NACM ICPC Legislative Report by pptfiles

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									                       DEBORAH E. LAWSON & R. BRUCE KERSHNER, ICPC LOBBYISTS
                                         March 13, 2011

THE FIRST WEEK OF SESSION

The 2011 Legislative Session feels like a race to the finish, hectic from the start, as evidenced by the very
full schedule of the week that just ended and the schedule for this upcoming second week with lengthy
blocks of time scheduled for the House to meet in Session.

Opening day of the 2011 Legislative Session was marked with rallies – one of support for the new
Governor’s agenda by conservative groups such as the Tea Party and American’s for Prosperity – and the
other a protest rally by teachers and unions on the front steps of the Florida Supreme Court. Governor Rick
Scott delivered his “State of the State” address in the evening so that citizens could watch, warning the
House and Senate members that they would be faced with tough and unpopular decisions and asking them
“not to blink!”

Protests didn’t stop legislators from moving quickly on their lengthy to do list. The Senate passed its
version of teacher merit pay and a constitutional amendment for the 2012 ballot aimed at blocking federal
health care reform. The House passed its revamp of the state’s unemployment compensation system and
readied its version of the teacher merit pay bill for final passage this coming week.

For the construction industry, we were successful in defeating SB 288 by Senator Joe Negron on design
professional liability in its first Senate committee hearing. For the ICPC, we took an additional step forward
with the filing and numbering of our House lien and bond law legislation, HB 1453 by Scott Plakon (R-
Longwood). The House Business & Consumer Affairs Subcommittee rolled out two proposed committee
bills to eliminate regulation of 30 different professions.

Representative Will Weatherford (R-Wesley Chapel) was officially voted in as the next Speaker of the House
for 2012-2014.

On Friday, in the wake of his win over high speed rail, Governor Scott put the brakes on Orlando’s SunRail
project, postponing a decision on the project until after the legislative session ends. The Governor froze
four contracts that were let by the FDOT totaling $235 million. This is consistent with one of his initial
Executive Orders that he would carefully review all contracts over $1 million before allowing them to go
forward.

NOTE: We have placed an asterisk next to the issues that we think will be of most importance in this
report, either because of actions from this past week, or activities that will occur this coming week.




                   KEY -    Support Bill         Oppose Bill:            Monitoring Bill:
NACM ICPC Legislative Report
March 13, 2011                                                                                                                                      Page |2

Contents
ICPC ISSUES ........................................................................................................................................................ 3
Construction Liens and Bonds* ......................................................................................................................... 3
   The Florida Bar’s Proposal for Liens on Leasehold Property* ....................................................................... 3
GENERAL BUSINESS ISSUES................................................................................................................................ 3
   Unemployment Compensation*.................................................................................................................... 3
   Negligence in Products Liability Actions* ...................................................................................................... 4
   Right to Be Heard at Public Meetings ............................................................................................................ 4
   Enforcement of Immigration Laws* .............................................................................................................. 4
   Secondary Metal Recyclers ............................................................................................................................ 5
   Calculation of Judgment Interest* ................................................................................................................. 5
   Electronic Recording of Real Property Documents........................................................................................ 5
   Tangible Personal Property Taxes on Heavy Equipment ............................................................................... 5
   The “Paycheck Protection Act”* .................................................................................................................... 5
OTHER CONSTRUCTION-RELATED ISSUES.......................................................................................................... 5
   Relating to Energy Conservation Standards .................................................................................................. 5
   Design Professional Liability* ........................................................................................................................ 6
   Building Code and Home Inspection* ............................................................................................................ 6
   Repeal of Mold-Related Services ................................................................................................................... 6
   Repeal of State Regulation* .......................................................................................................................... 6
   Residential Building Permits .......................................................................................................................... 7
   State Bid Preference ...................................................................................................................................... 7
   Electrical Journeyman Requirements ............................................................................................................ 7
   Regulation of Hoisting Equipment ................................................................................................................. 7
   Background Screening for Non-instructional School District Employees and Contractors ........................... 7
   State Reciprocity in Workers’ Compensation Claims .................................................................................... 7
   Open Competition Act ................................................................................................................................... 8
   Growth Management/Impact Fees* ............................................................................................................. 8
   Onsite Sewage Treatment and Disposal Systems .......................................................................................... 8
NACM ICPC Legislative Report
March 13, 2011                                                                                  Page |3




