June 30, 2010

2010 Florida Legislative Session Recap

Eyes on Tallahassee, Recap
Nathan A. Adams IV | Jim Ervin | Eddie Williams III | Karen D. Walker | Mia L. McKown | D. Bruce May | Lawrence E. Sellers

On April 30, 2010, the Florida Legislature adjourned sine die, bringing the 2010 Regular Legislative Session to a close. Eyes on Tallahassee is Holland & Knight’s annual summary of bills that passed during the 2010 session. Also included are bills of interest which did not pass, but may be considered again during the 2011 session which begins on March 1, 2011.

For the 2010 session, 301 bills passed both the House and Senate, specifically 253 general bills, 39 local bills, two concurrent resolutions, three joint resolutions and four memorials. At the beginning of the session, Florida House Speaker Larry Cretul said his goal was to set a record for the fewest bills passed during his two-year tenure. While he didn’t realize this goal, the total number of bills passed under his speakership is the lowest since Republicans took control of the Legislature in the 1998 elections.

Highlights of the 2010 session include passage of a $70.4 billion budget, the signing of a Seminole Indian gambling compact, a gubernatorial veto of controversial teacher merit pay legislation and a constitutional amendment easing the class-size requirement passed by voters in 2002, just to name a few.

Here is a chart summarizing the final status of the bills covered in the Recap
/files/Uploads/Documents/Eyes On Tallahassee/EyesOnTallahasseeJune302010chart.pdf

In this issue:

ConstructionInsurance
EducationProcurement
Energy and EPSC ReformPublic Records
Environmental and Land UseState and Local Taxes
FinanceTransportation
HealthcareKey

 


CONSTRUCTION

Building Safety

CS/CS/CS/CS/HB 663 revises the current law relating to elevator safety, home inspection services, mold assessment and remediation, and building code inspections and enforcement. The bill also provides that after the three-year period provided for repair or rebuilding, the expiration, lapse, non-renewal or revocation of a building permit issued to the property owner will also constitute abandonment of the property as homestead. The bill revises the Florida Building Commission’s authority and exempts specified structures from Florida’s Building Code requirements.

The bill was approved by the Governor on June 1, 2010, and will take effect on July 1, 2010 unless otherwise provided.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-176, L.O.F.

Department of Business and Professional Regulation

CS/CS/CS/HB 713 assigns certain programs to be regulated by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s (DBPR) Division of Professions. The bill specifies that DBPR is responsible for regulation of certain professions and administration of certain examinations. In addition, among other changes, the bill: (1) authorizes the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) to issue reproductions of driver licenses to DBPR; (2) revises certain licensing and continuing education requirements; (3) authorizes temporary licensure of spouses of active duty service members; (4) revises grounds for discipline of professional licensees; (5) revises licensing requirements for home inspectors, mold assessors and mold remediators; (6) deletes requirements for certificates of authorization for corporations or partnerships offering home inspection or mold-related services; (7) exempts from punishment certain unlicensed activity occurring before various specified dates; (8) extends time for licensure of home inspectors, mold assessors and mold remediators under certain grandfather provisions and revises such provisions; (9) revises certain exemptions from veterinary regulations; (10) revises licensing requirements for real estate brokers and sales associates and cosmetologists; (11) revises membership of the Florida Real Estate Appraisal Board; (12) authorizes certain board members and certain members of the Florida Real Estate Commission to offer, conduct and teach certain courses; (13) assigns a departmental unit responsible for regulation of carbon monoxide hazards in certain public lodging establishments; and (14) authorizes DBPR to issue and enforce notices to cease and desist violations of provisions regulating boxing exhibitions.

The bill was approved by the Governor on May 27, 2010, and will take effect on July 1, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-106, L.O.F.

International Commercial Arbitration

CS/HB 821 replaces the Florida International Arbitration Act with the Florida International Commercial Arbitration Act. Among other provisions, the bill: (1) provides requirements, procedures and limitations for international commercial arbitration; (2) provides requirements and restrictions on courts; (3) provides for creation of arbitral tribunals; (4) provides powers, duties and responsibilities of arbitral tribunals; (5) provides for arbitral proceedings; (6) provides procedures for appointment of arbitrators; (7) specifies powers, duties and responsibilities of arbitrators; (8) provides for liability for, and award of, costs and damages; (9) authorizes parties to arbitration to agree to arbitration procedures; (10) provides default procedures; (11) provides procedures and requirements for evidence; (12) provides for awards by arbitral tribunals; (13) provides judicial immunity to arbitrators; and (14) specifies conditions under which court may set aside arbitral award, and provides for recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards by court.

The bill was approved by the Governor on May 11, 2010, and will take effect on July 1, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-60, L.O.F.

Residential Fire Sprinkler Requirements

CS/CS/CS/SB 846 prohibits incorporation into the Florida Building Code of certain mandatory residential fire sprinkler provisions of the International Residential Code, but provides an exception. The legislation prohibits the requirement for property owners to install fire sprinklers in residential properties based on the use of that property as a rental property or any change in or reclassification of the property’s primary use to a rental property.

The bill was approved by the Governor on May 26, 2010, and took effect on the same date.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-99, L.O.F.

Underground Facility Damage Prevention and Safety

CS/CS/SB 982 prohibits municipalities, counties, districts and other local governments from enacting ordinances or rules that conflict with Chapter 556, F.S. The bill provides that if an excavation is proposed within 15 feet of a high-priority subsurface installation and is identified as such an installation by the facility operator, the facility operator must notify the excavator of the installation and mark its location before excavation may begin.

The bill was approved by the Governor on May 26, 2010, and will take effect on October 1, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-100, L.O.F.

Elevator Safety

CS/HB 1035 requires DBPR’s Division of Hotels and Restaurants to adopt elevator safety rules. The bill also: (1) authorizes the Division to enter certain buildings; (2) provides for variances; (3) exempts certain elevators from specific code update requirements; (4) provides a phase-in period for such elevators; (5) specifies additional acts by a registered elevator company or certificate holder which are subject to discipline and requires certain licensees to provide written responses to departmental requests relating to inspection reports; (6) extends the time within which an elevator owner may comply with certain orders to correct; (7) provides procedures related to citations and discipline relating to unlicensed activity; and (8) provides registration and continuing education requirements for certified elevator inspectors.

The bill was approved by the Governor on May 26, 2010, and will take effect on July 1, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-110, L.O.F.

Docks

CS/SB 1118 authorizes the placement of roofs on certain residential single-family docks. The bill also authorizes the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to adopt rules that include special criteria for approving certain docking facilities in shellfish harvesting waters and authorizes DEP to maintain a list of projects or activities for applicants to consider when developing proposals in order to meet mitigation or public interest requirements.

The bill was approved by the Governor on June 4, 2010, and will take effect on July 1, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-208, L.O.F.

Fire Safety Inspections

SB 1136 provides exceptions to certain local government fire safety inspection requirements. The bill specifies inspection requirements for fire hydrants owned by governmental entities and authorizes local government utilities to comply using designated employees. The legislation also specifies the responsibility for ensuring the qualification of designated employees to conduct the inspections.

The bill was approved by the Governor on June 1, 2010, and took effect on the same date.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-173, L.O.F.

Local Government Prompt Payment Act

CS/HB 1157 revises the provisions relating to timely payment for purchases of construction services and requires that a dispute be resolved according to the procedures set forth in the contract. The bill prohibits the assessment of damages against a contractor if the list of items remaining to complete is not provided timely to the contractor. The bill revises the provisions relating to the resolution of disputes concerning an improper payment request or invoice and provides that a local governmental entity waives its objection in a payment dispute if it fails to commence the dispute resolution procedure within the time period required.

The bill was approved by the Governor on May 26, 2010, and will take effect on October 1, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-111, L.O.F.

Community Associations

CS/CS/CS/SB 1196 exempts certain elevators from specific code update requirements. Among other changes, the bill: (1) revises the limitations on the right of members to vote on corporate matters for certain nonprofit corporations that are regulated under specified provisions; (2) specifies the maximum amount of any unit owner’s loss assessment coverage that can be determined for any loss; and (3) creates the “Distressed Condominium Relief Act.”

The bill was approved by the Governor on June 1, 2010, and will take effect on July 1, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-174, L.O.F.

Design Professionals

CS/CS/SB 1964 provides for limited liability for engineers, surveyors and mappers, architects, interior designers and registered landscape architects, as a result of construction defects due to the performance of a contract. The legislation provides that, if a contract requires professional liability insurance, the contract may not limit the liability of the design professional inconsistent with the insurance requirements.

The bill was vetoed by the Governor on June 1, 2010.

Copy of Vetoed Bill

Sewage Disposal Facilities

CS/CS/CS/SB 550 is an extensive environmental bill which amends the current law regarding sewage disposal facilities. Section 35 of the bill adds new requirements for onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems, including septic tanks. Beginning January 1, 2011, DEP is required to develop a five-year-cycle evaluation program for implementation statewide by January 1, 2016, to assess the operational conditions of the 2.5 million septic tanks in this state, including pump-outs every five years. A notice is required to be given to a system owner at least 60 days prior to a written evaluation and assessment being performed; in addition, the owner must bear the costs of the written report and any repairs indicated as a result.

The bill was approved by the Governor on June 4, 2010, and will take effect on July 1, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-205, L.O.F.

Construction Contracts

CS/SB 1752 is an extensive economic development bill. Section 50 of the bill was amended on the House floor during final debate to mandate an employment preference to state residents on state-funded construction contracts where there are “substantially equal qualifications.”

The bill was approved by the Governor on May 28, 2010, and took effect on the same date.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-147, L.O.F.

Non-Ad Valorem Assessments

CS/HB 7179 authorizes local governments to levy non-ad valorem assessments for the purpose of financing certain “qualifying” real property improvements made by property owners to increase resistance to wind damage (such as: strengthening roof deck attachments; creating a secondary water barrier; reinforcing roof-to-wall connections; or installing wind-resistant shingles, gable-end bracing, storm shutters or opening protections), or installing renewable energy source devices (such as: air sealing; installing insulation, energy-efficient heating, cooling or ventilation systems, energy controls or recovery systems; replacing windows; or increasing the use of daylight). Agreements for the financing will have to be recorded in the public records and liens created as a result will be equal in dignity to county taxes and assessments. Such financing will require that all taxes be current and that the mortgagee consent if the amount of the assessment exceeds 20 percent of the property’s just value. A written disclosure statement must be given to a prospective purchaser in the form set out in the statute.

The bill was approved by the Governor on May 27, 2010, and took effect on the same date.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-139, L.O.F.

Real Property Assessment

CS/CS/HB 965 would authorize property appraisers to reduce the just value of “single-family residential” properties that have been adversely impacted by foreign or domestic drywall with elevated levels of elemental sulfur that is corrosive to certain metals (unless the owner was aware of this condition at the time of purchase). Some county appraisers have already been doing this, but now will have statutory authority to reduce the property tax assessment of affected improvements to zero until the drywall has been replaced. As to properties that are “homestead property,” the reduced assessment can last regardless of the time period taken for remediation and repairs.

The bill was approved by the Governor on June 1, 2010, and took effect on the same date. It applies to the 2010 and subsequent assessment rolls.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-170, L.O.F.

Bills That Did Not Pass:

Construction Lien Law: There were several bills (SB 510, SB 634, SB 1048, HB 693 and SB 878) filed this session to change Florida’s construction lien law (Chapter 713, F.S.). None of these bills passed this session, even though the Senate Regulated Industries Committee issued a 2009 Interim Study Report suggesting necessary reforms to the law.

Crane Regulation: The attempt to regulate tower cranes (SB 1174, HB 375) and preempt local government regulations, failed again this session, but is sure to be filed again.

EDUCATION

Pre-K Through 12 Education

School Voucher Programs

CS/SB 2126 revises the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program by: (1) increasing the tax credit cap from $118 million to $140 million in the 2010-2011 fiscal year, subject to the increase in subsequent years; (2) allowing a credit for 100 percent of an eligible contribution made to an eligible scholarship-funding organization against various taxes except in some cases the credit may not exceed 50-57 percent of the tax due on the return where the credit is taken; (3) providing for approval of tax credits on a first-come, first-served basis via application; (4) providing for a three-year carry-forward of unused tax credit amounts; (5) adding certain accountability measures for participating scholarship-funding organizations and schools; (6) changing the formula to determine scholarship amounts; and (7) enabling the Commissioner of Education to deny, suspend or revoke a private school’s participation in the program if operating contrary to the health, safety, or welfare of the public.

