Week Two
March 12, 2021


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On March 22, the League will resume 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 following is a brief synopsis of the key legislative actions and bill summaries for this week. Thanks for all you do!
Short-Term Rental Bill Significantly Improves for Cities in Senate Appropriations 
On Thursday, CS/CS/SB 522 (Diaz) passed 13-5 in the Senate Appropriations Committee. Under the bill as amended, cities with vacation rental regulations will get to keep them in place. (Taggart)
Home-Based Businesses Moves in House and Senate (Oppose CS/HB 403, Neutral on CS/SB 266)
This week, CS/HB 403 (Giallombardo) and CS/SB 266 (Perry) passed in their respective committees. The bills preempt local governments from regulating home-based businesses. The bills would allow a commercial business to open in a residential home and preempt commonsense local limitations such as hours of operation.

Thanks to Senator Perry and Senator Bradley, CS/SB 266 was significantly amended to address concerns raised by the League in the first committee of reference. The amended bill does not allow local governments to outright ban home-based businesses, but they can regulate them in many other ways. (Cruz)
Building Design Ready for House Floor (Oppose)
CS/CS/HB 55 (Overdorf) passed on a vote of 18-5 in the House Commerce Committee on Tuesday. 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. The Senate companion, SB 284 (Perry), will be heard in Senate Community Affairs on Tuesday, March 16, at 9:00 a.m. ET. (Branch)
Energy Infrastructure Preemption Bills Pass Through Committee (Oppose)
This week, CS/SB 856 (Hutson) and CS/HB 839 (Fabricio), the Energy Infrastructure preemption bills, both passed their respective committees. The bills were amended to apply only to “transportation energy infrastructure,” but even as amended they are a sweeping preemption of all existing and future municipal regulations and policies affecting various forms of transportation energy infrastructure. Both bills have two more committee stops before the floor. (O’Hara)
Preemption on Restriction of Utility Services Passes First Committee (Oppose)
CS/SB 1128 (Hutson) was heard on Tuesday and passed 8-1 in the Senate Regulated Industries Committee, its first of three committee stops in the Senate. The House companion, CS/HB 919 (Tomkow), passed in its first committee on a vote of 16-1. As originally filed, the bills preempt municipalities, counties, special districts or other political subdivisions from restricting utility service choice, irrespective of fuel source. Both bills were amended to substantially narrow the scope of the preemption. As amended, the bills preempt any local government action that would restrict or prohibit the types of fuel or the fuel sources of energy production. (O’Hara)
Sales Tax Fairness Bills Moves in Both Chambers (Support)
This week, CS/HB 15 (Clemons) passed through the Ways & Means Committee 16-2, while the Senate companion CS/CS/SB 50 (Gruters) was temporarily postponed on the Senate floor. The bills require 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. CS/HB 15 was amended to temporarily divert increased revenues to the Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund until the balance reached a specific amount. (Hughes)
Combating Public Disorder Ready for House Floor (Oppose)
CS/HB 1 (Fernandez-Barquin) passed its final committee on a party line vote of 14-7. Of concern to cities, the bill includes provisions that make it difficult to reduce municipal law enforcement funding. In certain cases, it waives the sovereign immunity of cities for damages arising from riots and includes provisions that create specific law enforcement actions when responding to riots. The bill was amended to allow a state attorney or a member of the local governing body, rather than a resident, to initiate the budget appeal process. The bill is now ready for House floor action. (Hughes)
COVID-19 Liability Bill Moves in the Senate (Support)
On Thursday, the Senate Rules Committee passed CS/SB 72 (Brandes) on a vote of 10-5. This bill seeks to add lawsuit protections for businesses, local governments, universities and other public entities that may be facing exposure to claims related to COVID-19. This was the last committee stop, and the bill is now ready for House floor action. (Cruz)
Reclaimed Water Bill Moves in the Senate (Oppose)
CS/SB 64 (Albritton), the Reclaimed Water Bill (FLC Priority), was heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee and passed 18-0. CS/SB 64 creates a timeline and plan to eliminate nonbeneficial surface water discharge within five years. It also contains a series of conditions authorizing discharges that are being beneficially used or otherwise regulated, and for specified hardships. The bill is now ready for Senate floor action. The House Companion CS/HB 263 (Maggard) is waiting to be heard in the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee. The financial feasibility/hardship provisions were deleted from the House bill. (O’Hara)
Sea Level Rise and Resilience Moves in the House (Support)
On Monday, HB 7019 and HB 7021 (House Environment, Agriculture & Flooding Subcommittee, Busatta Cabrera) passed unanimously 12-0. The bills create the Resilient Florida Trust Fund and the Resilient Florida Grant Program within the Department of Environmental Protection. The bills specify that moneys deposited in the trust fund are available as a funding source for DEP for the Resilient Florida Grant Program and the Statewide Flooding and Sea Level Rise Resilience Plan, including costs to operate the grant program, to develop the plan and to provide grants to regional resilience coalitions. The Senate companion bill, SB 1954 (Rodrigues), will be heard in the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee on March 15. (O’Hara)
Public Notice Bill Passes Last Committee (Support) 
On Wednesday, the House Judiciary committee passed CS/HB 35 (Fine) on a vote of 17-4. The bill gives local governments the option to publish public notices on a publicly accessible website if the online publication results in a cost savings to the local government. This was the final committee stop, and the bill is now ready for House floor action. (Taggart)
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