Week Four
March 26, 2021
The League will continue the regular weekly Monday Morning Call-Ins at 9:00 a.m. ET through April 26. The call-in number is 888.585.9008 and the conference room number is: 301-563-714#. The next call is Monday, March 29.

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
Vacation Rentals Temporarily Postponed in Second Committee Stop (Oppose)
On Monday, CS/HB 219 (Fischer) was temporarily postponed in the House Ways & Means Committee. The bill in its current form would undo any local registration, inspection or licensing requirements specific to short-term rentals adopted since 2011 and require that any ordinances (noise, parking, trash, etc.) be applied uniformly to all residential properties, regardless of how the property is being used. This committee stop is the second of three in the House. (Taggart)
Sales Tax Fairness Bill Passes Senate (Support) 
CS/CS/SB 50 (Gruters) passed off the Senate floor 30-10. The bill requires out-of-state retailers and marketplace providers with no physical presence in Florida to collect Florida’s sales tax on sales of taxable items delivered to purchasers in Florida if the out-of-state retailer or marketplace provider makes a substantial number of sales in Florida. The bill was amended to temporarily divert increased collections in sales tax, due to this bill, to the Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund until it is replenished to pre-pandemic levels. The House companion CS/HB 15 (Clemons, LaMarca) is expected to be heard in the House Commerce Committee on Monday, March 29, at 4:15 p.m. (Hughes)
Building Design Moves Through Second Committee (Oppose)
On Tuesday, CS/SB 284 (Perry) was heard in the Senate Regulated Industries Committee and passed on a vote of 8-1. The bill prohibits local governments from adopting land development regulations that require specific building design elements for single- and two-family dwellings with certain exceptions. This committee stop was the second of three in the Senate. The House companion CS/CS/HB 55 (Overdorf) is expected to be heard on the House floor on Wednesday, March 31. (Taggart)
Home-Based Businesses Moves in the Senate (Oppose CS/HB 403, Neutral on CS/SB 266)
CS/SB 266 (Perry) was heard in the Senate Commerce & Tourism Committee on Monday and passed 9-2. During committee, a late-filed amendment that FLC opposed was not accepted for consideration. Thank you for your efforts in communicating your concerns to members of the committee. The bill prohibits local governments from outright banning home-based businesses but allows for regulation in many other ways. The House companion CS/HB 403 (Giallombardo) is expected to be heard on the House floor on Wednesday, March 31. (Cruz)
Impact Fees Moves in the Senate (Oppose)
On Wednesday, CS/SB 750 (Gruters) passed through the Senate Community Affairs Committee on a vote of 5-3. The bill makes several changes regarding impact fees imposed by local governments to fund local infrastructure to meet the demands of population growth, including specifying when a local government may collect an impact fee. CS/SB 750 is expected to be heard in the Senate Finance and Tax Committee on Wednesday, March 31 at 11:00 a.m.  (Cruz)
Combating Public Disorder Passes House (Oppose)
CS/HB 1 (Fernandez-Barquin) passed off the House floor 76-39. The bill was amended but did not address the League’s concerns. 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. A governing body or a person authorized by the governing body that breaches the duty to respond appropriately to protect persons and properties during a riot based on the availability of adequate equipment and applicable laws is civilly liable for any damages arising from the riot. 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. (Hughes)
Governmental Actions Affecting Private Property Rights Passes First Committee (Oppose)
On Monday, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed CS/SB 1876 (Albritton) on a vote of 7-4. The bill amends the Bert J. Harris, Jr., Private Property Rights Protection Act and the Florida Land Use and Environmental Dispute Resolution Act, to provide procedures and remedies to landowners whose property is inordinately burdened by a local government regulation. This was the first of three committee stops in the Senate. The bill is expected to be heard in Community Affairs on Tuesday, March 30 at 3:30 p.m. (Cruz)
Broadband Internet Infrastructure Passes First Committee (Oppose)
On Monday, HB 1239 (Tomkow) was heard in the House Tourism, Infrastructure & Energy Subcommittee and passed 15-1. The bill exempts from sales and use tax certain equipment purchased, leased or sold by providers of communications services or internet access services and requires municipal electric utilities to provide broadband providers access to and use of municipal electric utility poles. This was the first of three committee references in the House. (Hughes)
Statewide Flooding and Sea-Level Rise Bill Ready for House Floor, But Some May Question Funding Source
CS/HB 7019 (Environment, Agriculture & Flooding Subcommittee, Busatta Cabrera) establishes a $100 million grant program to help local governments with the costs of assessments, planning and projects to address flooding and sea-level rise. The grants require a 50% match, but the cost-share can be waived for fiscally constrained municipalities. A final hearing in the Senate Appropriations Committee remains for the Senate companion, CS/SB 1954 (Rodrigues). The League supports the bills.

