Legislative Update

HB 17 (Rep. Randy Fine, District 53) proposes that as of January 1, 2017, no local government would be able to adopt or impose a new regulation on a business, profession, or occupation, unless expressly authorized by general law, by preempting regulation of businesses to state.   Regulation includes rule or regulations, licenses, permits, and fees.  Existing regulations would expire January 1, 2020.  The bill also requires that any change to an existing regulation would be to repeal or reduce the regulation.


Key Points

Bad for Communities:
For almost 50 years, Florida’s citizens have relied on their local governments to govern our many communities in a manner that reflects local preferences and necessarily involves the regulation of businesses.  The top-down approach doesn’t work when Washington impinges on the freedom and autonomy of the states—it does not work when Tallahassee does the same to local communities. 


HB 17 would inadvertently swell the ranks of Tallahassee bureaucracies, forcing local governments to navigate a network of approvals and appeals to tackle mundane administrative matters and tangling governments, businesses and taxpayers in a technocratic web.  Prior to the adoption of Home Rule in 1968, the legislature would often pass over 2,000 special acts in a single session, much of it the result of bureaucratic rulemaking.  In practice, this process empowered neither state nor local elected officials, but instead concentrated power in the hands of Tallahassee-based bureaucrats.

Bad for Business:
Accessible and Nimble: Businesses should not be forced to navigate the state legislative process for minor matters that are easily addressed at the local level.  This is particularly problematic for small businesses, which may lack the resources to pursue matters legislatively.  Local governments are the most accessible venue to resolve business concerns because they are closest to the people and most familiar with their communities.  Tallahassee is not equipped to address every problem in every community.  

Regulatory Certainty:  Florida statutory and case law evolved under a home rule system. HB 17 represents a complete change in Florida law. Upending that body of law will have far-reaching unintended and unpredictable consequences.  Since  economic uncertainty discourages investment and innovation, because businesses are conservative by nature, HB 17 will hurt Florida businesses.


Economic Investment at Risk:  The most important thing that a government can do to assure business that its investment is secure is the commitment that its agreements and permits can be relied on.  HB 17 would effectively void any requirements of permits or contracts that are not explicitly authorized under Florida Statutes, opening up permits and agreements to challenges by anyone in the community, including competitors.



Click here to download the Key Points


How do I determine "My Local Impact?"

Immediately consult with your County Administrator/Manger and County Attorney and legal staff to assess what local regulatory and/or permitting ordinances and procedures have been developed under your local home rule powers and that are “not” specifically granted authority within the Florida Statutes.  Additionally, any fees associated with these regulations or requirements would also be impacted.

Typical ordinances or subjects of regulations may include but are not limited to:

  • Land development requirements/standards “site plans”
  • Alcohol operating hours
  • Adult entertainment business practices and zoning
  • Commercial signage and landscaping requirements
  • Salvage yards
  • Zoning related to business proximity to schools and churches
  • Local environmental regulations
  • Pain management clinics (Pill Mills)
  • Fireworks
  • Food Trucks
  • Mining reclamation
  • Regulation of special events (Concerts, Festivals, etc…)

Pass a Resolution!

FAC encourages every county to pass a resolutions opposing HB 17 and SB 1158.  If your commissioner passes such a resolution please forward it to FAC so that we can share it with the appropriate legislators.

If you would like to view a sample resolution, please click here.

If you would like to view local resolutions, please click here.

Please send adopted resolutions to Laura Youmans.

Laura Youmans, Esq.

Associate Director of Public Policy

Click here to email Laura

(850) 922-9755