Week Eight
April 23, 2021
The League is continuing to host weekly Monday Morning Call-Ins at 9:00 a.m. ET. The call-in number is 888.585.9008, and the conference room number is 301-563-714#. The last call is Monday, April 26.
 
The Florida League of Cities’ Legislative Policy Committee sign up for 2021-2022 is now underway. The FLC Legislative Policy Committees set the legislative agenda for the League and Florida’s 411 municipalities.
 
If you would like to serve on a policy committee, be sure to sign up by May 7 (members can serve on only one committee at a time). If you served on a policy committee this past year, you still need to sign up again for our 2021-2022 committees. 

Join the FLC Advocacy Team for a post-session update on the League's priority issues on May 6 at 2:00 p.m. ETRegistration is now open for our 2021 Post-Legislative Session Webinar. Click here to register online.
 
The following is a brief synopsis of the key legislative actions and bill summaries for this week. Thanks for all you do!
WHAT HAPPENED THIS WEEK
Sales Tax Fairness Priority Signed by Governor (Support)
On Monday, CS/CS/SB 50 (Gruters) was approved by the governor. The bill requires out-of-state retailers and marketplace providers with no physical presence in Florida to collect sales tax on taxable items delivered to purchasers in Florida if the out-of-state retailer makes a substantial number of sales in Florida. Ensuring that in-state retailers are treated equitably and that Florida's sales and use tax law is equally enforced is a priority for the League of Cities. (Hughes)
Vacation Rentals Temporarily Postponed (Oppose CS/HB 219, Neutral on CS/CS/SB 522)
CS/CS/SB 522 (Diaz) was on the agenda but not considered by the Senate Rules Committee on Tuesday. This was the last scheduled meeting for the Senate Rules Committee; we will keep you updated if they decide to schedule an additional committee meeting. Currently, the bill protects existing vacation rental regulations but preempts cities from specifically regulating advertising platforms.

The House companion, CS/HB 219 (Fischer), remains stalled in the House Ways and Means Committee as we head into the final week of legislative session. If the bill does get a hearing in Ways and Means, it would still have one last stop in the House Commerce Committee. CS/HB 219 would undo any local registration, inspection or licensing requirements specific to short-term rentals adopted since 2011. We will keep you updated if there is any movement on the bill. (Taggart) (Cook)
Attorney General Interference Bill Postponed (Oppose)
CS/SB 102 (Burgess) and CS/HB 1053 (Overdorf) authorize the attorney general to take over or abate local government civil actions that involve multiple local government plaintiffs on "matters of great governmental concern." The bills are retroactive and could adversely affect existing legal actions relating to opioids and PFAS chemicals. On Monday, CS/SB 102 was temporarily postponed by the Senate Appropriations Committee, and on Tuesday, the bill was temporarily postponed by the Senate Rules Committee. CS/HB 1053 was not on the agenda or considered by the House Judiciary Committee this week. (O'Hara)
Home-Based Businesses Passes the House (Oppose CS/HB 403, Neutral on CS/CS/SB 266)
On Wednesday, CS/HB 403 (Giallombardo) was heard on the House floor and passed 78-38. CS/HB 403 is very different from the Senate bill and completely preempts a city's ability to regulate a home-based business. CS/CS/SB 266 (Perry) was amended to allow cities to address many potential negative impacts of home-based businesses. The bill is waiting to be heard on the Senate floor; please urge your senators to take up the Senate bill. (Cruz)
Building Design Language Finds New Vehicle (Neutral) 
On Tuesday, CS/CS/CS/SB 1146 (Brodeur) was amended and passed through the Senate Rules Committee. Notably, the building design language previously seen on CS/SB 284 (Perry) was watered down and amended onto CS/CS/CS/SB 1146. The bill was substituted for its House companion, CS/CS/HB 401 (Fetterhoff) and was amended to contain these provisions. The bill now allows cities to continue applying design standards through the use of PUD’s or if the city has an architectural or design review board. CS/CS/HB 401 is scheduled for third reading in the Senate on Monday.

The original house bill, CS/CS/HB 55 (Overdorf) contains only the preemption on building design standards, however, it was amended to include an exemption for PUD’s and cities with architectural or design review boards that exist before July 1, 2021. The bill is scheduled for third reading in the House on Monday. The League opposes CS/CS/HB 55. (Taggart)
Wastewater Discharge Bill Passes Unanimously (Oppose)
CS/HB 263 (Maggard) and CS/SB 64 (Albritton) require certain wastewater utilities to develop plans by November 2021 for eliminating surface water discharges within a 10-year time frame. The bills do not accommodate adverse impacts to local utility customers or technical or environmental feasibility, but the bills' original five-year compliance deadline was extended to 10 years. CS/SB 64 passed the House and Senate unanimously. (O'Hara)
Energy Preemption Bills Nearing Final Passage (Oppose)
CS/CS/SB 856 (Hutson) and CS/CS/HB 839 (Fabricio) expressly preempt local governments from banning gas stations and associated infrastructure necessary to provide fuel to gas stations. The bills also prohibit local governments from requiring gas stations to provide electrical vehicle charging stations. CS/CS/SB 856 is on third reading in the Senate. The original bills were very broad and would have preempted any local government action that had the effect of restricting fuel infrastructure. The League worked with the bill sponsors to narrow the scope of the bills. CS/CS/HB 839 passed the House 79-38.

