valuable asset in helping new businesses to locate in Florida. Team Volusia supports this legislation too. 
Online Sales Tax
Internet Sales Tax H 15 by Rep Clemens passed the Ways & Means Committee by a 16-2 vote. It is estimated to generate $1.1 billion in new revenue from online purchases by consumers.

However, the bill approved today included a strike-all amendment
which would be geared to help pay down deficit in the State’s unemployment compensation fund which dropped $3.5 billion last year due to COVID 19-related layoffs.
Sales & Use Tax S 50 by Sen Gruters is on the Senate's Special Order calendar which means it goes before the full Senate next week.

The Chamber supports H 15 and S 50. This is still a fairness issue which puts multi-national online retailers on a level field with local bricks & mortar stores.

Our Volusia delegation needs to hear that YOU support this good legislation!
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). 

S 522 was approved by the Appropriations Committee (Sen Travis Hutson voted YES).
Another Senate bill S 1988 by Sen Pizzo is before the Regulated Industries Committee ((Sen Travis Hutson - Chair).

Click here for more information.
Affordable Housing
Local Housing Assistance Plans - S 1068 by Sen Taddeo revises the percentages of local housing funds which must be reserved for eligible housing. It’s on the Community Affairs Committee’s agenda March 16 (Sen Jason Brodeur and Sen Travis Hutson – members).
The identical House version H 567 by Rep Bartleman goes before the Local Administration & Veterans Affairs Subcommittee (Rep Webster Barnaby member).

These bills are on the Chamber’s Watch List….however, we've heard the Sadowski Coalition does not like these bills.
Employment Issues
Reemployment Assistance - S 1906 by Sen Jason Brodeur increases the weekly benefit amount an individual may receive; increasing the weekly benefit to no less than $100 or no more than $375 (current max is $275 per week).

NOTE – new Federal Relief legislation would include a supplement on top of this amount.
It been referred to the Commerce and Tourism Committee (Sen Tom Wright Sen Travis Hutson members).

Click here for more details.
Growth Management
Growth Management - H 59 by Rep McClain…..among other points, it requires each local government to include a property rights element in its comprehensive plan. It also requires the Dept of Transportation, when selling property, to provide a right of first refusal to the property’s prior owner. 

It passed the State Affairs Committee and now goes to the House floor. 
A similar Senate version S 496 by Sen Perry passed the Community Affairs Committee (Sen Travis Hutson voted YES). Next stop…Judiciary Committee.

Both bills are on the Chamber’s Watch List.
Charter Schools H 51 by Rep McClain allows state universities and Fla College System (FCS) institutions to solicit applications and sponsor charter schools upon approval by the Dept of Education (DOE)…..and that a state university’s charter school may serve students from multiple school districts to meet regional education or workforce demands and a FCS sponsored charter school may
serve students from any county within the colleges’ service area to meet workforce demands.

Click here for more information.
Healthcare Issues
Supermajority Vote Required to Enact a Single-payor Healthcare System SJR 340 by Sen Diaz proposes a Fla Constitutional amendment to prohibit the Legislature from enacting a single-payor health care system for providing comprehensive health care services, except through legislation approved by two-thirds of the membership of each house of the Legislature. 
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

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