February 9, 2018
Week 5 - 2018 Session
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
 Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools...
This week marks the halfway point of the legislative session and all of the chaos that it brings. A wise person once told me, “If somebody else has said it better, let them say it.” 

Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
 Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
 But make allowance for their doubting too.
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
 Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
 And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
 If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster,
 And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
 Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
 And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make a heap of all your winnings
 And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
 And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
 To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
 Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
 Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
 If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
 With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
 And—which is more—you'll be a Man, my son!!
The following is a brief summary of activity on key legislative bills and CRC proposals since our last report. For a deeper dive on the issues and comprehensive list of filed bills with municipal impact, please review the League's Legislative Bill Summaries . This searchable resource summarizes all the bills we are tracking, by issue area, and will be updated regularly through the end of the 2018 session.
FLC Monday Morning Call-In
Participate in our 30-minute conference call every Monday morning during session (January 8-March5) at 9:00 a.m. ET. You’ll be updated on what issues the legislature will be discussing in the upcoming week and what advocacy efforts may be needed. The Call-In number is 1-888-419-5570 and the Participant Code is 880-753-19.
Constitution Revision Commission Public Hearings
The CRC is holding public hearings around the state. If you plan to speak at a hearing, the CRC has asked that remarks be limited to two minutes and relevant to proposals currently under CRC consideration. As you know, last week Proposal 95 (Local Government Preemption) was voted down in the Local Government Committee. Proposal 61 (Transparency in Home Rule Preemptions) was likewise voted down in the Legislative Committee. CRC Rule 4.5 provides a way for a proposal voted down or stuck in committee to be pulled from committee and placed on the special order calendar for the next meeting of the full CRC. Commissioner Tom Lee has indicated that he plans to use Rule 4.5 to bring Proposal 95 before the full CRC; he will need a majority vote to do so. Therefore, our message is to oppose any such motion to pull Proposal 95 from the Local Government Committee where it died; to respect the Committee process and allow the Committee action to stand as final. To request Proposal 61 be revived would be contrary to this message.

Click HERE for a schedule of dates and locations.
Vacation Rentals Preemption Moving in Senate Despite Mounting Opposition
CS/CS/SB 1400 ( Steube) passed through the Senate Regulated Industries Committee Thursday by a 9-1 vote despite objections from close to 20 local government officials. The bill remains a complete preemption on the regulation of vacation rentals unless the city had an ordinance in place prior to June 1, 2011. Language was added to the bill allowing “grandfathered” cities to amend existing regulations so long as the changes make the regulations less restrictive.  HB 773 ( La Rosa) has yet to be heard in the House Government Accountability Committee, its first committee of reference. ( Cook)
Municipal Elections Preemption Passes First Senate Committee
CS/SB 1262 ( Hutson) and HB 7037 ( Gov’t Accountability Committee) preempt municipal authority to determine the dates for municipal elections and would require municipalities to hold general elections on specified dates in March or in November. CS/SB 1262 was amended to specify that a municipality may not hold more than one general election in a calendar year. This week, CS/SB 1262 passed the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee and now heads to Senate Community Affairs, where it could be heard as early as Tuesday, February 13. Please thank Senators Passidomo, Torres and Rodriguez for voting NO. HB 7037 is ready for a full vote on the House floor. ( O’Hara)
Scaled Down Travel Restriction Bill Clears Second House Committee; Senate Bill Up Next Week
CS/CS/HB 815 ( Avila) and SB 1180 ( Steube) as originally filed would have imposed significant limitations, reporting requirements and prohibitions on local government officer and employee travel. CS/HB 815 was amended in its initial committee and was amended again this week to remove most of the restrictions in the original bill. As amended, the remaining provisions: prohibit reimbursement for foreign travel by elected officials; require out-of-state travel by elected officials be approved in advance by the governing body at a regularly scheduled public meeting (allowing for ratification post-travel upon showing of good cause); require posting of travel by elected officials on government’s webpage for specified timeframe rather than sending to Commission on Ethics; and require incumbent local government candidates to post campaign finance reports on qualifying officer’s website instead of the local government’s website. The amended bill removes provisions requiring Form 6 financial disclosure, provisions restricting travel reimbursement to 24-hour period before and after travel event, provisions imposing a $120 cap on lodging; and provisions applying these new requirements to public employees.  Please thank the following Representatives for voting NO on the bill: Daniels, Davis, Mercado, Peters, Pritchett, and Richardson. SB 1180 is on the Tuesday, February 13 agenda for the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee. Please contact committee members and ask them to vote NO on SB 1180. ( O’Hara)
Tree Preemption Bill TP’d But Will Be Back Next Week