The bill was approved by the Governor on April 22, 2010, and will take effect on July 1, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-24, L.O.F.

CS/HB 1505 will expand the eligibility for students in the John M. McKay Scholarship Program. Under the bill, preschoolers with a current individual educational plan who received specialized instructional services under the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program during the previous year or who have been enrolled in a public school in any of the past five years will now be eligible for the program. Under current law, only disabled students who attend public school during the prior year are eligible. The bill also grants the Commissioner of Education the authority to revoke participation by schools that operate in a manner contrary to the health, safety, or welfare of the students.

The bill was approved by the Governor on June 4, 2010, and will take effect on July 1, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-227, L.O.F.

Teacher Merit Pay

CS/CS/SB 6 would have required school districts to adopt a salary schedule that compensated employees based on performance instead of longevity, incentivized teachers to teach in low income schools and to teach subjects in which there is a critical shortage such as math and science, and encouraged teachers to accept additional academic responsibilities. The bill would have created a dedicated pool of funding equal to 5 percent of total state, local and federal education funding to be used in support of these new responsibilities and to develop end-of-course assessments. The bill would have required districts to adopt a modified annual appraisal system for teachers, at least 50 percent of which would be dependent on student gains. It also outlined a modified “just cause” basis for suspension or dismissal of teachers. Each school district would also have had to develop a valid and reliable end-of-course assessment for each subject area and grade level not measured by state assessments. School districts were forbidden to assign teachers to reading, science, or mathematics unless certified in those areas. The bill would also have required charter schools to adopt a salary schedule for instructional personnel and administrators not based on longevity, to meet certain end-of-course assessments and to adopt a performance appraisal system. Teachers failing to demonstrate student learning gains would have received remediation in teacher preparation programs.

The bill was vetoed by the Governor on April 15, 2010.

Copy of the Vetoed Bill

Class-Size Amendment

SJR 2 would alter the constitutional class-size amendment approved by voters in 2002 by applying the student caps to average classroom size instead of the per-classroom limits that the current law requires. The resolution would cap average class sizes at 18 students for pre-K through third grade with the maximum number of students assigned to each teacher not to exceed 21; at 22 students for grades four through eight with the maximum number of students assigned to each teacher not to exceed 27; and 25 students for grades nine through 12 with the maximum number of students assigned to each teacher not to exceed 30. The resolution would exempt virtual classes.

This resolution will take effect upon approval of the electors on November 2, 2010, and operate retroactively to the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year.

Signed by Officers and filed with Secretary of State on May 19, 2010

School Speech

CS/CS/HB 31 prohibits school boards, administrative personnel and instructional personnel from infringing or waiving First Amendment rights afforded to instructional personnel, school staff or students without the express written consent of the individual.

The bill was approved by the Governor on June 4, 2010, and will take effect on July 1, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-214, L.O.F.

Civics Education

CS/HB 105 creates the “Justice Sandra Day O’Connor Civics Education Act” and provides for a variety of civics education requirements.

The bill was approved by the Governor on May 11, 2010, and will take effect on July 1, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 201-48, L.O.F.

Education Accountability

CS/CS/SB 4 concerns education accountability in middle schools and high schools. The act requires a middle school student beginning in 2011 or 2012: (1) to pass end-of-course assessments in Algebra I, Geometry and Biology I to receive high school credit; (2) specifies what high school students must learn as part of their personalized academic and career plan; (3) revises requirements for high school graduation to meet end-of-course assessment requirements and revises credit requirements in mathematics and science to replace the Mathematics and Science portions of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT); (4) requires the State Board of Education to establish passing scores; (5) requires the Commissioner of Education to develop additional end-of-course assessments contingent on funding; (6) revises requirements for accelerated high school graduation options; (7) requires that district school boards assign a minimum of 30 percent of a student’s grade based on performance on end-of-course assessments; (8) requires each high school beginning in 2011 to offer an International Baccalaureate Program, an Advanced International Certificate of Education program or a combination of at least four courses in dual enrollment or Advanced Placement; (9) requires changes to the high school FCAT such as aligning it with the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards; and (10) requires the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA) to study differentiated high school diploma options.

The bill was approved by the Governor on April 20, 2010, and will take effect on July 1, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-22, L.O.F.

Community Colleges

College Designations

CS/SB 436 renamed various community colleges. Central Florida Community College became the College of Central Florida, Lake City Community College became the Florida Gateway College, Palm Beach Community College became Palm Beach State College, and Seminole Community College became Seminole State College of Florida.

The bill was approved by the Governor on April 20, 2010, and took effect on the same date.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-23, L.O.F.

State University System

Board of Governors

HB 7237 revises provisions relating to responsibility for the State University System. The bill states that the Board of Governors has the authority to regulate the State University System. Additionally, the bill provides that the Board of Governors: (1) is subject to Chapter 120, F.S., when acting pursuant to statutory authority along with the Board of Trustees of the universities when delegated authority; (2) may adopt a different rule promulgation system consistent with various standards applicable otherwise: (3) should align the mission of each university with peer institutions; (4) shall confirm the presidential selection by a university board of trustees; (5) shall establish criteria for the review and approval of new programs at state universities; and (6) may approve flexible tuition policies that do not increase the state’s fiscal liability or affect the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program. The act also creates the Higher Education Coordinating Council to identify unmet needs and resolve disputes regarding the creation of new degree programs and the establishment of new institutes, campuses and centers. The bill also authorizes new fees, an admissions deposit and makes the board of trustees the contracting agent of each university.

The bill was approved by the Governor on May 11, 2010, and will take effect on July 1, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-78, L.O.F.

Fee Exemptions

CS/HB 1363 clarifies exemptions from state university fee requirements for a student who is or was at the time he or she reached 18 years of age in the custody of a relative under the Relative Caregiver Program, or who was adopted from the Department of Children and Family Services, after a specified date.

The bill was approved by the Governor on May 11, 2010, and will take effect on July 1, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-68, L.O.F.

CS/CS/HB 723 authorizes state universities and community colleges to waive tuition and fees for certain public school classroom teachers for undergraduate courses approved by the Department of Education. The bill also prohibits causes of action against state universities for the decisions or actions of the state university student government unless made final by the university and a violation of law. Certain convenience fees associated with the use of a credit card are also authorized.

The bill was approved by the Governor on June 4, 2010, and will take effect on July 1, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-219, L.O.F.

Doctor of Medicine Degree

HB 1581 authorizes a doctor of medicine degree program at Florida Atlantic University, subject to the Board of Governors’ approval.

The bill was approved by the Governor on May 15, 2010, and will take effect on July 1, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-88, L.O.F.

Workforce Education

Vocational Rehabilitation

HB 7037 revises and repeals the provisions relating to vocational rehabilitation programs and services. Among other things, the bill updates obsolete references in the Florida K-20 Education Code.

The bill was approved by the Governor on May 11, 2010, and will take effect on July 1, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-70, L.O.F.

Bills That Did Not Pass:

Blaine Amendment: SJR 2550 and CS/HJR 1399 would have allowed voters to repeal the last sentence of Article I, Section 3 of the Florida Constitution. The sentence is referred to as a “Blaine Amendment” after former U.S. Senator James Blaine who in response to an anti-Catholic campaign nearly amended the U.S. Constitution with similar language adopted by a number of states. The Resolution would have allowed voters to replace the Blaine Amendment with this statement: “An individual may not be barred from participating in any public program because that individual has freely chosen to use his or her program benefits at a religious provider.”

Teacher Bonuses: CS/SB 1970 and CS/CS/HB 1287 would have awarded teachers $50 or more for every student passing an end-of-course exam in Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education and would have removed the $2,000 cap on bonuses to teachers teaching at “D” or “F” schools. Teachers would receive $500 per high-scoring student in such a school. The bill also would have required school districts to spend 100 percent of funds for these rigorous programs solely on the administration, preparation and success of the students in the program and to advertise the number of students taking rigorous courses.

FCAT: SB 120 would have removed the requirement that a student earn a passing score on the FCAT or alternative assessment to gradate from high school, the requirement for mandatory retention of a student in grade three who does not meet FCAT proficiency, and the requirement that a district school board adopt policies for meeting class size maximums which allow a student to graduate from high school if the student passes the grade 10 FCAT. SB 1154 would also have discontinued administration of the FCAT in favor of subject area assessments, deleted requirements that district school boards establish policies for intensive reading and mathematics intervention courses in high school, and modified general high school graduation requirements.

Vouchers: SB 1426 would have provided an additional purpose for the Corporate Tax Scholarship Program enabling students in specified grades in public schools to receive certain assistance in attaining grade-level performance and requiring scholarship funding organizations to allocate at least 25 percent of their scholarships to public school students.

Public School Funding: SB 1368 would have deleted a requirement that school boards imposing the school capital outlay surtax freeze noncapital local school property taxes for at least three years, extended the duration of a provision specifying methods to calculate the salary of a school board member and revised provisions exempting charter school facilities from certain fees.

Scholarships: SB 2642 and HB 1415 would have revised the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program to provide for five levels of awards and included the tuition differential in the calculation of award amounts. SB 144 would have created the Sure Futures Scholarship Program for the purpose of matching private sector businesses that need employees in Florida who have advanced degrees with students who are seeking them in critical need areas in Florida public and private colleges. SB 1344 would have required the State Board of Education to base the eligibility of students to receive Florida Academic Scholars awards on SAT percentile ranks and provided for a student who attended a home education program to be eligible for a Florida Medallion Scholars award. SB 1344 would also have modified provisions relating to benefits to dependent children or spouses of deceased or disabled veterans, the licensing of electronic library resources to school districts and compensation of community college presidents.

Tuition/Resident Status: SB 248 would have set conditions for reclassifying a student as a resident for tuition purposes. SB 2398 would also have revised residency requirements for certain dependent children and required classification of a student as a resident if recognized as such by another institution.

New University Fees: CS/SB 778 and HB 505 would have authorized university boards of trustees to establish a renewable energy fee if approved by student referendum of up to $1 per credit hour. SB 894 and HB 547 would have authorized the University of South Florida to increase the activity, health and athletic fees to construct a multipurpose campus center.

New Degree Programs: SB 838 and HB 101 would have authorized a doctor of pharmacy degree program at the University of South Florida. SB 228 and HB 353 would have created the Charter Technical Career Center Associate in Applied Science and Associate in Science Degree Programs, authorizing charter technical career centers to offer such degree programs through partnerships with community colleges or directly.

School Withdrawal: SB 940 would have required that a student who is withdrawing from school be assigned a counselor to provide educational information until the student is 18 years old and be instructed concerning the consequences of the student’s decision and diploma alternatives.

Board of Governors: CS/CS/SB 2442 would have revised the powers and duties of the Board of Governors relating to accountability, required the Board to align the missions of each university so as to encourage them to become nationally recognized and ranked as research institutions, and revised the process for colleges to propose new baccalaureate degree programs.

Early Learning: SB 2394 would have transferred the Office of Early Learning within the Department of Education and the child care facility licensing responsibilities of the Department of Children and Family Services to the Office of Early Learning within the Agency for Workforce Innovation.

Foreign Gift Disclosure: SB 1804 would have required each institution of higher education to disclose to the Department of Revenue (DOR) the amount, terms, restrictions and requirements made a part of any gift given to the institution by a foreign government, person or entity if the value of the gift exceeds a specified amount.

ENERGY AND FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION (FPSC) REFORM

Property Assessed Clean Energy Program

Although a variety of energy bills were filed during the 2010 Session, the only energy bill that passed was CS/HB 7179, which established a program to allow local governments to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy improvement projects using traditional land-secured municipal finance mechanisms. The program, commonly referred to as the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program, allows a local government to create a special district, issue bonds secured by real property within the district, and use the bond proceeds for certain approved renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. The program is voluntary and only those property owners electing to participate would repay the debt to service the bond as part of their property tax bill. CS/HB 7179 also expands Florida’s definition of “renewable energy” to include “electrical energy produced using pipeline-quality synthetic gas produced from waste petroleum coke with carbon capture and sequestration.”

