Week One
March 5, 2021
We hope you will join us for FLC 2021 Virtual Legislative Action Week on March 15-19. Click here to RSVP.

It’s not too early to go ahead and setup meetings with your legislators! FLC will be providing members with a position paper that can be shared with legislators. Contact Mary Edenfield if you have any questions or concerns. 

The following is a brief synopsis of the key legislative actions and bill summaries for this week.

Thanks for all you do!
Sales and Use Tax Bill Amended in the Senate (Support)
This week, the Senate Appropriations committee passed CS/CS/SB 50 (Gruters) unanimously 18-0. The bill requires 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. This was the final committee stop and the bill is now available for Senate floor action. (Hughes)
Reclaimed Water Bills Move Through Committee (Oppose)
CS/SB 64 (Albritton), the Reclaimed Water Bill (FLC Priority), was heard in the Senate Community Affairs Committee and passed unanimously 9-0. 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 will now move to its final committee stop, the Senate Appropriations Committee. The House Companion CS/HB 263 (Maggard) also passed through committee this week and will now move to the Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee. Unfortunately, CS/HB 263 was amended to DELETE language that would allow a utility to demonstrate fiscal hardship. (O’Hara)
House Energy Preemption Bill Postponed (Oppose)
HB 839 (Fabricio) was considered but temporarily postponed due to a technical issue by the House Tourism, Infrastructure & Energy Subcommittee. The bill is a sweeping preemption of all municipal regulations and policies affecting various forms of energy infrastructure. It may be reconsidered by that committee next week. We expect the Senate energy preemption bills to be considered by the Senate Regulated Industries Committee Tuesday, March 9. SB 856 (Hutson) is identical to HB 839 (Fabricio). SB 1128 (Hutson) is a broad preemption of any municipal activity that restricts or has the effect of restricting the ability of consumers to choose their energy provider, regardless of fuel source. (O’Hara)
Combating Public Disorder Bill Passes Through Second Committee (Oppose)
HB 1 (Fernandez-Barquin) passed its second committee on a party line vote of 10-5. 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 provisions that create specific law enforcement actions when responding to riots. The discussion in the committee was focused around the fiscal impact of the bill, and no substantive changes were made. The bill will now move to its last committee. (Hughes)
Building Design Moves Through Second Committee (Oppose)
CS/HB 55 (Overdorf) passed its second committee on Tuesday on a party line vote of 12-6. 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 bill is scheduled to be heard in its last committee stop Tuesday, March 9 at 3:45 p.m. Please thank Reps. Bartleman, Benjamin, Goff-Marcil, Hart, Joseph and Woodson for voting NO on CS/HB 55. (Branch)
COVID-19 Liability Bill Passes Through The House (Support)
On Tuesday, the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee passed SB 72 (Brandes) on a vote of 7-4. 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. The bill now moves to its last committee. On Friday, the House companion bill CS/HB 7 (McClure) passed on the House floor 83-31. (Cruz)
Growth Management Bill Moves In The Senate (Amendment Changes FLC Position From Oppose To Watch)
CS/SB 496 (Perry), the growth management bill, passed its first committee unanimously and was amended in committee to address concerns raised by the League. The bill requires all cities and counties in Florida to adopt a new comprehensive plan amendment in order to create a new private property rights element but gives cities additional time to comply; therefore, it reduces costs associated in creating this new element. The bill has two more committee stops before the floor. (Cruz)
Cottage Food Operations Passes First Committee (Oppose) 
CS/HB 663 (Salzman) passed through its first committee on Tuesday. The bill would prohibit local governments from imposing home-based business regulation on cottage food operations and increases the allowed sales threshold from $50,000 to $250,000. The bill will now move to its second and final committee stop. Please thank Reps. Eskamani and Goff-Marcil for voting NO on CS/HB 663. (Taggart)
Anchoring, Mooring & Derelict Vessels Bill Moves In The House (Support)
CS/HB 639 (Sirois) amends current law relating to anchoring and mooring of vessels, boating safety and derelict vessels. The bill makes changes that should help local governments better address challenges associated with these issues. The bill passed its first committee 17-0 and now heads to the Criminal Justice & Public Safety Subcommittee. The Senate companion, SB 1086 (Hutson), is awaiting its first hearing by the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee. (O’Hara)
Right To Farm Act Bill Ready For The Senate Floor (Oppose)
The Florida Right to Farm Act limits nuisance and other legal actions brought against farming operations based on adverse impacts to surrounding areas by the farming activities. CS/CS/CS/SB 88 (Brodeur) amends the Florida Right to Farm Act to include agritourism activities within the definition of “farm operation” and impose additional limitations on nuisance and tort civil actions relating to the impacts of farming operations. The bill passed the Senate Rules Committee 14-2, its final committee, and is available for Senate floor action. The House companion, HB 1601 (Williamson), was filed this week and is awaiting committee reference. (O’Hara)
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