The House advanced its transportation package this week by passing out of the Economic Affairs Committee a 110-page amendment to HB 7127.  Many of the objectionable provisions to counties have been removed; however, new language relating to future High Speed Rail corridors has been added that would exempt rail communication facilities from state and local review. FAC is working with the bill sponsor and other stakeholders to temper the current preemption.  The Economic Affairs committee also passed HB 321, which prohibits local governments from applying transportation concurrency and impact fees to any new development that is non-residential and less than 6,000 square feet.  That prohibition can be overcome by a majority vote of the county commission to reinstate the concurrency and impact fee ordinances.  

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

  • Summary: 
  • Bill forces 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 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:  SB 972 was placed on Special Order for 4/24/2013. HB 319 is on second reading on the House Floor.

Growth Management/Impact Fee/Concurrency
HB 321 (R. La Rosa)/SB 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 by simply majority vote.
  • Status:
    • HB 321 passed Economic Affairs in Week 7; SB 1716 is in the second of two committees.

University Development Agreements
HB 7149 (Appropriations Committee, Rep. McKeel)

  • Summary:    The bill eliminates the requirement that universities enter into campus development agreements with local governments. The campus master plan would be required to identify the level-of-service standard established by the local government and the entity that would provide the service to the campus. Universities could begin constructing a campus development without having to pay the impact costs.
  • Status: HB 7149 passed the full House on 4/18/13 and is now in Senate Messages.

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:  HB 357 passed the House on 4/17/13. SB 582 is in Appropriations and calendared for 4/23/13, the last of its four committee stops.  

Transportation Bills
HB 7127 (R. Artiles)/SB 1132 (S. Brandes)

  • Summary: Primary issues relating to FDOT operations of interest to counties:  
  • Sound Mitigation Requirements on Counties
    • This provision has now been eliminated from both bills.
    • Regional Tollway Authorities
      • Both bills authorize creation of regional tollway authorities. Both create Escambia- Santa Rosa Transportation Finance Authority.
      • 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
          • Both bills remove this language. House bill calls for a study.  
          • Rail Corridors/Local Reg. Exemption
            • House bill now includes new rail language for High Speed Rail, including local preemptions.
  • Status:  HB 7127 passed Economic Affairs in week seven and is ready for the floor. Senate bill passed the third of four committee stops in week six and now heads to Appropriations.  A new 156-page PCS was released late Thursday, April 18.     

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 237 is identical to 6SB 928, except it does not include tax loophole fix.
    • Status: HB 437 was amended to include the tax loophole fix in week six and is on second reading. House and Senate bills are now nearly identical. SB 928 passed Appropriations on 4/18. 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 is on second reading.  SB 740 passed Community Affairs week two. Note that, in addition to the stand alone bills, both House and Senate Finance & Tax committees have draft language that includes the loophole language. Those bills are: SB 7130 (now 1830), which is ready for Senate Floor and HB 7159, which passed State Affairs on 4/17/13.

Funding from the National Mortgage Settlement
HB 7111 (Appropriations Committee, R. Hooper)/SB 1852 (Appropriations)

  • 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.
    • Senate bill workshopped in week four with their version allocating monies as follows:
      • $70 million for the State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) program;
      • $65 million for the State Apartment Incentive Loan Program (SAIL);
      • $10 million for housing for homeless persons;
      • $40 million for the State Courts System for the foreclosure cases backlog;
      • $10 million for legal aid services for low and moderate-income homeowners facing
      • foreclosure;
      • $2 million for a consumer awareness promotional campaign; and
      • $3 million for administrative costs.
  • Status: SB 1852 passed Senate Appropriations on 4/18/13.  House and Senate addressing differently in budget process.
  • Budget Note:  House has swept $184 million from state and local housing trust fund (SHIP and SAIL), while Senate has swept $200 million.

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)

  • Summary:
  • Prohibits citations for turning right on red lights;
  • Requires citations be sent certified mail;
  • Provides prescriptive changes to yellow light signals;
  • Primary red light camera bill in the House.
    • Status: Bill passed its first committee along party lines.

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
  • Primary red light camera bill in the Senate.
    • Status:
    • Bill was significantly amended in committee and essentially restores what current law provides, save for codifying yellow light standards based on nationally accepted standards.  The REC is taking up the bill on Friday, April 12.

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

  • Summary:
  • Clarifies current law regarding charitable drawings, game promotions, and amusement machines; bans Internet cafes that don’t meet criteria provided in the bill.

Status:  HB 155 passed the full House on 3/22 and SB 1030 was passed by the Senate Select Committee on gaming and heads to its final committee (Rules) on 4/2. SB 1030 passed its final committee in Week 5. HB 155 passed the Senate on April 4 and was signed into law by the Governor on April 10.