Legislative Update - January 2019

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Brought to you by 
Nancy D. Stephens & Associates, LLC

January 14, 2019

Governor DeSantis Inauguration

On January 8, Ron DeSantis was inaugurated as the 46th Governor of Florida. In his remarks at the Capital on that day in Tallahassee he made the following points:

  • Focus is on the economy, the environment and protecting the Constitution
  • Calls for a stronger, cleaner, safer future
  • Wants to promote low taxes, reasonable regulatory climate, sensible legal system and a healthy environment
  • Need to attract investment, jobs and businesses in technology, manufacturing and finance
  • Healthy economy will help pay for infrastructure, education and natural resource protection
  • Solving water resource problems will promote a healthy economy
  • Will fight blue green algae blooms, red tide, unsafe beaches and Everglades destruction
  • Supports vocational and technical training at education institutions
  • Wishes to promote skills-based education in computer science and technology
  • Will empower parents to choose students' schools
  • Will help students rediscover civic education
  • Wants to promote health care reform
  • Will limit judiciary powers and stop judicial activism and judges legislating from the bench
  • Rebuild northwest Florida
  • Supports the law enforcement community
  • Believes in having safe schools and will not condone social experimentation at schools that endangers students
  • Will not allow sanctuary cities
  • Will not incentivize illegal immigration
  • Must closely supervise elections so they will not be botched


Highlights from Florida Legislative Committee Meetings and the Capital January 7-11

  • In the House septic tanks were blamed for the major share of toxic algae blooms throughout the state by FAU scientist Dr. Brian Lapointe;

  • In the Senate, Hurricane Michael and the aftermath was discussed. We were told we can expect massive wildfires, flooding, and pine beetle infestations of timber. There are more than 2.8 million acres of fallen forests from the Hurricane(s).

  • In the Senate Insurance Committee, Chairman Broxson expressed interest in tackling attorneys' fees which drive up insurance costs. 


Legislation of Interest Filed for 2019

As of January 14, 2019, five bills that may be of interest to FBMA members have been filed for the 2019 Florida Legislative Session. The bill numbers are linked to the actual bill in case you would like to read the entire bill. The next group of legislative committee meetings is January 21-25, 2019.

SB52/HB6501 Relief of Former Employees of Fairfax Street Wood Treaters by State of Florida by Gibson/Davis

This is the first time we have seen a bill that provides relief to the public from actions by a private company. Therefore, if passed, it could set a precedent. It directs the Department of Health to collaborate with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to ascertain the risks for former employees; providing a $10 million appropriation to compensate the former employees for injuries and damages sustained as result of the negligence of the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Financial Services, and the Department of Health.

SB142/HB127 Permit Fees by Perry/Williamson

Requires governing bodies of counties & municipalities to post their permit & inspection fee schedules & building permit & inspection utilization reports on their websites; requires governing bodies of local governments to post their building permit & inspection utilization reports on their websites by specified date; provides requirements for such governing bodies; provides reporting requirements

SB 264 Workers Comp Joint Underwriting by Gruters

Providing that certain dividends or premium refunds must be retained by the association’s joint underwriting plan of insurers for future use. This could be used for other workers comp legislation.

Nancy D. Stephens & Associates, LLC 1/16/2019

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