The bill was approved by the Governor on May 27, 2010, and took effect on the same date.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-139, L.O.F.

Bills That Did Not Pass:

Renewable Portfolio Standards: Perhaps the most heavily lobbied energy bill in the session was CS/HB 7229 which passed the House but died in messages to the Senate. This bill would have replaced the renewable portfolio standard (RPS) model that the Legislature preliminarily adopted in 2008 with a model that would have provided premium payment incentives for renewable energy. Opponents of the legislation argued that allowing renewable energy producers to receive premium payments for such energy would add significant costs to electric bills. To address these concerns, the Legislature amended the bill to impose more stringent price caps on renewable energy. However, the price caps ultimately did not assuage the fears of legislators who viewed the rate increases embedded in CS/HB 7229 as a risky political proposition, particularly in an election year during these economic times. A similar bill in the Senate, CS/SB 1186, never made it to the Senate floor.

Florida Energy and Climate Commission: CS/HB 77 and SB 90 would have encouraged energy efficiency with respect to low-income and rental housing properties.

Biomass Plants: SB 596 would have authorized the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC) to allow a utility to recover the costs of converting a fossil fuel generating plant to a biomass plant.

Renewable Energy: HB 1417 and SB 774 would have ratified the preliminary RPS standards submitted by the FPSC in 2009. SB 1086 and HB 1371 would have authorized power purchase agreement payments for renewable energy to exceed a utility’s full avoided costs.

Investor-Owned Utilities: SB 1104 would have imposed heightened service and reliability standards on investor-owned electric, water and wastewater utilities.

Compensation Disclosure: HB 1601 and SB 2570 would have required certain electric utilities to annually report the salaries of some specific company executives.

FPSC Regulation: HB 725, HB 1217, SB 2168 and SB 2632 would have subjected certain governmental utilities to FPSC regulation.

Renewable Energy Surcharges: HB 1267, SB 2346 and SB 2404 would have imposed renewable energy surcharges on electric bills to support a trust fund for clean energy projects.

Climate Change Regulation: HB 1535 would have urged rejection of federal climate change legislation that imposed undue economic burdens on businesses and customers.

Solar Energy: SB 1014, SB 1018, SB 1024 and HB 1575 would have encouraged solar energy and energy efficiency.

Offshore Oil Drilling: It also should be noted that legislation (HB 563) urging Congress to support offshore drilling for oil failed to pass. Because of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which occurred during the waning days of the Session, support for this offshore drilling initiative has fallen dramatically. Governor Crist has announced that he intends to call a special session to address renewable energy and other energy supply alternatives along with a possible constitutional amendment to ban offshore drilling. The Governor’s announcement of a special session has been publicly criticized by several legislative leaders, so it remains to be seen whether the Legislature will act in these areas. Finally, an association of renewable energy producers indicated the week of May 3 that it would begin to gather signatures to establish an RPS standard in Florida’s Constitution and create a clean energy trust fund to provide money for investments in renewable energy.

FPSC Reform: Driven by allegations of improper communications between electric utilities and FPSC staff members, legislation to reform the FPSC became a legislative priority in the Florida Senate and was one of the first bills to pass the Senate. CS/SB 1034 would have required FPSC Commissioners to abide by the Code of Judicial Conduct and imposed significant restrictions on communications between regulated entities and FPSC staff. The House adopted a different approach to FPSC reform and proposed legislation that would have fundamentally reorganized the agency into two structurally separate entities: the FPSC, whose primary responsibility would be to serve as an independent decision maker; and the Office of Regulatory Staff (ORS), which would be housed under the control of the Governor and Cabinet and would be treated like any other party to an administrative proceeding. The companion measure, CS/CS/HB 7209, would have also transferred the Office of Public Council from the Legislature to the Florida Attorney General’s Office. The Governor aggressively opposed attempts by the House to structurally reorganize the FPSC. Ultimately, the Senate and the House failed to reach consensus on the FPSC reform issue and both bills failed.

Other FPSC Reform Measures: HB 293 and SB 594 would have proposed a constitutional amendment requiring the election (and not the appointment) of FPSC members. HB 533 would have required persons testifying before the FPSC to formally disclose any financial or fiduciary relationships with regulated utilities. HB 565 would have prohibited former FPSC members and employees from lobbying the Florida’s legislative and executive branches for two years following their termination of service.

FPSC Confirmations: The Florida Senate refused to confirm two of Governor Crist’s FPSC appointees – David Klement and Benjamin Stevens. Because both of these sitting commissioners were not confirmed by the Senate, Florida law requires that they vacate their positions at the end of May 2010. The FPSC Nominating Council has already begun the process of soliciting applications to fill the two vacancies.

ENVIRONMENTAL AND LAND USE

Agriculture Acknowledgement

CS/HB 7103 generally relates to agriculture, but it also creates the “Agricultural Land Acknowledgement Act” in an effort to reduce conflicts between agricultural and nonagricultural land uses and to encourage sustainable agricultural land uses. To this end, the bill requires applicants for certain development permits to sign and submit an acknowledgement of neighboring sustainable agricultural lands on a prescribed form that then must be recorded. The bill also prohibits a county from imposing a tax, assessment or fee for stormwater management in certain circumstances.

The bill was vetoed by the Governor on May 15, 2010, but the veto was overridden by the Legislature's subsequent passage of HJR 7103 which established a new effective date of March 29, 2011, for CS/HB 7103.

Copy of Vetoed Bill

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2011-007, L.O.F.

Compatibility With Military Installations

CS/HB 7129 seeks to reduce conflicts between local governments and certain military installations. The bill requires a local government to provide notice to a military installation’s commanding officer of proposed plan amendments or land development regulations that would affect the density, intensity or use of land adjacent to the military installation. At the request of the commanding officer, the local government also must provide copies of applications for development orders requesting a variance from height or light restrictions or noise attenuation reduction requirements within the areas defined in the comprehensive plan as being within the zone of influence of the military installation.

The bill was approved by the Governor on June 1, 2010, and will take effect on July 1, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-182, L.O.F.

Expedited Permitting

CS/CS/CS/SB 550 generally deals with water resources. It also seeks to simplify the expedited permitting process and contains additional changes designed to make renewable energy projects eligible for the consolidated and expedited permitting process.

The bill was approved by the Governor on June 4, 2010, and will take effect on July 1, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-205, L.O.F.

Florida Climate Protection Act

HB 7243 deletes a duplicative reporting requirement that major greenhouse gas emitters use the Climate Registry for purposes of emissions registration and reporting. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) currently requires such reporting.

The bill was approved by the Governor on May 27, 2010, and will take effect on July 1, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-143, L.O.F.

Florida Forever and Everglades Funding

Last year was the first session in 20 years that did not include funding for environmental land acquisition. This year, the environmental community and Governor Crist sought to include funds in the budget. The Budget Conference Report on HB 5001 includes $15 million for Florida Forever – an amount that is far less than the $300 million in previous years – but it is enough to keep the program alive. The conference report also includes $10 million for Everglades Restoration and another $40 million is possible if Congress awards Florida some additional Medicaid dollars that would allow for a budget shift of other monies.

The Governor vetoed specific Line Items. The bill was approved by the Governor on May 28, 2010, and will take effect on July 1, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-152, L.O.F.

Numeric Nutrient Criteria

Florida already has narrative nutrient standards, but the EPA has determined that it is necessary for Florida to establish specific numeric nutrient standards. There has been considerable concern that the proposed EPA standards would impose substantial cost for Florida’s economy. CS/CS/CS/SB 550 includes “findings” regarding this issue, including that the “finalization and implementation of EPA’s proposed standards will have severe economic consequences on state’s agriculture, local governments, wastewater utilities, economic industries, small business and residents living below the poverty level or on fixed incomes.”

The bill was approved by the Governor on June 4, 2010, and will take effect on July 1, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-205, L.O.F.

Petroleum Contamination Cleanup

CS/CS/HB 1385 requires DEP to utilize natural attenuation monitoring strategies to transition sites into long-term natural attenuation monitoring and to evaluate whether higher default concentrations might be cost effective and protective. The measure also establishes a new low-scored site initiative. DEP will be responsible for adopting implementing rules which may be of interest to monitor. In addition, this bill also provides an extension of the tank upgrade deadline for certain facilities.

The bill was vetoed by the Governor on June 1, 2010, but the veto was overridden by the Legislature on November 16, 2010, and CS/CS/HB 1585 became effective on November 17 during Special Session A.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-278, L.O.F.

Reauthorization of Certain DRI Exemptions and Permit Extensions

Comprehensive growth management legislation enacted in 2009 (SB 360) included provisions establishing certain exemptions from DRI review and extending certain permits and approvals. This legislation is the subject of a pending legal challenge filed by a number of local governments. If the challenge is successful, then the provisions authorizing these exemptions and permit extensions could be void and ineffective. As a precautionary measure, CS/SB 1752 reauthorizes these exemptions and extensions in the event that the 2009 legislation is determined to be invalid.

The bill was approved by the Governor on May 28, 2010, and will take effect on July 1, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-147, L.O.F.

Additional Permit Extensions

Another provision in CS/SB 1752 authorizes an additional two-year extension for any permit issued by DEP or a water management district under Part IV of Chapter 373, F.S., which has an expiration date of September 1, 2008, through January 1, 2012. This extension includes any local government-issued development order or building permit. The holder of a valid permit or authorization must notify the authorizing agency in writing no later than December 31, 2010, identifying the specific authorization for which the holder intends to use the extension and the anticipated timeframe for acting on the authorization.

The bill was approved by the Governor on May 28, 2010, and took effect on the same date.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-147, L.O.F.

Recycling

Florida generates more than 32 million tons of municipal solid waste annually – almost two tons per resident per year. Energy legislation enacted in 2008 requires DEP to develop a comprehensive recycling program to achieve a 75 percent recycling goal by 2020 and to submit a proposed program to the Legislature. HB 7243 is based on DEP’s recommendations. Among other things, the bill requires each county to implement a recyclable materials recycling program with a goal of 40 percent recyclable solid waste by the end of 2012; 50 percent by the end of 2014; 60 percent by the end of 2016; 70 percent by the end of 2018; and 75 percent by December 31, 2020. If by the indicated dates any county has not reached the recycling goals, DEP may direct the county to develop a plan to expand recycling programs for existing commercial and multifamily dwellings, including, but not limited to apartment complexes. If the state recycling rate for the 2013 calendar year is below 40 percent, then DEP is to provide a report to the Legislature identifying additional programs or statutory changes needed to achieve the goal. HB 7243 also requires newly developed property after July 1, 2012, that is used for multifamily residential or commercial purposes to provide adequate space and adequate receptacles for recycling by tenants and owners of the property. In addition, HB 7243 recognizes that construction and demolition debris comprises a significant portion of the waste station and includes a number of provisions designed to promote the recycling of these materials. The bill requires each county to implement a program for recycling of construction and demolition debris. It also requires that, to the extent economically feasible, all construction and demolition debris must be processed prior to disposal, either at a permitted materials recovery facility or at a permitted disposal facility.

The bill was approved by the Governor on May 27, 2010, and took effect on the same date.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-143, L.O.F.

Solid Waste

Two other measures related to solid waste management were also enacted. CS/HB 569 authorizes a limited exception to the current ban on the disposal of yard trash in Class I landfills. The bill authorizes the disposal of yard trash at Class I landfills if the landfill has a system for collecting landfill gas and arranges for the beneficial reuse of this gas.

The bill was vetoed by the Governor on June 1, 2010, but the veto was overridden by the Legislature on November 16, 2010, and CS/HB 569 became effective on November 17 during Special Session A.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-276, L.O.F.

CS/CS/CS/SB 550 also requires liners and leachate collection systems at construction and demolition debris landfills – including individual disposal units and lateral expansions of existing disposal units – that have not received a DEP permit authorizing construction or operation prior to July 1, 2010, unless the owner or operate demonstrates that the facility is not expected to result in violations of groundwater standards and criteria if built without a liner.

