House Session, Wednesday, April 26, 2017
HOUSE SESSION, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 26, 2017

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CONVENED: The House convened at 10:30 a.m., Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O' Lakes, presiding.

PRAYER: Abigail Moon, associate rector of St. John's Episcopal Church in Tallahassee, gave the opening prayer.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE FOLLOWED

THIRD READING CALENDAR:

--- HB 1225, relating to the Division of Administrative Hearings.

Sponsor Heather Fitzenhagen, R-Fort Myers, introduced the bill, which would change the way administrative law judges are appointed.

The judges would be appointed by the governor and Cabinet from names submitted by a nominating commission.

Reps. Loranne Ausley, D-Tallahassee, Emily Slosberg, D-Boca Raton, and Joe Geller, D-Aventura, said judges should remain independent, free of making decisions based on pleasing politicians to retain their jobs.

Rep. Sean Shaw, D-Tampa, said the current selection process is worse than what is proposed. "It moves the ball to ALJs being treated more like judges," Shaw said.

House members voted 86-28 to approve the bill.

--- HB 1421, relating to property insurance assignment agreements.

Sponsor James Grant, R-Tampa, introduced the bill, which addresses what are known as insurance "assignments of benefits."

Geller said details of the proposal are untested and will result in more litigation.

"It's going to be tied up for the next two years," Geller said. "That's not going to keep up with the mission, which is to keep rates low."

Rep. Richard Stark, D-Weston, said assignments of benefits have been taken advantage of for years, and rates could go up and fewer insurers may remain in the market without any action.

House members voted 91-26 to approve the bill.

--- HB 13, relating to community redevelopment agencies.

Sponsor Jake Raburn, R-Lithia, introduced the bill, which he said would provide more transparency and accountability for community redevelopment agencies.

Ausley defended community development agencies for helping create a number of projects in Tallahassee. "The business of local governments needs to stay in local governments," Ausley said.

Rep. Barrington Russell, D-Lauderdale Lakes, said his city has benefited from CRAs.

Rep. Joseph Abruzzo, D-Boynton Beach, said some CRAs need the "cleanup" outlined in the proposal.

Raburn said a CRA in Melbourne has outlived its initial creation to address local blight, a CRA in Hallandale Beach ran out of money without explanation, while another CRA built a stadium outside the boundary of the CRA.

House members voted 78-37 to approve the bill.

--- HB 1175, relating to motor vehicle manufacturers and dealers.

Sponsor Manny Diaz, Jr., R-Hialeah, introduced the bill.

House members voted 104-12 to approve the bill.

--- HB 7047, relating to the deregulation of professions and occupations.

Sponsor Halsey Beshears, R-Monticello, said the bill would deregulate a series of professions including labor organizations, hair braiders, hair wrappers and body wrappers and boxing timekeepers and announcers.

Ausley said the bill looks better than when it was first introduced, but may create more problems by removing training requirements from some professions that involve potentially dangerous chemicals.

Rep. Barbara Watson, D-Miami Gardens, cautioned against reducing regulations for salons.

Beshears said a vote against the bill is a vote against tax decreases.

House members voted 86-30 to approve the bill.

--- HB 1169, relating to transportation facility designations.

Sponsor Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor, introduced the bill, which would designate a portion of a road in Pinellas County as the Officer Charles "Charlie K" Kondek, Jr., Memorial Highway.

House members voted 117-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 351, relating to public records and public meetings.

Sponsor Bob Rommel, R-Naples, introduced the bill, which would create a Sunshine Law exemption for the hiring of university presidents and other higher-education leaders.

Geller said the "terrible" bill violates the spirit of the Sunshine Law. "This is the public's business, these people are going to be paid with public dollars," Geller said.

Rep. Ramon Alexander, D-Tallahassee, noting recent searches at Florida A&M University, said the public process "drains" the talent pool of applicants for university leadership jobs.

Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, D-Orlando, said the bill "cloaks" the hiring of university leaders in secrecy that excludes the public from being able to vet candidates.

Rep. Wengay Newton, D-St. Petersburg, said if the changes would expand the number of qualified people involved in the process and would be "a good thing."

House members voted 103-11 to approve the bill.

--- HJR 7105, relating to increased homestead property tax exemption.

Sponsor Mike La Rosa, R-St. Cloud, introduced the proposed constitutional amendment.