CS/HB 521 ( Edwards-Walpole) and SB 574 ( Steube) would preempt local government tree ordinances as applied to private property. CS/HB 521 was substantially amended and no longer preempts ordinances as applied to private property. Instead, the bill prohibits local governments from regulating tree trimming by state agencies and special districts in rights-of-way used for flood protection and drainage control. The amended bill language is overbroad (it applies to community development districts, neighborhood improvement districts, and may not be limited to rights-of-way only used for drainage), but the sponsor is willing to work on ways to tighten it up.  SB 574 was temporarily postponed this week by the Senate Community Affairs Committee, with a pending amendment similar to that filed to CS/HB 521. Unfortunately, the amendment to SB 574 also includes language to remove an existing statutory exception for certain local government tree protection ordinances relating to electric utility line rights-of-way. The League  opposes the removal of this existing statutory provision, and thanks Senator Rodriguez for filing an amendment to the amendment to restore this provision for local governments. SB 574 is on the Community Affairs meeting agenda for Tuesday, February 13. ( O’Hara)
Towing Bills Keep Moving 
Both towing preemption bills, SB 1632 ( Mayfield ) and HB 963 ( Cortes ), moved this week. The bills prohibit franchise agreements between tow truck companies and cities if the agreement requires any payment by the tow truck company to the city. ( Branch)
Impact Fees
CS/SB 324 ( Young ) and CS/CS/HB 697 ( Miller ) have ballooned from a pair of bills that simply affected the timing of when local governments could collect impact fees to now encompassing several growth management regulations. This week, House Government Accountability Committee made additional changes to CS/CS/HB 324 by addressing local government concerns exempting water and sewer connection fees from the impact fee provisions of the bills. The legislation prohibit local governments from collecting impact fees prior to the issuance a building permit for the property that is subject to the fee. In addition, the dual rational nexus test (a legal standard impact fees must meet) is codified in the bills. The legislation prohibits the use of impact fee revenues to pay existing debt or for prior approved projects, unless the expenditure is reasonably connected to, or has a rational nexus with, the increased impact generated by the new residential or commercial construction. Amendments also revised the “sector plan” laws for large developments of more than 15,000 acres by prohibiting a local government requiring a developer to contribute or pay for land acquisition or construction or expansion of public facilities unless the local government has enacted an ordinance that requires developers of other developments not within the sector planning area to do the same. ( Cruz )
Dockless Bicycle Sharing Preemption Drastically Limited 
CS/1304 ( Young ) was substantially amended this week in the Banking and Insurance Committee. As amended, the bill no longer preempts local government regulation of dockless bicycles and bicycle-sharing companies. Instead, the amended bill language requires all dockless bicycles and bicycle-sharing companies to comply with all local laws and regulations. The House companion, CS/HB 1033 ( Toledo ), has passed one committee and is awaiting action by the House Commerce Committee. The League will continue to watch this bill as it moves forward. ( Branch )
Vegetable Gardens Sprouting a New Preemption 
This week the Senate Community Affairs Committee gave the green thumb to SB 1776 ( Bradley ) which sends local government regulations on vegetable gardens on residential properties to the compost pile. The bill prohibits a county, municipality, or other political subdivision of the state from regulating vegetable gardens on residential properties. The issue stems from a recent appeals court decision which held a local government ordinance was rationally related to the code’s design standards and landscaping regulations. ( Cruz )
Fracking Ban Gets Unanimous Support 
SB 462 ( Young) would prohibit fracking in the state. The bill passed the Senate Environmental Protection and Conservation Committee unanimously on February 5. Similar proposals appear dead in the House, having failed to receive an initial hearing. ( O’Hara)
Wastewater Utility Incentive Bill Clears First Senate Committee
CS/HB 837 ( Edwards-Walpole) and  CS/SB 244 ( Brandes) establish a statewide voluntary program for wastewater treatment system assessments, investments, rehabilitation, and electric power outage mitigation planning. The bills provide regulatory incentives for utilities to implement the program. CS/SB 244 passed the Senate Environmental Preservation Committee this week, but has three more committees stops ahead. CS/HB 837 has two more committee stops in the House. The League supports the bills. ( O’Hara)
Financial Reporting Passes Appropriations Committee   
The House Appropriations Committee passed CS/HB 1019 ( La Rosa) which amends existing financial reporting requirements and adds additional financial reporting requirements. The bill changes the deadline for submitting annual financial reports and audit reports from nine to six months after the end of the fiscal year. The bill requires all municipalities to conduct an annual audit and requires municipalities to submit certain budget information to the Office of Economic and Demographic Research and the county clerk of the court. If a municipality fails to file the required reports then the clerk must notify the appropriate fiscal officer to withhold salary payments from the head of the local government entity. ( Hughes)
Budget Bills Clear Both Chambers, Negotiations to Commence 
This week the House and Senate both advanced separate versions of an over $87 million state budget, with the two chambers taking different courses on health-care spending and a plan to link education policy to the budget process. After initial debate on the bills, the Senate pass its $87.3 billion bill and the House passed its $87.2 billion spending plan. The Revenue Estimating Converse meets today (Friday, February 9) to do one final general revenue estimate and then the chambers will be able to begin negotiating the 2018-2019 state budget. ( Hughes)
Statewide Travel Reporting Moving
Along with of budget conforming and implementing bills, the House passed HB 5203 ( Government Operations and Technology Appropriations Subcommittee) which appropriated funds and outline the procedure for the Statewide Travel System which already passed the House in CS/HB 11 (Metz). The Statewide Travel System requires most governmental entities including municipalities, to report information relating to all travel resulting in an overnight stay by a public officer or employee. ( Hughes
Legislature Urges Congress to Extend Oil Drilling Moratorium
SB 550 ( Broxson) and HB 319 ( Ponder) are legislative resolutions urging Congress to extend the existing federal moratorium on oil drilling in specified areas of the Gulf of Mexico in order to protect military operations. SB 550 is awaiting final action by the Senate and HB 319 was adopted by the House last week. ( O’Hara
Stay a part of the process.
The League provides ample resources to help you stay informed and engaged. Please visit our website www.LetCitiesWork.com to find out how you can take action.