The bill was approved by the Governor on June 4, 2010, and will take effect on July 1, 2010.

Rulemaking Restrictions on “Million Dollar” Rules

CS/CS/HB 1565 requires each agency to prepare an economic analysis of most proposed rules, and it provides that those proposed rules with a significant economic impact may not take effect until ratified by the Legislature. These rules include those that increase regulatory costs in excess of $1 million, as well as those that likely will have an impact in excess of $1 million on economic growth, private sector job creation or employment, or private sector investment.

The bill was vetoed by the Governor on May 28, 2010, but the veto was overridden by the Legislature on November 16, 2010, and CS/CS/HB 1565 became effective on November 17 during Special Session A.

Copy of Vetoed Bill

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-279, L.O.F.

Water Resources

CS/CS/CS/SB 550 contains a number of changes to Florida Water Law. The bill creates a new Part VII to Chapter 373, F.S., relating to water supply policy. It requires cooperative efforts between local governments and water management districts and a mandate to use all practical means of obtaining waters including surface water, ground water, reuse and desalinization. Utilities are encouraged to use water from sources nearest to the area of use. The bill provides that the focus of water management districts should be water resource development while the focus of local governments and utilities should be water supply development. Conflicts between local governments, utilities and water management districts would be subject to alternative dispute resolution. The bill also includes a requirement for septic tanks to be inspected every five years.

The bill was approved by the Governor on June 4, 2010, and will take effect on July 1, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-205, L.O.F.

Water Use Permit Delegation

CS/CS/CS/SB 550 also revises a controversial measure passed in 2009 (SB 2080) that delegated consumptive use permits (CUP) and environmental resource permitting (ERP) responsibilities from the water management district governing boards to Water Management District staff. This year, the Legislature removed the mandatory delegation of CUP to the staff. The water management districts may still delegate general permit authority to the staff but there must be a clear appeal to the board. There was no change in delegation of permit authority for environmental resource permitting.

The bill was approved by the Governor on June 4, 2010, and will take effect on July 1, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-205, L.O.F.

Coastal Construction

HB 5003, which implements the General Appropriations Act, provides in Section 67 that DEP is prohibited from denying any permit application related to rigid coastal armoring structures authorized and constructed between July 1, 2005 and April 30, 2006, as a result of Hurricane Dennis in Walton County. DEP is also prohibited from taking enforcement action against property owners for failure to apply for a permit to allow such structures to remain permanently. Property owners previously filing an application do not have to reapply. These provisions will remain in effect for fiscal year 2010. It is anticipated that a local bill to authorize the structures will be filed during the 2011 Legislative Session.

The Governor vetoed specific Line Items. The bill was approved by the Governor on May 28, 2010, and will take effect on June 29, 2010 unless otherwise provided.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-153, L.O.F.

State-Owned Lands

CS/CS/SB 1516 authorizes DEP to create and maintain a comprehensive state-owned real property database that includes an accurate inventory of all real property leased, owned, rented or otherwise occupied or managed by the state, the judicial branch and the water management districts. DEP is required under the legislation to submit a report by October 1 of each year to the Governor, Senate President and House Speaker listing all state-owned real property for disposition.

The bill was vetoed by the Governor on May 28, 2010, but the veto was overridden by the Legislature on November 16, 2010, and CS/CS/SB 1516 became effective on November 17 during Special Session A.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-280, L.O.F.

Bills That Did Not Pass:

Citizen Planning Bill of Rights: HB 733 and SB 1942 would have required every application for a comprehensive plan amendment or development order to include a public participation plan that must be implemented prior to the initial public hearing by the local government on the development order or plan amendment.

Concurrency Exemptions: SB 1742 would have created an exemption from certain concurrency requirements for “transit-oriented development.”

Contamination Notification: SB 602 and HB 207 would have expanded the list of those who will receive notification of a contaminated site from DEP and the circumstances under which such notice must be provided.

DCA Reauthorization: The Community Affairs again was scheduled for Sunset Review. Measures (SB 282, HB 7105 and HB 7107) that would have reauthorized the agency were not enacted. This means that the agency will be subject to Sunset Review again next year.

Offshore Oil Drilling: Several bills would have authorized the Governor and Cabinet to approve offshore oil drilling, but these measures failed. As previously noted, the Governor has announced that he intends to call a special session to attempt to pass a bill that would allow voters to decide whether to amend the Florida Constitution to prohibit offshore oil drilling. (SM 1726, HM 563 and SB 2622).

Statewide Stormwater Quality: DEP developed legislation (SB 1748 and HB 7171) to establish statewide stormwater management system water quality treatment requirements. The legislation was designed to address high nutrient levels that are purported to be a major cause of water quality impairment. These measures would have required DEP, in coordination with the water management districts, to develop a unified statewide rule to regulate stormwater quality by July 1, 2011. The rule would have established performance standards and design criteria for the issuance of permits for a stormwater management system such that compliance with those standards and criteria would create a presumption that discharges from the system would not result in violations of water quality standards in the receiving waters.

Working Waterfronts: Legislation implementing the working waterfronts constitutional amendment (CS/SB 1408, CS/HB 7127, HB 73 and CS/SB 346) died for lack of agreement between the House and Senate.

Numeric Nutrient Criteria: HM 1589 and SM 2474 were memorials urging Congress to require EPA to subject the proposed numeric nutrient criteria for Florida to review by EPA’s Science Advisory Board and the Government Accountability Office or the Congressional Budget Office.


FINANCE

International Banking Corporations

SB 1264 expands the application of state banking laws to include certain international banking corporations. This bill will grant the Office of Financial Regulation (OFR) regulatory authority over international trust company representative offices. The bill adds “trust business” to the list of prohibited conduct that an international representative office may engage in within the state and expands the criteria under which OFR may take possession of certain business and property of certain international banking corporations.

The bill was approved by the Governor on April 15, 2010, and will take effect on July 1, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-9, L.O.F.

Loan Origination

CS/SB 1281 reenacts reference to certain federal laws for purposes of incorporating rules adopted under such laws. The bill also: (1) specifies application of disciplinary procedures to principal loan originators for the actions of loan originators; (2) specifies non-application of specified limitations to licensed loan originators operating solely as loan processors; (3) prohibits acting as a loan processor unless the person is licensed as a loan originator; (4) requires declaration of an intent to engage solely in loan processing; (5) authorizes the withdrawal of the declaration of intent; (6) exempts specified mobile home dealers from specified licensure requirements; (7) specifies mobile home dealer employees as not being loan originators; (8) revises the requirements relating to good faith estimates by loan originators; (9) requires a disclosure document to be signed and dated by the borrower; and (10) deletes the licensure application requirement prior to specified purchases or acquisitions.

The bill was approved by the Governor on May 11, 2010, and will take effect on October 1, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-67, L.O.F.

Timeshare Foreclosures

CS/CS/HB 1411 provides requirement for officers, directors and agents of timeshare owners’ associations. The legislation also: (1) authorizes the managing entity to bring judicial and trustee actions to foreclose certain liens; (2) renames the title of Part III of Chapter 721, F.S., to conform to changes made by the act; (3) establishes the procedure for trustee foreclosure assessment liens and mortgage liens; (4) provides for the appointment of a trustee; (5) provides the recording requirements for such liens; (6) provides procedures for initiation of trustee foreclosure procedure against timeshare interest; (7) provides procedures for the obligor’s objection to trustee foreclosure procedure; (8) provides requirements for notice of default and intent to sell, notice of sale, trustee’s certificate of compliance and sale by auction of foreclosed encumbered timeshare interests; (9) provides for effect of a trustee’s sale; (10) provides the requirements for a trustee’s deed; (11) provides for disposition of the proceeds of sale; (12) provides that trustee foreclosure procedure does not impair or otherwise affect the right to bring certain actions; (13) provides a criminal penalty; (14) provides for the priority of application in the case of a conflict; and (15) revises the exemptions from certain licensing requirements.

The bill was approved by the Governor on May 27, 2010, and took effect on the same date.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-134, L.O.F.

Consumer Debt Collection

CS/CS/CS/SB 2086 requires a consumer debt collection agency to maintain records and increases the administrative fine imposed against out-of-state consumer debt collectors that fail to register as required in the bill. The bill also revises the current law provisions relating to the authorized activities of the Attorney General and revises the requirements for providing written notice of the assignment of debt.

The bill was approved by the Governor on May 27, 2010, and will take effect on October 1, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-127, L.O.F.

Bills That Did Not Pass:

Foreclosures: In addition to HB 1411 regarding non-judicial foreclosure on timeshare estates, there were many other bills filed dealing with mortgage foreclosure, including protection for tenants. None of these other foreclosure bills (SB 1384, HB 35, SB 1688andSB 1778) passed this year, but they are likely to be a continuing source of public policy considerations.


HEALTHCARE

Pain-Management Clinics

CS/CS/SB 2272 was yet another attempt to gain some control over the so-called “pill mills.” After creating a statewide database for tracking prescription drugs last session, this bill took the regulation a step further. The key provision in the bill will bar pain clinic doctors from dispensing more than 72-hour supplies of controlled substances to patients who pay with cash, checks or credit cards. Patients could still get more than three-day supplies if payment is made through insurance policies or workers’ compensation coverage. The bill is an attempt to stop abusers and traffickers of controlled substances who go to clinics, pay with cash and leave with large quantities of painkillers such as oxycodone. Additionally, the bill will increase regulation and penalties for pain-management clinics. Also, it would prevent clinics from advertising or promoting the use and sale of controlled substances.

The bill was approved by the Governor on June 4, 2010, and will take effect on October 1, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-211, L.O.F.

Medicaid

CS/CS/SB 1484 was the Medicaid conforming bill this session. The bill requires that the Agency for Health Care Administration request an extension of the current Medicaid Reform waiver from the Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The legislation also establishes the Medicaid and Public Assistance Fraud Strike Force within the Department of Financial Services. In addition, the bill requires all Medicaid managed care plans to adopt an anti-fraud plan and authorizes Medicaid-related fraud units to collocate such as those in the Attorney General’s Office and OIR’s Division of Insurance Fraud.

The bill was approved by the Governor on May 28, 2010, and will take effect on January 1, 2011 unless otherwise provided and except for Sections 1, 2, 12, 13 and 14, which took effect on May 28, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-144, L.O.F.

Ultrasound Tests for Abortions

As filed this session, CS/CS/CS/HB 1143 proposed minor changes to healthcare regulation in Florida. In the last few days of session, however, the bill became a vehicle for Republican-led anti-abortion amendments. As amended, the bill requires women to have an ultrasound and mandates that doctors offer a woman the option of looking at the ultrasound. The woman would have the right to decline the option of looking at the ultrasound. All women would have to pay for the procedure regardless of their ability to afford it. The other controversial amendment added to the bill by the Senate in the final week of session was a ban on government money to pay for an abortion. At least 14 states have passed laws requiring abortion providers to offer or perform ultrasounds. Four states – Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Oklahoma – require the procedure before an abortion is performed.

The bill was vetoed by the Governor on June 11, 2010.

Copy of Vetoed Bill

Bills That Did Not Pass:

Medicaid Reform: With Medicaid already consuming the largest part of the state budget, this session legislators tried to come to an agreement on further reforms aimed at cost efficiencies. HB 7223 was released by the House Select Policy Council on Strategic and Economic Planning in the final two weeks of the session, but was too far-reaching for the Senate to accept. The House bill sought to expand Medicaid reform initiatives from previous legislatures by moving more Medicaid clients into the managed care model, as opposed to fee-for-service plans. While the House and Senate couldn’t agree on a plan this year, expect this issue to be back next session.

INSURANCE

Property Insurance

CS/CS/SB 2044 was widely supported by the insurance industry in an attempt to give these companies some stability in the wake of a potential massive storm in Florida. One such provision of the bill limits the amount of time after a hurricane for individuals to submit claims from five years to three years. The bill also requires companies to file for rate increases before passing them onto consumers and requires insurers to maintain higher levels of reserves in case of a major storm. The bill also allows for insurers to automatically charge higher premiums to adjust for inflation and higher re-insurance costs. Another key provision places further restrictions on public adjusters.