The House unveiled its plans for funding the grant program in Proposed Committee bill ANR1 (Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee). ANR1 would revise distributions from the documentary stamp tax by taking 24% from amounts currently paid into affordable housing trust funds and distribute 6.8% into the new Resilient Florida Trust Fund and 6.8% into the Water Protection and Sustainability Trust Fund to be used for wastewater grants. The proposal would protect the remaining 6.8% distributed to the affordable housing trust funds by prohibiting those from being transferred to general revenue in the General Appropriations Act. ANR1 passed the Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee on Thursday and will be assigned a bill number and committees. The League is neutral on ANR1. (O’Hara) 
Drone Bill Flies Through First Committee (Support)
CS/HB 1049 (Giallombardo) will allow local law enforcement agencies to use drones to patrol crowds of 50- plus, gather evidence at a crime or traffic scene and assess damage after natural disasters. Its companion, CS/CS/SB 44, has already passed the Senate floor. (Taggart)
PFAS Bill Passes First Committee (Support)
CS/SB 1054 (Broxson) was heard on Monday in the Senate Environment & Natural Resources Committee and passed unanimously. The bill requires the Department of Environmental Protection to refrain from taking enforcement action against a property owner (e.g., local government) until the Department has adopted rules setting maximum contaminant levels for PFAS. This committee stop was the first of three in the Senate. The House companion, HB 705 (Andrade), has not yet been heard in committee. (O’Hara)
Bills That Allow Attorney General to Interfere in Municipal Lawsuits To Be Considered Next Week (Oppose)
SB 102 (Burgess) and HB 1053 (Overdorf) grant the Attorney General unfettered discretion to declare a matter of great governmental concern based on any circumstances that result in harm or economic loss to governmental entities in five or more counties. Once so declared, the Attorney General has exclusive authority to file a civil action on behalf of affected local governments or to intervene, settle, abate, or dismiss any existing civil action in state or federal court (including pending appeals) – even if the local government plaintiffs do not agree and even if the Attorney General’s action does not remedy the injury or harm incurred to the other plaintiffs. The bills specifically preclude anyone from appealing the Attorney General’s declaration and void any settlement or resolution of such civil proceedings if made without consent of the Attorney General. SB 102 will be considered by the Senate Community Affairs Committee on Tuesday, March 30 at 3:30 PM. HB 1053 is expected to be on the agenda of the House Civil Justice & Property Rights Subcommittee on Tuesday, March 30 at 12:30 PM. (O’Hara)
Emergency Management Powers of Political Subdivisions Up Next Week (Oppose)
CS/SB 1924 (Diaz) restricts the ability of a local government to adopt a “significant emergency order” that deprives any person of a constitutional right, fundamental liberty, statutory right or property to address a purported emergency. When adopting a significant emergency order, the political subdivision will have to prove that the exercise of police power is narrowly tailored, serves a compelling governmental interest and accomplishes the intended goal through the use of the least intrusive means. The bill also provides that an emergency order issued by a political subdivision will automatically expire 10 days after its issuance unless extended by a majority vote of the political subdivision's governing body. The bill is expected to be heard in the Senate Military and Veterans Affairs, Space, & Domestic Security Committee on Tuesday, March 30 at 12:30 p.m. (Dudley)
Home Rule in the Headlines
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