Vacation Rentals                                                                               
HB 307 (Rep. Hutson) and SB 356 (Sen. Thrasher)

  • Summary:    Removes a preemption placed on local governments in 2011 that currently prevents cities and counties from regulating vacation rentals.  A vacation rental is defined as a home that is rented more than 3 times in a calendar year for periods of less than 30 days.
  • Status: While the bill passed its first committee in the House, both Republican and Democratic members expressed concerns over the bill and its impact on private property rights.  HB 307 was amended in the Local & Federal Affairs Committee. The amendment prohibits local governments from regulating the frequency or duration of vacation rentals. Proponents argue that, while counties cannot regulate the duration or frequency of such uses, they can still apply other regulations, including noise, parking, etc.  On the same day, SB 356 was amended on second reading. The amendment allows regulation of rentals but places limitations on local governments. Specifically, the amendment prohibits ordinances that limit the frequency of rentals and prohibits minimum stays greater than 7 days. 
  • Update: The House Vacation Rental bill (HB 307) passed the Regulatory Affairs Committee in week six, but not before a late-filed amendment failed that would have essentially eroded a county’s ability to enforce minimum regulations. HB 307 is now ready for the floor. The Senate bill (SB 356) is in House messages.

Developments of Regional Impact (DRIs)
SB 372 (Sen. Galvano) and HB 241 (Rep. Gaetz)

  • Summary:  SB 372 expands the number of counties that qualify as Dense Urban Land Areas, which exempts developments from the DRI review process.  Seven additional counties qualify as DULAs under the bill. The counties are: Brevard, Escambia, Lee, Manatee, Pasco, Sarasota, and Volusia.  In contrast, HB 241 actually eliminates the DULA definition for counties but retains it for cities. 
  • Status: SB 372 passed Senate Community Affairs unanimously and passed Senate TED on Feb 19 with one dissenting vote. It has two more committee stops (Approps and Rules).
  • Update: SB 372 was heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee on March 27. FAC testified in opposition to the bill. While the bill passed 11-6, including a no vote by Chairman Negron, there were numerous questions and concerns raised by both Republican and Democrat committee members.   The bill goes next to the Rule Committee. The bill was temporarily postponed in Rules.

Development Exactions
HB 1077(Rep. Perry) and SB 1310 (Sen. Evers)

  • Summary:  Creates a new section of law that has the effect of eliminating the rational nexus test associated with the legal basis of impact fees and codifying in statute the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Koontz vs St. Johns Rivers Water Management District.
  • Status:  HB 1077 is now in the Local and Military Affairs Committee.

Comprehensive Plan
HB 395 (Rep. Perry) and SB 1314 (Sen. Evers)

  • Summary:  Bill requires local governments to include a Property Rights Element in their comprehensive plans that set for the standards to guide local government’s decisions on plan amendments and development order and their impact on private property rights.
  • Status:  HB 395 is now in the House Economic Development and Tourism Subcommittee. SB 1314 is in Community Affairs.

Red Light Cameras                                                                                         
SB 144 (Sen. Brandes) and HB 4009 (Rep. Artiles)

  • Summary: Repeals statutory authority for local governments to use red light cameras.
  • Status: Senate has 3 committee references and has not been heard; the House bill has 2.

House will have two vehicles to address issue. Anticipate the compromise language in the transportation bill to move forward. SB 144 was temporarily postponed by the bill sponsor after receiving testimony from proponents and opponents of the measure.

  • Update:  SB 144 was heard in the Transportation Committee on March 26. The bill sponsor had originally proposed several amendments that redirected the bill from eliminating red light cameras to loosening the conditions for issuing violation citations.  All of the amendments drew strong opposition from stakeholders and committee some committee members. Eventually, all of the amendments were either withdrawn or voted down. The underlying bill was temporarily postponed. It is anticipated that SB 144 will be heard again in week 5.