The bill was vetoed by the Governor on June 1, 2010.

Copy of Vetoed Bill

Risk Management

The intent of CS/SB 2386 is to strengthen the state’s risk management program and reduce workers’ compensation costs to the state. Risk management is responsible for identifying and controlling exposure to loss or injury resulting from the daily operation of Florida’s government. The bill establishes return-to-work programs for certain state agencies, bases agency premiums on actual loss experience and loss prevention results and gives the Chief Financial Officer’s Division of Risk Management the responsibility to evaluate state agencies’ risk management programs, as well as recommend corrective authority.

The bill was approved by the Governor on May 28, 2010, and will take effect on July 1, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-151, L.O.F.

Insurance Rating

CS/CS/SB 2176 makes changes to the “Rating Law” in Part I of Chapter 627, F.S., by amending the rating requirements for some property, casualty and surety insurance policies. The bill also excludes several types of insurance from the filing and review requirements for rate setting thus allowing insurers to raise some rates without prior approval. However, it requires insurers to notify the Office of Insurance Regulation within 30 days of such increases and requires that specified rates must not be excessive, inadequate or unfairly discriminatory.

The bill was approved by the Governor on June 1, 2010, and will take effect on January 1, 2011 unless otherwise provided.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-175, L.O.F.

Bills That Did Not Pass:

Property Insurance Deregulation: CS/CS/SB 876 and CS/CS/HB 447 were the Senate and House Property Insurance Deregulation packages. It was brought back again this session after being vetoed by Governor Crist after the 2009 Legislative Session. The bill would have allowed insurers to increase rates up to 10 percent annually without approval from the Office of Insurance Regulation. It would have required such insurers to give 180-days written notice of non-renewal to policyholders and would have given more clarification of the policyholder surcharge collected on Citizens Property Insurance Corporation policies. The threat of yet another veto this year made the Legislature focus its time on other public policy issues.

PROCUREMENT

Minority Business Enterprise Certification

CS/SB 1612 eliminates the requirement for an affidavit for recertification of an entity by the Florida Office of Supplier Diversity as a minority business enterprise. In addition, the bill now allows for certifications to include an electronic signature.

The bill was approved by the Governor on May 26, 2010, and will take effect on July 1, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-103, L.O.F.

State Financial Matters

CS/SB 2386 is a comprehensive bill addressing state financial matters, including procurement. This bill, among other things:

 

    • Requires state agencies to report delinquent accounts receivable (if payment is not received within 120 days of when payment was due) to a collection agent, absent an exemption. Beginning October 1, 2010, agencies must also provide a list of delinquent accounts to the Senate President, House Speaker and Chief Financial Officer (CFO). In addition, the CFO must provide a report on the activities of contracted collection agencies to the Governor, Senate President and House Speaker.
    • Provides the CFO with legislative authority to adopt rules requiring that payments by the state be made through electronic disbursement including debit cards, credit cards or electronic funds transfers unless where payment by state warrant is necessary due to technological limitations of the person who is receiving the payment. The bill also provides similar rulemaking authority for other state agencies and the judicial branch to the extent that such rules do not conflict with those adopted by the CFO.
    • Requires agreements providing state financial assistance to a recipient or subrecipient, or that provides federal financial assistance to a subrecipient to include: (1) a provision specifying the scope of works and tasks to be performed by the recipient or subrecipient; and (2) a provision dividing the agreement into quantifiable units of deliverables that must be received and accepted prior to payment.
    • Requires an agency to maintain records to support a cost analysis of funding awarded on a noncompetitive basis including the agency’s review of cost elements from the submitted budget for allowability, reasonableness and necessity.
    • Increases the purchasing category thresholds for applicability of Florida’s procurement laws. The minimum amount generally required to trigger competitive procurement is being increased from $25,000 to $35,000.
    • Repeals the statutory provisions in Chapter 287, F.S., relating to products and materials with recycled content.
    • Requires state purchasing agreements and state term contracts to include provisions: (1) specifying the scope of work and tasks to be performed; (2) dividing the agreement into quantifiable units of deliverables that must be received and accepted prior to payment; (3) specifying the financial consequences if the contractor fails to perform, and addressing intellectual property rights including the intellectual property rights of the state if the contractor fails to provide services or is no longer providing services.
    • Sets out new descriptions of invitations to bid, requests for proposal and invitations to negotiate in Section 287.057, F.S.
    • Beginning January 1, 2011, exempts from the competitive procurement requirements health services, including substance abuse and mental health services, involving examination, diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and medical consultation, when such services are offered to eligible individuals participating in a specific program that qualifies multiple medical providers and uses a standard payment methodology.
    • Requires an agency to document that it is not contracting for services that have not been competitively procured at a rate that exceeds the competitive prevailing rate unless expressly authorized by the General Appropriations Act.
    • Mandates attendance at training conducted by the CFO by all contract managers responsible for contracts in excess of $35,000; this training will focus on accountability in contracts and grant management.
    • Implements a new organizational conflict of interest provision that disqualifies an entity from a contract award if it has access to information not available to the public, or source selection information not available to all competitors, that would assist the vendor in obtaining the contract.
    • Requires coordination of contracts for health or human services involving the Department of Children and Families, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, the Department of Elder Affairs or the Department of Veterans Affairs.
    • Provides for reporting by state agencies to the Department of Financial Services (DFS) regarding the agency’s contracted activities when a contract in excess of $35,000 is not awarded by competitive solicitation, through a purchasing agreement or a state term contract.
    • Directs agencies to review existing contract renewals and reprocurements in an effort to reduce contract payments by 3 percent or more. Any savings are to be placed in reserve by the Executive Office of the Governor.
    • For contracts with a preferred pricing clause, requires agencies to ensure that the contractor complies with such clause and requires an affidavit of compliance from the contractor.
    • Provides a preference, where allowable under state and federal law, to vendors and businesses with a principal place of business in Florida for purchases in excess of $5 million.
    • Appropriates $311,915 for implementation of the bill.

The bill was approved by the Governor on May 28, 2010, and will take effect on July 1, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-151, L.O.F.

Department of Management Services

CS/SB HB 5611 relates to the Department of Management Services (DMS). This bill:

    • Restructures the organization of DMS by placing the agency under the Governor and Cabinet as the agency head with an Executive Director to be appointed by the Governor and Cabinet and subject to Senate confirmation.
    • Amends the Administrative Procedure Act, Chapter 120, F.S., to require certain filings with the Division of Administrative Hearings (DOAH) to be made electronically through the DOAH website.
    • Repeals Section 110.123(13), F.S., relating to the Florida State Employee Wellness Council which is obsolete.
    • Expresses legislative intent that the expenditure of public funds on wireless communications devices be used to increase efficiency, accessibility and productivity. The bill: (1) requires each agency to include an inventory of all wireless devices and expenditures as part of its annual legislative budget request; (2) limits the assignment of wireless communications devices to certain employees based on their official assigned duties; (3) mandates use by agencies of the SUNCOM Network for wireless communication devices and services unless an exemption applies; and (4) requires agencies to review wireless communication device expenditures to ensure that costs are associated with business purposes and that any use for personal purposes is reimbursed by the agency employee.
    • Repeals Section 287.0573, F.S., eliminating the Council on Efficient Government.
    • Provides for a plan to be developed by DMS for a centralized fleet of state-owned motor vehicles. The plan must be submitted to the Senate President, House Speaker, Governor and Cabinet by November 1, 2010.
    • Provides for the extension of a $3 traffic and criminal traffic violation fee for an additional five years to fund the Statewide Law Enforcement Radio System.
    • Directs that a district office of the Office of Judges of Compensation Claims shall close if the circuit court in the county is closed due to weather or another disaster-related emergency. The bill also requires for electronic filings in matters before Judges of Compensation Claims.
    • Mandates that DMS coordinate with all state agencies and identify within each agency all resources related to real estate leasing and facilities operations and maintenance for the purpose of developing a plan to centralize, within DMS, all real estate leasing and facilities operations and maintenance. The plan must be submitted to the Senate President, the House Speaker, the Governor and Cabinet by September 1, 2010. The bill also requires each agency to include in its 2011-2012 legislative budget request a transfer of all real estate resources to DMS. The bill further provides for transfer of $320,000 from the Supervision Trust Fund to DEP for creation of a comprehensive database of state-owned property.
    • Provides for the transfer of revenues from the DMS Operating Trust Fund to DFS to support statewide purchasing operations.

The bill was vetoed by the Governor on May 28, 2010.

Copy of Vetoed Bill

Information Technology

CS/SB 2020 relating to information technology provides for the following:

    • Expansion of the duties and responsibilities of the Agency for Enterprise Information Technology (AEIT) to include coordination of the state agency procurement of information technology products and services.
    • A requirement that each primary data center report on an annual basis its total annual budgeted costs by major expenditure category, total projected billings for each customer entity, and updated financial statements. Each primary data center is also required to submit to its board of trustees cost reduction proposals each year.
    • Establishment of a competitive procurement process for a statewide competitive e-mail service. The solicitation is to be issued by the Southwood Shared Resource Center by August 31, 2010, with vendor responses due by October 15, 2010. The bill also provides for migration of all agencies to the statewide e-mail system using a phased approach.
    • A requirement that all customers of a state primary data center, with the exception of state universities, use the shared SUNCOM Network telecommunications services connecting the state primary data center to SUNCOM services for all of their telecommunications needs.
    • An appropriation of $300,000 in recurring general revenue for implementation of the bill.

The bill was approved by the Governor on May 28, 2010, and took effect on the same date.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-148, L.O.F.

Bills That Did Not Pass:

Elimination of DMS: SB 1238 would have done away with the Florida Department of Management Services (DMS) and reassigned procurement and personnel functions to other agencies.

PUBLIC RECORDS

During the 2010 Regular Legislative Session, the Legislature enacted several new exemptions from Florida’s public records and public meetings laws. These exemptions are described below.

Public Defenders and Conflict Counsel

CS/SB 312 creates an exemption from the Public Records Act, Chapter 119, F.S., and Article I, Section 24 of the Florida Constitution for specified personal information relating to lawyers who routinely interact with individuals who have criminal records or are suspected of criminal activity. Such individuals include current and former public defenders, assistant public defenders, criminal conflict and civil regional counsel, assistant criminal conflict and civil regional counsel, and their spouses and children. The information protected from disclosure includes home addresses, telephone numbers, photographs, places of employment, and names and locations of schools and day care facilities attended by the children of such counsel.

The bill was approved by the Governor on June 1, 2010, and will take effect on July 1, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-171, L.O.F.

Prepayment of Transit Fares

CS/HB 393 creates a public records exemption relating to the prepayment of transit fares. The bill exempts from the Public Records Act, and Article I, Section 24 of the Florida Constitution, personal identifying information held by a public transit provider for the purpose of the acquisition of a prepayment transit fare card or other prepayment of transit fares. The bill includes language recognizing that individuals who choose a prepayment option for transit fares should be treated the same as individuals who pay cash for transit fares.

The bill was approved by the Governor on June 3, 2010, and will take effect on July 1, 2010.

Local Government Ethics Investigations

Existing law provides a public records exemption for an ethics complaint and any records relating to the complaint or a preliminary investigation by the Florida Commission on Ethics or a Commission on Ethics and Public Trust established by a local government. CS/HB 551 expands this exemption to include an exemption from the public records and public meetings laws for ethics complaints and investigatory records and proceedings held by a local government that has established a local investigatory process to enforce standards more stringent than those provided under Chapter 112, F.S. The exemptions no longer apply when the complaint is dismissed, the alleged violator requests that the records and proceedings be made public, or it is determined whether or not probable cause exists that a violation occurred.

The bill was approved by the Governor on May 27, 2010, and will take effect on July 1, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-130, L.O.F.

Examination Techniques or Procedures by the Office of Financial Regulation

CS/HB 1059 creates a public records exemption for information relating to the examination techniques or procedures used by the Florida Office of Financial Regulation (OFR) pursuant to the Florida Securities and Investor Protection Act. This bill expands current law which only provides an exemption for information relating to investigations or examinations conducted by OFR pursuant to the Act until the investigation or examination is completed or ceases to be active, but does not exempt information that would reveal the examination techniques or procedures used by OFR. The bill includes legislative finding that providing an exemption for information revealing examination techniques or procedures is necessary so that OFR can effectively administer the examination program under the Act.