Rep. Matt Willhite, D-Wellington, said he opposed the proposal as it would take money away from essential services that local communities provide, such as fire protection and law enforcement.

"It sounds great to give a tax break, but also understand that myself and constituents want services and those services don't come free," Willhite said.

For Palm Beach County, the impact could be $29 million a year, Willhite said.

Newton said the reduction could result in the need for local governments to raise tax rates.

Abruzzo said the proposal is for the voters to decide. "How do I go back to the district and tell people I could have given you the chance to have an additional homestead exemption?" Abruzzo said. "That's not going to happen."

Rep. Al Jacquet, D-Lantana, said officials should trust their constituents.

"I'm not saying cut the taxes," Jaquet said. "What I'm saying is, I trust the people that sent me up here to make that decision themselves."

Smith warned that the proposal may get lost on a ballot in 2018, when there may be a lengthy list of constitutional amendments. He said that could cause delays at the polls and disenfranchise voters, as occurred in 2012.

La Rosa said homeownership across the state is getting lower and the proposed tax cut would help.

House members voted 81-35 to approve the bill.

--- HB 7107, relating to homestead exemption implementation.

La Rosa, the sponsor, said the bill would implement the proposed constitutional amendment.

House members voted 84-30 to approve the bill.

--- HB 7109, relating to taxation.

Sponsor Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, introduced the bill, which is the House tax-cut package. Boyd said that combined with the homestead exemption proposal, the tax-cut package would offer $2.2 billion in breaks to Floridians.

House members voted 117-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 7117, relating to the statewide Medicaid managed care program.

Sponsor Travis Cummings, R-Orange Park, said the bill would consolidate regions in the Medicaid managed-care system. It also would make other changes, including seeking federal approval of work requirements for people in the system.

House members voted 81-34 to approve the bill.

--- SB 106, relating to vendors licensed under the beverage law. The bill would eliminate the state law that requires a separation of liquor sales from other retail goods.

Rep. Scott Plakon, R-Longwood, said citizens haven't called for the measure and that the only reason the issue is being discussed is lobbying from Walmart, Target and Walgreens. He said the proposal would result in the closure of small businesses and increase access to alcohol by minors.

Geller said the state needs to keep 16-year-olds and 18-year-olds from selling hard liquor.

Smith said that while the bill was enacted in the 1930s, it may have a new purpose, to keep "big box businesses" from "steamrolling" small businesses.

Boyd said it was "nonsense" that the proposal would put small stores out of business.

Abruzzo said the bill would get rid of an "archaic law."

Rep. Julio Gonzalez, R-Venice, said evidence is overwhelming that the proposal would increase problems with drinking statewide.

"That's ethically and morally impossible for me to support," Gonzalez said. "The argument that the law is antiquated, it's from Prohibition, what did they know? You know, sometimes people got it right."

Rep. Ralph Massullo, R-Lecanto, said the proposal is a "free market" issue. "This is just making the playing field a little more equal, and with that I say let's take the walls down," Massullo said.

Rep. Randy Fine, R-Palm Bay, said if signed into law "every gas station in Florida will be 10,000 square feet."

Rep. James Grant, R-Tampa, said if critics of the proposal were so concerned about the proliferation of liquor in Florida, they should be more concerned with new app-based services that allow home delivery of liquor. "For us to stand up here today and pretend that this bill will have any massive societal impact, or even any noticeably significant societal impact, is a guess," Grant said.

Sponsor Bryan Avila, R-Hialeah, said his proposal isn't about religious or social issues, rather government intrusion into the market place.

"This bill, the only thing it does, is it makes a law that was created in the 1930s, in order to ease the sale of alcohol back into society during Prohibition, all it does is it repeals that law, which has outlived its time," Avila said. "I think as a society we can all agree the advances from the 1930s to 2017 have been astronomical, yet this law still exists."

House members voted 58-57 to approve the bill.

--- HB 141, relating to craft distilleries.

The bill was temporarily postponed.

--- HB 689, relating to the Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco.

Sponsor Colleen Burton, R-Lakeland, introduced the bill.

House members voted 115-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 937, relating to warnings for lottery games.

Sponsor Jennifer Sullivan, R-Mount Dora, introduced the bill, which would place warnings on lottery tickets.

House members voted 111-3 to approve the bill, with Stark, Willhite, and Rep. Tom Goodson, R-Rockledge, opposed.

---HB 249, relating to drug overdoses.