HB 7005 (Rep. Artiles) and SB 7012 (Committee Bill, Sen. Brandes Chair)

  • Summary: House bill is a revisit of last year’s transportation package.  Of significance to counties, HB 7005 prohibits counties and cities from installing red light cameras after June 2014.  It also reduces the citation from $158 to $83. It allows a local government by majority vote to increase the citation amount to cover administrative costs and any contractual commitments with camera vendors. SB 7012 includes various provisions for the Florida Department of Transportation and has few issues affecting counties directly.  The Senate bill does not include the red light camera provisions and does not represent the Senate’s primary transportation package.
  • Status: The bill has been referenced to House Subcommittee on Transportation and Economic Development. The Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) is scheduled to review the impact of a proposed amendment that would require local governments use 70% of any revenues in excess of $83. Rep. Artiles has recently signaled that his camera repeal bill (HB 4009) will not move this year. He also indicated that there is strong interest to implement some of the recommendations of a recent OPPAGA study and then essentially have the legislature not address the issue for four years.  Rep. Artiles stated that there is an informal “agreement” among the current Speaker and the next two speaker designees to address the issue this year and not bring it up during the next 4 sessions.   A PCS for 7005 was introduced and passed the Economic Affairs Committee on April 11.  The bill no longer includes language relating to red light cameras.

Outdoor Advertising                                                                         
SB 1048 (Sen. Latvala), SB 696 (Transportation) and HB 1161 (Rep. Goodson)

  • Summary:   In 2012, the Legislature passed a conforming bill that created s. 373.618, F.S., authorizing public information systems to be located on property owned by Water Management Districts when certain terms and conditions are met. Included in the statute is language that states such billboards are not subject to local approval.  Language in all three bills restores local control to what was prior to the 2012 change. 
  • Status: SB 696 is on second reading but has been temporarily postponed twice.  SB 1048 was amended in the Transportation Committee to eliminate the provision that restored local control and preserve current law. While the amendment passed, committee members expressed concern. The Senate sponsor, while agreeing with those sentiments, stated the amendment was needed to get the bill moving in the House. HB 1161 passed the House Transportation Committee on March 24 and, like SB 1048, was amended to restore current with respect to local review of these signs.
  • Update: SB 1048 passed Community Affairs on April 1. HB 1161 will be heard in Economic Affairs on April 4. Both bills are now on Second Reading.

Transportation Concurrency
HB 7023 (Rep. Trujillo)

  • Summary:   Prohibits local governments from applying transportation concurrency, transportation concurrency impact fees, and transportation proportionate share for three years, beginning July 1, 2014.  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. Bill also includes economic development provisions.
  • Status:  Similar bill passed last year with minimal opposition. HB 7023 passed the House Transportation and Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee on March 6 and will be heard next in the Economic Affairs Committee. The Senate Economic Development bill (SB 1634) currently does not have the concurrency language.
  • Update:  HB 7023 is scheduled to be heard in Economic Affairs on April 4.

Regulation of Chauffeured Limousines (a.k.a. Uber Bill)                          
SB 1618 (Sen. Brandes) and HB 1389 (Rep. Grant)

  • Summary:  Preempts to the state the regulation of chauffeured limousines, limousine service, and drivers of chauffeured limousines. 
  • Status: Bills have not been heard. An amendment to the Department of Agriculture’s bill (SB 1630) by Senator Brandes was adopted in the Agriculture Committee on March 19. The amendment declares, under the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, that it is an unfair or deceptive regulatory act or practice for a dependent or independent district to restrict the right of the public to freely bargain for lawful livery transit services, excluding metered taxi services that accept street hails, by establishing a minimum or maximum fare, or by imposing a minimum wait time between the reservation and delivery of livery transit services.
  • Update: HB 1389 passed the House Transportation Committee on March 24. While SB 1618 has not been heard in committee yet, proposed amendments were considered and then withdrawn on SB 218 and SB 1630 that would have effectively overridden any local regulation affecting chauffeured limousines.  Those amendments were withdrawn. On April 3rd, SB 1618 was taken up in the Senate Transportation Committee. An amendment that would have limited the preemption to special districts was temporarily passed and then the bill was temporarily postponed. It is anticipated the bill will be heard again next week.  SB 1618 passed the Transportation Committee on April 10 and will be heard next the Community Affairs Committee. HB 1389 is on Second Reading.

