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Session Update: Weeks 4 & 5
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.
 

CS/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.   

  

HB 1365 - Early Childhood Music Education Incentive Pilot Program
Creates the Early Childhood Music Education Incentive Pilot Program within the Department of Education.

  

CS/CS/HB 1441 - Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board 

Revises composition of the board.

  

Florida House Passes Proposed Constitutional Amendment for Judicial Term Limits 
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 individual.
 

House 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 gain.
 

April 11, 2017

Dear Friends,
  
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,
  Rep. Sig 3
Larry Ahern
 

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Enjoyed meeting with students from Florida Polytechnic University during their day at the Capitol.
 

Appropriations Committee Approves House Budget 
  

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 floor.
 
 
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 Floridians.
 
The committee first passed a proposed constitutional amendment that would protect homeowners by adding $25,000 to the homestead tax exemption.
 
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 Back-to-School Holiday.
  • 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 Tax Exemptions.


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Met with members of the Pinellas County Teachers Association. I enjoyed the discussion and hearing their opinions on important issues related to education.


House Votes to Create Uniform Rules for Ridesharing Companies 
  
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 drivers.
 
Local governments should not keep ridesharing companies from operating successfully in Florida. Ridesharing companies are efficient, safe, convenient, and most importantly, provide flexible jobs.



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I enjoyed speaking to the SPC Leadership Team during their visit to Tallahassee and answered several questions related to the legislative process. 
Community Events

Largo

Movies in the Park

Fri. - April 14th

7:00 PM

FREE

 

Clearwater Beach

Pier 60 Sugarsand Festival

Fri. - April 14th 

thru

Sun. - April 23rd 

More Information

 

House Votes to Hold Public Employee Unions Accountable 
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 changes.
 
HB 11 is a positive step towards increasing transparency and holding public employee unions accountable to the workers they represent.
 
Subcommittee Passes 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 employer. 
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

Sent by larry.ahern@myfloridahouse.gov in collaboration with

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