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Session Update: Week 3
Contact Information
Office Locations
District:
8383 Seminole Boulevard
Suite B
Seminole, FL 33772
727-395-2512
  
Capitol:
222 The Capitol
402 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399
850-717-5066
Staff
District Secretary
 
Legislative Assistant
  
My 2017 Bills
Requires the automatic expunction of certain nonjudicial records of arrests of minors after the completion of certain diversion programs.  
  
Reduces the sales tax paid on commercial leases incrementally until it's eliminated over a specified number of years.   

Authorizes a matching grant program for local governments to implement flood hazard risk mitigation policies and projects.
 

HB 953- Legislative Redistricting and Congressional Reapportionment 

Requires court to provide for expedited hearing & ruling in challenge to state legislative or congressional district boundaries.

 

HB 955 - High School Graduation Requirements  

Revises requirements for NGSSS to include financial literacy. Revises credits for standard high school diploma to include instruction in personal financial literacy and money management.   


 

House Subcommittee Passes Professional Deregulation Bill
Last week, the Government Operations & Technology Appropriations Subcommittee passed a comprehensive bill seeking to deregulate certain professions. The goal of the bill is to provide more job opportunities for Floridians while protecting their health and safety.
 
The bill would prevent certain professions from being regulated by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, reduce the hours of training required to obtain certain licenses, and eliminate the requirement that certain licensees obtain a certificate of authorization for their businesses, as well as other changes.
 
There are numerous professions effected by the bill, including: interior designers; hair braiders; hair wrappers; body wrappers; boxing announcers; boxing timekeepers; labor organizations and business agents; talent agencies; auctioneers; barbers; restricted barbers; nail specialists; facial specialists; full specialists; asbestos abatement consultants and contractors; architects; landscape architects; geologists; and yacht and ship brokers.
 

March 27, 2017

Dear Friends,
  
Last week we finished our third week of the 2017 Legislative Session. During this week a number of bills were heard and passed in House Committees as well as on the House floor. We will continue to hear member bills, proposed committee bills, and appropriation project bills during the first few weeks of Session.

Throughout Session, I will continue to keep you up-to-date with periodic newsletters letting you know about bills under consideration and any new laws that are passed. As always, thank you for your confidence in my service to District 66. It is an honor and a privilege to be your voice in Tallahassee.

In Your Service,
  Rep. Sig 3
Larry Ahern
 
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Speaking to members from the Osceola Chamber of Commerce during their visit to the Capitol.
 

House Committee Passes Bill to Limit Gambling
  
The Ways & Means Committee passed a bill last week that seeks to authorize the Governor's execution of a new Gaming Compact with the Seminole Tribe of Florida and resolve issues related to pari-mutuel wagering, cardroom gambling, slot machine gambling, and other gambling.
 
The bill will create a new 20 year compact between the State and the Seminole Tribe of Florida. State revenues from the new compact will be used exclusively for education, focusing on recruiting and retaining the best teachers in the K-12 school system, helping under-served students from persistently failing schools, and increasing funding for distinguished faculty in higher education.
 
The bill also closes loopholes and shuts down card games not authorized by the Legislature, limits gambling to current locations, eliminates inactive and delinquent gambling permits, and prohibits the issuance of new gambling permits. This bill will more effectively restrict gambling in our state to current levels at existing locations, which will protect Florida's national and international brand as a family friendly place to live, work, and visit for many years to come.
 
I will keep you updated as the bill continues to move through the legislative process.

 
House Subcommittee Passes Bill to Publish Student Assessments Online
  
The PreK-12 Quality Subcommittee passed HB 549, which requires the Department of Education (DOE) to publish statewide student assessments on their website.
 
Florida's statewide student assessment program is used to measure if students have mastered Florida's academic content standards. Currently, only sample questions of statewide assessments are posted on the DOE website. These sample questions are not taken from actual assessments; they are only meant to show the types of questions asked.
 
HB 549 requires that every three years the DOE publish any assessment administered during the previous school year on their website. The bill provides that only questions-not students' answers-will be published. This will begin in 2020 with the initial release including, at a minimum, the third grade English language arts and mathematics assessments, the tenth grade English language arts assessments, and the Algebra I end of course assessment.
 
Parents should be able to know what are in these tests. Doing so will not only increase transparency and accountability with state assessments, but will also allow parents to be more engaged in their children's education.



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Addressing a group of visiting students from 

St. Petersburg College (SPC). During their visit they toured the Capitol and spoke with local lawmakers about the legislative process.

 

 


Community Events

Clearwater

Blast Friday

Music, Food, and Craft Festival

Fri. - March 31st

5:30 - 10:00 PM

 

Tampa

6th Annual 

International Cuban Sandwich Festival

Sat. - April 1st 

12:00 - 6:00 PM

Sun. - April 2nd 

11:00 AM - 7:00 PM

More Information

 

House Committee Approves Local Government Ethics Reform
The Government Accountability Committee passed HB 7021 last week to reform ethics guidelines for local governments. Some important provisions of the bill include the following: requiring certain elected local officers to file a more detailed financial disclosure; expanding annual ethics training requirements for local officers; expanding restrictions when a conflict of interest exists; and requiring lobbyists to register with a statewide database before they can lobby local government bodies.
 
The next stop for HB 7021 is the House floor, where all members of the Florida House of Representatives will vote on the bill.  

House Committee Passes Legislation to Hold Government Accountable
On Wednesday of last week, the House Government Accountability Committee passed HB 479, which further increases accountability and transparency in government.
 
The bill holds government accountable by ensuring state agencies and other government entities have internal controls in place to curb waste, fraud, and abuse and promote efficiency in their operations. The bill increases transparency by extending the amount of time budget documents for cities and counties must be available online so citizens know how their tax dollars are being spent. Finally, the bill reforms public testimony laws so people will have the opportunity to speak at local board and commission meetings without having to submit their comments in advance.
 
HB 479 will soon be heard on the House floor for a vote by all members. 

House Committee Votes to Hold Public Employee Unions Accountable
The House Government Accountability Committee passed HB 11, which reforms the annual public employee union recertification process to increase transparency and accountability. HB 11 requires public employee unions to be transparent by reporting in their annual registration renewal application the number of employees eligible to be in the union and the number of employees who do and do not pay dues to the union. If 50 percent or more of eligible union members do not pay dues, the union must reapply for certification. A union that does not comply with these requirements will have its certification revoked. Unions that represent law enforcement officers, firefighters, and corrections officers are not included in these changes, except for the reporting requirement.
 
HB 11 is a positive step towards increasing transparency and holding public employee unions accountable to the workers they represent. The next stop for HB 11 is the House floor.

Florida House of Representatives | | larry.ahern@myfloridahouse.gov | http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Representatives/details.aspx?MemberId=4505&SessionId=66
8383 Seminole Boulevard
Suite B
Seminole, FL 33772
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Florida House of Representatives, 8383 Seminole Boulevard, Suite B, Seminole, FL 33772

Constant Contact
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