Legislative Update - March 2019

Tuesday, March 19, 2019


Florida Legislative Session in Full Swing

March 5 was opening day of the Florida Legislative Session. Senate President Galvano addressed Florida senators on opening day with words about making meaningful, purposeful decisions that would lead to important accomplishments.

On the other hand Speaker Oliva laid out his priority issues for the Florida House of Representatives:

  • Healthcare reform - embrace new medical technologies and telemedicine, allow consumers to buy the healthcare they want and need, provide more transparency in billing to patients, establish binding estimates for medical procedures, set pharmaceutical prices at the world market prices and allow medical professionals to serve to the full extent of their training.

  • Higher Education - Accelerate the time it takes to graduate from a university, slow down university construction, ensure that community colleges are teaching technical and workforce education, and give parents greater choice in schools.

  • Pass a Balanced Budget - Pass a state budget that invests in children, raises teacher pay, helps people in Northwest Florida who were victims of Hurricane Michael, and support the Governor's priorities on natural resources.

Governor DeSantis spoke to the Senate and House members, along with the Supreme Court Justices and all Cabinet members and former legislators. He said Florida should be bold regarding economic opportunities, environmental protection, education reform and safety. He believes in cleaning up water resources, skills based education, helping northwest Florida recover, accountability in government office and appointing the right judges to the Supreme Court.

Legislative Landscape for Building Materials

There are 29 bills on the FBMA Watch List. They cover topics such as building permit fees, construction contracting, tax relief on commercial real property, insulation products, tiny homes, construction defects, sales tax holiday, inspections, Florida Building Code, corporate income tax, sales tax exemption for hurricane shutters and more. If you would like a closer look at any of these bills, just let us know.

One bill filed more recently, SB 1648, would require the entire envelope of certain buildings to be constructed or rebuilt to be impact resistant and constructed with high wind-resistant and noncombustible construction materials. Of note are bills that address building materials like insulation, shutters, and impact resistant windows.

On a related note, policymakers are very worried about the timber industry in Northwest Florida. Discussions have highlighted the impending fire danger, erosion damage, need for more debris removal, and the length of time it will take to replant. State and federal lawmakers are working on funding relief for the timber industry, as well as residents and businesses in the area.

We are at the Capitol every day watching your back!


Nancy D. Stephens & Associates, LLC 3/19/2019

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