Bills that change the transportation concurrency and proportionate share process continue to move through both the House and Senate. HB 319 passed its second of three committees this week and SB 927 passed unanimously out of its first committee. While both were amended to minimize impacts to counties, FAC continues to oppose the bills.

The Senate heard its first bill dealing with red light cameras this week in the Transportation Committee. As originally filed, SB 1342 by Senator Abruzzo would prohibit local governments from issuing citations for drivers who make right turns at red lights; reduce the fine amount and prescribe yellow light signal duration times. Senate staff estimated an impact of between $23 million and $39 million for local governments to comply with the proposed new signal standards.  However, the bill was significantly amended in committee to essentially restore current law.

The Senate moved its transportation package out of the Community Affairs Committee this week. FAC raised concerns with provisions on noise mitigation and regulatory exemptions for development within a state-owned rail corridor, both of which impact counties. Read more on transportation and growth management bills…


Transportation Concurrency
HB 319 (R. Ray)/SB 972 (S. Hukill)

  • Summary: 
  • Bill requires counties that have an alternative to traditional transportation concurrency (i.e., Mobility Plan, Mobility Fees, Timing and Phasing) to allow developers to use the proportionate share funding process.   
  • The effect of that process means that a county can never deny or delay approval of a development project when it has failing roads and the developer agrees to make a partial payment for road improvements. Unless additional funds are available, adequate improvements may never be made.

Status: House bill passed the Tourism and Economic Development Committee in week two and the House Transportation Committee in week three.  SB 972 also passed unanimously in Community Affairs.  FAC opposed both the bills.


Growth Management/Impact Fee /Concurrency
SB 321 (R. La Rosa)/HB 1716 (S. Garcia)

  • Summary: 
    • As amended, HB 1716 prohibits local governments from applying transportation concurrency, transportation concurrency impact fees, and transportation proportionate share for three years, beginning July 1, 2013.  The prohibition only applies to non-residential development of 6,000 SF and below.  A county may, however, apply any of the measures my simply majority vote.
  • Status:
    • Three House referrals and four Senate referrals. House bill passed first of three committees 3/19/13.


Manufacturing Competitiveness Act
HB 357 (R. Boyd)/SB 582 (S. Galvano)

  • Summary: 
    • Creates a coordinated state development and permit approval process for manufacturers that are developing or expanding within the jurisdiction of a local government that has a local manufacturing development program. DEO is directed to establish, facilitate, and oversee the process with the cooperation of any involved state agencies.
  • Status: Three House referrals; passed first committee 3/19; Four Senate referrals


Transportation Bills
PCB THSS2 (R. Artiles)/SB 1132 (S. Brandes)

  • Summary: Primary issues relating to FDOT operations of interest to counties:  
  • Sound Mitigation Requirements on Counties
    • House PCB  was amended to eliminate the requirement that counties adopt sound mitigation standards and regulations into their comprehensive plans that are applicable to proposed development projects adjacent to FDOT highways. The language remains in the Senate bill.
    • Regional Tollway Authorities
      • House: eliminates this provision
      • Senate: allows for the creation of regional toll authorities by a county or two or more counties.  Designates three toll authorities: Northwest Florida (Escambia and Santa Rosa); Okaloosa-Bay (Okaloosa, Walton, Bay);  Suncoast (Citrus, Levy, Marion, Alachua)       
      • Metropolitan Planning Organizations
        • House/ Senate: Allows an increase in MPO membership – from 19 members to 25 – if an MPO includes a new urbanized area; or, there is the consolidation of two or more MPOs.
        • Parking Meters
          • House: requires local governments to share parking meter revenues with the state if they are collected within the right-of-way limits of state road.
          • Senate: traveling amendment eliminates this provision.
  • Status:  Senate bill passed Transportation Committee during first week of session. House bill passed Transportation Committee during week two.  SB 1132 passed Community Affairs in week three.  Only a few issues affect counties (sound mitigation requirements and the rail corridor exemption) with bill sponsors indicating a willingness to look at alternatives.

Affordable Housing
SB 928 (S. Simpson)/HB 437 (R. Davis)

  • Summary:  SB 928 represents this year’s affordable housing package for the Florida Housing Finance Corporation.
  • Bill does not address funding issues for the State/Local SHIP programs, which will be addressed in during the budgeting process.  (Worth noting that the Governor has budgeted $50 million for SHIP.)
  • Closes loophole created in 2011 that allows for-profit affordable housing developers to transfer ownership to a non-profit entity for the purpose of receiving an exemption from ad valorem taxes.
  • HB 437 is identical to SB 928, except it does not include tax loophole fix.
    • Status: HB 437 has passed its first committee of reference.  SB 928 passed the Community Affairs Committee with no opposition from the committee or the public. Revenue Estimating reported that closing the loophole will save local governments $117 million in FY 13/14 and over $140 million by FY 17/18

Affordable Housing – (Property Tax Loophole)
SB 740 (S. Simpson)/HB 921 (R. Renuart)

  • Summary
  • Stand-alone bills to close affordable housing tax exemption loophole.
    • Status: HB 921 passed the Toursim and Economic Development Committee in week two and Finance and Tax in week three. SB 740 passed Community Affairs week two. Note that, in addition to the stand alone bills, both the House and Senate Finance & Tax committees have draft language that includes the loophole language. 

Funding from the National Mortgage Settlement
PCB APC 13-01

  • Summary
  • PCB filed by House Appropriations Committee relating to the National Mortgage Settlement with Bank of America and others.
  • State to receive $334 million; Attorney General and Legislative Budget Committee have already designated the distribution of $134 million.
  • This PCB addresses the remaining $200 million.
  • General breakdown:
    • $50 million to SAIL (affordable apartments)
    • $45 million for down payment assistance (but no SHIP)
    • $35 million Habitat for Humanity
    • $20 million DCF emergency shelters
    • $15 million Florida Prepaid Dorm Contracts
    • $13 million state courts – foreclosures
    • $6.7 million clerk of courts
    • $5.0 million legal aid
    • $3.0 million FHFC admin.
    • State and Local SHIP have not been funded in recent years and the trust funds were swept.  Based on House allocations, $182 million is being swept, indicating that while some down payment assistance is being provided in the PCB, it is not to the local SHIP.
      • Status: PCB introduced.  No Senate companion as yet.  Senate may address differently in budget process

Red Light Cameras
HB 4011 (R. Campbell)/No Senate Companion

  • Summary: Prohibits counties and cities from using red light cameras.
  • Status: Bill narrowly passed its first committee of reference.


HB 1061 (R. Artiles)/SB 1342 (S. Abruzzo)

  • Summary:
    • Prohibits citations for turning right on red lights;
    • Requires citations be sent certified mail;
    • Provides prescriptive changes to yellow light signals
  • Status: House Bill passed its first committee along party lines and now heads to its last committee, Appropriations. Senate Bill was significantly amended in committee and essentially restores what current law provides, with the exception for codifying yellow light standards based on nationally accepted standards. SB 1342 now heads to its second of three committees, Subcommittee on Transportation Appropriations.

Internet Cafes
HB 155 (R. Trujillo) / SB 1030 (S. Thrasher)

  • Summary:
  • Clarifies current law regarding charitable drawings, game promotions, and amusement machines.
  • Has the effect of banning so-called internet cafes that don’t meet criteria provided in the bill
    • Status:  HB 155 was passed by on third reading by the House and SB 1030 was passed by the Senate Select Committee on gaming. Bill referred to Regulated Industries and Rules Committee