CS/CS/CS/SB 1128 (Hutson) and CS/CS/HB 919 (Tomkow) preempt local governments from prohibiting or restricting various types of fuel sources. The original bills would have broadly preempted any local government action that had the effect of restricting consumers’ choice of energy source. The League worked with the bill sponsors to significantly narrow the scope of the preemption. CS/CS/HB 919 passed the House 81-34 and CS/CS/CS/SB 1128 is on third reading in the Senate. (O'Hara)
Impact Fee Bill Passes the House (Oppose)
This week, CS/CS/CS/HB 337 (DiCeglie) passed the House floor on a vote of 94-23, while the Senate companion, CS/CS/CS/SB 750 (Gruters), was temporarily postponed on the special order calendar. The bills restrict what are allowable expenditures of impact fee revenue and cap how much impact fees can be raised on a yearly basis. Impact fees are collected by local governments to fund local infrastructure to meet the demands of population growth. CS/CS/CS/HB 337 is scheduled for third reading in the Senate on Monday. (Cruz)
Governmental Actions Affecting Private Property Rights Passes the House (Oppose)
On Wednesday, CS/CS/HB 421 (Tuck) passed the House floor on a vote of 90-29. The bill amends current law to provide procedures and remedies to landowners whose property is inordinately burdened by a local government regulation. The bill is expected to be heard on the House floor on Tuesday.

The Senate companion, CS/CS/SB 1876 (Albritton), was temporarily postponed on second reading. The bill revises the term "action of a governmental entity" to include adopting any ordinance. Current law would require a government entity to enforce an ordinance in order to be able to file a Bert Harris claim. As a result, more property owners can file a claim that would otherwise not be ripe for litigation. (Cruz)
Emergency Powers of Political Subdivisions Passes the Senate (Oppose)
CS/CS/SB 2006 (Burgess) passed on the Senate floor 27-9. The bill provides that it is the intent of the Legislature to minimize the negative effects of extended emergencies and that all aspects of emergency preparedness, response and recovery be transparent as possible. The Senate bill authorizes local governments to meet virtually for the limited purpose of ratifying the extension of an emergency order and also suspends any in-person quorum requirements. The bill also specifies that an emergency order automatically expires 10 days after its issuance unless extended by a majority vote of the governing body.

On Monday, CS/HB 7047 (Leek) passed through the House Health and Human Services Committee on a vote of 14-7. The bill includes many of the same provisions as the Senate bill but differs slightly in its approach to local government emergency orders. CS/HB 7047 imposes the same "strict scrutiny" standard on local government emergency orders that "restrict individual liberties" as the Senate bill. The bill provides that a significant emergency order automatically expires seven days after issuance and may be extended by a majority vote of the governing body in seven-day increments but only for a maximum total of 42 days. If a significant emergency order expires, the local government cannot issue a "substantially similar" order. CS/HB 7047 is expected to be heard in the House next week. (Dudley)
Combatting Public Disorder Signed by the Governor (Oppose)
On Monday, CS/HB 1 (Fernandez-Barquin) was approved by the governor. Of concern to cities, the bill includes provisions that make it difficult to reduce municipal law enforcement funding by allowing a state attorney or a member of the local governing body to appeal a reduction in the law enforcement operating budget to the Administration Commission. The bill also creates civil liability for damages caused during a riot if the government is deemed to have breached the duty to respond appropriately. The bill waives sovereign immunity for any governing body found liable, which means cities would not be protected by statutory caps that normally limit the amount someone can recover when suing a government entity. The bill takes effect upon becoming law. (Hughes)
Legal Notices Headed to the Floor (Support) 
On Monday, the Senate Appropriations Committees passed CS/CS/SB 402 (Rodrigues) unanimously. The bill allows a governmental agency the option to publish legally required advertisements and notices on a newspaper's website if the online publication results in cost savings to the local government. The bill requires several conditions to be met before a city can change their notice process. This was the final committee stop and the bill is now ready for Senate floor action. The House companion, CS/HB 35 (Fine), has already passed the House floor on a vote of 85-34. CS/HB 35 would result in greater cost savings to local governments. (Taggart)
HOME RULE IN THE HEADLINES
STAY INFORMED. STAY ENGAGED.
Connect With Us