The bill was approved by the Governor on May 11, 2010, and took effect on the same day.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-65, L.O.F.

Credit History Information and Credit Scores

HB 7017 creates a new public records exemption for credit history information and credit scores held by OFR for licensure purposes relating to loan originators, mortgage brokerage and mortgage lending. The bill includes findings that credit history information and credit scores are personal information the disclosure of which could cause harm to the person that is the subject of the information as well as jeopardize the financial safety of such person by putting them at risk of identity theft.

The bill was approved by the Governor on May 28, 2010, and will take effect on July 1, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-169, L.O.F.

Voter Registration and Voting Records/Stalking

Section 97.0585, F.S., currently exempts from the Public Records Act and disclosure under the Florida Constitution information relating to a declination to register to vote, the place at which a person registered to vote or updated their registration, social security number, driver’s license number and Florida ID number of a voter registration applicant or voter. HB 7079 reenacts these exemptions with minor modifications and also adds new exemptions for the names, addresses and telephone numbers of individuals who are victims of stalking or aggravated stalking as held by the Attorney General provided that the victim provides a sworn statement of stalking.

The bill was approved by the Governor on May 26, 2010, and took effect on the same date.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-115, L.O.F.

Schools and Day Care Facilities Attended by Children of Guardians Ad Litem

HB 7087 reenacts the public records exemption relating to identification and location information of guardians ad litem. The bill also expands the current exemption to include the names and locations of schools or day care facilities attended by children or current or former guardians ad litem.

The bill was approved by the Governor on May 11, 2010, and took effect on the same date.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-71, L.O.F.

Child Abuse Death Review Committee

Florida law currently provides that information that is confidential and exempt from the Public Records Act and disclosure under the Florida Constitution does not lose its confidential status if it is obtained by the State Child Abuse Death Review Committee or a local child abuse death review committee. Florida law also currently exempts from the open meeting requirements that portion of any meeting of the State Child Abuse Death Review Committee or a local child abuse death committee at which confidential or exempt information is discussed. HB 7113 reenacts these provisions and adds language to the statutes to require the closed portion of any meeting to be recorded with such recording to be exempt from Chapter 119, F.S., and Article I, Section 24 of the Florida Constitution.

The bill was approved by the Governor on May 7, 2010, and will take effect on October 1, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-40, L.O.F.

Board of Funeral, Cemetery and Consumer Services

Florida law currently provides multiple exemptions that relate to information considered by the Florida Board of Funeral, Cemetery and Consumer Services (Board). HB 7117 reenacts these public record and public meeting exemptions. It also expands upon the existing language to require any closed portion of a meeting of the Board to be recorded, but creates a new exemption that applies to the recording.

The bill was approved by the Governor on May 11, 2010, and will take effect on October 1, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-76, L.O.F.

Florida Commission on Hurricane Loss Projection Methodology

HB 7119 reenacts the public records and public meeting exemptions that protect trade secret information used in designing and constructing a hurricane loss model which is provided by a private company to the Florida Commission on Hurricane Loss Projection Methodology or a consumer advocate. The bill also adds a requirement that any closed portion of a meeting of the Commission be recorded and adds an exemption that applies to the recording.

The bill was approved by the Governor on May 15, 2010, and will take effect on October 1, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-89, L.O.F.

Commission for Independent Education

HB 7167 reenacts the public records and public meeting exemptions that protect investigatory records held by the Florida Commission for Independent Education in connection with disciplinary proceedings. The bill also adds a requirement that any closed portion of a meeting of the Commission be recorded and adds an exemption that applies to the recording which shall remain exempt for a period not to exceed 10 days after a panel makes a determination regarding probable cause.

The bill was approved by the Governor on May 11, 2010, and will take effect on October 1, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-77, L.O.F.

Bills That Did Not Pass:

Exemption/Litigation Meetings: SB 138 and CS/HB 405 added the risk manager and certain division heads of a governmental entity to the persons who could attend a private meeting discussing pending litigation and authorized the required public announcement of an attorney-client session to be made immediately before the session. The legislation also prohibited an adverse party from attending the attorney-client session.

Exemption/Crime Scene Photos and Videos: HB 649 and SB 1496 provide an exemption from public records law for investigative or crime scene photographs, images, or video recordings of a deceased person. There was also legislation filed (HB 647 and SB 1506) which prohibited the commercial use or distribution of law enforcement photographs, images, or video recordings of a deceased person or that showed a person’s extreme, severe, or acute injuries, which are confidential and exempt from Florida’s public records laws.

Data Destruction: HB 279 and SB 586 required all public agencies and private entities that collect personal information to adhere to specified procedures when destroying such information.

STATE AND LOCAL TAXES

Tax Credit Scholarship Program

CS/SB 2126 creates the “Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program” by amending and replacing the existing corporate income tax credit for contributions to nonprofit scholarship funding organizations provided by Section 220.187, F.S. The legislation provides that credits are available only to the extent of available funding and provides funding in the amount of $140 million for fiscal year 2010-2011. The bill also provides that credit cannot be transferred except to the extent that all other assets of the owner are transferred.

The bill was approved by the Governor on April 22, 2010, and will take effect on July 1, 2010 unless otherwise provided.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-24, L.O.F.

Unemployment Tax

CS/HB 7033 reduces the taxable wage base for 2010 and 2011 and suspends the positive adjustment tax rate factor for this same period. The bill provides for installment payment of taxes with relief from penalties and interest.

The bill was approved by the Governor on March 2, 2010, and took effect on the same date. It operates retroactively to June 29, 2009.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-1, L.O.F.

Department of Revenue Tax Package

CS/HB 7157 provides that unemployment tax liens lapse 10 years after the filing of the original notice of lien. The bill also provides:

    • For purposes of the documentary stamp tax imposed on deeds, taxable consideration for a “short sale transaction” does not include unpaid indebtedness forgiven or released by a mortgagee holding a mortgage on the transferor’s property.
    • That the exemption for residential customers from the state sales tax component of the communications services tax does not apply to transient public lodging establishments.
    • An exclusion from the sales tax on commercial cleaning services for the cleaning of the interior of transportation equipment.
    • That sales tax does not apply to a package of products that contains non-taxable food items and taxable other items if the taxable items represent 25 percent or less of the cost of the complete package.
    • Changes several provisions of the sales tax exemption for building materials used to rehabilitate real property located in an enterprise zone: clarifies that the property owner at the time of the rehabilitation is entitled to the exemption; clarifies that a single exemption application can be filed for multiple properties that were part of a single parcel; and extends the deadline for filing a refund claim from September 1 to November 1 following the date the property is first subject to ad valorem assessment.
    • Effective January 1, 2011, that contractors shall be entitled to rely on exemption certificates provided by governmental entities and authorizes the Department of Revenue (DOR) to adopt rules concerning the taxability of purchases by governmental entities from contractors.
    • Effective retroactively to July 1, 2008, that DOR can disclose certain information to taxpayers by email and fax and also provides that DOR can disclose certain information concerning persons against whom liens and warrants have been filed.
    • That financial organizations having deposits exceeding $50 million must enter into automated data exchange agreements with DOR and that such agreements are allowed but not required for smaller financial institutions.
    • That the Division of Hotels and Restaurants may suspend or deny renewal of any license issued to a restaurant or hotel that has a tax lien outstanding for more than three months.
    • That DOR can give notice of garnishment by personal service or electronic means as alternatives to registered mail.
    • Effective retroactively to July 1, 2008, that the Florida Energy & Climate Commission is responsible for those aspects of the renewable energies technologies tax credit for which DEP was formerly responsible.
    • That a single member limited liability company is to be treated as an “employer” for unemployment tax purposes.
    • A penalty for an “erroneous, incomplete or insufficient unemployment tax return is the greater of $50 or 10 percent of the tax due (up to $300).
    • For a penalty of $50 plus $1 per employee for failure to file an unemployment tax return by an approved electronic means.
    • That DOR may revoke any certificates or licenses it has issued to a person against whom DOR has filed a lien or warrant.

The bill was approved by the Governor on May 27, 2010, and took effect on the same date.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-138, L.O.F.

Taxation

CS/HB 5801 directs DOR to establish a program applicable to sales and use tax, corporate income tax, estate tax, insurance premiums taxes, documentary stamp and deed taxes, communication services taxes, severance taxes and motor fuel taxes. The program is to begin July 1, 2010, and continue through September 30, 2010. Pursuant to the program, qualifying persons paying taxes under the program will qualify for a waiver of all civil and criminal penalties and also a reduction of any interest due. If DOR is already aware of the person’s tax liability, only 25 percent of the interest otherwise due will be waived; however, if DOR was not previously aware of the liability, 75 percent of the interest will be waived. The legislation also provides for the transfer of state tax liability when all or substantially all of a business’s assets are sold or otherwise transferred to another person or entity. The bill further provides that the transferee of the business’s assets will be jointly and severally liable for any taxes owed by the transferor and authorizes DOR to publish a list of persons against whom DOR has filed warrants or liens. The bill authorizes DOR to revoke all certificates and permits it has issued to any taxpayer against whom a warrant or lien has been filed and authorizes the Division of Hotel and Restaurants to revoke or refuse to renew any license held by a hotel or restaurant that has had a tax lien or warrant outstanding for more than three months.

The bill was approved by the Governor on May 28, 2010, and took effect on the same date.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-166, L.O.F.