ICPC ISSUES


Construction Liens and Bonds*
HB 1453 by Plakon; SB 964 by Wise

Over the past two weeks we worked with Representative Scott Plakon to get one of his repealer bills up
and out of committee. Because of new rules this year, the passage of that bill (HB 4105 repealing obsolete
statutory provisions) opened a bill slot for our House Bill which received a number and should receive
committee referrals this week. We have been working with AGC, ABC, and Senate staff on changes to
these bills as filed, based upon the ICPC conference call several weeks ago. We are hoping to reach an
agreement this week so that these bills can be agendaed for hearing. For a detailed description of the
many provisions in these bills, please refer to our Pre-Session report.

The Florida Bar’s Proposal for Liens on Leasehold Property*
HB 941 by Moraitis; SB 1196 by Bogdanoff

These Florida Bar bills are currently opposed by the ICPC; however, we have drafted and presented a
proposed committee substitute which the bar has reviewed. We will be meeting with the House sponsor
and the Bar’s point people this Monday, March 14, to continue our discussions and attempt to come to an
agreement on this legislation. Our current proposal would require the recording of lease provisions
relating to lienability as an attachment to the Notice of Commencement for the improvement and would
require both the lessee and lessor to be listed on the document.


GENERAL BUSINESS ISSUES

Unemployment Compensation*
CS/CS/HB 7005 by the Economic Development & Tourism Subcommittee; CS/SB 728 by Detert

These bills would make the Florida Unemployment Compensation Fund solvent and are on a fast track. HB
7005 passed the House by an 81 to 38 vote on Thursday, March 10. HB 7005 would enact sweeping
changes, including reducing the number of weeks a person can receive state benefits from 26 weeks to 20
weeks, requiring those receiving benefits to go through a skills review, and making it easier for employers
to win legal disputes over benefits. The measure also alters the tax structure and could result in many
employers getting a reduction on recently announced unemployment compensation tax hikes.

SB 728 originally proposed raising the current compensation ceiling of 5.4 percent to 6.4 percent, but
Committee Chair Nancy Detert agreed to remove that provision from the bill in an effort to appease
opponents and allow additional time to work on “a real money solution.” Opponents of this increase say it
targets the hardest hit industries such as construction and manufacturing. Chair Detert says she will not
agree to reduce the number of weeks compensation is paid as the House has done. This bill could reach its
last committee this week, but neither the House nor the Senate has expressed an interest in compromise at
this time.
NACM ICPC Legislative Report
March 13, 2011                                                                                       Page |4



Negligence in Products Liability Actions*
CS/HB 201 by O’Toole; CS/SB 142 by Richter

Similar to the tort reform measures passed several years ago, SB 142 requires fault in products liability
actions to be apportioned among all responsible persons and not just the deepest pocket. As mentioned
last week, although these bills are linked as comparable bills, they are substantially different with HB 201
only addressing the liability for defective motor vehicles and first responders while SB 142 is much broader
in application. SB 142 is on the Special Order Calendar in the Senate for March 15. HB 201 still requires a
hearing in the House Judiciary Committee before reaching the floor.

Right to Be Heard at Public Meetings
HB 285 by Eisenaugle; SB 310 by Negron

These bills provide that all public meetings “Shall include an opportunity for members of the public to be
heard before or during consideration of any agenda item on which an official act will be taken, subject to
reasonable rules or policies adopted by the board or commission to ensure the orderly conduct of a public
meeting.” No movement of these bills during week one – neither bill has yet been heard.

