Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Below is a high-level update on the five most significant bills and issues that occurred during the 2022 Florida Legislative session’s third week, January 24-28.

House Moves Legislative Map
The House Redistricting Committee voted to send a proposed map of the 120 House districts to the chamber floor for a final vote. If passed, the proposed map could force several incumbents to face each other during the primary and general elections this fall.

Preemption Bills Pass
The full Senate passed two preemption bills after substantial changes. SB 280 requires local governments to produce a business impact estimate prior to passing an ordinance. The estimate must be published on the local government’s website and include certain information, such as the proposed ordinance’s purpose, estimated economic impact on businesses, and compliance costs. SB 620 creates a cause of action for an established business to recover loss of business damages from a county or municipality whose regulatory action has caused a significant impact on the business. Both bills will be sent to the House where the companion bills have each passed their first House committee.

Affordable Housing Fixes Moving 
The Senate Finance and Tax Committee favorably reported SB 1150This bill would allow local governments to create a tax exemption for property used for multifamily affordable housing projects with 50 or more units where at least 10 percent are used for affordable housing. The exemption would be capped at 75 percent unless all of the units are used for affordable housing, then the entire property would be eligible for exemption. This bill, along with the full funding of the state’s affordable housing trust fund in Governor DeSantis’ FY 2022-2023 budget recommendations, is hoped to bring relief to the affordable housing market.

Vacation Rental Bill Heard 
HB 325 passed its first committee of reference. This bill would preempt local licensing to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation but still allow local governments to create a registration program. This bill would also require platforms such as Airbnb to provide license and registration information in their listings, collect any taxes, and adopt anti-discrimination policies. The Senate companion bill, SB 512, is also moving and is currently in its second committee.

Floating Solar Clears First Committee
The House Tourism, Infrastructure & Energy Subcommittee passed HB 1411. This bill allows a floating solar facility to be a permitted land use category in a local government comprehensive plan. The bill only permits counties to adopt ordinances specifying buffer and landscaping requirements for the facilities. It also directs the state Office of Energy to develop and submit to the Legislature, by December 31, 2022, recommendations for a regulatory framework for private and public sector entities to develop and operate floating solar-power facilities. The Senate companion bill, SB 1338, will be heard by the Senate Regulated Industries Committee next week.

I would be happy to speak with you about any of the issues above. For more information, please contact me.