Legislative Update - March 2017

Monday, March 6, 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.

Workers Comp Proposals Simmering

The only workers comp bill that has been filed for the 2017 Legislative Session on workers’ comp to date is one for first responders. The only industry bill that has been proposed is from the Associated Industries of Florida. The business workers comp coalition is waiting for the House or Senate to file a bill before making additional proposals.

The Office of Insurance Regulation has published its 2016 Workers’ Compensation Annual Report. The report provides a snapshot of the Florida Workers’ Compensation market in 2015, a comparison of the six major market states, workers’ compensation rates, cost drivers for workers’ compensation, workers’ compensation court cases, comparative rates and premiums and more. Please check with your FBMA office for a copy.

The Associated Industries of Florida workers comp proposal does the following:

 

  • Allows employees to retain their own attorneys;
  • Keeps the Workers Compensation Act in place to expedite resolution of outstanding cases/issues to avoid costly and prolonged litigation processes;
  • Allows injured workers to be attended to by the appropriate medical providers quicker based on mandatory state oversight;
  • Avoids unnecessary litigation; and
  • Does not allow personal information of injured workers to be publicized.

 

The business community has rallied around two key concepts: controlling attorneys’ fees and helping the injured worker.

 

Building and Construction Specific Bills

Of note, key building code bills have been filed in the House (HB 901) and in the Senate (SB 7000). Other construction bills of interest we draw your attention to are HB 691 Florida Building Code, SB 734 Construction Liens, and HB 1021 Construction.