Enforcement of Immigration Laws*
JDC1 by House Judiciary; SB 7066 by Senate Judiciary

Frustrated with the failure of the federal government to act, and in response to the national debate, the
House Judiciary Committee on Thursday passed its version of immigration reform that falls short of
Arizona-style restrictions but would still have a dramatic impact on more than 800,000 workers “living in
the shadows.” The committee bill was approved on a party line 12-6 vote. The Florida Immigration
Enforcement Act increases penalties for immigrants unlawfully residing in the U.S. and the businesses that
knowingly hire them and requires business owners to take concrete efforts to determine the status of the
workers they employ, a provision that has put bill supporters in direct conflict with business groups.

It also prohibits law enforcement officers from racial and ethnic profiling, a provision that critics say will be
difficult to monitor and nearly impossible to enforce. Some studies estimate more than 800,000 people
may be unlawfully residing in Florida and comprise more than 6 percent of the work force.

The measure would allow law enforcement officers to request immigration status on suspects of criminal
investigations if there was a reasonable suspicion that they may be in the country illegally. Traffic stops
and other more routine encounters with police would not trigger an immigration query.

The bill would require all employers by July 1, 2013 to vet employees through the federal government’s E-
Verify system, a computer database tracking the immigration status of millions. Employers with more than
100 workers would have to comply a year earlier.

Members of Associated Industries of Florida, the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Retail
federation testified in opposition to the bill because it does not grant employers immunity for unknowingly
hiring illegal workers.

The proposal has two more committee stops before reaching the House floor. The Senate Judiciary
Committee’s version of immigration reform (SB 7066) was also filed last week and will be heard for the first
time on March 14.
NACM ICPC Legislative Report
March 13, 2011                                                                                     Page |5

Secondary Metal Recyclers
HB 343 by Metz; SB 622 by Hays

These bills implement the same system of electronic transaction reporting to law enforcement for
secondary metal recyclers that has been in use for many years for pawn brokers and second hand dealers.
No movement of these bills this past week. They have not yet been agendaed.

Calculation of Judgment Interest*
HB 567 by Hudson; SB 866 by Bogdanoff

We have been in discussion with the bill sponsors over the past week and have expressed to them our
concern that there is little benefit and considerably more hassle in adjusting the statutory interest rate on a
quarterly basis. We have been told that this is an issue promoted by the Florida Chamber of Commerce.
SB 866 will be heard for the first time on Monday, March 14. There is a good chance the House bill will also
have its first hearing during the second week.

Electronic Recording of Real Property Documents
HB 951 by Albritton; SB 1072 by Latvala

This legislation is intended to be a clarification of existing law and, thus, would apply retroactively. It
establishes that all real property documents submitted for recording electronically are validly recorded
regardless of when they were submitted or other minor compliance issues. The House bill will be heard for
the first time on Monday, March 14. The Senate bill has not been agendaed.

Tangible Personal Property Taxes on Heavy Equipment
HB 243 by Workman; SB 384 by Bogdanoff

These bills authorize a person who rents heavy equipment under short-term rental agreements to collect a
TPP recovery fee from the renter. HB 243 passed unanimously out of the Business & Consumer Affairs
Committee this past week and has two more stops. The Senate bill has not been agendaed.

The “Paycheck Protection Act”*
HB 1021 by Dorworth; SB 830 by Thrasher

This Construction Coalition supported legislation prohibits local governments from providing automatic
withdrawals for employees union dues used for political purposes unless the employee approved the union
political expenditures annually. In states where this measure has passed, union political contributions have
decreased by 50 percent. The Senate Community Affairs Committee agendaed this bill during week one,
but because of the controversy and the number of union workers who attended and wanted to testify,
Chairman Bennett held the bill until last and ran out of time. He promised those who had travelled to
testify that the bill would be first to be heard this week, and asked them to pick a representative to speak
on their behalf to save committee time. HB 1021 was just filed and numbered.


