Dear Colleagues and Friends,

The 2022 Florida Legislative session went into overtime and is expected to adjourn on Monday, March 14. Approximately 3,700 bills were filed this session. Below is a high-level update on the five most significant bills and issues that occurred during the session’s ninth, and final, week, March 7-11

We hope that these weekly session updates were relevant and informative. I will be hosting a Session Wrap Up webinar highlighting significant bills that were passed and providing insight into potential business and legal implications if the Governor signs them into law. Save the date for Wednesday, April 6 at noon and look out for registration information coming soon. 

Session Goes Into Overtime 
The Legislature adopted Concurrent Resolution 2002, extending the 2022 legislative session until 11:59 p.m. on Monday, March 14, 2022, to vote on the proposed bills related to the budget. All other bills before both chambers will be indefinitely postponed and withdrawn from further consideration as of 12:00 a.m. tomorrow, March 12, 2022.

Largest Budget in Florida History 
Legislators agreed to a $112.1 billion budget for the 2022-2023 fiscal year, the largest state budget in the history of Florida. The proposed budget includes a gas tax break for motorists this Fall, raises and bonuses for state government employees and teachers, a 7.5% increase in school funding, and leaves nearly $9 billion in reserves. The budget also includes one of the largest increases in affordable housing programs in a decade, and money for construction of new state correctional facilities. The Legislature will return to Tallahassee for a final vote on the budget on Monday.

Previously Reported Bills That Likely Will Not Pass 
Several policy measures faced dim prospects of passing in the final week of session, including two bills previously reported on. 
  • Last week, the House passed a data privacy bill that would have strengthened consumer data privacy in the state. However, the Senate, who had concerns with the private cause of action included in the bill, never moved the bill. There was no last minute deal to pass the bill between the chambers. 
  • The House proposed and passed a bill in response to last year’s Surfside collapse that included a milestone building inspection program for older buildings and changes to community association budgeting and financial reserves. The Senate approach, however, took a more measured approach with the inspection program and reserves. Ultimately, the Senate sent the House a bill that included only the milestone building inspection program which the House did not consider.

Previously Reported Bills That Passed 
Three bills previously reported on including crypto-currency, school concurrency, and a measure permitting businesses to sue local governments for lost profits due to the impact of an adopted local ordinance have passed both chambers and will be sent on to the Governor for his action. Additionally, the annual tax package was included in the final proposed budget.

Governor Signs Three Bills 
Three bills were sent to Governor Ron DeSantis and signed into law this week. 
  • SB 282 allows for the use of certified recovery peer specialists in addiction recovery programs. 
  • SB 1006 designates strawberry shortcake as the official state dessert.
  • SB 1658 gives the Governor the choice between Cabinet approval or Senate confirmation for the Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Veterans Affairs and Florida Department of Law Enforcement nominees.

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