8383 Seminole Boulevard
Seminole, FL 33772
222 The Capitol
402 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399
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.
CS/HB 953- Legislative Redistricting and
Requires court to provide for expedited hearing
& ruling in challenge to state legislative or congressional
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
House Passes Proposed Constitutional Amendment for Judicial Term
During the fourth week of Session the Florida
House passed HJR 1, which proposes to place on the next general
election ballot an amendment to the Florida Constitution that would
provide term limits for state appellate-level judges. Specifically,
these judges would be barred from appearing on a ballot for
retention if they have served 12 consecutive years in the same
office. If approved by the voters, these new term limits will apply
to judges currently in office, but will not include time served in
office prior to January 9, 2019.
Term limits will reinforce the important principle that
judicial service, like all public service, is about the citizenry,
the institution, and rule of law, not about the
Committee Passes Conflicts of Interest Bill
On Thursday of last week, the House Government
Accountability Committee passed HB 7083, which proposes important
ethics reforms related to conflicts of interest. Some of the
reforms included: prohibiting state and local officers or employees
from soliciting a conflicting job; requiring disclosure and
reporting on offers of conflicting employment; requiring state
legislators and statewide elected officers to disclose changes in
employment and pay raises immediately when the employer has
interests in the legislative process; clarifying regulatory
conflict rules; and imposing a two-year ban on agency directors
from lobbying any state agency.
Government employees and officers serve the public and
should not be able to use their positions for private
Last week we finished our fifth
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 are moving into the last few weeks of
Committee meetings during Session.
Throughout the remainder of 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,
|Enjoyed meeting with students from Florida
Polytechnic University during their day at the Capitol.
Appropriations Committee Approves House
Last week, the Appropriations Committee passed the
House's recommended budget for 2016-2017. Our budget cuts wasteful
pork barrel spending while funding our state's critical needs,
including significant investments in education. The House budget
also provides $2.2 billion in tax cuts for parents, students,
teachers, veterans, job creators, homeowners, and other Floridians.
Finally, the budget responsibly plans for the future by placing a
record $3.6 billion in reserves to prepare for any unforeseen
future economic uncertainty.
This budget not only saves taxpayers money by
eliminating wasteful spending and cutting taxes, but will secure
long term budget surpluses while ensuring our state's critical
needs are met. This week, all members of the Florida House of
Representatives will vote on the budget on the House
Ways & Means Committee Proposes $2.2
Billion Tax Cut
Last week the Ways & Means Committee passed two bills that
will put more money back into the pockets of hardworking
The committee first passed a proposed constitutional amendment
that would protect homeowners by adding $25,000 to the homestead
The committee then passed a bill to cut taxes for millions of
Floridians. Under this tax package, students, parents, veterans,
homeowners, job creators, job seekers, farmers, and others will
receive a tax cut from the Florida House. The following are some
highlights of the tax package:
- Eases the growing cost of higher education with the College or
University Textbook Sales Tax Exemption.
- Helps make education more affordable with a ten-day
- Honors the 1.6 million veterans in Florida with the Veterans'
Sales Tax Holiday.
- Reduces the Business Rent Tax for businesses.
- Protects Florida's families and homes from natural disasters
with the Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday.
- Provides relief to families who currently pay tax on items that
are necessities for their young children with the Diapers and
Incontinence Products Sales Tax Exemption.
- Provides relief to farmers with the Agriculture-Related Sales
Met with members of the Pinellas
County Teachers Association. I enjoyed the discussion and hearing
their opinions on important issues related to
House Votes to Create Uniform Rules for
On Wednesday of last week, the House passed HB 221, which
establishes a uniform statewide regulatory framework for
ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft. Currently, ridesharing
companies in Florida follow local laws and regulations, which
change from city to city. Some cities have even tried to ban
ridesharing companies from operating.
HB 221 implements standardized regulations for ridesharing
companies, including but not limited to: minimum insurance
requirements for drivers and companies; a zero-tolerance policy on
drug and alcohol abuse by drivers; extensive background and driving
history checks; non-discrimination and disability access
compliance; and requirements to maintain records on riders and
Local governments should not keep ridesharing companies from
operating successfully in Florida. Ridesharing companies are
efficient, safe, convenient, and most importantly, provide flexible
I enjoyed speaking to the SPC Leadership Team during
their visit to Tallahassee and answered several questions related
to the legislative process.
in the Park
Fri. - April 14th
Fri. - April 14th
Sun. - April 23rd
House Votes to Hold
Public Employee Unions
The House passed HB 11 during the fourth week of
Session, which reforms the annual public employee union
registration process to increase transparency and accountability.
HB 11 requires public employee unions to be transparent and
accountable by reporting their annual registration renewals, 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
re-apply 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 the re-certification
HB 11 is a positive step towards increasing transparency
and holding public employee unions accountable to the workers they
Motor Vehicle Insurance Bill
During the fourth week of Session The Insurance
& Banking Subcommittee passed HB 1063, which would reform motor
vehicle insurance in Florida. The goal of HB 1063 is to increase
access to meaningful insurance while bringing accountability and
responsibility to the system.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP), also known as Florida
No-Fault Insurance, is the only insurance policy required for all
Florida drivers. However, the Financial Responsibility Law requires
all Florida drivers to be able to respond for bodily injuries or
deaths (BI) they cause, up to $10,000 for one person and $20,000
for two or more persons. BI coverage may be secured through
insurance or other means at the time of an accident.
PIP offers up to $10,000 for various personal injuries
that may occur in a car accident, regardless of fault. Legislators
attempted to revise PIP multiple times, due to the rampant fraud
found in the system. Unfortunately, these efforts have not fixed
the problems. Fraud and abuse in the PIP system continue and have
caused premiums to rise in recent years, placing additional
financial burdens on Floridians.
HB 1063 seeks to resolve these issues in the current
system by repealing PIP and replacing it with mandatory BI
coverage. The bill focuses on personal responsibility and does away
with the flawed no-fault system. Under BI coverage, drivers will
have to obtain coverage prior to registering a vehicle and have
their policies cover, at a minimum, $25,000 in damages due to
bodily injury or death to one person, or $50,000 for two or more
persons. Thirty-eight states have a similar system.
House Committee Passes
Workers' Compensation Bill
After recent court rulings found parts of
Florida's workers' compensation law unconstitutional, the Commerce
Committee passed a comprehensive bill on the issue. Through the
many changes made, the goal of HB 7085 is to ensure the quick and
efficient delivery of disability and medical benefits to an injured
worker and to facilitate the worker's return to gainful
reemployment at a reasonable cost to the