FBMA Tracking List

Bill Number / Subject

Topics

 Action

HB 47 Texting While Driving

Revises penalties for violations of Florida ban on texting while driving

1/9/17 Referred to Committee on Transportation

SB 76 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

 2/24/17 In Appropriations Committee

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

2/24/17 Now in Finance & Tax Committee
SB 144 Use of Wireless Communications Devices While Driving Revises penalties for violations of Florida ban on texting while driving 2/7/17 In Senate Communications Committee 
SB 160 Minimum Wage Revises the formula for adjusting state minimum wage 1/10/17 Referred to Committees
HB 197 Small Business Financial Assistance Creates Veterans Employment Small Business Grant Program 1/23/17 In Local/Federal/Veterans Affairs Subcommittee 
HB 223 Tax on Commercial Real Property Provides certain exemptions from tax imposed on rental or license fees charged for use of commercial real property 1/23/17 In Ways and Means Committee
HB 227 Electrical and Alarm System Contracting  Provisions regulating electrical and alarm system contracts do not prevent such contractor from acting as prime contractor or subcontracting work to other licensed contractors under certain circumstances  2/22/17 Favorable by Careers & Competition Subcommittee 
SB 276 State Work Opportunity Tax Credit  Provides additional credit against corporate income tax for businesses hiring certain persons convicted of a felony  1/25/17 Referred to Committees 
HB 319 Discrimination in Labor and Employment  Prohibits discrimination based on gender identity  2/6/17 In Careers & Competition Subcommittee 
SB 330 Local Business Taxes  Prohibits local governments from levying a local business tax  1/25/17 Referred to Committees 
HB 389 Building Safety  Revises provisions requiring installation of carbon monoxide detectors in certain buildings  2/6/17 In Careers & Competition Subcommittee 
SB 410 Employment Discrimination  Prohibits discrimination based on gender identity  2/1/17 Referred to Committees 
SB 484 Tax on Sales, Use and Other Transactions  Reduces the tax levied on rental or license fees charged for the use of real property  2/15/17 Now in Careers and Competition Subcommittee 
SB 486 Tax exempt Income  Increases the amount of income that is exempt from corporate income tax  2/9/17 Referred to Committees 
HB 599 Public Works Projects  Prohibits state and political subdivisions that contract for public works projects from imposing restrictive conditions on certain contractors  2/9/17 Referred to Oversight Subcommittee 
HB 685 Construction Liens  Revises requirements relating to recording of notice of termination  2/15/17 Now in Careers and Competition Subcommittee 
HB 691 Florida Building Code  Prohibits certain technical amendments to the Code from being rendered void in certain circumstances; specifies that such amendments are subject to review when new editions of the Code are issued  2/15/17 Now in Careers and Competition Subcommittee 
HB 717 Imported or Domestic Drywall  Extends repeal date of authority of property appraisers to adjust assessed value of specified properties affected by imported or domestic drywall.  2/15/17 Now in Local, Federal Veterans Committee 
SB 734 Construction Liens  Revises requirements relating to recording of notice of termination  2/16/17 Now in Careers and Competition Subcommittee 
HB 741 DBPR  Revises delinquency fee that professional board or DBPR imposes on delinquent status licensee; revises surcharge that DBPR assesses on building permits. Effective Date: July 1, 2017  2/15/17 Referred to Careers and Competition Subcommittee 
HB 801 Unsafe Tours  Prohibits installation, for compensation, of certain automobile or light truck tires; specifies what constitutes unsafe used tires; provides that violations of are deceptive & unfair trade practices. Effective Date: July 1, 2017  2/23/17 Referred to Careers and Competition Subcommittee 
SB 860 Building Code Administrators and Inspectors  Creates an internship path to certification as an inspector or plans examiner  2/23/17 Referred to Committees 
HB 901 Florida Building Commission  Requires commission to use specified editions of Florida Building Code as foundation for development of & updates to code; requires commission to review, rather than update, code every 3 years; deletes provision that specifies how long amendments or modifications to foundation remain effective; deletes provisions limiting how long amendment or modification is effective; deletes provision requiring certain amendments or modifications to be carried for-ward into next edition of code, subject to certain conditions; deletes certain requirements for resubmission of expired amendments; deletes provision prohibiting pro-posed amendment from being included in foundation if it has been addressed in inter-national code; requires commission to adopt code & amendments thereto, by minimum percentage of votes. Effective Date: July 1, 2017  2/20/17 Filed 
HB 909 Building Code Administrators and Inspectors  Authorizes building code administrator or building official to perform plan review or inspection when acting as building official under certain interagency service agreements; revises eligibility requirements for examination for certification as building code inspector or plans examiner to include internship certification program; revises provisions related to provisional certificates to remove eligibility condition; requires board to establish rules. Effective Date: July 1, 2017  2/21/17 Filed 
HB 945 Minimum Wage  Revises formula for adjusted state minimum wage. Effective Date: July 1, 2017  2/22/17 Filed 
SB 948 Imported or Domestic Drywall  Extending the expiration date of provisions specifying requirements for property appraisers to adjust assessed values of certain properties that are affected by certain imported or domestic drywall, etc. Effective Date: Upon becoming a law  2/23/17 Referred to Committees 
SB 1000 Fire Safety Standards  Authorizing certain buildings to have specified balcony guard openings, etc. Effective Date: 7/1/2017  2/23/17 Referred to Committees 
HB 1021 Construction  Defines "recognized certifying entity"; pro-vides applicability of certain standards & criteria for solar energy systems manufactured or sold in state; provides for solar energy systems to be certified pursuant to certain standards; requires DBPR to provide certain funds allocated to University of Florida School of Construction Management for specified purposes; prohibits local enforcement agencies from charging certain fees; requires Florida Building Commission to amend certain provisions of Florida Building Code; prohibits county, municipality, special taxing district, public utility, or private utility from requiring separate water connection or charging specified water or sewage rate under certain conditions; prohibits local government from requiring permit for painting residence; requires DOE in conjunction with DEO to create study for specified purposes; requires CareerSource Florida, Inc. to fund certain construction training programs; provides program requirements. . Effective Date: July 1, 2017  2/23/17 Filed 
SB 1148 Unemployment Compensation  Requiring the Department of Economic Opportunity to designate an alternative base period in certain circumstances for benefit years commencing after a specified date; requiring employers to provide wage in-formation to support an individual’s eligibility for benefits upon request of the department; providing a penalty for employers who fail to timely provide that information; Effective Date: 7/1/2017  2/22/17 Filed 
SB 1156 Corporate Income Tax  Adopting the 2017 version of the Internal Revenue Code, etc. Effective Date: Upon becoming a law and operate retroactively to January 1, 2017  2/23/17 Filed 
SB 1218 Property Repair  Defining the terms “professional water damage restorer” and “water damage restoration”; requiring the Department of Business and Professional Regulation to license applicants who are qualified to practice water damage restoration; prohibiting personal lines residential or commercial residential property insurance policies from prohibit-ing the post-loss assignment of benefits, etc. Effective Date: 7/1/2017  2/24/17 Filed 
HB 2713 Building Code Enforcement Training Program  Provides appropriation for the program  2/15/17 Now in Govt. Ops. and Technology Committee 
HB 2717 Construction Industry Workforce Task Force  Provides an appropriation for the program  2/15/17 Now in Govt. Ops. And Technology Committee 
SB 7000 Florida Building Commission  Requires the commission to use the most recent published edition of the Florida Building Code as the foundation code; requiring a review rather than update; deleting a provision that specifies how long amendments or modifications to the foundation code remain effective  2/9/17 Referred to Appropriations Subcommittee 
Nancy Stephens, CAE, DPL 3/6/2017

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