Rommel, the sponsor, introduced the bill and discussed problems in the state with drug overdoses.

House members voted 117-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 61, relating to emergency services for an unintentional drug overdose.

Sponsor Larry Lee, D-Port St. Lucie, introduced the bill, which he said would direct hospitals to develop best-practice procedures.

House members voted 118-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 807, relating to practices of substance abuse service providers.

Sponsor Bill Hager, R-Delray Beach, introduced the bill, which addresses what are known as "sober homes."

House members voted 115-0 to approve the bill.

--- SB 852, relating to human trafficking.

Sponsor Jeanette Nunez, R-Miami, introduced the bill.

House members voted 116-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 7049, relating to child exploitation.

Sponsor Ross Spano, R-Dover, introduced the bill.

House members voted 116-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 7053, relating to public records/minor victims of sexual offenses.

Spano, the sponsor, introduced the bill.

House members voted 115-0 to approve the bill.

--- HJR 291, relating to exempting law enforcement officers from handgun purchase waiting period.

The bill was temporarily postponed.

--- HB 673, relating to exceptions to requirements for the purchase and sale of firearms.

The bill was temporarily postponed.

--- HB 6501, relating to relief/J.D.S./Agency for Persons with Disabilities.

Plakon, the sponsor, introduced the claim bill, which stems from the sexual assault of a woman with disabilities in the care of the state.

House members voted 112-2 to approve the bill, with Hager and Rommel opposed.

--- HB 6515, relating to relief/Wendy Smith and Dennis Darling Sr./state of Florida.

Sponsor Shevrin Jones, D-West Park, introduced the claim bill, which stems from the 2001 death of Florida State University football player Devaughn Darling.

House members voted 112-4 to approve the bill, with Fant, Hager, Rommel and Rep. Neil Combee, R-Auburndale, opposed.

--- HB 6553, relating to relief/Cristina Alvarez and George Patnode/Department of Health.

Sponsor Jackie Toledo, R-Tampa, introduced the bill.

House members voted 111-4 to approve the bill, with Combee, Fant, Hager and Rommel opposed.

--- HB 7051, relating to clerks of the circuit court.

Sponsor Cord Byrd, R-Neptune Beach, introduced the bill.

Rep. Ben Diamond, D-St. Petersburg, worried that some of the bill's provisions --- which would limit how much clerks of court could spend each year --- would affect the judiciary.

"We all know that the clerks of our courts serve as the front door to our courts system," Diamond said. "If they cannot operate effectively, the whole system does not work."

House members voted 80-33 to approve the bill.

--- HB 7091, relating to probation and community control.

Sponsor Thad Altman, R-Indialantic, introduced the bill.

House members voted 115-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 7065, relating to local government fiscal transparency.

Burton, the sponsor, introduced the bill.

House members voted 98-15 to approve the bill.

--- HB 139, relating to local tax referenda.

Sponsor Blaise Ingoglia, R-Spring Hill, introduced the bill, which would only allow local tax referendums on primary- or general-election ballots.

Geller called the measure "another bill where we're telling local governments we don't trust them to do their job."

But Ingoglia said the bill would help ensure votes on tax measures are held during high-turnout contests.

"To a certain degree, many counties have been abusing the practice," Ingoglia said.

House members voted 93-23 to approve the bill.

--- HB 49, relating to ad valorem taxation.

Sponsor Dane Eagle, R-Cape Coral, introduced the bill, which would provide tax relief for people whose homes were damaged last year by natural disasters.

House members voted 116-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 1123, relating to fee and surcharge reductions.

Sponsor Brad Drake, R-Eucheeanna, introduced the bill.

House members voted 118-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 961, relating to expressway authority revenue.

Nunez, the sponsor, introduced the bill, which would make changes related to the Miami-Dade County Expressway Authority.

House members voted 118-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 6519, relating to relief/Amie Draiemann O'Brien, Hailey Morgan Stephenson and Christina Darby Stephenson II/Department of Transportation.

Sponsor Bob Cortes, R-Altamonte Springs, introduced the bill.

House members voted 112-3 to approve the bill, with Combee, Hager and Rommel opposed.

--- HB 6525, relating to relief/C.M.H./Department of Children and Families.

Grant, the sponsor, introduced the bill.

House members voted 112-4 to approve the bill, with Combee, Fant, Hager and Rommel opposed

--- HB 6535, relating to relief/Vonshelle Brothers/Department of Health.

