Legislative Updates

Legislative Update - December 2017

Florida Building Code Commission Makeup Might Change HB 299 Florida Building Commission by Rep. McClain was heard in the House Careers & Competition Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Beshears, on November 15. Rep. McClain, a building contractor from Ocala, presented his bill. The bill eliminates the building products manufacturing representative from the Florida Building Commission. From his remarks it was apparent he does not understand the importance of this representative on the Commission...

Read More
Nancy Stephens, CAE, DPL 12/4/2017 Comments(0)

Legislative Update - September 2017

The following workers comp bill has been filed for 2018. SB 258 Insurance Rates by Senator Farmer Insurance Rates; Prohibiting attorney fees paid pursuant to specified provisions under the Workers' Compensation Law and the Florida Insurance Code from being included in an insurer's rate base or used to justify a rate or rate change, etc. Effective Date: 7/1/2018 The National Council on Compensation Insurance NCCI recommended a 9.6% workers comp rate decrease to Florida's Office of Insurance Regul...

Read More
Nancy Stephens, CAE, DPL 9/25/2017 Comments(0)

FBMA Legislative Monitoring Report - May 2017

Where We Are The last day of the 2017 Florida Legislative Session was supposed to be Friday, May 5, but legislators were unable to finalize the budget on time and so the Session was extended through midnight on Monday, May 8 for the purpose of considering and passing a state budget and bill associated with it. All other bills that were not passed by the time the Legislature adjourned on May 5 died for the year. Workers Comp Died Unfortunately the Florida Senate dug their heels in on work...

Read More
Nancy Stephens, CAE, DPL 5/8/2017 Comments(0)

FBMA Monitoring Report

Where We Are! The week of April 3 is Week 5 of the Legislative Session. That means there are no more House subcommittees meeting, just Committees. It also means that the House and Senate will consider their respective budgets for the first time and have scheduled hearings for April 5. Workers Compensation This was the week of fits and starts on workers’ compensation insurance. The House Commerce Committee scheduled a hearing for the House Bill, HB 7085, for March 29 and then pulled...

Read More
Nancy Stephens, CAE, DPL 4/3/2017 Comments(0)

Legislative Update - March 2017

Session Begins Next Week March 7, 2017 is the official start date for the 2017 Legislative Session. Once that date comes action on bills filed for the Session will come rapidly. We will provide you with weekly updates during the Session on your bills of interest. If there are any bills you would like us to place on your Tracking List that are not captured below, please let us know. To view any of the bills or keep up with legislative meetings, you may go to http://www.leg.state.fl.us . W...

Read More
Nancy Stephens, CAE, DPL 3/6/2017 Comments(0)

Workers Compensation Costs

Workers compensation costs rose by 14.5% in December 2016 because of Florida Supreme Court decisions. Employers and business associations are outraged and have taken to the halls of Tallahassee to call for change that will lower workers comp rates once again. In December, Nancy Stephens, spoke for FBMA to the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee about members’ concerns with the higher rates. The House Judiciary Committee was briefed on the workers comp issues on January 11 by their staff...

Read More
Nancy Stephens, CAE, DPL 1/13/2017 Comments(0)

Workers Compensation Rates Increase Update

As I reported a few days ago, a Circuit Court in Florida agreed with appellants last week that the 14.5 percent workers comp rate increase was invalid. However, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation appealed that decision this week, which has the effect of causing the rate increase to go into effect while the appeal is being considered. In short, there was the increase, an appeal of the increase reversing it, and then an appeal of the appeal reversing the decision again until this appeal ca...

Read More
Nancy Stephens, CAE, DPL 12/5/2016 Comments(0)

Workers Compensation Update

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation OIR officials said in their biannual conference last week that their top priorities for the 2017 legislative session are to address workers comp insurance and property insurance cost drivers. Legislation is expected that will address both attorneys and contractors' ways of doing business. Regarding property insurance, they say a cost driver is the assignment of benefits, a way for property insurance policyholders to sign away their insurance rights to c...

Read More
Nancy Stephens, CAE, DPL 10/31/2016 Comments(0)

Workers Compensation Update

The National Council on Compensation Insurance NCCI has proposed a 19.6% workers comp increase in Florida beginning October 1, 2016 for both existing and new policies. NCCI points to recent Florida Supreme Court decisions as the primary catalyst for the increase. Further, it is estimated that the proposed increase will cost businesses $1 billion or more in unfunded liabilities. On August 16, 2016 in Tallahassee the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation FOIR held a public hearing to take testimo...

Read More
Nancy Stephens, CAE, DPL 8/22/2016 Comments(0)

Workers Compensation Rates Increase by 20%

Two Florida Supreme Court decisions and one new law will increase workers compensation rates by 20% in Florida beginning October 1, 2016, for new and renewed policies. The Court decisions relate to a the current cap on lawyers' fees in workers comp cases and b the number of weeks of coverage. The cost of a 20% increase in workers comp rates to Florida businesses is estimated at $714 million/year. In 2000, Florida had the highest workers comp rates in the nation. Due to legislation passed since t...

Read More
Nancy Stephens, CAE, DPL 7/22/2016 Comments(0)

DOL Issues Final Overtime Rule

On May 18, 2016 the U.S. Department of Labor issued their "final" overtime rule, which is expected to affect 4 million workers. The rule will be effective December 1, 2016. It significantly increases the minimum salary for employees to qualify as exempt from overtime pay requirements. When it goes into effect, no employee who has a guaranteed salary of less than $47,476 will qualify as exempt under executive, administrative or professional exemptions. That is more than double the current minimum...