Hazardous Walking                                                                           
SB 1382 (Sen. Hays) and HB 1121 (Rep. Metz)

  • Summary:  The bill updates a current provision in law that requires local governments to correct hazardous walking conditions within two miles of school. Specifically, under current law, when a hazardous condition has been identified, the local government must make the correction within a reasonable period of time.  Under the bill, the condition must be corrected within 3 years. 
  • Status:  This could potentially create a significant financial burden on counties. FAC is working with its members to determine how often this statutory provision is used and what the potential fiscal impact is.  SB 1382 passed out of the Education Committee and will be heard next in Community Affairs.  HB 1121 was amended in the Pre-K-12 Education Subcommittee and eliminates the mandate that hazardous walking conditions be fixed within 3 years.
  • Update: SB 1382 was amended in Community Affairs on April 2 and matches the House bill. HB 1121 is on Second Reading. SB 1382 is in the Appropriations Committee

Flood Insurance
HB 879 (Rep. Hooper)

  • Summary:   HB 879 creates laws governing the sale of insurance policies, contracts, or endorsements providing flood coverage. It also creates a “Standard” policy and a “Preferred” policy.  Under the standard policy, coverage is identical to the NFIP. In contrast, the preferred policy provides additional coverage than the standard NFIP in three areas: the definition of “flood,” additional living expenses, and replacement cost for personal property. The preferred policy also has an expanded definition of “flood” so that losses from water intrusion originating outside a structure that are not considered a flood loss under a standard flood policy under the NFIP are considered a covered loss.  Additional living expenses are also required to be covered under the preferred policy created by HB 879. These expenses are not covered under an NFIP standard flood policy. Finally, the preferred flood policy pays replacement cost for personal property or contents losses caused by a flood, whereas a standard flood policy under the NFIP pays only actual cash value for such losses
  • Status:  The bill passed unanimously out of the House Insurance and Banking Committee on March 6.  It will be heard next in the House Government Operations Subcommittee.  There is a lot of interest in creating more options to reduce flood insurance rates.   Members continue to focus on whether proposal will actually create lower rates.   

Flood Insurance
SB 542 (Sen. Brandes) and HB 581 (Rep. Ahern)

  • Summary: Creates laws governing the sale of private flood insurance policies, contracts and endorsements by authorized insurers. The bill requires insurers that write flood coverage to provide coverage for “flood” as currently defined by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The bill also permits insurers to expand flood coverage to include water intrusion originating from outside the structure
  • Status:  SB 542 passed its first two committees but questions have arisen regarding which companies – namely, surplus lines – will be regulated by OIR and how much actual coverage can and should be provided.  The bill passed its last committee of reference (Appropriations) on February 20. However, because the bill has had substantive revisions since it was originally heard in the Banking and Insurance Committee, SB 542 was re-referenced to that Committee at the request of Senator Latvala. SB 542 passed unanimously out of the Banking and Insurance Committee on 3/11. The bill rolled to 3rd reading on March 20.
  • Update: SB 542 passed the Senate on March 26. HB 879 passed the Regulatory Affairs Committee on April 10. HB 879 has one additional committee reference (Banking and Insurance).

Flood Insurance – Bert Harris Claims
HB 7065 (Economic Development & Tourism Subcommittee) and SB 1326 (Sen. Brandes)

  • Summary:  The House amended HB 7065 to include a provision that would protect counties who participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), and who adopt implementing regulations that limit development, are protected from property owner claims under the Bert Harris Act. 
  • Status:  HB 7065 is ready for the floor.  The Senate companion, SB 1326, is currently in the Appropriations Committee.