Sponsor Evan Jenne, D-Dania Beach, introduced the bill.

House members voted 114-4 to approve the bill, with Combee, Fant, Hager and Rommel opposed

--- HB 543, relating to regulation of health care practitioners.

Sponsor Cary Pigman, R-Avon Park, introduced the bill.

House members voted 118-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 763, relating to access to health care practitioner services.

Sponsor Michael Grant, R-Port Charlotte, introduced the bill.

House members voted 118-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 359, relating to insurance.

Sponsor David Santiago, R-Deltona, introduced the bill.

House members voted 117-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 1205, relating to viatical settlement contracts.

Sponsor Cyndi Stevenson, R-Saint Johns, introduced the bill.

House members voted 116-1 to approve the bill, with Hager opposed.

--- HB 837, relating to insurer insolvency.

Raburn, the sponsor, introduced the bill.

House members voted 117-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 421, relating to public housing authority insurance.

Shaw, the sponsor, introduced the bill.

House members voted 117-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 585, relating to governance of banks and trust companies.

Sponsor Stan McClain, R-Belleview, introduced the bill.

House members voted 118-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 435, relating to international financial institutions.

Sponsor Dan Raulerson, R-Plant City, introduced the bill.

House members voted 117-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 437, relating to public records/international financial institutions.

Raulerson, the sponsor, introduced the bill.

House members voted 118-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 587, relating to nonnative animals.

Beshears, the sponsor, introduced the bill.

House members voted 115-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 1031, relating to marine turtle protection.

Altman, the sponsor, introduced the bill.

House members voted 117-0 to approve the bill.

--- SB 818 relating to timeshare plans.

La Rosa, the sponsor, introduced the bill.

House members voted 115-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 987, relating to public accountancy.

Sponsor Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, introduced the bill.

House members voted 115-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 1081, relating to mortgage lending.

Ingoglia, the sponsor, introduced the bill.

House members voted 116-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 1231, relating to agricultural practices.

Raburn, the sponsor, introduced the bill.

House members voted 116-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 911, relating to insurance adjusters.

Shaw, the sponsor, introduced the bill.

House members voted 117-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 211, relating to cosmetic product registration.

Sponsor Chris Latvala, R-Clearwater, introduced the bill.

House members voted 117-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 1143, relating to coral reefs.

The bill was temporarily postponed.

--- HB 6511, relating to relief/L.T./Department of Children and Families.

Sponsor Mike Miller, R-Winter Park, introduced the bill.

House members voted 113-3 to approve the bill, with Combee, Fant and Rommel opposed.

--- SB 18, relating to relief/"survivor" and estate of "victim"/DCF.

Sponsor Jose Felix Diaz, R-Miami, introduced the bill.

The claim bill relates to the high-profile Nubia Barahona case, which involved a girl and her brother being tortured. Nubia Barahona died, while her brother, Victor, was injured. Diaz said the Department of Children and Families missed "many red flags." He said the claim bill is for $3.75 million.

House members voted 114-2 to approve the bill, with Fant and Rommel opposed.

--- HB 6027, relating to financial reporting.

Sponsor Jayer Williamson, R-Pace, introduced the bill.

House members voted 117-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 141, relating to craft distilleries.

Stevenson, the sponsor, introduced the bill.

House members voted 114-2 to approve the bill, with Sullivan and Rep. Clay Yarborough, R-Jacksonville, opposed.

--- HB 747, relating to mortgage brokering.

Stark, the sponsor, introduced the bill.

House members voted 117-0 to approve the bill.

--- SB 884, relating to shark fins.

Sponsor Alex Miller, R-Sarasota, introduced the bill.

House members voted 115-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 7043, relating to vessels.

Sponsor Holly Raschein, R-Key Largo, introduced the bill.

House members voted 117-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 1143, relating to coral reefs.

Sponsor Kristin Jacobs, D-Coconut Creek, introduced the bill.

House members voted 114-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 813, relating to flood insurance.

Lee, the sponsor, introduced the bill.

House members voted 115-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 1051, relating to the forensic hospital diversion pilot program.

Sponsor Mel Ponder, R-Destin, introduced the bill.

House members voted 117-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 1201, relating to the Department of Corrections.

Gonzalez, the sponsor, introduced the proposal.

House members voted 117-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 1203, relating to public records/Department of Corrections/health information.

