FBMA Legislative Monitoring Report - May 2017

Monday, May 8, 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 workers comp reforms and refused to accept the House proposal that FBMA and the business community favored. The House bill, HB 7085 would have provided the greatest cost savings for the business community. When the Senate refused to accept the House bill, the House offered to raise attorneys’ fees from $150/hour to $180/hour. The Senate still refused the offer and simply did not take the bill back up before they adjourned on May 5. That refusal to accept the House bill or the House compromise sealed the fate of workers’ comp insurance rates for this year.

Between now and next Session, legislators need to hear from you that you need workers’ compensation rate reform. Not only was there a 14.5% increase in rates as of December 2016, which will show up on your renewal, we expect another increase to be announced this summer.

FBMA was very disappointed in the Senate’s inaction on workers’ compensation.

Building Codes

As usual, many bills were filed pertaining to building codes and building inspections, but one of them became a “train” and the others died. This year the train was HB 1021 Construction. As soon as the bill has all the amendments incorporated, we will make the bill available to FBMA members. In short, the bill does the following:

  • Amends the Florida Solar Energy Center Act of 1976 by requiring the Center to adopt standards using the most current Florida Building Code unless certified by a licensed P.E.
  • Adds disciplinary action for failure of an engineer to disclose whether the licensee maintains liability insurance.
  • Adds an exemption for municipal gas utilities for certain work performed by their employees.
  • Preempts a political subdivision from enforcing an ordinance or requiring a permit for aesthetic requirements on signage.
  • Prohibits building departments from requiring additional fees when a building owner engages a private provider, allows permit fees to be reduced based on cost savings to the building department, and requires a private provider to be licensed as a building code administrator.
  • Related to building inspections, provides definitions and license criteria for building inspector, plans review, administrator and plans examiner; provides for reciprocity with other states; and provides educational criteria for inspectors and plans examiners
  • Defines building code inspection services and private provider criteria.
  • Limits architects performing building code inspection to requirements in s. 468.603 (5).
  • Limits P.E.’s providing building code inspection services to requirements in Section 468.603 (5).
  • Adds independent districts and special districts to entities that may not charge additional fees for enumerated activities.
  • Requires the Florida Building Commission to amend the Florida Energy Code to eliminate duplicative HVAC and electrical systems requirements and prohibits adoption of HVAC Standard 9.4.1.1 (g).
  • Prohibits a local district, county, municipality, special district, or public/ private utility from charging an additional rate based on fire sprinklers.
  • Prohibits local government from requiring a permit to paint a home regardless of ownership.
  • Requires the DOE, in conjunction with the Department of Economic Opportunity, to implement the recommendations of the Construction Industry Workforce Task Force. The DOE shall provide the implementation plan prior to July1, 2018.
  • CareerSource Florida, Inc., shall submit a plan detailing potential opportunities for training programs to implement the Construction Industry Workforce Task Force Report using existing federal funds. Must use the Florida ReBuilds program as a model. The plan must be submitted to the Construction Industry Workforce Task Force before July 1, 2018.
  • Requires the Florida Building Commission to adopt a code amendment allowing substitution of door component hardware that comply with:
    • ANSI/WMA 100 Standard
    • Evaluated by an approved evaluation entity, certification entity, testing laboratory or engineer.
    • Components may be interchangeable in exterior door assemblies if components demonstrate equal to, or greater, in structural performance as demonstrated by acceptable engineering practices. (This is new in the building code as it now allows EXERTIOR door hardware to be interchangeable if proved equal structurally to what is being replaced)
As it pertains to the Florida Building Code and Florida Building Commission:
  • Requires the Florida Building Commission (Commission) to update the Florida Building Code on a 3-year cycle using the latest International Code Council publications including the NFPA 70 or other model codes.
  • List criteria for adoption of technical amendments by the Technical Advisory Committees.
  • Excludes technical amendments adopted for local water conservation purposes.
  • Requires Commission to update codes necessary to maintain eligibility for federal flood insurance, FEMA and HUD programs.
  • Eliminates the review and approval of Florida Specific amendments every code cycle.
  • Uses the 6th Edition of the 2017 Florida Building Code as the base code after 2017.
  • Prohibits the adoption of the 2016 version of the HVAC Standard 9.4.1 (g).
  • Prohibits adopting a rule requiring a door located between a garage and residence to have a self-closing device.
  • Requires a 2/3 vote by the Commission to adopt the Florida Building Code.
  • Amends the Florida Energy Code to eliminate duplicative reporting requirements
  • Allows any certified electrical or alarm system contractor to act as a prime contractor when majority of work is under scope of license or from subcontracting to other licensed contractors any remaining work that is part of the project contracted.

Taxes

The tax reduction bill has been agreed to by the House and Senate, so we are told. That bill will be taken up on May 8. If passed there will be a reduction in the sales tax on commercial rents from 6% to 5.8%, among other things. Once passed, we will outline all of the reductions for you in HB 7109 Taxation.

Final Status of FBMA Tracked Bills

May 7, 2017 

Bill Number/Subject

Topic (Original bill, not as amended)

Action

HB 21 Limitations on Property Tax Assessments

Proposes an amendment to the State Constitution to remove a future repeal of provisions that limit annual assessment increases for non-homestead real property

Passed the Legislature on 4/26/17

SB 90 Renewable Energy Source Devices

Revises the definition of renewable energy source device; prohibits the consideration of value of the device in determining assessed value of real property; exempts from tangible personal property

Passed Legislature on 5/5/17

HB 227 Electrical and Alarm System Contracting

 

DIED

SB 330 Local Business Taxes

 

DIED

SB 484 Tax on Sales, Use and Other Transactions

 

DIED

HB 599 Public Works Projects

Prohibits state and political subdivisions that contract for public works projects from imposing restrictive conditions on certain contractors

Passed Legislature on 5/1/17

HB 741 DBPR

Revises delinquency fee that professional board or DBPR imposes on delinquent status licensee; revises surcharge that DBPR assesses on building permits.

Passed Legislature on 4/26/17

CS/CS/SB 860 Building Code Administrators and Inspectors

 

Added to HB 1021 and passed Legislature on 5/5/17

CS/HB 901 Florida Building Commission

 

DIED

CS/HB 909 Building Code Administrators & Inspectors

 

DIED

SB 948 Assessment of Properties Affected by Imported or Domestic Drywall

 

DIED

HB 1021 Construction

See description above

Passed Legislature on 5/5/17

HB 1107 Public Records/Workers’ Compensation

Provides exemption from public records requirements for personal identifying information of injured or deceased employees contained in certain notices or reports filed with DFS; authorizes division to disclose such information under specified circumstances; provides for future review & repeal of exemption; provides statement of public necessity.

Passed Legislature on 5/3/17

HB 7099 Corporate Income Tax

Adopting the 2017 version of the Internal Revenue Code,

Passed Legislature on 5/3/17

CS/HB 1271 Construction Defect Claims

 

DIED

SB 1372 Electrical and Alarm System Contracting

 

DIED

HB 1421 Property Insurance Assignment Agreements

 

DIED

HB 1441 Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board

 

DIED

SB 1582 Workers’ Compensation Insurance

 

DIED

SB 1684 Insurance Rates

 

DIED

SB 7000 Florida Building Commission

 

DIED

HB 7085 Workers Compensation

 

DIED

HB 7109 Taxation

Tax Reduction Package

PENDING action on 5/8/17

Nancy Stephens, CAE, DPL 5/8/2017

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Items in bold indicate required information.