Economic Development

CS/HB 1752 is an omnibus economic development package. Major features of the legislation include: (1) provides that municipalities, counties and local economic development agencies must provide annual reports concerning economic development incentives awarded and related activities; (2) provides for a 10-year renewal of the authority of a county to provide economic development property tax exemptions if approved by referendum; (3) provides that sales tax does not apply to the rental of realty to a person furnishing telecommunications, data systems management or Internet services at a convention hall, civic center or public lodging establishment but only for that portion of the rental charge that is based on a percentage of sales, revenue sharing or royalties; (4) provides that the previously expired sales tax exemption for admissions to events sponsored by governmental entities or sports authorities is reinstated and also provides an exemption for admissions to certain professional athletic events; (5) provides that the maximum sales or use tax due on the purchase or use of a “boat” is $18,000; (6) provides that the maximum sales and use tax imposed on the sale of a fractional aircraft ownership interest is $300; (7) provides that the 10 percent production increase required for qualification for the sales tax exemption for expanding businesses can be satisfied based on the production of a product line instead of the production of the entire plant and also provides that the 12-month measuring period can be selected by the applicant; (8) provides that the term “real property,” for purposes of the sales tax exemption for materials used to rehabilitate realty located in an enterprise zone, does not include a condominium parcel or condominium property; (9) provides that the entertainment industry sales tax credit can only be claimed as a credit against taxes due, can be carried forward, cannot be claimed as a refund and must be taken on a return initiated through electronic data interchange; (10) provides a use tax exemption for any aircraft owned by a non-resident that enters Florida within six months of the date of purchase and remains in the state for less than a total of 21 days during that period; (11) provides a use tax exemption for any aircraft owned by a non-resident that is present in Florida exclusively for purposes of flight training, repairs, alterations, refitting or modifications; (12) provides a sales and use tax exemption for the sale and use of aircraft primarily used in an aircraft fractional ownership program and also exempts from tax parts and labor used to complete, repair, maintain or overhaul any such aircraft; (13) provides that DOR may disclose information relative to tax credits taken under Section 288.1254, F.S., to the Office of Film and Entertainment and the Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development (OTTED); (14) provides that the entertainment industry tax credit and jobs for the unemployed tax credit are available credits to be applied in accordance with Section 220.02, F.S.; (15) provides that in computing “adjusted federal income” for Florida corporate income tax purposes, a taxpayer must add back to taxable income the costs to acquire entertainment industry tax credit that are deducted from or otherwise reduce federal taxable income for the taxable year; (16) provides a $1,000 corporate income tax credit for each qualified employee hired by an eligible business; (17) provides an entertainment industry tax credit allowed against the corporate income tax in the amounts awarded by OTTED; (18) provides that the matching grants provided by OTTED may be used by an economic development organization to provide technical assistance to businesses within the rural counties and communities it services; (19) provides a local government distressed area matching grant program within OTTED to stimulate investment in the state’s economy by providing grants to match demonstrated business assistance by local governments to attract and retain businesses in the state; (20) provides that under the qualified defense contractor and space flight business tax refund program, the term “jobs” means full-time equivalent positions, including, but not limited to, positions obtained from a temporary employment agency or employee leasing company or through a union agreement or co-employment under a professional employer organization agreement, that result directly from a project in the state; (21) makes significant changes to the tax refund program for qualified target industry businesses, including the creation of additional tax incentives and extends the certification date to June 30, 2020, for an employer under the refund program; (22) provides that for purposes of brownfield redevelopment bonus refunds, the term “jobs” means full-time equivalent positions, including, but not limited to, positions obtained from a temporary employment agency or employee leasing company or through a union agreement or co-employment under a professional employer organization agreement that result directly from a project in the state; (23) makes several significant changes relating to eligible high-impact sector performance grants, including the creation of additional tax incentives; (24) provides that OTTED’s manufacturing and spaceport investment incentive program to encourage capital investment and job creation in manufacturing and spaceport activities in the state will expire on July 1, 2013; (25) makes significant changes to the governance of the Quick Action Closing Fund; (26) provides that for purposes of an innovative incentive program, the term “jobs” means full-time equivalent positions, including, but not limited to, positions obtained from a temporary employment agency or employee leasing company or through a union agreement or co-employment under a professional employer organization agreement, that result directly from a project in the state; (27) provides that the term “entertainment industry,” for purposes of the entertainment industry tax credit, includes digital media projects; (28) makes changes to the powers and duties of the Office of Film and Entertainment; (29) makes changes the membership of the Florida Film and Entertainment Advisory Council; (30) makes significant changes to the entertainment industry financial incentive program, including the creation of additional incentives; (31) makes modifications to the recordkeeping requirements for the Office of Film and Entertainment; (32) creates the Florida Research Commercialization Matching Grant Program to increase the amount of federal funding to the state which will produce the kind of distinctive technologies that drive today’s knowledge-based economy; (33) allows the DOR to distribute $166,667 monthly pursuant to Section 288.1162, F.S., to each applicant certified as a facility for a new or retained professional sports franchise; (34) provides for the distribution of up to $41,667 to each certified applicant defined in Section 288.11621, F.S., for a facility for a spring training franchise; (35) allows counties to use up to $2 million annually of the local government half-cent sales tax allocated to that county for funding for any facility for a new or retained professional sports franchise or a certified applicant for a facility for a spring training franchise; (36) makes significant changes to the provisions governing the certification of an applicant as a new or retained professional sports franchise; (37) provides detailed provisions governing the certification of an applicant to receiving funding as a facility for a spring training franchise; (38) allows OTTED to authorize a direct-support organization to assist the Office in the retention of professional sports franchises, including the spring training operations of Major League Baseball; (39) provides that an agreement with a spring training franchise relocating from one local government to another shall be recognized as a valid agreement if OTTED approved the continuing release of funds to the local government to which the franchise relocated before the effective date of this Act; (40) makes several changes to the new markets development program, which was established to encourage capital investment in rural and urban low-income communities by allowing taxpayers to earn credits against specified taxes by investing in qualified community development entities that make qualified low-income community investments in qualified active low-income community businesses to create and retain jobs; (41) makes significant changes to the role of counties, municipalities and local pollution control programs in the permit processing; (42) provides for the extension of the Florida Homebuyer Opportunity Program until July 1, 2011; (43) provides that the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA) shall review and evaluate the Florida Enterprise Zone Program and submit a report of its findings and recommendations to the Governor, the Senate President and the House Speaker by January 11, 2011; (44) provides that OPPAGA shall review and evaluate the effectiveness and viability of the Florida Research Commercialization Matching Grant Program and submit a report of its findings and recommendations to the Governor, the Senate President and the House Speaker by November 1, 2011; and (45) provides that a development order issued by a local government, a building permit and any permit issued by DEP or by a water management district, which has an expiration date from September 1, 2008, through January 1, 2012, is extended and renewed for a period of two years after its previously scheduled date of expiration.

The bill was approved by the Governor on May 28, 2010, and took effect on the same date.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-147, L.O.F.

Non-Ad Valorem Assessments for Qualifying Improvements to Real Property

CS/HB 7179 authorizes local governments to levy non-ad valorem assessments to fund certain improvements; the property owner may apply for funding and enter into financing agreements with local governments to finance certain agreements. Local governments are authorized to collect moneys for such purposes through non-ad valorem assessments.

The bill was approved by the Governor on May 27, 2010, and took effect on the same date.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-139, L.O.F.

Excise Tax on Documents

CS/HB 109 provides that, for purposes of the documentary stamp tax imposed on deeds, taxable consideration for a “short sale transaction” does not include unpaid indebtedness forgiven or released by a mortgagee holding a mortgage on the transferor’s property.

The bill was approved by the Governor on May 7, 2010, and will take effect on July 1, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-32, L.O.F.

Tax on Sales, Use and Other Transactions

CS/HB 173 provides a use tax exemption for any aircraft owned by a non-resident that enters Florida within six months of the date of purchase and remains in the state for less than a total of 21 days during that period. The bill also provides a use tax exemption for any aircraft owned by a non-resident that is present in Florida exclusively for purposes of flight training, repairs, alterations, refitting or modifications.

The bill was approved by the Governor on May 27, 2010, and will take effect on July 1, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-128, L.O.F.

CS/HB 483 & HB 469 provides a sales and use tax holiday during the period of August 13 through August 15, 2010, for certain purchases of clothing, books and school supplies.

The bill was approved by the Governor on May 26, 2010, and took effect on the same date.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-93, L.O.F.

Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund Program

The successful Qualified Target Industry (QTI) program was scheduled for review or “sunset” in June 2010. CS/HB 7109 extends the QTI program through June 30, 2020, and extends the date for submission of a request for an economic recovery until June 1, 2012; otherwise, no program applicant could have been certified subsequent to June 30, 2010.

Passage of the bill made some changes to establish a definition of return on investments (ROI) for QTI projects. It allows leased employees to be included in the job count, a potential trip wire for past QTI applicants and directs OTTED to begin a review of terminated QTI projects. The legislation also requires a three-year review of targeted industry categories and exempts renewable energy projects from the requirement that they must be independent Florida resources and markets.

The bill was approved by the Governor on May 27, 2010, and will take effect on July 1, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-136, L.O.F.

Tax on Communications and Utility Services

CS/SB 2024 reduces the rate of the communications services tax from 6.8 percent to 6.65 percent. Also increases the gross receipts tax on communications services from 2.37 percent to 2.52 percent. The legislation also revises the calculation for the amount of issuance of Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO) bonds to be adjusted to reflect the revenues that would have been collected had this legislation been in place throughout the 24-month measurement period.

The bill was approved by the Governor on May 28, 2010, and took effect on the same date.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-149, L.O.F.

Assessment of Property for Back Ad Valorem Taxes

HB 1279 provides that the retroactive assessment and collection of ad valorem taxes is not applicable if: (1) the owner of a building, structure, or improvement that has not been previously assessed complied with all necessary permitting requirements when the improvement was completed; or (2) the owner of real property voluntarily discloses to the property appraiser the existence of the property before January 1 of the year the property was first assessed.

The bill was approved by the Governor on May 11, 2010, and will take effect on July 1, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-66, L.O.F.

Communications Services Taxes

HB 281 allows a provider of communications services to “net” the tax paid on bad debts against the amount of tax due to the state or to a local jurisdiction for reporting purposes, provided that the resulting amount is not less than zero. Also, dealers are allowed to use a “proportionate allocation method,” based on gross taxes due, to determine the credit for bad debt attributable to the state or to a local jurisdiction. DOR may also approve of the use of another reasonable allocation method. The bill provides for retroactive operation to July 1, 2000, as a remedial measure. However, the bill does not create a right to a refund or require a refund by any governmental entity of any tax, penalty, or interest remitted to DOR before July 1, 2010.

The bill was approved by the Governor on May 11, 2010, and will take effect on July 1, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-83, L.O.F.

Bills That Did Not Pass:

Tax on Sales, Use and Other Transactions: HB 155 would have increased the sales tax rate by 1 percent and revised the brackets for calculating sales tax amounts. In addition, the bill called for the funds generated by the 1 percent increase in tax rate to support public education in the state. Finally, the rate would be reduced back to 6 percent on July 1, 2013.

Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement: Florida lawmakers continued to balk at adoption of the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax. HB 165 and SB 204 proposed to bring Florida law into compliance with the adoption of the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax, but the legislation failed.

Transient Rentals Tax: SB 156, SB 996 and HB 335 would have required room remarketers, such as Priceline and Travelocity, to collect the transient rentals tax on the total rent charged to customers for the occupancy of a hotel accommodation.

Review of Sales Tax Exemptions and Exclusions: CS/SB 152 and HB 167 would have provided additional responsibilities for the Joint Legislative Sunset Committee for the purpose of reviewing exemptions from the general state sales and use tax and exclusions of sales of services from such taxation.

Corporate Income Taxes: SB 2502 and HB 1333 would have imposed restrictions on the deductibility of specified intangible expenses, interest expenses, licensing and management fees paid by a taxpayer to a related entity. Also, this legislation would have limited the number of times certain items could be added or subtracted from taxable income.

iSTART Program: HB 1443 and SB 2552 proposed to collect tax on items purchased by consumers over the Internet. This legislation would have authorized DOR to contract to develop and implement the Internet Sales Tax Automated Revenue Tracking (iSTART) program as a system for collecting and administering sales and use taxes.

Voter Approval of New Taxes and Fees: SB 2420 was a joint resolution which proposed a constitutional amendment to limit state revenues and require voter approval of any new taxes and fees.

Personal Income Tax Constitutional Amendment: SB 2496 was a joint resolution which proposed an amendment to the State Constitution to change the vote required to amend the State Constitution to authorize or impose a personal income tax.

Admissions Tax for Educational Events: SB 2006 and HB 905 would have created an exemption from admissions tax to an educational event sponsored by a public college, public university, or community college when: (1) held in a museum, planetarium, observatory, or large format or high-definition cinema owned by the sponsor; (2) 100 percent of the risk of success or failure of the event lies with the sponsor; (3) the sponsor owns 100 percent of the funds at risk for the event; and (4) the event does not exclusively use student or faculty talent.

Criminal Penalties for Violations of Tax Statutes: HB 7125 and SB 1978 would have imposed additional monetary penalties on dealers for willful failures to collect specific taxes or fees after receiving notice from DOR of their duty to collect such taxes or fees. The legislation also specified a schedule of criminal penalties relating to the amounts not collected.

Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Gas Turbine Engine Parts: HB 1321 and SB 1766 created a sales and use tax exemption for specified materials for castings used to manufacture, produce, or modify gas turbine engine parts.

Reduction of Corporate Income Tax Rate: CS/SB 1680 reduced the corporate income and franchise tax rates to 4.5 percent on the first $1 million in net income for the taxable year for taxpayers, and 2.7 percent on the first $1 million in net income for the taxable year for businesses that compute their taxable income using the alternative minimum tax formula.

Capital City Aviation Fuel Tax Act: SB 1500 and HB 931 authorized a refund of the aviation fuel tax for commercial airlines purchasing aviation fuel and placing it into an aircraft owned by the airline while the aircraft is in the state capital if: (1) the commercial airline has a ticket counter presence in the state capital; and (2) the aircraft is refueled in connection with a flight that embarks or disembarks passengers in the state capital.

Tax Exemption Related to Renewable Energy: SB 1206 was a joint resolution which proposed an amendment to Florida’s Constitution, which if approved by voters, would give the Legislature the authority to grant an ad valorem tax exemption for a renewable energy source device and for real property on which the device is installed and operated.