OTHER CONSTRUCTION-RELATED ISSUES
Relating to Energy Conservation Standards
HB 1081 by Chestnut; SB 1216 by Altman
NACM ICPC Legislative Report
March 13, 2011                                                                                        Page |6

SB 1216 amends provisions relating to energy conservation standards to include new definitions for
ballasted roof, cool roof, hardscape, heat island effect, low sloped roof, impervious pavement system, solar
reflectance value and steep sloped roof. It includes roofs, roofing materials and hardscape materials in the
provisions of Chapter 553 which apply to the testing, certification and enforcement of energy conservation
standards and creates new standards for non-residential roofing and hardscapes in Florida. Portions of this
bill are supported by the Florida Concrete & Products Association which relate to the solar reflective value
of concrete versus asphalt in the urban landscape. Neither bill has been agendaed.

Design Professional Liability*
HB 605 by Steube; SB 288 by Negron

On March 9, SB 288 by Senator Joe Negron was heard for the first time in the Senate Regulated Industries
Committee and voted down. As mentioned in this week’s introduction, the bill was opposed by the
Construction Coalition because it limited the liability of design professionals, leaving contractors and subs
on the hook. The swift action of this first committee has the effect of killing the bill for this year, a victory
for our Coalition and a hard pill for the Florida AIA to swallow after last year’s bill was vetoed by the
Governor.

Since these bills are dead for this year, we will remove them from our reports going forward

Building Code and Home Inspection*
HB 849 by Davis; SB 396 by Bennett

These bills will carry this year’s building code legislation. We have a detailed section by section summary
that we would be glad to share with anyone who is interested, but that is far too lengthy to include in this
report. As reported last week, this is the bill the Building Officials Association of Florida (BOAF) tried to
amend to require Florida specific amendments to be published separate from the International Code.
BOAF’s executive director has requested to meet with Construction Coalition members to further discuss
that issue. That meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 14. The bill addresses a myriad of Commission
functions, code issues, product approval, home inspection, and incorporates “sustainable building rating”
terminology. The Bennett bill will be heard in its second committee on March 16. The Davis bill has not yet
been agendaed.

Repeal of Mold-Related Services
HB 4171 by Grant; SB 1244 by Norman

These bills would repeal, effective July 1, all provisions relating to the licensing and regulation of mold
assessors and remediators. HB 4171 passed its first committee on March 8, and only has one committee
stop to go. The Senate bill has not been agendaed.

Repeal of State Regulation*
House Business & Professional Regulation Subcommittee PCBs 11-01 and 11-02

The House Business & Professional Regulation Subcommittee handed out an extensive list this past week
which contained regulated professions that had no continuing education requirements and minimal
disciplinary actions over the past several years. The list includes 30 regulated professions from athletic
agents to yacht and ship brokers. The committee took testimony from an interior designer and a yacht
broker who made arguments for the regulation of their respective professions. We will be paying the most
attention to PCB 11-01 which includes repeal of licensing for most of the professions identified including
NACM ICPC Legislative Report
March 13, 2011                                                                                     Page |7

employee leasing companies, home inspectors, landscape architects, mold-related services, surveyors and
mappers.

Residential Building Permits
HB 407 by Perry; SB 580 by Oelrich

These bills have been filed at the request of a group of contractors in the Keys to address the local policy of
their building officials to require updating of structures as a condition of issuance of building permits. No
movement of these bills so far.

State Bid Preference
HB 427 by Tobia; SB 574 by Wise

These bills would allow state and local governments to give bid preference to Florida contractors and
would preempt local governments from giving a local preference to any local contractor if any state monies
are used to build the project. No movement of these bills yet.

Electrical Journeyman Requirements
HB 607 by Weinstein; SB 838 by Wise

This is another attempt by the unions to require more electrical journeyman on industrial and commercial
jobsites. The bill would lower the square footage requirement from 50,000 square feet to 5,000 and raise
the voltage requirements from 77 volts to 98. No movement of these bills yet.

Regulation of Hoisting Equipment
HB 1057 by Artiles; SB 612 by Evers

These bills are an ABC Crane Council priority and create a statewide crane safety act relating to radio
communications between crane operators, preparation for high wind events and penalties for licensed
contractors who violate the act. These requirements would preempt any local government regulations and
create a statewide standard. No movement yet on these bills.