Read More
Nancy Stephens, CAE, DPL 5/23/2016 Comments(0)

News from the Florida Building Commission

On April 14, 2016 the Structural Technical Advisory Committee TAC of the Florida Building Commission heard testimony on 156 proposed modifications to the 6 TH Edition of the 2017 Florida Building Code. Of significance to FBMA members are three proposed modifications affecting the door industry. Two address substitution of hardware and one defines a custom one of-a-kind door. The proposed modifications are proposed by the Florida Home Builders Association and are opposed by FMA, AAMA, WDMA and As...

Read More
Nancy Stephens, CAE, DPL 4/25/2016 Comments(0)

Legislative Session Ends

Legislative Session Ends The Florida Legislature adjourned Sine Die at 6:45 p.m. on Friday, March 11, 2016. In a first ever appearance, Governor Rick Scott joined the House and Senate for adjournment of Session in the Capitol Rotunda, where they all made short speeches about the Session to a jam-packed crowd. This report includes the FBMA-tracked bills for the 2016 Legislative Session that passed the Florida Legislature. For the bills that passed, once they are passed by the House and Senate Enr...

Read More
Nancy Stephens, CAE, DPL 3/18/2016 Comments(0)

Legislative Update - February 2016

Senate Building Codes Bill Moves to Next Committee SB 704, the Senate Building Code bill, was heard in the Senate General Government Appropriations Committee on February 17. It took over an hour for the presentation of the bill, questions from senators, testimony from the audience, and debate on the bill. The bill passed the Committee on a 5-1 vote. The bill now moves to the Senate Fiscal Policy Committee where again it is expected to pass without amendments. Senator Hutson, the bill sponsor, in...

Read More
Nancy Stephens, CAE, DPL 2/19/2016 Comments(0)

Legislative Update - February 2016

Senate Building Code Bill Had Hearing On February 1 the Senate Community Affairs Committee heard SB 704 Building Codes. There were eight amendments filed for the bill hearing, three of them filed the day of the hearing. Five of the amendments were adopted. Following are the provisions of the bill as passed by the Committee, CS/SB 704. CS/SB 704 makes the following changes to law: Makes several adjustments to the training and experience required to take the certification examinati...

Read More
Nancy Stephens, CAE, DPL 2/8/2016 Comments(0)

Legislative Update - January 2016

First Week of Florida Legislative Session January 12 was the first official day of the Florida Legislative Session. Senate President Andy Gardiner and House Speaker Steve Crisafulli addressed their respective chambers on that day and Governor Rick Scott made his State of the State address to a joint session of the House and Senate and the Florida Cabinet. Below are highlights from their remarks: Senate President Andy Gardiner The Senate President opened the 2016 Session by saying that the House ...

Read More
Nancy Stephens, CAE, DPL 1/21/2016 Comments(0)

Legislative Update - January 2016

One Million Strong! The Governor's office announced the milestone of one million private sector jobs created in Florida within the past 5 years. Florida's unemployment rate also dropped to 5%, the lowest in seven years! Governor Scott attributed the increase in job creation and growth to the recent history of tax cuts, making it easier for businesses to expand and create positions. Also last week, Florida’s population surpassed 20 million residents. What to Expect in the Coming Weeks ...

Read More
Nancy Stephens, CAE, DPL 1/6/2016 Comments(0)

Legislative Update - December 2015

December Committee Week The Florida Legislature met the week of November 30 to conduct Committee business and legislators held a variety of fundraisers for re-election during the evenings. Of interest to FBMA members: SB 170 Renewable Energy Source Device passed the Senate Community Affairs Committee on December 1. The bill exempts a renewable energy source device from tangible personal property tax. A similar bill in the House HB 195 also passed the House Finance & Tax Committee o...

Read More
Nancy Stephens, CAE, DPL 12/15/2015 Comments(0)

Legislative Update - November 2015

Governor Scott's Initiatives Governor Scott announced several budget initiatives recently that may be of interest. Career In A Year - Gov. Scott has proposed $20 million for grant funding that would develop programs which could be completed in less than a year, such as welding. The programs would be designed to offer needed skills in an efficient time frame for growing industry sectors. A total of 48 colleges and technical centers would be eligible for the grants. Quick Action Closing Fund - Gov...

Read More
Nancy Stephens, CAE, DPL 11/13/2015 Comments(0)

Legislative Update - October 2015

Legislators met in Tallahassee the week of October 5-10 for interim committee meetings. Following are highlights that may be of interest to FBMA member businesses. SB 76 Tax-Exempt Income aka Corporate Income Tax passed the Senate Banking & Insurance committee on October 6. The bill increases the amount of income that is exempt from Florida corporate income tax 5.5% from $50,000 to $75,000. SB 92 Contaminated Sites passed the Senate Environmental Preservation & Conservati...

Read More
Nancy Stephens, CAE, DPL 10/15/2015 Comments(0)

Meet Our New Legislative Reporter!

Nancy Stephens, CAE, DPL FBMA strives to bring you the latest and most up-to-date news about legislative activities that may affect your business. In that regard, FBMA has engaged Nancy Stephens, nancy d. Stephens & Associates, to provide FBMA members with information on bills of interest being filed in the Florida Legislature. You will receive updates twice a month during the months leading up to the 2016 Session, and then weekly during Session. Ms. Stephens has a long history with both gov...

Read More
FBMA 9/14/2015 Comments(0)