Tax Credits for Research and Development: SB 1184 and HB 607 created a research and development tax credit against Florida corporate income taxes. The Florida tax credit was modeled after the federal research tax credit in Title 26 U.S. Code Subsection 41 and incorporated some of its definitions.

Discretionary Sales Surtax: CS/CS/SB 1036 and CS/HB 767 amended the discretionary sales surtax for the “Indigent Care and Trauma Center Surtax” to expand the authority to levy the surtax to include a county that has a population of at least 800,000 residents and that is consolidated with one or more municipalities (Duval County). However, the legislation required that such counties must receive approval of the electors in a referendum prior to levying the surtax.

Permanent Sales Tax Exemptions: SB 1064 was a joint resolution proposed to amend Florida’s Constitution to permanently prohibit the state from imposing a sales tax on the sale of food, and medical products and supplies.

Single Apportionment Factor for Corporate Income Tax: SB 1090 provided for the apportionment of certain taxpayers’ adjusted federal income solely by the sales factor. Eligibility for the single sales factor apportionment method was based on the taxpayers’ capital expenditures and the number of full-time employees.

Ad Valorem Tax Assessments: HB 1387 and SB 836 provided for a number of changes to the statutory provisions dealing with the operation of the Value Adjustment Board (VAB). For instance, the bill: (1) expanded the information that must be included in a petition to the VAB to include the petitioner’s estimate of the property’s market value and a declaration of whether the petitioner was an agent having written consent to represent the owner; (2) required that persons representing property owners before the VAB for compensation must be licensed brokers, appraisers or attorneys; (3) provided that the decision by the VAB to accept late filed petitions must not extend the deadlines for filing a circuit court challenge; and (4) changed the filing fee structure for petitions that covered multiple parcels.

Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Technologies: CS/CS/SB 788 and HB 43 provided for a state sales tax exemption for equipment, machinery and other materials used for renewable energy technologies. Such exempt items included: hydrogen-powered vehicles and hydrogen-fueling stations up to a limit of $2 million in tax each fiscal year for all taxpayers; commercial stationary hydrogen fuel cells, up to a limit of $1 million in tax each fiscal year for all taxpayers; and materials used in the distribution of biodiesel (B10-B100) and ethanol (E10-E100), including fueling infrastructure, gasoline fueling station pump retrofits for ethanol distribution, transportation and storage, up to a limit of $1 million in each fiscal year for all taxpayers.

TRANSPORTATION

Transportation Funding

As the budget negotiations commenced, the House of Representatives had proposed a $450 million sweep of transportation funding while the Senate proposed that transportation funding remain the same. Ultimately, the House and Senate compromised in the conference report on HB 5001 and agreed to reduce the State Transportation Trust Fund by $160 million. The House and Senate also passed language that would require the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to offset any reductions in the Five-Year Work Program by taking money from reserve categories, which include Small County Outreach Program (SCOP), Small County Road Assistance Program (SCRAP) and County Incentive Grant Program (CIGP).

The Governor vetoed specific Line Items. The bill was approved by the Governor on May 28, 2010, and will take effect on July 1, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-152, L.O.F.

Department of Transportation Package

CS/CS/CS/HB 1271 contained numerous provisions relating to FDOT and other transportation-related issues. The bill allows non-charter counties the local option of a dedicated funding source for regional transportation authorities. Specifically, the bill provides a 1 percent local option sales tax for non-charter counties that are members of a Regional Transportation Authority and must be adopted by voter referendum. If signed into law, the money goes directly to the county to be used for local projects and/or regional transportation initiatives. Under current law, only 20 counties are eligible for such a local option and with this new legislation an additional 10 more counties are eligible. The bill also clarifies the notification requirements to be used when a citation is issued for toll violations; allows points to only be imposed against a toll violator’s driver’s license if ordered by a judge; allows FDOT to issue permits authorizing a vehicle weighing 10 percent above the maximum allowable gross weight to use routes off the Interstate Highway System; clarifies the application process used by contractors seeking qualification to bid on transportation construction jobs; clarifies that authorization to allow placement of certain electric transmission lines applies only to limited access highways; requires new rail transit systems to implement fare collection systems that are interoperable with multiple public transportation systems throughout the state; revises bonding provisions available to the Tampa Hillsborough County Expressway Authority to allow the authority to issue bonds without going through the State Board of Administration’s Division of Bond Finance; creates the Osceola County Expressway Authority; and clarifies land use in relation to outdoor advertising and provides for sign owners, advertisers, or property owners to be held liable for the removal of improperly permitted signs.

The bill was approved by the Governor on June 4, 2010, and will take effect on July 1, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-225, L.O.F.

Transportation Projects

CS/CS/SB 1842 requires FDOT to notify affected local governments of proposed changes to state highways when the project: divides a state highway; erects a barrier median which would modify vehicle turning movements; or have the effect of closing or modifying existing access to adjacent property.

The notification must occur at least 180 days before the design of the project is finalized. The bill also allows the local government to present alternatives which would relieve the impacts to the business properties. The bill also requires FDOT to hold at least one public hearing in the jurisdiction where the project is located and receive public input.

The bill was vetoed by the Governor on June 4, 2010.

Copy of the Vetoed Bill

Northeast Florida Regional Transportation Authority

In response to recommendations made in a report mandated by the 2009 Legislature, SB 2470 creates the Northeast Florida Regional Transportation Study Commission (NFRTSC or Commission), which is comprised of representatives of Baker, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, Putnam and St. Johns counties. The NFRTSC will make specific legislative recommendations for a regional transportation elements plan. The recommendations must describe the characteristics defining regionally-significant transportation elements and include an implementation process for undertaking a regional transportation plan. Along with any other recommendations the NFRTSC deems appropriate, the commission may recommend the creation of a regional transportation authority and may draft legislation consistent with the bill.

The bill was approved by the Governor on June 4, 2010, and will take effect on July 1, 2010.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-212, L.O.F.

Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles

CS/CS/HB 971 clarifies that the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles: is authorized to suspend the driver license of a person convicted of operating a motor vehicle without insurance even in the event the court fails to issue the order; creates unique license plate numbers for legislative plates; allows a disabled veteran’s plate to be renewed biennially; provides an enhanced penalty for exceeding the speed limit in a designated school crossing; requires lien holders repossessing vehicles in Florida to apply to a Florida tax collector’s office or to the Department for a certificate of repossession or certificate of title; prohibits the possession of a vehicle that imitates the Florida Highway Patrol; clarifies that Florida Highway Patrol officers have the same arrest or other authority provided for law enforcement officers generally by Chapter 901, F.S., and that they have statewide jurisdiction; removes the road signs re-exam requirement that certain drivers must pass at the time of license renewal; allows a licensed physician at a federally established veterans hospital to administer the Florida vision exam; deletes the requirement that law enforcement officers must submit the crash report along with all other documentation when an administrative suspension for driving with an unlawful blood alcohol level is reviewed, however, the submission of the crash report is permitted; allows the court to withhold adjudication on a charge of driving while a license is suspended, revoked or cancelled if the underlying suspension is non-driving related; and specifies additional circumstances under which the department may deny, suspend or revoke the license or certificate of a commercial driving school.

The bill was approved by the Governor on June 4, 2010, and will take effect on September 1, 2010 unless otherwise provided.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-223, L.O.F.

Red Light Camera Bill

Under CS/CS/HB 325, drivers who are caught on camera running red lights would be required to pay a $158 fine. The revenue will be split among several sources but with a large chunk going to state coffers. The counties and cities where the traffic violations occurred would collect the $158 fine. On a weekly basis, counties will be required to electronically submit payment to the Department of Revenue. The county will send the ticket via certified mail to the registered owner of the vehicle. If there is joint ownership, the ticket will be mailed to the first name appearing on the registration. Drivers caught on film will have the right to review the images, either in person or remotely. If they weren’t the one driving the car, they can submit an affidavit with the name of the person who had the car at the time of the violation. The legislation is expected to generate nearly $40 million for the state.

The bill was approved by the Governor on May 13, 2010, and took effect on the same date.

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-80, L.O.F.

Bills That Did Not Pass:

Transportation Corporations

SB 2322 and HB 915 would have removed provisions that provide for nonprofit corporations to act on behalf of the DOT to secure and obtain rights-of-way for transportation systems and to assist in the planning and design of such systems. Repeals specified provisions relating to the Florida Transportation Corporation Act, definition of terms used in the act, legislative findings and purpose, authorization of corporations, and the type, structure and income of corporations, etc.

Transportation Corridors

In 2003, the Legislature created Section 341.0532, F.S., relating to statewide transportation corridors. Section 341.0532, F.S., designates a number of “statewide transportation corridors” that include railways, highways connecting to transportation terminals and intermodal service centers. The specified corridors are: (1) the Atlantic Coast Corridor, including I-95, and linking Jacksonville to Miami; (2) the Gulf Coast Corridor, from Pensacola to St. Petersburg and Tampa, including U.S. 98, U.S. 19 and S.R. 27; (3) the Central Florida North-South Corridor, from the Florida-Georgia border to Naples, and Fort Lauderdale/Miami, including I-75; (4) the Central Florida East-West Corridor, from St. Petersburg to Tampa and Titusville, including I-4 and the BeeLine Expressway; (5) the North Florida Corridor, from Pensacola to Jacksonville, including I-10 and U.S. 231, S.R. 77, and S.R. 79; (6) the Jacksonville to Tampa Corridor, including U.S. 301; (7) The Jacksonville to Orlando Corridor, including U.S. 17; and (8) the Southeastern Everglades Corridor, linking Wildwood, Winter Garden, Orlando, West Palm Beach via the Florida Turnpike.

The House Roads, Bridges & Ports Policy Committee filed HB 7075 which would have repealed Section 341.0532, F.S. which created the statewide transportation corridors. Most of these transportation corridors are on the state’s Strategic Intermodal System (SIS).

Wireless Communication Devices

There were numerous bills (SB 168, SB 244, SB 324, SB 326, SB 328, SB 374, SB 448, SB 522, SB 592, SB 934, SB 2514, HB 41, HB 333, HB 323 and HB 893) filed that would have placed various levels of prohibitions on cell phone use or sending text messages while driving. The Senate did pass SB 448 which would have made it illegal to send or read a text message while driving, with the exception of emergency vehicles. The House, however, refused to consider any bills related to this issue.

KEY:

Committee Substitute (CS) – A Senate or House bill going through the committee hearing process sometimes has numerous amendments, or the amendments change the original concept of the bill. In these instances the bill is rewritten and becomes a “committee substitute.” The next committee of reference may again rewrite the bill and more than one bill may be combined. The committee substitute continues to carry the identifying number(s) of the original bill(s) filed. A CS/CS is a Committee Substitute for Committee Substitute.

Enacted – The Florida State Constitution requires that each bill be prefaced by the phrase: “Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida” which is referred to as the enacting clause. Enacted legislation refers to a bill which has been passed into law.

Enrolled Bill (ER) – This is a Senate or House measure approved by both houses and signed by the legislative officers which is then sent to the Governor for action and transmittal to the Secretary of State or filed directly with the Secretary of State. The bill is enrolled in the house of origin under the supervision of the Secretary of the Senate or the Clerk of the House.

Joint Resolution (SJR, HJR) – This is a resolution that is the only authorized method by which the Legislature may propose amendments to the Florida Constitution. If passed, the proposed amendment would appear on a statewide ballot for voter approval or rejection. It must pass each house by a three-fifths vote of the membership.

Law – An act becomes a law when the Governor either approves it or fails to sign or veto it within the period specified in the Florida State Constitution. An act also can become a law when a subsequent Legislature overrides a veto by the Governor. While the Legislature is in session, the constitution allows a seven-day period following presentation of a bill to the Governor within which the Governor can sign, allow to become law without his signature or veto the bill. If the Legislature adjourns sine die before an act is presented to the Governor or while an act is in the Governor’s possession, the Governor has 15 days following the date of presentation in which to take action. The identifying number assigned by the Secretary of State to a bill that has been enacted or passed into law is referred to as the Chapter Law. The Chapter Law number indicates the year passed and the printing number. For example, Chapter 2010-100 represents the 100th law printed in the year 2010. Chapter laws are compiled and published annually in the Laws of Florida.

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