Background Screening for Non-instructional School District Employees and
Contractors
HB 627 by Perry; SB 906 by Dean

These bills would eliminate the current screening requirements and replace them with a statewide
program through the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs which patterns other screening
procedures. Contractual personnel would be required to be screened every 5 years and could take their
certification with them from job to job, employer to employer. No movement of these bills to date.

State Reciprocity in Workers’ Compensation Claims
HB 723 by Weinstein; SB 1286 by Bennett

These bills provide that an employee of a Florida company who is working on a temporary basis in another
state is still covered by the employer’s Florida workers’ compensation coverage, and an employee from
another state who is working on a temporary basis in this state is still covered under the Workers’
Compensation policy in the home state. A temporary basis is defined as no more than 10 consecutive days
or 25 total days in a year. No movement yet for these bills.
NACM ICPC Legislative Report
March 13, 2011                                                                                       Page |8

Open Competition Act
HB 923 by VanZant; SB 1352 by Hays

The first section of these bills prohibits union only Project Labor Agreements in any public project where
there is state funding. In addition to the filing of these bills, ABC will be asking Governor Scott to issue an
executive order prohibiting the use of PLA’s in public construction in Florida.

The second section of these bills extends the existing time period for filing a notice of protest on a bid
solicitation. Existing law only provides for 72 hours within which to notice a protest. The bill extends this
time period to a more reasonable 7 days. No movement yet on these bills.

Growth Management/Impact Fees*
HB 7001 by Community & Military Affairs Subcommittee; SB 174 by Bennett
HB 7021 by Community & Military Affairs Subcommittee; SB 410 by Bennett

These bills are a priority for the residential side of our industry and attempt to reinstate portions of SB 360
passed in 2009 which was struck down by a District Court Judge last August. This was the major growth
management and impact fee legislation supported by FHBA and others. All of the bills attempt to address
constitutionality by providing severability and other provisions to protect their reenactment. If adopted by
a two-thirds vote of the Legislature, these reenactments can withstand local government’s pending
challenges that they are unfunded mandates.

HB 7001 and SB 174 reenact the “Community Renewal Act” provisions relating to the definition of "urban
service area" and "dense urban land area" for purposes of the Local Government Comprehensive Planning
and Land Development Regulation Act, reenacts provisions relating to certain required and optional
elements of a comprehensive plan, concurrency requirements for transportation facilities, a required
notice for a new or increased impact fees and the process for adopting a comprehensive plan or plan
amendment. Major provisions of the bill would apply retroactively to July 1, 2009. HB 7001 is still on the
House calendar, and SB 174 will be heard on March 15 in its last committee.

HB 7021 (filed this past week) and SB 410 reenact a provision relating to the burden of proof required by
the government in an action challenging an impact fee and provides for retroactive operation and an
exception under specified circumstances. T he bill would be retroactive to July 1, 2009. SB 410 sits in its
last committee, and HB 7021 was just filed.

Onsite Sewage Treatment and Disposal Systems
HB 13 by Coley; SB 130 by Dean; SB 82 by Lynn; SB 168 by Evers;
HB 167 by Coley (Withdrawn); SB 1698 by Dean

HB 13 by Coley has now made it to its last committee. SB 130 by Dean is an identical bill which has been
referred but has not been heard. These bills repeal the 5-year evaluation requirements, the requirements
for the Department of Health to run the program, and the grant program for repair of failing systems. SB
82 by Lynn which is similar has not been heard, and SB 168 by Evers has been heard once but has not
moved since February.

Of interest, this past week SB 1698 was filed by Senator Dean. The bill is identical to HB 167 which was
withdrawn by Representative Coley prior to introduction. These bills would leave the program intact but
move the effective date from January 1, 2011 to July 1, 2011.
NACM ICPC Legislative Report
March 13, 2011                                                                                    Page |9



If you have specific questions regarding any of these issues, please let us know. If you would like copies of
the most current draft of a bill or amendment, they are available at www.leg.state.fl.us. Always make sure
to download the latest version of the bill, as committee substitutes are created after most committee
amendments are adopted. Contact Deborah Lawson at deborahlawson@aol.com, or Bruce Kershner at
rbkershner@att.net for further information.

								
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