Legislative Update - January 2016

Wednesday, January 6, 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

Legislators will return to the Capitol the week of January 11, 2016. The 2016 Legislative Session officially begins on Tuesday, January 12, but committee meetings will be held on January 11 as well. On January 12 the Governor will address the House and Senate with his State of the State address. Bills will continue to be filed for a few weeks after the Session begins. We will bring you the news with weekly updates throughout the Session.

Bills Filed

Bills of interest filed since our last report are below. As of this date, 1,264 bills have been filed for consideration by the 2016 Florida Legislature.

Governor Personally Pitches $1 Billion in Tax Cuts to the Legislature

In a first ever happening, Governor Scott presented his own proposal for $1 billion in tax cuts to the Florida House Finance & Tax Committee on December 1. The Governor stood at the podium for 1.5 hours to explain his proposals and take questions from every member of the Committee. The proposal includes permanent elimination of the sales tax on manufacturing machinery and equipment, a reduction in the tax on commercial leases and rents, elimination of the corporate tax on manufacturers and retailers, a 9-day disaster preparedness sales tax holiday, and a 10-day back to school sales tax holiday. The halls were a buzz afterwards; the personal touch made a HUGE impact on lawmakers.

Bills Filed

Bills of interest filed since our last report are below.

Bill Number

Sponsor

Name

Description

HB 535

Eagle

Building Codes

Revises educational provisions for building code inspectors, plans examiners, & building code administrators; revises provisions related to the Florida Building Code; revises provisions regarding the Florida Building Code Compliance and Mitigation Program; restricts application of the Building Code for certain aspects of construction; revises provisions related to portable pools; revises provisions regarding the authority of building officials to issue building permits; revises provisions regarding appeal boards; revising provisions addressing certain fire service access elevators; authorizing DBPR to develop code-related training; creating a task force to study electrical safety in swimming pools.

HB 775

 Ingram

Relating to Emergency Preparedness and Response

Provides tax exemption for certain tangible personal property related to disaster preparedness; provides expiration date & appropriation; directs Division of Emergency Management to create statewide system to facilitate transport & distribution of essentials & restoration of utility services throughout state during declared emergency; defines "essentials"; directs division to create certification system for certain persons & employers; authorizes certain activities by certified persons during curfew; authorizes law enforcement officer to specify permissible route of ingress or egress for certified person.

HB 873 / SB 1064

Diaz / Flores

Relating to Special Facility Construction Account

Revises provisions of Special Facility Construction Account relating to receipt of funds, criteria for requests, pre application review, consultants, & repayment of school district's share of project costs.

Nancy Stephens, CAE, DPL 1/6/2016

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