Gonzalez, the sponsor, introduced the bill.

House members voted 115-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 1215, relating to residential elevators.

The bill was temporarily postponed.

--- HB 6529, relating to relief/Lillian Beauchamp/St. Lucie County School District.

Byrd, the sponsor, introduced the claim bill.

House members voted 111-4 to approve the bill, with Combee, Fant, Rommel and Rep. George Moraitis, R-Fort Lauderdale, opposed.

--- HB 6531, relating to relief/Dustin Reinhardt/Palm Beach County School Board.

Drake, the sponsor, introduced the bill.

House members voted 114-3 to approve the bill, with Combee, Fant and Rommel opposed.

--- HB 6539, relating to relief/Eddie Weekley and Charlotte Williams/Agency for Persons with Disabilities.

Byrd, the sponsor, introduced the bill.

House members voted 113-3 to approve the bill, with Combee, Fant and Rommel opposed.

--- HB 1385, relating to domestic violence.

Nunez, the sponsor, introduced the bill.

House members voted 117-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 859, relating to postsecondary distance education.

Sponsor Amber Mariano, R-Hudson, introduced the bill.

House members voted 116-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 1137, relating to use of state funds.

Sponsor Katie Edwards, D-Plantation, introduced the bill.

House members voted 117-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 707, relating to voter registration list maintenance.

Spano, the sponsor, introduced the bill.

House members voted 116-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 709, relating to public records/statewide voter registration system.

Spano, the sponsor, introduced the bill.

House members voted 117-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 833, relating to student eligibility for K-12 virtual instruction.

Sullivan, the sponsor, introduced the bill.

House members voted 115-1 to approve the bill, with Rep. Jared Moskowitz, D-Coral Springs, opposed.

--- HB 1085, relating to Florida Keys Community College.

Raschein, the sponsor, introduced the bill.

House members voted 116-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 1391, relating to home education.

Sponsor Eric Eisnaugle, R-Orlando, introduced the bill.

House members voted 117-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 185, relating to state park fees.

Lee, the sponsor, introduced the bill.

House members voted 117-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 1283, relating to inspectors general and auditors.

Raulerson, the sponsor, introduced the bill.

House members voted 117-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 1285, relating to public records/chief inspector general and agency inspectors general.

Raulerson, the sponsor, introduced the bill.

House members voted 118-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 1139, relating to minority teacher education scholars.

Sponsor Tracie Davis, D-Jacksonville, introduced the bill.

House members voted 117-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 465, relating to firefighters.

Raburn, the sponsor, introduced the bill.

House members voted 118-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 1281, relating to the Department of Management Services.

Sponsor Ben Albritton, R-Wauchula, introduced the bill.

House members voted 118-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 7097, relating to direct support organization of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.

Fine, the sponsor, introduced the bill.

House members voted 117-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 6545, relating to relief/Jerry Cunningham/Broward County.

Raburn, the sponsor, introduced the bill.

House members voted 114-3 to approve the bill, with Combee, Fant and Rommel opposed.

--- HB 6549, relating to relief/Altavious Carter/Palm Beach County School Board.

Jose Felix Diaz, the sponsor, introduced the bill.

House members voted 115-3 to approve the bill, with Combee, Fant and Rommel opposed

---SB 886, relating to substance abuse impaired persons.

Abruzzo, the sponsor, introduced the bill.

House members voted 117-0 to approve the bill.

--- HB 925, related to the Department of Financial Services.

Mike Miller, the sponsor, introduced the bill.

McClain proposed an amendment (643623) that was adopted.

Rep. Chuck Clemons, R-Newberry, proposed an amendment (272809) that was adopted.

House members voted 117-0 to approve the bill.

SPECIAL ORDER CALENDAR:

--- HB 853, relating to malt beverages.

The bill was temporarily postponed.

--- HB 635, relating to the Florida Wing of the Civil Air Patrol.

The bill was temporarily postponed.

--- HB 1351, relating to renewable energy source devices.

The bill was temporarily postponed.

ADJOURNMENT: Upon a motion by Rules & Policy Chairman Jose Oliva, R-Miami Lakes, the House adjourned at 2:59 p.m. and will reconvene at 10:30 a.m. Thursday.


--END--
4/26/2017

© 2017 The News Service of Florida. All rights reserved. Posting or forwarding this material without permission is prohibited.