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 fourth week, January 31 - February 4.

House and Senate Maps Approved
This week, the Legislature passed new House and Senate maps. The maps passed as a joint resolution and can become law without the Governor’s action. The Attorney General will now petition the Florida Supreme Court to review the maps. They will have 30 days to perform a high-level review, giving the Legislature time to make any required changes. If approved, the maps would be in effect for the 2022 election cycle.

Congressional Maps on Hold
Governor DeSantis requested an advisory opinion from the Florida Supreme Court regarding the constitutionality of Florida’s 5th Congressional District in North Florida. The House said it will not move forward on a new proposed Congressional map until the Court issues its opinion.  

Condo Collapse Response
The Senate Regulated Industries Committee filed and passed SB 7042 in response to last year’s Surfside Condominium collapse. The bill would add requirements regarding the information provided about mandatory inspections of buildings three stories and higher, community association reserves, inspection reports, and funding associations’ reserve obligations. SB 1702, a similar bill that was also passed by the committee, would require residential buildings higher than three stories to get inspected if the building is 30 years old and subsequently once every 10 years. Buildings within three miles of the coastline would need to be inspected at the 20-year-mark and subsequently every seven years. The bills will now move on to the Senate Appropriations Committee. There is no House companion for either bill.

Budget Begins to Take Shape 
Appropriations subcommittees released their proposed budgets prompting both chambers to begin the budget writing process. Neither of the proposals include two of Governor DeSantis’ budget priorities: cutting the state gas tax and spending $100 million for the Job Growth Grant Fund to issue grants for road projects and targeted job training programs. The Senate Appropriations Committee will be meeting on Wednesday to consider the appropriations bill. The House has not yet set their budget schedule.

Regulatory Reform Moving
HB 1185 was reported favorably by its second committee stop, the House Government Operations Subcommittee. The bill amends the state’s Sunrise Act (which requires the Legislature to consider certain factors before determining whether to regulate an unregulated profession or occupation) to also apply to legislation that substantially expands regulation of an already regulated profession or occupation. The bill would require proponents of new regulation to provide the Legislature with documentation supporting the need for the new regulation. It would also require the state agency proposed to have jurisdiction to estimate the number and potential costs for people impacted by the regulation and provide a description of likely impacts on small businesses or local governments. The Senate companion, SB 1276, has not yet been heard in committee.

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